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Entries in Price of gas (7)


Vroom Room

Good Morning,

Its Friday, its the Vroom Room, with a week to Christmas, make yourself comfortable, enjoy the cappuccino and biscotti, join the conversation.

Its supposed to be a softer shopping season, its not cold, there is no snow, climate change. Interesting enough wherever we have been to was a case of full on shopping, wait in line to check out...go figure.

On a philosophical note, we are running out on 2015, is it the usual where did the time go?

In our case its we managed to do this, that, complete another, deal with change, and more unexpected change. While finding time to be appreciative and thankful for 2015. We hope its the same for you.

The other day we were reading a piece on older European cars of the luxury persuasion for less than $10,000...which got us wondering why anyone would even consider writing about older luxury cars for less than 10K. Its easy to write about it, not as easy to actually own one. As we often said in Project 200K its absolutely not for everyone.

An informative article "A Look Inside VW", if you are familiar with German auto companies, its a reminder of the old school German management system, which obviously is enduring at VW.

From the Globe and Mail "Canadians should be enjoying lower prices at the gas pump given the wreckage in the oil market, BMO Nesbitt Burns says". At Strada we have been telling you for months now that oil companies prefer to see gas at $1.00 a liter...anything less does not fit with their business model.

We expect December to be a record, or near record month in Canadian sales.

CMS (Citizen Main Street) has been powering the Canadian economy for the past several years, everyone has known that CMS empowered by cheap money is powering the economy. Now it seems that everyone is concerned. Perhaps its the answer to the question "How long can it last?".

Informative charts that describe Canada,

In the meantime the Federal Reserve has finally raised the interest rate in the US by 0.0025% (quarter point) ...yes it will have ramifications in Canada.

Our usual old race cars from the 1961 Sebring 12 Hours, and impressive photo gallery from way back in the day.




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.




Fuel Economy

Yes...The Colonel prefers V8's, you are certainly not surprised.

We often have discussions on how economical vehicles are, and the various implications of driving on surface streets, highway, being stuck in traffic, and so on....

Since The Colonel is the V8 proponent, he is well aware that they are reasonably economical on the highway, and not so economical on a surface street, performing errands. 

Its interesting to wonder what is the difference. 

Let's use Walter as the example. 

On a good day Walter will average 9.7 Liters per 100 kms on the highway, some times a little less, other slightly more.

The lingering thought was always how well does Walter do on surface streets from a cold start, idling while the ice is scraped from the windows (as an example)?

Here it is...

Click on photo for larger image

Its +3C outside, Walter idled for 3 minutes (warm up, scrape windshield), during idle the fuel economy defaults to 40 Liters per 100 kms. After idling we drove 17 kms on surface streets, with stop signs, traffic lights.

As you can appreciate idling and not moving is totally counter productive to fuel economy; which also explains the increasing popularity of "stop/start" on many vehicles.

We averaged 14.2 liters per 100 kms. a bit of simple math here 14.2 times 0.17 = 2.4 liters of gas on surface streets on the highway to cover the same distance 9.7 times 0.17 = 1.65 liters of gas.

In round numbers that are easier to remember Walter uses 1.5 times the gas on surface streets, short trips, cold starts....lets not even consider being stuck in traffic. 

A car with a 4 cylinder would perhaps uses half the gas on surface streets, and very close to the same amount on the highway.

Imagine for a moment way back in the day, The Colonel firing up a 327 with no heat rise passage on the intake manifold on a cold morning, and no choke, or fast idle. A ton of gas going through the carburetor, some making its way to the oil, plugs fouling up, blipping the throttle...




Vroom Room

Good Morning,

Its Friday, first day of November, its the Vroom Room, come in make yourself comfortable, enjoy the cappuccino and biscotti. Join the conversation...leave a comment. 

Premium Economy, perhaps you heard it here first the segment that MerBimAu (Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Audi) is rushing into with Mercedes leading the way. It will be fascinating to see how this segment develops after the initial flurry, and the dust somewhat settles.

Years ago we speculated that with time the Koreans would move upmarket, and now with the Germans moving downmarket again (they all previously tried a few times) in an environment with decreasing brand loyalty, and perhaps additional focus on value.  

Imagine for a moment a Mercedes-Benz CLA starting at $33,900 plus options, a Hyundai Genesis starting at $39,999, and a Kia Cadenza starting at $37,795...focus on this for a moment...what do you think?

In the ongoing buzz that younger people do not like cars or to drive, think about this. Today it costs about $75 to fill a 60 liter tank of gas. Back in the day at 50 cents a gallon it cost $ 7.50 / $8.00 to fill a 15 gallon tank of gas. Agreed, back in the day gearheads tolerated atrocious fuel economy to have a modified V8 under the hood. Yes...10 miles per gallon was pretty good, which would translate to 24 liters per 100 kms by today's standards. 

Yes...Sebastien Vettel won his 4th Championship last week end, and was fined for doing a burnout/doughnut. Imagine for a moment if Vettel drove for Rob Walker back in the day. There is a good chance we would see more "personality" emerge.

Want to treat yourself? Take a look at How to Spen It for ideas.

On the same thought pattern might as well peruse the Neiman Marcus Christmas Book 2013 too.

Its the start of Movember, wonder how many will grow facial hair this year for a good cause.

Spectacular old car photos from the Colorado Grand...enjoy.




Vroom Room 

Good Morning!

Yes...long week end on the horizon, its Friday, its the Vroom Room. Come in make yourself comfortable, we have cappuccino and biscotti. Lets hope that we have sustained warmth and sun for the next few days.

The Colonel is still busy with several projects, and it seems it will continue for the next few weeks, seems like its going to go into June, obvious June is just around the corner. 

Have you noticed how gasoline quickly reaches market balance pricing. Everyone knows where the pain threshold is...yes $ 1.50 a liter is the sweet spot of pain. The threshold is visited, the reactions are loud and emotional, the price recedes below the threshold and its all good again.

Do you think that CSM (Citizens Main Street) will alter their habits to save gasoline? On a recent extended drive, the confirmation was that the price of gas is irrelevent with little influence as to how people drive. Its huge, its a brick, its displacing the air of 3 small vehicles, and its going fast. The verbal comments is that gas just hit the pain threshold, the obeserved driving habits "gas must be free".  

As cars become increasingly more complex, bristling with technology. The mechanical purity of motorcycles increases in appeal...yes motorcycles and hot rods or is it hot rods and motorcycles have a common mechanical appeal, and cool factor.

You must have noticed that every serious car individual, gearhead, has at least one motorcycle, for the "mechanical experience"...

We caught this video on Dean's Garage, that deals with older Honda 750's (the 4 cylinder versions) turned into cafe racers, that captured our interest and resonates.


Have a wonderful long week end... 

PS: You thought we forgot...just a bunch of old cars from the 2011 Mille



Vroom Room 

Good Morning!

Last Friday of the month, almost month end, its the Vroom Room, come in and make yourself comfortable.

Before we forget, make sure you vote on Monday, you know the saying "Folks get the government they deserve" make it a point to vote, so that we get the government we deserve, and hopefully with some stuff that everyone talks about these days....passionate leadership .

Month end it will be interesting to see how April sales developed or did not develop in Canada. What do you think? 

Have you...yes you have certainly experienced the price of gas...these past few weeks. We knew it was coming (since 2008), it was merely a question of time. We agree that paying $1.50 a liter for premium is an intellectual leap...perhaps even a high wire act. 

Will it dampen pick up sales? Will it dampen the "transcend winter" sales? Agreed...that it will be instructive to see how CSM (Citizen Main Street) behaves with escalating gas, and food prices.

Think about least that auto industry did achieve the golden age of horsepower a few years ago. At the time we shared our thoughts to get your horsepower before it was too late, hopefully you did, and enjoyed your serious horsepower experience. We did!

A few days ago we were following a German high performance sedan, the version with over 500 HP, perhaps a few turbos, elaborate exhaust tips, diffuser under the rear bumper for the look. Its 2011...not 2008...what is wrong with this picture, many pumps stop at $100 you can't even fill it up on the first attempt, and many pumps will not take the same credit card again. 

Think about this...the first try stops at $100...then start over again with another credit card to keep on going...obvious that at some point they will alter the software for pay at the pump to go beyond $100.

In the meantime many manufacturers have small cars with all the features, and amenities of larger cars. Will it be gas (small cars), or transcending winter? What do you think? 

The usual old race

In case you thought we forgot...Prince William on a




Little Cars

Lately we reviewed a few "little cars", which focused our attention on the little car market segment (challenging), the different approaches from the various manufacturers, and the future demand for little cars.

Our thoughts:


  • Canada historically has been an ideal market for "little cars" (smaller, less expensive vehicles), than folks in the US who usually prefer larger vehicles. 
  • Whichever way you look at it, a smaller vehicle with a smaller 4 cylinder engine, will usually deliver improved fuel only makes sense. 
  • The Canadian desire to transcend winter, especially when gas is at $1.00 per liter is strong, which implies one form or another of a CUV.
  • With the recent arrival of several new offerings in the little car segment, its getting more competitive, while generating increased buzz and awareness for little cars.


These recent developments beg the question "What is going on?"


  • Price of gas will inexorably continue to rise. Beyond one dollar a liter in Canada, or three dollars a gallon in the US...rising prices initiate a form of intellectual gas pain threshold. 
  • In Canada although everyone gives lip service to fuel economy, at one dollar a liter, transcending winter with a CUV is a higher priority than fuel economy. Over one dollar a liter initiates a different intellectual process. 
  • Lets agree that the price of gas will continue to rise...
  • Manufacturers are queenly aware that globally little cars are actually bigger cars in most countries except North America, and to meet increasingly stringent fuel economy standards, little cars are the way to go.
  • Agreed that in the meantime the market is demanding CUV's to transcend winter.
  • For a manufacturer its a market and political statement to have little cars that deliver better fuel economy. A case of "Its not us, its the people, its the market".
  • At the same time offering little cars, with big car features improves the value proposition. Not that little cars are dramatically less expensive than bigger models. Sheet metal is inexpensive, compared to content, features, electronics, technology.
  • Manufacturers are planning for their future (edging) by offering little cars with big features, with exceptional fuel economy ratings. 


Where is the market?


  • Citizen Main Street is in a buck a liter mode, lets transcend winter with a CUV, while gas is steadily increasing in price. 
  • In Canada perhaps women are more prescient than men, over 55% of little cars are sold/leased to women.
  • The latest versions of little cars (Mazda 2, Fiesta) have a considerably better sales rate than the older (established) versions from other manufacturers.
  • Perhaps little cars are lifestyle vehicles, where the latest offerings create more demand than the models that have been on the market for some years.


The intersection:


  • At some point in the near future the path of gas and little cars will intersect. Manufacturers are ready, is CSM ready? 
  • The paths will intersect sooner than later.
  • Imagine the 84 month finance on a CUV/SUV when the paths intersect half way down the finance term.

Care to share your thoughts? Easy...leave a comment.