On the cusp of the long week end, the end of the Dog Days of Summer, and an immersion into reality.
Concluding a busy summer, you have to ask yourself if you want to be part of all the "conversations" or you would rather be spared, or spare yourself from some the of "conversations" that are unproductive from your perspective.
Yes...you have to be your own editor, and your own conversation filter.
From the Strada vault...Bespoke Vehicles when dealers ordered vehicles by option, not packages that simply raise the price. Today you want this on a vehicle, you have to buy another 4 of something else, and obvious for dramatically more money than just the option you want.
With the gyrations of the financial markets, accompanied by dire talk on the Canadian economy. Vehicle sales continue to set records. The power of new products, demand for trucks, and free flowing money. Its really the power of CMS (Citizen Main Street)...think about it.
From a few months back...The Transparency Spin, as you get back to reality be aware of the various spins that are applied to usually influence the transparency.
When the yogurt hits the fan...
Its interesting to observe human nature when some unpleasant stuff hits the fan, as much as there is all sorts of tehcnology to permit a ton of activities. The typical human response is timeless...head for cover, look out for number 1, seek out a level of security...guess somethings will never change.
Since there was no Bonneville Speed Week this year, a photo gallery from a few years ago.
Have a wonderful long week end with your family and friends.
In this age of instant everything, presumed transparency, and everyone seeking additional eyeballs.
We often overlook, and/or forget what is priceless and irreplaceable in our lives.
We are not going to tell you what is priceless in your life, but...we are urging you to focus on what is priceless, and as you get back to reality next week what will you do to increase the value of the priceless.
What does it have to do with cars, or the car business not much...
What does it have to do with enriching your life, and those around you...everything.
With all the technology surrounding us, we are increasingly in the people business.
Make it a point to turn it into priceless experiences.
Have you noticed that every manufacturer has various offers on their models. Go to any web site and there are offers to entice current and prospective customers.
Some things never change, and its the new/old reality.
Wether you believe or not in climate change...our climate is appreciably less predictable than it was and will persist in being less predictable. Get used to it...be flexible and adaptable.
We are progressing towards the federal election in Canada. Its a fascinating horse race, the parties are "trading paint" it will be interesting.
The price of a barrel of oil is in the dumpster, with negative effects. The price of gas is a different story, remember when we mentioned that oil companies are not comfortable with gas at less than $1.00 a liter for regular.
Are all over the place, with a myriad of pundits weighing in with their opinions. Keep your seat belt buckled and enjoy or endure the ride.
In the dumpster for the foreseeable future with a myriad of effects for CMS (Citizen Main Street) especially on the price of food. Remember when we were saying save at the pump, spend at the grocery store.
Certainly more circumspect than it was a few months ago. CMS will prefer to stay on the side of caution.
The range issue remains a stumbling block for many..."I'm constantly charging the smart device, the tablet, the laptop...now even the car".
Agreed...gas stations are a quick charge.
You know the saying..."The only constant is change"...its fascinating how individuals interpret and rationalise change. Its even more fascinating to observe how companies embrace change with a myriad of presumed business decisions with frail foundations. Accompanied by the usual corporate "boilerplate".
Yes...we are engaging in a new reality, augmented by uncertainty.
A few years ago we wondered where all the money went with Where Is The Money. It still resonates today.
The auto business requires cubic amounts of money to function, operate, generate results. Some things never change through the years.
Specifically credit powers sales, especially in Canada, where we have seen a robust sales increase during the past few years...powered by banks enabling credit.
At the retail level money is scarcer, and scarcer as the years go by, with a myriad of ramifications. You can fill in your own blanks and comments.
Have the advantage to move money around, while taking advantage of group results. Most folks focus on the sales results, overlooking the various benefits of moving money around at the group level.
Having access to money, enables manufacturers to offer aggressive leasing terms, assuming residual risks. Remember when a few manufacturers could no longer raise money to lease vehicles?
Credit facilities enable the financing of inventories at the dealer level. Especially new vehicle inventories.
Are all the folks, stakeholders, in the auto business aligned to make money? Some areas of this business continue to struggle to arrive at optimum alignment, and dealing with disruption.
Our hearts go out to the family of Justin Wilson.
The gyrations of the global financial markets is enough to make anyone dizzy at this point. Hopefully your seat belt is fastened, there is more to come.
Agreed...in Canada its been anything but a quiet, or relaxing summer this year...so much for the "Dog Days of Summer".
You know the saying "The only constant is change"...we are seeing, experiencing a ton of change this summer.
A few days ago we invested some time to review manufacturer's web sites, configuring vehicles, and calculating payments. We were impressed as to how easy it is to configure a vehicle, calculate a price, payments, and even find inventory at dealers. These are activities that were an intrinsic part of the showroom. Which reinforces that when CMS (Citizen Main Street) does the due diligence online, by the time they start interfacing with a dealer they are ready to do business.
But...there is always a but...finding the vehicle that fires up the emotions is still a very human endevour. Up until a vehicle does not have an emotional appeal...its a chellenge to close a deal.
There is a chasm between the "online" and "physical" in finalising a purchase decision.
Did you have a feeling that all this technology in the center of the dash...
A new study from J.D. Power suggests that automakers are investing billions into technologies that a considerable number of drivers aren’t using.
J.D. Power’s first 2015 Driver Interactive Vehicle Experience Report found that at least 20 percent of new-vehicle owners have never used 16 of the 33 technology features measured.
You have to wonder who has time and desire to get totally interactive and fully interface with their vehicle.
Brilliant photography of the Pebble Beach Tour d'Elegance.
In the auto business a few decades back if we thought that the Internet was disruptive, we will be facing additional, and more dramatic disruption in the years to come.
From our perspective when "old school" business structures and practices, as well as business models are showing strain in one fashion or another. Its disruption...
Agreed, there are numerous forces, organisations, that are on a mission, and have a business model to make disruption presumably palatable for a variety of stakeholders.
Obvious that disruption does not go away...
By now the internet in the auto business is old school disruption, a case of "been there done that" where everyone has the "conference answers" that everyone else has....
Twenty years ago when you told a dealer that the Internet would disintermediate their showroom, and responding to e-mails was important. "Who is this nut case...." was a convenient response for years.
CMS (Citizen Main Street) is further empowered, everyone can publish, how do we deal with this new wave of disruption?
Yes...social media scared numerous stakeholders to the point that the same stakeholders retreated to the dark ages, and intellectual moats...never mind old school.
With social media you can reach out and also turn inward. In the auto business there was an initial reaching out, and then a corresponding turning in. Go figure...an immense missed opportunity.
Technology in the Product:
Over 3 decades ago, technology started making its way in vehicles, be it ECU's to control the engine, to achieve emission standards, to ABS brakes.
Various technology companies are encroaching on the auto business, while the auto stakeholders continue on their vector of having stand alone technology in their vehicles. With a new generation of customers on the horizon which will not accept this "old school stuff".
Technology in the Business:
Think about it, the auto business is a strong user of technology, from super computers to simulate accidents, to CAD for design, engineering and collaboration...agreed we could keep on going. At the retail level in dealerships there is a rash of technology, with the majority being used at a fraction of its potential.
Imagine how disruptive it would be if dealers productively used all the technology they currently have at their disposal...think about it for a moment.
How many entities create barriers, level of comforts to deal with disruption in an old school fashion which is easy to measure on a spreadsheet, and present on a Powerpoint. "This thought vector is too disruptive, lets crank it back several increments will present better on a spreadsheet, and PPT."
Reflect on this for a moment...
Its that time again, we are approaching the Cobble Beach Concours for the 3rd year.
As you know we always look forward, its becoming a Strada tradition to cover the Concours.
If you have an interest in cars, especially older cars, there is no better place to be on Sunday September 13 than at Cobble Beach. Its absolutely worth the drive...in case you are thinking that its too far.
Rob McLeese is the visionnairy and mastermind behind the Concours and every year he, along with his team holds a memorable event.
What is new for 2015?
Wooden Boats it follows that such a Concours should have wooden boats.
Pick Ups it will be interesting to see this new addition for 2015.
As usual the scenery is absolutely stunning, the facilities and amenities are simply the best. We urge you to attend the Concours its time well spent, a priceless experience.
A video is woth how many words...