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Wednesday
Mar252015

Canada and the Auto Business

If you go by the numbers of auto ads on the various medias, either March will be a strong month, or its softer than expected and everyone is trying to get whatever they can out of the market.

Next week we will get a clearer picture.

The old saying "A vehicle is the second most expensive purchase next to a house". Must be a good thing that we are gravitating from ownership to mobility at a constant $500 per month.

For the past few years Canada has become a full fledged consumer economy empowered by free flowing money. We missed the bullet in the "great recession" of 2008/09 and morphed into a consumer economy.

Here is the deal...

Lean on CMS (Citizen Main Street) to consume more, empower CMS with inexpensive free flowing money to encourage him to consume even more.

The thought vector that Canadian companies were/are sitting on mountains of cash and should start investing in the Canadian economy got lost in a fog of changes. You have to wonder what happened to investing, creating jobs, to keep Canada going for the next generation.

Free flowing money has empowered record vehicle sales in Canada for the past couple of years. Yes...2014 was a record year, and this year started strong on top of a record year.

In the meantime...

The CDN dollar is in the dumpster, negatively impacting the confidence of CMS.

Price of oil is in the dumpster, with epic consequences across Canada.

Gas is not so cheap, a head of lettuce is not cheap, the same for coffee, and olive oil.

Pick up ads are touting 5 figure discounts/deals.

Vehicle sales in Alberta (3rd largest market in Canada) are steadily diminishing.

The mobility business model...

This model works well on a 24-36 month cycle, at 48-60 months most folks will have spent some money on consumables (tires,brakes,service) they are less tempted to change vehicles. If the confidence of CMS is shaken, lowered, with the current mobility model its easy to extend the trade cylce from 36 to 48 or 60 months.

As sales increase in the US with a rising tide of employment, consumer confidence, the opposite might just develop in Canada.

Month end March will be revealing.

 

Tuesday
Mar242015

Hypermiling

By now you know that fuel econmy is not a major priority for us at Strada. This infographic caught our attention, even if it is Irish, numerous points are valid for any vehicle, and good driving habits.

 

The Ultimate Guide to Hypermiling – An infographic by the team at Show Plates Direct

 

 

Saturday
Mar212015

Macan Turbo vs GLA45 AMG

Saturday entertainement...see who wins.

 

 

Friday
Mar202015

Vroom Room

Good Morning,

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

We all knew that it was just a question of time for the "low price of oil effect" to gain momentum, and start spreading across Canada. If you have had an opportunity to travel in Canada, you surely noticed that many individuals from other parts of the country would work in the "oil patch" especially during the winter months.

Obvious that is not the case this year...

An informative, and fascinating article from The Economist on the distinctive engine sounds of a 4-6-8 cylinder engine. Agreed, the rumble of a V8 is endearing.

There is continued and ongoing talk about self driving cars, its reaching the point in some circles that humans are no longer capable of driving a car. A few days ago there was a 50 vehicle pile up on the east bound 401 at Trenton. You have to wonder how self driving cars and trucks would have dealt with the situation. Would it have been a technical glitch that did not recognise the ice?

We will continue to have winters in Canada for the foreseable future. As we mentioned last month winter conditions are not conducive to autonomous driving.

Yes...tomorrow is the 12 Hours of Sebring race.

An impressive photo gallery of the Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance 2015.

 

 

Thursday
Mar192015

Leadership Reality

Back in the golden days of the auto business when personalities and egos were expected, and often delivered. Do we really need to mention names?

These guys back then, right or wrong had an innate understanding and knowledge base of the auto industry and business. Compared to today there was a minuscule media bubble around the auto industry. At the time the social autosphere did not exist.

Fast forward to today, the individuals in the auto business have subdued public personas, while the social autosphere is constantly expanding and evolving.

Here is the deal:

There remains a lack of leadership, accountability, populated by sidestepping, supported by reasoning that often defies gravity. This often captures the attention of the autosphere for a few fleeting moments, before its lost or superseded by another story which is more timely and might capture a few additional eyeballs.

In the autosphere its the superficial opinion often supported by a catchy headline (you need the headline for the eyeballs). When the opinion is discussed or questioned, the ensuing discussion is often deflected, since there is little "real" knowledge to corroborate and support the opinion.

In the business arena its the project that goes forward at a glacial pace, speeds up to a snails pace, while never getting into real time. It begs the question "Who owns this sh&t?"...which often is deflected with a seemingly rational explanation of various stakeholders, acronyms, and teams. While never answering "who owns the sh&t" or who is going to make it work.

Leadership, teams, teamwork, contributions, knowledge workers, the "thing" gets bogged down, and its easy to double back and distribute the ownership of the sh&t. To the point of "this broke while the team member was in the bathroom"

Think about this...who in his right mind is going to step up (lead) and own the sh&t while potentially jeopardising their mortgage payments?

Yes...we agree the Peter Principle remains enduring.