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Entries in Pick Ups (5)


The Ongoing Oil Conversation

You have surely noticed the various conversation, opinions, thoughts from a wide spectrum of pundits on the price of a barrel of oil, and gas at the pumps.

Lets take a look at this from a Canadian perspective:

Price of Oil:

Its not a good thing for Canada, cheap oil has more negative than positive implications for Canada. Alberta is the 3rd largest auto market after Ontario and Quebec. We all know where vehicle sales in Alberta are headed. 

Lower Canadian Dollar:

The lower Canadian dollar is a minor buffer for the lower price of oil. On par $100 US was $100 Canadian now $50 US is $57 Canadian (rounded amounts). At the same time the lower Canadian dollar is increasing prices of a myriad of items that a family requires, from food, clothes, even iTunes. 

Its possible that with the imminent closing of Target, other retailers will be very tempted to raise their prices to compensate for the lesser competition, and cheaper gas.

Savings at the Pump:

Agreed we are all saving at the pump, but CMS (Citizen Main Street) is astute to quickly grasp that the savings at the pump are required elsewhere with price increases from the lower Canadian dollar. Save at the pump and pay more everywhere else.

Utility Vehicles:

The auto market is inexorably shifting from sedans to utility vehicles, especially smaller versions. Is it the price of gas or a consumer preference? Its easy to correlate cheaper gas with increased sales of utility vehicles especially when the market is already headed in the direction of utility.

Pick Ups:

If pick up sales remain the same in 2015, we can says that cheaper gas perhaps was a motivator. At the same time how much of an influence is cheap gas on the enduring pick up love affair?


The oil sands and fracking in the US have disrupted the established order of oil. Target was a disrupter in Canada signaling its vector, strategy to the competition. The same with oil sands and fracking. The competition gets aggressive and disruptive in its own fashion. 

Finite Resource: 

There is not an infinite, endless supply of oil on the planet. Technology has enabled disruption. A fracking well has a life expectancy of 12 months. The oil sands have been there for both cases they make sense at a certain price level. In the meantime oil remains a finite resource...with over time an escalating price.

Who Wins?:

Not Canada, not the Canadian consumer, not Alberta, not the Canadian oil industry, not the Canadian auto industry. Canadian retailers will win further...developing economies will win.




Vroom Room 

Good Morning!

Pick UpIts the last Friday of the month, come in make yourself comfortable with have cappuccino and biscotti, join the conversation, leave a comment if you wish.

Yes this coming Sunday is the "Great American Race" the Daytona 500.

Have you noticed that most pundits that are discussing Toyota's renewed interest to sell full size pick ups seem to often miss a few points. Pick ups sell to folks that need a pick up for work across Canada, and in non urban of less urban areas a pick up is the equvalent of the multi purpose family vehicle. 

By now we should all know that in the less urban areas of Canada, the Detroit 3 dealers have been there for generations, selling pick ups to generation of customers. That a Ford or GM dealer has a full line including Lincoln and Cadillac in less urban areas over 50% of their sales are pick ups, the same applies to Chrysler dealers.

The Canadian economy is boyant in these less urban areas which are a stronghold of Detroit 3 dealers. Generations ago when the Detroit 3 deployed dealers across Canada, they covered less urban, and remote areas, its paying off with pick ups.

A young Canadian working in the oil patch drives a 3/4 ton pick up with an 8 foot box, and its not Japanese, since only the Detroit 3 dealers have rows upon rows of pick ups available for sale.

As we mentioned last month "The Love Affair Endures".

1951 Chevrolet Fleetline DeluxeThe other day we were musing about fastback sedans, it suddenly hit us that its not a new development at all, its been around for at least a couple of generations. Agreed they are cool...

Talking of fastback sedans, our review and photo gallery of the 2013 Toyota Avalon.  

Extensive photo gallery of the Cavallino Classic at the Breakers in Palm Beach.





The Love Affair Endures

1962 Lincoln If you are of a certain age, you remember the various comments that cars in North America, were huge, with monster engines, not refined, heavy, land barges, gas guzzlers, and another gazillion describers. 

Back then the difference between a luxury car (Cadillac) and a regular car (Chevrolet) was substance with most components and size being bigger on the luxury car, than the regular car. Those old school luxury cars had a size advantage, as well as a performance advantage compared to regular cars, or European cars with 4 cylinder engines. 

They had an imposing physical presence, accompanied by performance to substantiate the presence.

The best selling vehicle in Canada is a Ford F Series (a pick up), could you compare an F Series to an old school Lincoln with a 460 cubic inch engine, and suicide doors on the 4 door version. 

Is a Ram the equivalent of an Imperial with a 413 cubic inch wedge motor, or a 440? 

Is a Silverado the equivalent of an Oldsmobile 98 with a 394 V8?

Is a GMC Sierra the equivalent of a Cadillac Fleetwood with a 429?

The old Cadillacs, Lincolns, Oldsmobiles, Imperials would pull any kind of trailer, same as a modern pick up. The old cars easily accommodated 5 passengers, same as a modern crew cab. The trunks were positively huge, comparable to a 5 and a half foot box on a modern crew cab with a short box. The old luxury cars were from the Detroit 3, same as modern pick ups...perhaps some things never change!

The old cars were body on frame, same as a pick up. Solid rear axle, some with leaf springs same as a pick up.

The old luxury cars were physically imposing, similar to a modern pick up.

Need we mention big gas tanks...

In 2012 F150's, Rams, Silverados, Sierras are 15% of the Canadian market, back in the day Lincolns, Imperials, Buicks, and Cadillacs were 15% of the Canadian market? 

Can we conclude that the love affair endures with vehicles that have morphed from old school North American luxury cars to modern North American pick ups.

What do you think?




Vroom Room 

Good Morning!

Last Friday of the month...its the Vroom Room, come in make yourself comfortable, we have cappuccino with biscotti this morning.

Perhaps you missed "The Joys of Flying", take a

A few days ago we discovered a new term "city truck" case you did not know in a major metro area we feel that trucks are not a requirement for many folks. In areas where trucks are a requirement the trucks used in metro areas are known as a "city truck". 

Its cool to see serious pick ups being put to constant serious use, if you remember the time we spent with "Clifford", totally cool to see a large number of such trucks being used in various applications, and capacities. Usually not very clean to literally being coated with dirt, a dent here, scrape there, twisted bumpers, various antennas to operate 2 way communications, winches, auxiliary fuel tanks, free wheeling hubs, mud flaps, oil change stickers from place most folks only read about...

When you see a shiny half ton blasting down the highway....that's a "city truck".

We were saddened to hear of Jack Layton passing away, and were inspired by his

If you are a Ferrari GTO afficionado...from Pebble Beach impressive photo




Vro0m Ro0m

Good Morning,

Its Friday, another Vroom Room, and while our American friends are enjoying a Thanksgiving week end, we have espresso and biscotti make yourself comfortable.

Ever wonder why we have Thanksgiving a few weeks early in Canada? Its colder here, the crops would be done earlier, which makes our Canadian Thanksgiving a few weeks ahead.

Yes...its Black Friday the start of the Christmas shopping season.

If you missed what we have been saying this week, just scroll down, if you missed the review of the CTS Coupe

We do hope that you will get, or we urge you to get your own BS Button, and put it to good use.

If you remember a few weeks ago we spent some time with Clifford, the Silverado HD the majority if not all of these HD pickups have MSRP's that defy gravity, its like WoW it seems to be a lot of money for a working truck. The value proposition is skewed, obvious that when a "healthy" discount is applied the value proposition is right sided. There are probably some 2010 working trucks 3/4 ton an up still in inventory, and all the players in this segment (you know who they are) are aggressively pricing their trucks to move them...this strategy resonates with us. 

Commenting that Canadians are buying trucks due to serious discounts on 3/4 ton pick ups from the previous model year, is somewhat strange since the average Canadian will buy a 1/2 ton pick up. The Canadian that requires a serious work truck will acquire a 3/4 or 1 ton, good for Canadians if all the manufacturers are in aggressive mode with work trucks. 

A comment from an individual that acquired a 1 ton dually with a diesel to pull a fifth wheel trailer: "It gets xx liters per 100 kms all the time pulling or not" he quickly concluded that a diesel in a work truck is not economical when not working.

The lengthy finance terms (84 months) should be a real concern, not the discounts from ambitious MSRP's (half the price of a Pete 389 for a 1 ton pick up?).

A different perspective on an old race