Entries in Canada (98)
Since last week there is a new president at GM Canada.
As you know The Colonel has been associated in one fashion or another with General Motors in Canada for a few decades.
Q: Colonel assume you had an opportunity to have a relaxed lunch with the new president of GM at Fazio's in Oshawa (yes its a far fetched thought)...what would you tell him?
A: Guys its an ambitious thought, although the food is very good at Fazio's. Here goes...
Its shameful for GM to be in 3rd place, do we need to say more...just plain shameful and inexcusable.
Its good, its competent, in some cases brilliant, and others uninspired. Capitalize on the "inspired" models.
Offer comprehensive financial services to facilitate selling the product, being innovative would help to increase sales.
Imagine a "social media" campaign to boycott GM products in Canada if they alter downward the current level of employment in Oshawa.
Q: Simple enough...
A: Simple, but complex, and a real challenge for GM.
Q: Colonel, have you noticed that some of the car lines 50% of the models do well, the other 50% is non performing.
A: Yes...we have driven and reviewed most of them, great product, with poor market alignment.
Q: Poor market alignment, care to explain?
A: There are folks at GM that are paid interesting salaries for doing this...why are we doing this for free?
Q: 'Cause you're a good guy...
A: Lets look at Buick for a moment: Lacrosse is a great car even has the sweep spear, with no identity in the market to attract a younger customer base. Regal another great car without an identity. Verano, proves that Buick has a 30K ceiling in the market. Encore same thing reinforces the 30K ceiling. Enclave, it was inspired from the outset, and now its a mature model in a competitive segment.
Q: Colonel we thought you were going to start with Cadillac.
A: Guys you are sucking me into a lengthy discussion. we have driven most Cadillacs in the past few years, and we are Cadillac fans. They are cool cars, literally world class, in an hyper competitive segment.
Q: Are you saying that its a world class car and GM for one reason or another does not connect all the dots and handicaps the market performance.
Its November, there is snow, its cold, and also rain, while Christmas is around the corner (sort of). As we near the end of the year we start looking ahead while also looking back.
Stuff that continues to grasp our attention.
We will have record auto sales in Canada this year, just imagine the various opinions from the various pundits, experts, executives, professionals. It will be interesting...
Manufacturers have retreated from the initial social media euphoria to going backwards. All manufacturers seem to have a rationale of convenience to justify their position which by now is entrenched in the past...
Are we witnessing an inexorable shift in the ownership of vehicles? Is mobility for a monthly fee surpassing ownership?
Z28 / GT350:
Satisfying to see Camaro and Mustang recreate the "good ole days" of Trans Am racing with serious versions of the cars. Really cool...
We mentioned Premium Economy a few months ago, we have been observing, we have been patient, prior to sharing further thoughts. We are almost there....
Are we seeing the last days of the manual transmission with a clutch pedal? The new multi speed automatics with software controls are phenomenal. In addition many folks have no clue how to drive a car with a manual.
Old School / New School:
The mechanical aspect (old school) of vehicles makes them durable, the technology aspect (new school) makes vehicles disposable. Think about this for a moment...
Have you noticed when the mainstream media catches on to "something" everyone has an opinion, several did a study, and suddenly we are close to hitting the alarm button.
This past week auto loans have captured the imagination of numerous pundits, with a myriad of pedestrian opinions.
Sometime time ago we shared our thoughts on the entire auto financial services in Canada with Money for the Deal.
The picture painted today by the mainstream media is that CMS (Citizen Main Street) is highly leveraged and if interest rates increase auto loans will default before mortgages. In addition to the longer loan terms extended on auto loans.
Lets consider a few points:
Cash Flow: In the glory days of leasing in Canada over 40% of new vehicles sold were leased, and afforded on cash flow. Extended term loans are the replacement of leasing enbling CMS to still drive with cash flow.
Consumer Risk: CMS is astutute in letting manufacturers with their incentive programs relieve them of the value risk of the vehicle they "own" by trading it in on a new vehicle.
36 Months: Remains the magic number for the auto industry to function at its best. The loan might be 96 months but the trade cycle remains 36.
Loan Interest Rate: The low rates down to 0% are supported by the manufacturer, its always a cash incentive of "xyz" or a rate of 0%. In most instances CMS picks the rate.
Lender Risk: Have you noticed...since major Canadian banks are more active with auto loans more vehicles are sold in Canada. Are manufacturers supporting a "risk factor"?
Big Data: Permits manufacturers and financial service providers to calibrate the monthly offers, incentives, to maximise sales.
Dynamic Pricing + Incentives: Manufacturers and financial service providers make extensive use of dynamic pricing and incentives to increase sales and capture new customers from competing makes. This strategy will endure.
Technology: Permits the dealer and CMS to quickly and efficiently close a deal on the basis of a "monthly payment".
Maintenance: CMS has a limited appetite for performing maintenance on a vehicle beyond replacing the wear items. Yes...maintenance can quickly devour several months of payments, in addition to being unpredictable at times.
Paradigm Shift: From vehicle ownership to vehicle usage for a monthly fee. If CMS is in a "trap" of monthly payments, manufacturers are in a "trap" of constantly enabling CMS to trade, and roll over deficiencies.