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Entries in VW (5)


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.




Vroom Room

Good Morning,

Its Friday, its the Vroom Room, enjoy the cappuccino and biscotti, join the conversation. can leave a comment.

A couple of weeks ago The Colonel discovered a brochure dating back to 1979 on the GMC Truck Centre, took the time to scan it, and we published the brochure last week. A brochure back in the day was the equivalent of a web site today. Some things change, while not changing.


Years ago The Colonel concluded "We are in the people business through cars". Between the Internet, technology, social media, all sorts of plug in apps. Have we lost sense that in 2015 we are even more in the people business?

We have all sorts of elaborate, sophisticated technology to deal with a bunch of routine stuff. We get so immersed in the technology, that we forget what business we are in. Think about this for a moment.


We refer to the Ahhh moments as epiphanies. Especially when we put ourselves in different positions that we are supposed to know and understand.

> The metal must resonate to close a deal, if the metal does not resonate, its dramatically more challenging.

> We are clueless into what is going on with the software code in any vehicle.

Yes...just 2 epiphanies this morning.

Did you ever think for a moment that the VW "thing" was being conducted several layers down the management structure, that it might have been a rogue employee, that no one really knew about it. Its emerging that it was well thought out...lets leave it at that for now.

Make it a point to vote on Monday.

Our usual old cars from the Chantilly Concours d'Elegance...stunning photography.



Diesels Motors

For the record, at Strada we have never been fans of diesel engines in cars. Although decades ago we drove around with diesel powered cars for some time.

Mind you not by choice.

"A 4 cylinder diesel, with a manual transmission, totally durable, ideally painted green, working on a farm." Summary of our perspective at the time.

We are aware of call it a "catalytic converter" for diesel engines, the ones for trucks are positively impressive in size.

Why are we not fans of diesel engines in cars? Simple the lack of top end power, the glow plugs, and now the converter with urea. An hybrid from our perspective makes better sense.

In a truck we are huge fans of diesel engines, and will always have a special place for the 2 cycle Detroit Diesel, with the blower, unit injectors, fuel injector racks, and fond memories of discussions on how to adjust the racks on a V8 Detroit.

The heavy duty pick ups with diesels are totally cool.

Here is VW with an interesting niche in the market for folks that love diesel engines in cars, like we love diesel engines in trucks. Diesel engine, manual transmission, the economy and durability....fill it and forget it, its got a clutch pedal, will presumably last till the next generation.

Emission standards are strict in North America, these diesel VW's are in a sensative price bracket, the cost of a catalytic converter with urea is prohibitive for that price segment.

How do you find a cost effective solution to meet emission standards, and pass emission tests?

If you live in a jurisdiction where emission tests are mandatory. The old school put the vehicle on a dyno, run it for a while, and sniff the exhaust, has given way to simply plugging into the OBD and revving up the engine to a specified RPM.

Here is the deal...

"We can pass emission but at those settings the engine loses a ton of power, and the vehicle is dead on the road"...."But what about on a dyno, or plugged in to check the emission"...."Brilliant..and an effective cost saving".

As they say the rest is history...

You would do such a thing for 1 vehicle, or you do it for several vehicles, for several years its the same decision on a different order of magnitude.

Who knew...

"We used the European ECU codes (cost saving), while adding a few lines of code to ensure that the emissions were correct, but omitted to remove line 308 of code"....."Unfortunately it fell through the cracks for all those years, and all those cars. We are deeply sorry"

The aftermath...

Its an ongoing developing story...with dire consequences for VW.





Countdown to a Golf

As you know we rarely do the news. 

Countdown to a Golf caught our attention, its imaginative, its innovative, its disruptive, and its cool.

It empowers prospects/customers to set their price.


Press release from VW Canada:

Did you ever think a day would come when you could watch the price of a brand new car drop in front of your eyes? Volkswagen Canada wants you to share in the excitement of the launch of the All-New 2015 Golf and Golf GTI with the ultimate test of patience and nerves with COUNTDOWN TO A GOLFwhere you have the power to decide how much you’ll let the price count down before locking in a brand new Golf or Golf GTI!

Here’s how it works:

· Visit where you’ll see the price of the All-New 2015 Golf and Golf GTIcount down every second, up to $1,000 per day. As you watch the price decrease, all you have to do is jump in, reserve it and a new 2015 Golf could be yours

· But how long can you hold out? Are you patient enough to wait for the new Golf to drop by thousands of dollars?

· You don’t have to be at your desktop to get in on the excitement – you can participate anytime, anywhere on your mobile device or tablet.

· If someone beats you to it, there’s still good news! 60 seconds after a discount is reserved, the Countdown will start again on another All-New 2015 Golf.

On now until June 24, 2014, for the first time in car history, Volkswagen Canada is putting consumers in the driver’s seat by allowing them to set the price on their All-New Golf or Golf GTI.Click here to experience the thrill of the Countdown or watch this video to get all the details.

As you know, brands continue to push the envelope in creating unique experiences for their prospective and current customers, and Volkswagen Canada is truly committed to engaging with Canadians in innovative ways, with this campaign being no exception. 




VW Freedriving

Its 7:00 AM Saturday morning, and its time to get up. I usually reserve hours like this for the Monday to Fridays.. so what gets me up at 7 on a Saturday? Well, what else but cars. Today we have appointment with a few 2012 VW’s.

VW was nice enough to invite a few of their clients, to experience some of their new models ranging from the GTI, Tiguan, GLI, and even the new Beetle... so we hop in our 2 VW’s and head down to the International Center where VW is occupying an entire section of the of the massive parking lot with tents, a transport truck, a dozen cars and an autocross course.

We line up to get signed up and booked in...

and send you QR code on your smart phone that you scan at different stations..

After a brief history of VW in Canada (60 yrs now)

The original Beetle

The latest Beetle...based on the Audi TT platform...

Cool pictorial of the evolution of the Beetle...


We move along through the different test...

With information on the new 2012 models they are showcasing today.. The GTI and GLI rightly grab the most attention. The GTI is 36 yrs old, and on its 6th generation, but not much has changed. Its still based on the Golf, with the usual go fast goodies, bigger wheels, brakes, more power, and the stance to back it all up, as any hot hatch should. After making your way through the tents and scanning the QR code a few more times saying you passed the check point, you come up to the 6 lines for each car.


Waiting there for you is a Tiguan, 2 Passats, 2 GTI’s and a GLI.. First up was the Tigwan. What surprised us most was the steering, chassis, and power. We didn’t expect it to move as swiftly as it did. Steering was sharp and the chassis stayed composed.. the brakes for such a vehicle were excellent but trying to modulate the brakes while the brake assist was kicking in proved to be… challenging.. but you cant fault the car for wanting to stop when you press the brake pedal.. it wouldn’t be our first choice for an autocross session but it proved to be a lot more agile then expected.

In between the autocross sessions you could refuel by making yourself a fresh smoothie using a pedal bike that is attached to a blender.

You could also take quizzes and challenges to win free XM for 1 year or other VW swag.

After relaxing a bit, and a few drinks a few human powered smoothies we line up for the GTI and the new 2012 Beetle .. the GTI being equipped DSG was one of the faster cars there, and the launch control feature which hold the revs at 3000rpm and engages the clutch once you let off the brake is a cool feature that you usually only find in cars that you would have to add another digit to the end of the price. Handling and braking was crisp and strong, and power comes on very smooth with no lag.

The car that did surprise us the most was the Beetle .. handling was not as precise as the GTI or GLI but the suspension and ride is easier to live with. The car feels and drives as though it should be in a higher price range. Being based on the Audi TT platform also helps.

Manufactures don’t have to do events like this, and most don’t, yet VW almost insists.

Between events such as this, or the VW driver days at Blue Mountain, you really feel as though you belong to some bigger group, and you just feel appreciated.. I guess that’s why they are the peoples car.