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Friday
Jul242015

Vroom Room

Good Morning,

1958 Buick Station WagonIts Friday, its the Vroom Room, make yourself comfortable enjoy the cappuccino and biscotti, join the conversation.

You have to be proud of all our athletes at the Pan Am games winning a bunch of medals, especially gold. Sort of makes up for the traffic congestion with the HOV lanes all over the place.

Have you noticed the downward spiral of the Canadian dollar, agreed its only a question of time before a myriad of prices will creep further up. Agreed too...CMS (Citizen Main Street) has been carrying the Canadian economy for the past few years.

There are several automotive platforms on the interwebs that encourage "automotive digerati" with a glancing knowledge of anything and everything to share pedestrian opinions on a wide range of subjects. Reminds you of back in the day when folks would openly mention that they knew everything about cars in one fashion or another. When the conversation got serious the knowledge base was pedestrian at best. Yes...we are being polite and subtle...

Mind you it probably attracts a bunch of eyeballs, while keeping these platforms going. As you know at Strada we are not in the eyeball business.

Have you read some reviews lately where the opinion of the reviewer is often very subjective, and somewhat detached from reality. At times you have to wonder if the review is to feature the product or the personal brand of the individual doing the review.

Why the Buick wagon? The photo caught our attention, back in the days of 4 door hard tops, station wagons, lots of glass and chrome...the "utility" vehicles of the day.

Our usual old race cars from The Hawk at Road America.

 

 

Thursday
Jul232015

Old School Stuff

The entire bubble of cars, and the auto industry, is fascinating some days, boring others, competitive, ruthless, focused on cost, a ton of technology, and a bunch of old school stuff that we often overlook or conveniently omit.

Today we watch videos of this and that, of cars with incredible performance, and almost ridiculous horsepower ratings. Its all cool...

Internal combustion engines remain heat engines, that generate heat, and need to be cooled to stay in one piece. Although with technology one can build in a bunch of safety measures. The old school way was that you needed a ton of oil on a high performance engine, you needed a bigger than smaller radiator, and you needed an oil cooler.

Yes...you could do a couple of flat out runs before the temperature went up too high, but if you wanted to run that engine at higher revolutions you absolutely needed to keep it cool. Especially if you had 3.73 gears or higher, or you had a lower ratio and wanted to cruise faster.

The same with brakes, hopefully you never had to experience drum brakes on any vehicle. If you did, and if you got creative and swapped engines. You perhaps discovered the inadequacies of drum brakes, and brake pedals slowly hitting the floor while the brakes are fading into oblivion. Or a brake line bursting and literally running out of brakes.

This is old school stuff that most folks have never experience, and no longer exists with modern cars.

But...in our case the old school perspective persists, if there are 400 HP under the hood, there had better be at least 50% more power in the brakes. To this day we have little patience, understanding with brakes that do not perform aggressively to scrub off speed.

Yes...you need gas to make horsepower...today you could probably run an engine on 70 octane and it would be sort of cool. While most engines and some for reasons of being "politically correct" run on regular gas.

Here is the deal...

When an engine has 400 HP and a compression ratio of 10:1 it will run on regular, but will run better with premium. Back in the day one would pick a gas and tune the engine accordingly. Today the engine management system quickly recognises a better grade of gas and tunes the engine accordingly.

Yes...VP Racing Fuels do a ton of business at races selling gas with a higher octane than is available as premium at gas station.

Some things never change...

 

 

Wednesday
Jul222015

Global Sales - June 2015

When a chart tells the story...global sales YTD June 2015

Click on image for full size

 

 

Wednesday
Jul222015

Isle of Man TT - 2015

When a video is worth a gazillion words...

 

 

Tuesday
Jul212015

Lunch Break

During the Dog Days of Summer at times its easier to schedule a lunch with an old acquaintance that is in the auto business.

As you can imagine the conversation ranges from catching up, the family, kids, to the auto business and issues that are on the forefront / top of mind for one reason or another. One individual sees the Canadian automotive landscape from one perspective, and the other from a different perspective. The conversation is always interesting, and a great rapid fire exchange of thoughts and ideas.

Some snippets of the conversation:

1- The Canadian dollar is down 10 points from last year / earlier this year it must be impacting strategies. Yes...its having an effect.

2- What is happening to Cadillac after all these years and billions of dollars? Great cars, really great cars, the price point is too high, the showroom experience is not aspirational compared to the Germans.

3- Close ratios are down on trade ins. Simple the customer is better informed than ever. Nothing new here, although there continues to be a churning of sales consultants. Which has a negative impact on closing deals. Remember Showroom Craftsmanship?

4- Buy and sell of dealerships, some deals are complete "head scratchers"...it begs the question "why would they do that"...and lets leave it at that.

5- CPO programs take time to fully develop, especially with consistent dealer participation...no kidding! Once its running well with strong participation the benifits are multifaceted.

6- New models in a segment provide opportunities as well as a down side of taking sales away from an established model. Some manufacturers are tripping on their shoe laces with new models.

 

 

Monday
Jul202015

Canadian Sales - First Half 2015 

Our thoughts on Canadian Sales for the First Half of 2015.

Want to see photos and reviews click on the links.

 

 

Saturday
Jul182015

Chevrolet Impala

If you ever owned a 1964 Impala this video truly resonates...

The shifter for the 4 speed, the tachometer on the dash, and so on...

The exhaust system on the coupe is too long the reason for the "blat-blat" when shifting gears.

 

 

Friday
Jul172015

Vroom Room

Good Morning,

Its Friday, its the Vroom Room, make yourself comfortable enjoy the cappuccino and biscotti, join the conversation.

Be well advised there is a growing number of assholes, its easier to simply overlook most of them, but at times its also essential to confront some. We hope that in your daily activities you don't waste your time with assholes, and when you have to deal with one, we urge you to be vigorous and decisive.

We often mention that in the auto business the product is raced, and its "heads up" competition in racing. If you play the game "heads up" when someone leans on you, be quick, and direct in your actions.

Have you noticed that Sergio Marchionne of FCA is finding everything expensive and non competitive in Ontario, from electricity, to pension plans, and everything else in between it would seem. You have to wonder what is the real agenda behind this thought vector. Here is a hint...click.

Yes...its the Pan Am games in the GTA, and Canada is doing very well on the gold medal count. Traffic not so bad if you pick right times to move around.

You have surely heard of Bruce Canepa, ever wonder what his shop looks like? Take a look...click.

From our perspective the technology behind "driverless" will be ready sooner than the infrastructure, ethics, liabilities behind driverless. Scroll down for an informative perspective by McKinsey.

With the Bank of Canada dropping the rate to 0.005%, if you have the feeling that the Canadian economy is further leaning on CMS (Citizen Main Street) we agree with you.

Our usual old cars from the Icelandic Saga Rally...stunning photos.

 

 

Thursday
Jul162015

High Strength Steel

You have to love this commercial...

 

 

Wednesday
Jul152015

Driverless Vehicles - 2

It seems that our Dog Days of Summer are taking a "driverless" vector. An informative article from McKinsey on what they call AV (Autonomous Vehicles) and how they see the driverless landscape develop.