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Premium Economy in Canada

We have shared our thoughts on Premium Economy for almost 2 years.

You could see the established players primarily MerBimAu start in what we call the premium economy segment; with new models that have impeccable branding at popular pricing.

Especially the premium economy CUV segment with a turbocharged 4 cylinder is a hotbed of activity from several manufacturers.

With a new model here, another there, the immediate surge in pent up demand. Its a case of lets wait and see how this new premium economy develops in the market. Agreed...we could have a lengthy discussion regarding the luxury aspect of premium economy (is it really luxury?), and what is a luxury car, SUV, or CUV.

Agreed too...we had our reservations...especially where is this going to go in Canada. How many sales will get cannibalised? How will it impact the established luxury models?

Our thoughts...

The "Premium Economy" space/segment works well in Canada, generating a viable alternative for customers, and incremental sales for the players in the space. Especially in the CUV segment, the rising tide even raises the current (old) Cadillac SRX as an example.

Are there manufacturers losing sales to premium economy...absolutely. The various players in premium economy are stealing sales.

Cannibalising sales from established incumbent models, is a minor factor, the rationale is the following: Sell an additional 10 in premium economy of which 2 are cannibalised, still ahead by 8.

The biggest player in the premium economy space in Canada? Mercedes-Benz

Agreed...we can have an interesting discussion about BMW, Audi, the rising premium economy tide, Acura, and Lexus. Infiniti playing catch up, while Cadillac and Lincoln except for the CUV's are almost out of the space. Lets not forget Porsche with the Macan, or a resurgence of the Evoque.

How does the premium economy segment impact the established luxury models of a brand? This is the thought vector that captured our attention from the outset. There is some cannibalising of the mid level sedan segment, think E Class, 5 Series, A5. While there is also a shift from sedans to utility vehicles. You could say that the tea leaves get blurry. Overall there is an upside in sales. Top line models are not affected. 

The individual that seeks a top line luxury sedan or utility will not gravitate towards premium economy.

What is the impact of financial services?

The folks that gravitate towards premium economy are in a better equity position with their existing vehicle. Its easier to do a deal with improved continuity in the transaction be it a lease or a finance with a balloon payment at the end of the term.

From our perspective premium economy has struck a chord that resonates with potential customers in Canada. The brands in the segment are well entrenched, while being aspirational.

Are the new premium economy offerings all winners, not really, there remains incremental repetition which is confusing, some models are of questionable esthetics. Although most of the metal resonates with a cross section of customers that are new to the brand.



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.




CTS-V Sport vs GS350 F Sport

The 2014 Cadillac CTS-V Sport vs the 2013 Lexus GS350 F Sport, great cars...see who wins.



2013 Lexus IS

A sneak peak with Jay Leno...



Lexus LF-LC




Lexus LF-A

A video is worth....enjoy!

Up the hill at Goodwood...




Vro0m Ro0m

Good Morning!

Today's Vroom RoomIts the usual Caffe Latte and Biscotti, ahead is a long week end, finally some warm weather, and to our surprise The Colonel just appeared....he seems in fine form. Come in...make yourself comfortable.

You may have missed that GM reported a profit for the first quarter of the year, on their way to an IPO to refund the money they borrowed. Whatever happened to all the shareholders of the old GM? These old shareholders are probably filed in the same folder as the old GM.

This week we are enjoying a GS450h, this car is the hidden jewel of things to come with luxury hybrids. Some cars just fly under everyone's radar screen, if it would not be a Lexus but something else most folks would be raving about this car. 

You surely heard of the teen age son of the Toronto auto writer who slammed a Porsche Turbo through a garage door with fascinating graffiti on the door. We surely don't wish such events on any one, fortunately it was a minor incident and no one was hurt. Wonder what the CarProof report will say about the repaired damages on the car? In the meantime you can read Jack Baruth's thoughts on the incident.

The Colonel has a few thoughts on what some manufacturers are doing:


  • A few days ago I saw a video from local media talking about convertibles, with cars from 35K to 200K; this video is done in a back lot somewhere with garbage dumpsters in the background. Think of this for a moment...a dealer needs "imaged" premises....need I say more!
  • We all know that controversy or shock and awe generate additional eyeballs, and comments. Guess what would happen to the porter at any dealership that would slam a car though a garage door. We all know the answer don't we...!!!
  • The one that really gets me, is the "reviewer" doing a review of a 30K vehicle, then a 40K vehicle, then a 70K, or even 100K + with the same mindset. At some point its going to "bite" manufacturers especially the ones with higher priced products.
  • With everyone in the Social Autosphere competing with everyone else for eyeballs, and considerations from the various manufacturers. Its turning into a sizable ball of grey....yes I better stop now!!!
  • One more...there is coverage, exposure, and quality coverage accompanied by quality exposure, perhaps manufacturers should start understanding the difference.


You may have missed our review of the cube...its here. Interesting that when a car captures your attention even a year later it still a cool car. 

Did you miss it? Some of our documents are published on Scribd and slideshare including the "quick overview" of our reviews. We feel that it facilitates the "transport" of information. Obvious that...if you have suggestions please let us know. 

The TTXGP had their first race at Infineon last week end, the Zero Agni won the race, yes the same folks that build the Zero electric motorcycle.

Enjoy an extensive photo gallery of the Mille Miglia...yes the one that starts and ends in Brescia.



Lexus HS250h

Its Canada, its chilly, its a Lexus, its an hybrid.

By now you know that we have a soft spot for hybrids. A while back we had an opportunity to inspect an HS250h, and we thought it was a cool car.  

This is how Lexus describes the car:

The all-new 2010 HS 250h hybrid sedan advances luxury toward a more sustainable future. As the world's first hybrid-only luxury vehicle, the groundbreaking HS 250h combines all the expected Lexus style and refinement with advanced hybrid performance, fuel efficiency and the use of plant-based interior materials.

We have an HS250h for the next few days to review. If you want to participate, you have questions, you want to share your thoughts. Leave a comment here or on Twitter @stradablog.