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Entries in Ford (45)


Assembling Cars

You have surely noticed that every manufacturer is on a constant search and quest to save money in one fashion or another. From increased common platforms, and components, to a variety of alliances to share more components.

Finally comes the time to put all this stuff together and turn it into a car (vehicle), obvious that finding the least expensive area/jurisdiction on the planet that makes sense is always on the agenda. Part of being competitive is emulating the other guy that seems to have an advantage, and then the other guy too...and so on.

Lets look back a few decades or even longer...

Back then when manufacturers made a decision to open an assembly plant in Canada, the lower value of the CDN dollar was always a factor, as well as health care, and probably a bunch of subsidies too. Lets also keep in mind that from the auto pact onward there has always been car free trade between Canada and the US.

For decades it made sense to assemble vehicles in Canada, and ship them to the US.

Going even further back...Henry Ford quickly understood that paying a decent wage enabled his employees to afford his product.


With the increased prominence of Mexico as a cheaper jurisdiction to initially assemble components, and now vehicles. Lately it seems all wrong to assemble vehicles in Canada.

You have to wonder what sort of spreadsheet Ford is using to justify investing additional money at their Oakville plant, while other are finding Canada too expensive for one reason or another. Toyota has the same spreadsheet as Ford for their Cambridge plant.

Operating a robot in various jurisdictions must be close to the same cost...reflect on this for a moment.

Imagine for a moment Mercedes-Benz shutting their Sindelfingen plant, or BMW the Munich plant, or Porsche Zuffenhausen, or VW Wolfsburg.

In Canada, GM is synonymous with Oshawa, Ford Oakville, Chrysler Windsor....




Ford Flathead V8

A bit of nostalgia for the week end...



Canadian Sales - First Half 2015 

Our thoughts on Canadian Sales for the First Half of 2015.

Want to see photos and reviews click on the links.




Pick Up Battles Revisited

We have been mentioning for some time the continued Canadian love affair with full size pick ups. Especially pick ups from the Detroit 3 who have the lion's share of the market.

As you know today's pick ups are big, yes...really big compared to the same trucks of a few years ago. While the most popular configuration is the crew cab with the short box. Agreed these pick ups mimics full size cars of a few decades ago, especially luxury cars from back in the day.

If you have looked at pick up prices they are certainly in the luxury territory, you can get a mid size car from MerBimAu (Mercedes-BMW-Audi) for the same price. Not fair to call them them luxury vehicles, although the features are comparable to luxury cars. Its still a truck, and they still drive like a truck, they are not sport sedans.

Its also the classic layout of body on frame, a 2 speed transfer case with a low range on the 4x4 version (the majority). They can still carry a load, or pull a substantial trailer.

Although they are huge, with parking sensors, blind spot monitors (you cannot see a car on the side of the truck) and back up camera. These truck are easy to maneuver in tight spaces or park.

Fuel economy is not spectacular, but reasonable considering the size and especially the frontal area which pushes a good amount of air on the highway. Yes...the Ram has the Eco Diesel which is quite economical for a pick up. Similar to luxury cars from back in the day, the gas tanks are substantial in size.

How do pick ups from the Detroit 3 compare as of year to date May?


YTD May...........................2015.............2014

Ford F Series.....................46,868..........48,060




Total..............................123,689.........117,884   a 5% increase

Ford has been having supply challenges with the F150, yes dealers are not happy.

GM has benefitted from the Ford supply challenges.

Ram keeps on going.

Is it the presumed lower price of gas, or the expanding love affair with pick ups that encourages more sales?

What do you think?




Vroom Room

Good Morning,

Its Friday, its the Vroom Room, we have cappuccino and biscotti, make yourself comfortable, join the conversation.

At one point we were die hard NASCAR fans, and huge Dale Earnhardt fans. Yes...we had the unique opportunity of seeing Dale at Daytona almost 20 years ago. Imagine for a moment if there would be a Sprint Cup NASCAR race in Montreal at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. Think about this for a moment...

The "good ole boys" racing at Ile Notre Dame, and socializing at Thursday's on Crescent...

Last Sunday we watched the start and the last 20 laps of the Geico 500 at Talladega. It was memorable to see Junior win, remember his father by showing 3 fingers to the fans, and get emotional in the winners circle.

Wondering why Ford is behind the 8 ball with Canadian sales? Simple...not enough pick ups, really not enough pick ups to keep up with demand.

Freightliner just launched the Inspiration the first autonomous truck to e granted a license.

If everyone is pressed for time. If a ton of folks do not read, ever wonder who the folks that comment on automotive sites are all about. Folks that never owned a motorcycle commenting on "riding a motorcycle" makes you wonder.

Back to some point the demise of e-mail is that most folks do not read, often do not remember what they read. If you evolved at a time when the "office memo" with the often long distribution list on top, usually generated by an assistant to a high ranking individual in the organisation.  Back in the day content on paper probably captured more attention. Today digital content has a propensity of getting lost...not read.

Old Ferrari's from Concorso Ferrari 2015...enjoy.




Pick Up Battles

There is a serious philosophical pick up battle that is preparing itself. 

Perhaps you remember when pick ups were physically much smaller, most had 8 foot boxes, a fender side was a toy truck. They were made out of steel with a wood floor in the box, the rear step bumper was always an option. 

The simplicity of a pick up (compared to a car) was a cool factor...

The 1/2 ton pick up was for light work, the 3/4 ton remains the work tool, the 1 ton was a specialized tool. In the day manual transmissions were the choice especially in a 3/4 ton. Back to the simplicity, tradition.

Pick ups have grown dramatically in size through the years.

If there is one segment in North America that has not been "cracked" by imports its pick ups. The Detroit 3 own the segment, the F150 is the best selling vehicle in Canada for longer than many folks are alive. GM upholds the tradition of a GMC and Chevrolet truck. Chrysler in the early 1990's started the "big grille" trend.

With stricter fuel economy ratings on the immediate horizon, the landscape of the battlefield is clearly defined for all the contenders.

Lets focus on 1/2 tons since a 3/4 ton due to its GVW is usually above the fuel economy ratings. 

Ram: gets the ball rolling with the Eco Diesel V6 touting compact car fuel economy on a full size pick up. Its a good strategy to have a smaller diesel available to surpass the fuel economy ratings. 

GM: the redesigned pick ups, although competent, and full of features, for one reason or another did not capture the imagination. Bold grilles, smoother lines, full complement of luxury features. The other strategy deployed by GM is to revisit/re execute the mid size pick up. Mid size, small diesel engine...

Ford: focuses on weight, if you reduce weight, need a smaller engine, gain in fuel economy. Aluminum is the old school / classic way to reduce weight. Easy...lets do an aluminum pick up. 

It will be revealing in the ensuing months to observe which strategy is the best, and most enduring.




1937 Ford Woody

Everything you always wanted to know about "woodies" with Jay Leno...





Interview with Bill Ford Jr.

An informative, revealing, and thought provoking interview with Bill Ford Jr.







Vroom Room

Good Morning!

Its Friday, its the Vroom Room, come in make yourself comfortable, enjoy the cappuccino and biscotti, join the conversation, leave a comment.

Did you miss that GM dealers in the GTA are suing GM for the lack of sales and financial support. We have been wondering about GM's sale strategy in Canada for sometime, while going from 1st to last among the Detroit 3. We will never know the outcome of this lawsuit, although its clear that there is a communication breakdown between GM and some of its most influential long standing dealers.

Losing Pontiac in Canada was a major blow, GM Canada never grasped the gravity of losing Pontiac. With many Pontiac dealers becoming Korean dealers overnight aiding the Koreans to instantly increase their sales.

Think of Cadillac for a moment, superb world class product languishing in the market. Agreed we could keep on going ...

If you get the impression that recalls have little to even no influence on vehicle sales. Just look at GM with massive recalls while sales just keep on in the US, and submerge in Canada.

You should not be surprised that Mark Fields replaced Alan Mulally, its an orderly progression at Ford. Yes you will read a bunch of glowing reports about Mark Fields in the coming weeks and months.  

Canadian Sales:

June was another record month, with a record first half of 2014, while GM bites the dust with the Koreans breathing down its neck. A few years ago anyone telling you that the Korean would be trading paint with GM, it would have been laughable.

Pontiac dealers becoming Korean dealers...heresy, now its reality. 

Similar to real estate "Money for the Deal" powers sales and leases in Canada.

Impressive photo gallery from Goodwood...of older and newer race cars.




The Vandoleros

If you are of a certain age...going back a few decades you surely remember these addition to having a serious cool factor they were also great work trucks.