Its a fresh month, its Friday, its the Vroom Room, come in make yourself comfortable, enjoy the cappuccino and biscotti.
We have an extremely busy month ahead of ourselves, The Colonel is in "scramble mode" please bar with us if we have the occasional lapse this month.
Canadian Sales for April, its clear that when Canadians want trucks the Detroit 3 do very well, which was the case last month. Its also clear that when Honda and Toyota power out of a quarter, and start trading some paint with the Korean it gets interesting with the Koreans giving up positions.
You get the feeling that all manufacturers focused on making money in the first quarter, and now they are moving iron in the second quarter.
If you remember a few years ago smart was matching Mini in sales across Canada, until cooler cars for less money arrived on the market. Yes...the writing is on the wall...for everyone to see.
Lets keep in mind that April was an incredibly strong (for all the folks that follow the monthly up or down), that will the challenging to surpass next year.
In case you did not know...our Wall of Reviews has been emulated a few times.
Our usual old race cars from the Speedfest Classic.
Great photos from the Tour Auto Rally 2013...enjoy!
If you are a regular reader you have noticed that through the years we have shared our evolving thoughts on technology and cars.
Back in 2009 we published our first Thoughts on Technology, which raised some interesting comments at the time.
The other day we were reading the the technology content of the average vehicle is over $ 3000.00 which is over 10% of the price of the average vehicle.
We can mention a myriad of facts, from a global perspective if vehicles would not be enabled by technology we would live on a planet stifled by smog. The exhaust aroma (fumes, unburned gas) of an old muscle car is endearing with a touch of nostalgia, but not healthy.
We are or have reached the point where most folks take all the technology especially the onedirected towards safety for granted, and expected in any vehicle...which is a good thing.
While there are the ongoing debates as to how much connectivity and infotainment should be included in a vehicle, and where does it encroach on the immediate task at hand which is driving. As individuals we all have our own infotainment preferences in a vehicle, it gets very interesting.
If years ago we all had an inherent mistrust of "black boxes" and the costs/fear factor associated to the black boxes. Today we can say that the vast majority of black boxes are very reliable. The emerging generation of digital natives takes black boxes for granted.
With the ever increasing technology content of vehicles, is it not surprising that manufacturers are increasingly seeking ways to save money. Fascinating how innovative, and creative manufacturers can get to uncover additional cost savings. Often to the detriment of established markets, and quality.
The conversation and debate on distracted driving endures. At this time the vehicle is involved in the enablement of distractions, and the conversation will endure for years to come.
Back in the day a car was synonymous with independence, and freedom. Today with technology, Big Brother is permanently riding along with you, and observing...think about this for a moment.
Its fitting that on the last day of a cold and wet April, we continue with our nostalgia of auto components.
If you are of a certain age you remember when all vehicles especially in Canada came equipped with a heater and defroster, and in many instances in the 1940's it was a dealer installed option. You also remember the various knobs, levers, cables, valves, flaps, to control the flow of coolant, and the flow of air.
It was a constant process of move the defrost lever to keep the windshied clear, move the temperature lever to adjust the temperature, in addition to the footwell vents during the summer to control the flow of air through the car.
The heater fans had 3 speed, comparable to most automatic transmissions of the time.
The advent of widespread air conditioning brought about a myriad of different A/C compressors, with some being positively huge, most requiring 2 V belts, and vehicles with smaller motors often had a solenoid to raise the idle speed when the A/C compressor was engaged.
Yes...European manufacturers were challenged for a few years to have "good A/C systems" in their cars, often borrowing components from the Detroit 3 to accelerate their development time. The GM air conditioning compressor was the industry standard for countless years.
Today all vehicles have one form or another of an HVAC system, and a serpentine belt eliminating the multiple V belts.
Many vehicles have a manual HVAC system where you have to adjust the flow of air, the temperature, the fan speed...as much as things change...sometimes there are constants that endure.
From a performance perspective, back in the day A/C was simply a power robbing feature, the various attachments to a carburetor to keep the engine idling, and the compressor running were unrequired complexities, and with a performance camshaft a lot of that stuff no longer worked.
Heaters have come a long way, and morphed into HVAC systems, although in many instances manual adjustement is still required.