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Entries in Economy (21)


Canada and the Auto Business

If you go by the numbers of auto ads on the various medias, either March will be a strong month, or its softer than expected and everyone is trying to get whatever they can out of the market.

Next week we will get a clearer picture.

The old saying "A vehicle is the second most expensive purchase next to a house". Must be a good thing that we are gravitating from ownership to mobility at a constant $500 per month.

For the past few years Canada has become a full fledged consumer economy empowered by free flowing money. We missed the bullet in the "great recession" of 2008/09 and morphed into a consumer economy.

Here is the deal...

Lean on CMS (Citizen Main Street) to consume more, empower CMS with inexpensive free flowing money to encourage him to consume even more.

The thought vector that Canadian companies were/are sitting on mountains of cash and should start investing in the Canadian economy got lost in a fog of changes. You have to wonder what happened to investing, creating jobs, to keep Canada going for the next generation.

Free flowing money has empowered record vehicle sales in Canada for the past couple of years. Yes...2014 was a record year, and this year started strong on top of a record year.

In the meantime...

The CDN dollar is in the dumpster, negatively impacting the confidence of CMS.

Price of oil is in the dumpster, with epic consequences across Canada.

Gas is not so cheap, a head of lettuce is not cheap, the same for coffee, and olive oil.

Pick up ads are touting 5 figure discounts/deals.

Vehicle sales in Alberta (3rd largest market in Canada) are steadily diminishing.

The mobility business model...

This model works well on a 24-36 month cycle, at 48-60 months most folks will have spent some money on consumables (tires,brakes,service) they are less tempted to change vehicles. If the confidence of CMS is shaken, lowered, with the current mobility model its easy to extend the trade cylce from 36 to 48 or 60 months.

As sales increase in the US with a rising tide of employment, consumer confidence, the opposite might just develop in Canada.

Month end March will be revealing.



Vroom Room

Good Morning,

Its Friday, its the Vroom Room, enjoy the cappuccino and biscotti, join the conversation, leave a comment.

Its a new month, we are back to fully engaged reality, with the expected increased turmoil in the world, and a ton of opinions on the Canadian economy, and the dollar.

Yes...we knew it was coming during the summer.

In case you missed our latest ebook "Behind Closed Doors"...Click. We are certain that you will find it interesting, captivating, and revealing.

As we move closer to "connected cars" and self driving cars. Old school mechanical cars are starting to look totally archaic, although easily restorable. You have to wonder about the challenges that these new cars will pose decades from now in the restoration process. By then the software to operate many of the features will be long gone.

Think about this for a moment.

Have you noticed how the mainstream media is increasingly in the eyeball business. Literally rehashing the same stories, photos, content, over and over in their quest to capture more eyeballs. 

In an atmosphere of diminished attention span, humans just "shut down" to ingesting the same s#&t over and over. 

Canadian Sales:

A record September, and a record 3rd quarter. Fascinating results when everyone fires on all cylinders, gets the game plan, and the money flows freely. Let's not forget new models too. It literally took years to arrive at this juncture in Canada. 

As expected trucks are increasing their popularity and market share.

Finally GM throttled up in September with a strong month...


We are increasingly reading opinions by pundits that Canada is falling behind. A couple of years ago we mentioned that Canadian companies were sitting on mountains of cash, while the conomy was relying on the Canadian consumer, and cheap money. 

We are seeing the results of a lack of "corporate leadership and innovation" in Canada. Cheap money from the banks has camouflaged a myriad of weaknesses, while increasing a wave of consumption. 

Canadian auto sales are one effect of cheap money.

The Corvette Z06 has a 0 to 60 of 2.95 seconds with an 8 speed automatic...impressive.

Old and new cars at The Maserati Centennial 2014.





Global Economic Intelligence

Interesting to look at the big picture and get a feel for what sort of economic world we will be navigating in 2014, take a look. An easy read the graphics are intuitive.






Current Reality

Lets start the last month of the year reflecting on  the big picture for a moment. 

Here is the deal:

  • CMS (Citizen Main Street) has been carrying the Canadian economy for a few years now. Its part of the New Reality from a few years ago.
  • We all know that CMS has been empowered by "cheap credit". Agreed it facilitated Canada dodging the bullet of the "global recession", although a ton of pundits constantly made reference to the "recession" which never really existed in Canada.
  • We all know that most companies are sitting on a ton of cash, withholding investments, and waiting for "something" (gotta wonder about that something).

 The present:

  • Auto sales powered by new product, but primarily cheap credit, and long term loans are literally through the roof in 2013. 
  • Real estate (construction, resale) powered by the same cheap credit is through the roof, and evolving into the main industry in Canada.
  • CMS appetite for credit is over the top, and through the roof.
  • Until Carney was cautionary the rest of the world was patient. Now that Poloz is saying that its normal, the rest of the world and some Canadian banks are pushing the "caution button".
  • Obvious that CMS is close to the end of the road dealing cheap credit.
  • Pundits have shared their thoughts from all directions since the beginning of the year, usually on the premise that its all normal, and part of a new reality.
  • The Canadian dollar recently embarked on an inexorable downward slide, which will help most Canadian companies exporting (the ones that have not closed or moved).

 The immediate horizon:

  • For how long can vehicles be sold with long finance terms, to facilitate rolling over deficiencies? 
  • What happens when CMS reigns in the appetite for cheap credit? We are getting a glimpse.
  • What happens as the "Bitumen Bubble" endures, and inexorably turns the Oil Sands into expensive oil?
  • What happens as Gen Y wages/income continue to stagnate?
  • What happens as the world continues to see Canada as a bubble on the cusp of bursting?

The immediate auto business:

  • Manufacturers after a through the roof 2013 will soften the level of incentives going into 2014.
  • Can CMS continue to budget $500/month for a vehicle, to do a deal?
  • Will dealers finally understand the relation between "brick and mortar" and "digital" that we described in iDealer.
  • It will be Plan A, Plan B, and even Plan C to navigate 2014.





Citizen Main Street

We have been saying for a few years that CMS (Citizen Main Street) has been powering the Canadian economy, with many companies sitting on piles of money.

If the 2 largest purchases of a family are houses, and vehicles, house sales are booming in Canada, and vehicle sales are almost off the both instances its powered by OPM (Other People's Money) at extremely low rates.

At one point it was "Lets temporarily power up CMS with cheap OPM" now the rest is history...

The impact on contruction to build houses acquired with OPM

Chart-Ben Rabidoux


As housing takes off others sit on the sidelines "waiting"...waiting for what?


Chart-Ben Rabidoux


To bring it closer to home in the auto business...


Chart-JD Power

 Its a new reality in discovering the effects and impact of inexpensive OPM (Other People's Money) on CMS (Citizen Main Street) to temporarily power up the Canadian economy.

We urge you to connect your own dots for the last quarter of 2013 and 2014.