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Entries in GM (67)

Friday
Aug012014

Vroom Room

Good Morning, 

First day of the month, on the cusp of a long week end. Its Friday, its the Vroom Room.
Come in make yourself comfortable, we have cappuccino and biscotti.
Join the conversation, leave a comment.
Yes...what summer, July has been a good example of climate change with sporadic warmth, sun, rain, and brisk temperatures. Something is surely changing. 
Fascinating to see automotive pundits realise that closing Pontiac dealers in Canada; was a costly adventure for GM. We have been saying the same thing for the past several years. 
The Colonel is catching up, between road trips. Yes...he still has some catching up to do, so bear with us.
Some random thoughts:
  • The Colonel grew up during the glory years of the cold war, and enough nuclear weapons to erase the globe. Looking back and looking ahead, one wonders if the globe is not on the brink of some sort of event that is not palatable
  • Gone in a food store lately? Vehicles are inexpensive compared to the rise in the price of food, and the usual summer rise in the price of gas. Imagine if the free flowing money that powers vehicle sales in Canada tightens up by a few increments.Which begs the question "How much iron can you move for how long?"
  • What do you do with 707 HP besides bragging rights and burn outs. Agreed its affordable horsepower which is over the top.
  • Shaker scoops were cool on an engine with a "wild camshaft and a lopey idle" the scoop telegraphed what was going on under the hood. You surely remember when you had to raise the idle speed to get some sort of an idle from an aggressive camshaft.
  • Yes...horsepower requires gas, and generates heat, its always been a challenge to cool any engine that generates HP, especially with a blower. 
  • A "slush box" was a 2 speed Powerglide automatic transmission...don't go there.
  • Did you know that B&M was putting a clutch in front of an Hydra Matic transmission decades ago? Interesting...you could push start a vehicle with an Hydra Matic.

 

 Awesome photography of old race cars from the Silverstone Classic.

 

 

Friday
Jul252014

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 if you wish.

 

The other day we were reading that Boomers are presumably rich, and snapping up luxury cars like its going out of style, one of the reasons MerBimAu sells/leases a ton of cars in Canada. You have to wonder how presumably knowledgeable folks arrive at such conclusions?

The succesful Boomers were driving luxury cars decades ago. Successful Boomers from back in the day, as they become "seniors" have other priorities in their lives, have moved on from the luxury car segment, and yes they might still be driving a luxury car. 

Boomers that had luxury cars from back in the day, are surely not the one's snapping up "entry level" luxury MerBimAu's...today.

Agreed, Boomers are still hanging on to their toys, be it a car, a motorcycle, or anything else with an engine.

The dude that could not afford a luxury car back in the day. Be assured this same dude was "envious" of the Boomers with the luxury cars. Perhaps this dude today is driving an entry level MerBimAu.

Fascinating to see GM, Mary Barra, Michael Millikin get raked over the coals again, at a Congressional hearing in the US. While "doing the right thing" takes on new perspectives, and nuances. At the same time the benefit of the doubt dissapates.

Our habitual old race cars from "Sommet des Legendes" at Circuit Mont-Tremblant. As an aside its the 50th anniversary of Le Circuit.


 

Thursday
Jul172014

Dealers Suing GM Canada

You have no doubt heard that several influential GM dealers in the GTA are suing GM Canada for an an appreciable amount of money (400 M). A few weeks ago we mentioned that its was primarily due to a breakdown in communications. 

This morning we have The Colonel with us, he is sharing his thoughts.

Lets get going.

Q: Colonel, good morning, you are looking well, even after a few hyper hectic months.

A: Good morning guys, yes gaining momentum again, hopefully by the end of the month I will be ahead of the 8 Ball as the saying goes.

Q: Why would several dealer band together to sue a manufacturer.

A: A communication breakdown, overflowing frustration, rising costs, diminishing sales, diminishing profitability, seeking concessions to name a few.

Q: It seems to be a myriad of reasons, can you simplify the landscape, since you have an extensive knowledge base in this area.

A: Guys at its simplest, a dealership is a money machine, and it has to generate a ton of money to pay all the expenses, remain in business, turn a profit. These dealers are perhaps saying that the GM money machine is broken.

Q: We know that the auto business in general, and at the dealer level requires immense sums of money to function successfully.

A: Precisely...it requires a ton of money, and must make a ton of money to remain viable.

Q: From the little that is known, what do you think are some of the issues that motivated thse dealers?

A: It seems that the "imaged" brick and mortar is one issue. Obvious that when a dealer renovates, or builds new premises, there is immense pressure applied to the money machine.

Q: These guys are smart they knew that from the outset.

A: Sure they did, now factor in diminishing sales for GM in Canada, and perhaps some promises that did not develop, and suddenly its a different landscape.

Q: In Canada during a brutal winter sales increased this year, what does that say about brick and mortar?

A: Great question, impactful, imaged brick and mortar was initiated by the "Germans" a few decades back. Lets be candid, GM dealers went along with acceptable premises (compared to the Germans) for many years. Now factor in the closure of Pontiac dealers, while seeking an improved image for Cadillac.

Q: Pontiac dealers they are long gone by now.

A: Entertain this scenario for a moment: A dealer had both a Chevrolet and Pontiac franchise, the Pontiac franchise closes, GM offers compensation, while demanding renovations and re imaging for the Chevrolet premises.

Q; At a time of "iDealers" the brick and mortar is less of a factor.

A: Precisely, this is reinforced by the brutal winter which did not impact sales, other manufacturers with less imaged dealers are increasing their sales...it gets complex.

Q: Some manufacturers demand exceptional facilities just to open a new point.

A: Yes...some manufacturers demand an up front investment in the millions to grant a point. Although most of these points go to dealer groups, or folks with deep pockets that need to feed their egos. Usually its dealer groups. 

Q: Why are dealer groups prepared to spend millions up front, and these dealers are suing GM?

A: A dealer group has a stable of "money machines" from various manufacturers, where one money machine can support an emerging money machine that is just starting out.

Q: Perhaps these dealers suing GM only have a money machine from GM?

A: In 2014 in a major metro market, or better yet the metro market in Canada, having only a GM money machine is a flawed business model.

Q: There is certainly more to this...

A: Sure there is...but in 2014 having all your eggs in the same basket is a precarious position.

Q: What is one aspect of dealer group clout.

A: Brick and mortar...multi franchise dealer groups have no qualms to invest millions in brick and mortar. The dealers suing GM are doing the opposite, they are having second thoughts about their brick and mortar investments.

Q: We could keep on going.

A: Absolutely...at another time.

 

 

Friday
Jul042014

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.

 

 

Friday
Jun132014

Vroom Room

Good Morning,

Love is what drives us. Everything else is secondary.Its Friday, its moving day for us, its the Vroom Room, and its the 13th, come in make yourself comfortable, join the conversation.

Agreed...Port Dover is a busy place today.

In case you missed the entire report on the GM ignition switch, scroll down. Its back to doing the right thing which at times seems impossible to do. From the Al Pacino speech in Scent of a Woman "That's called courage. Now that's the stuff leaders should be made of. Now I have come to the crossroads in my life. I always knew what the right path was. Without exception, I knew. But I never took it. You know why? It was too damn hard.

Would it be fair to conclude: the low interest rates that are fueling the real estate market, are also fueling the auto market in Canada by providng easy and ongoing incentives for the deal. What do you think?

Le Mans is tomorrow...

There is a majority Liberal government in Ontario.

Our usual old race cars from the SVRA Brickyard Invitational...enjoy.