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Entries in Canada (141)


Incentives - Revisited

We have often shared our thoughts on incentives, how they came about, the strategies behind the incentives, the monthly tactics deployed by manufacturers, dealers, and customers.

The auto business embarked on a vector of "dynamic pricing" several years ago, lets not be so naive as to think that big data does not have a powerful influence on the decisions that are made on a monthly basis.

Financial services are also an intrinsic part of the incentive strategy.

We could keep on going with a myriad of stuff. We urge you to use our search feature to access out previous thoughts on "incentives" and "financial services".

With Ford in the US initiating a strong incentive campaign till the end of the year, suddenly incentives are on the forefront, with every pundit, analyst sharing thoughts and their opinions.

Let's bring it closer to Canada.


The moment most manufacturers relinquished leasing in Canada, and embarked on a longer than shorter term financing strategy. It was a brave new world, shifting the residual risk to CMS (Citizen Main Street), while CMS in the ensuing years has shifted the trade in deficiency to the manufacturer.


Transactions across Canada are closed on the basis of a monthly payment, the magical $500 per month is the average. To deal with the lower CDN dollar, deficiencies on trade ins, incentives are an intrinsic part of doing business. Yes...CMS is keenly aware on how to use incentives to uphold his mobility model.


The manufacturers that staid the course with leasing as well as financing have a substantial competitive advantage, which will become even more obvious in 2016.


The "incentive" that is rarely discussed are the various volume bonuses from the manufacturer to the dealer for reaching monthly agreed upon new vehicle sales objectives. If retail incentives to the customer might skew the business strategy, volume bonuses add an additional layer of skewing.


Back in the day when most dealerships were owned / operated / managed by an individual, the dealer had to make money to stay in business. It was the acumen of the dealer to be a consummate "horse trader" to make money. Incentives were rare to non existent. As well the business office did not exist yet to sell additional products.


Fast forward to today with the "dealer group" phenomenon, hired individuals to manage dealerships, layers upon layers of technology, and several competing franchises owned by the same group. Its an additional impetus to uphold incentives and bonuses.

What do you think...




Too Much Oil, Debt, Cars - Revisited

Its fascinating to revisit perspectives from some time ago, and conclude that it was either prescient, brilliant, smart or just plain dumb. As you know we always say that "We don't follow, we lead" while our thoughts are often a little too far ahead.

We also mention to connect dots and obvious be your own editor with the myriad of opinions that are generated on an ongoing basis.


Was it smart or not smart to ramp up the production of oil, to lower prices, to alter economies, to effect change.

Agreed there is already a good portion of a "cloud" (hard drives are so passe by now) somewhere full of opinions from pundits, analysts, experts on the impact of oil.

Oil has reshuffled the world order be it for the right or wrong reasons. As the current price of oil increases it will recalibrate the reshuffled order. With folks looking back and saying "we told you so" while others will look ahead and also say "we told you so".

The reshuffling has impacted Canada, created a new order, that will be recalibrated in the months and years to come.


Another portion of a cloud is full of various thoughts on the recent federal election in Canada. Which campaign resonated, which one missed the mark. Who had momentum, who was disconnected, and so on.

At Strada we connected a few dots...

For years CMS (Citizen Main Street) was encouraged to increase the level of debt they carried to support the Canadian economy, that was powered by oil and consumer debt. Oil got reshuffled, while consumer debt had reached its rational (or is it irrational) maximum.

In the meantime the government is balancing the books, offering more of the same. While the oil situation is not really sustainable, and the debt situation is at the end of its rope.

We all know the outcome "real change" carried the day. When it came time CMS made a brilliant decision "we collectively have our asses on the line, we need a government that will also puts its ass on the line".


Record year on top of a record year, its never been seen before in Canada. The 3rd largest auto market in Canada (Alberta) is struggling and its still a record year.

Yes...there is the surge in utility vehicles, and the continuing free flowing money from banks.

Lets not forget that "premium economy" is reshuffling segments of the market.

While CMS is inexorably migrating from an ownership to a mobility model.

From car (sedan) to utility, from ownership to mobility.




Vroom Room

Good Morning,

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

Retail sales are up in Canada, primarily due to auto sales. The auto  business in Canada is so good, to the point of single handedly increasing the results of the retail sector.

Used vehicle prices at auctions are higher too, a good thing for Canadian dealers not to buy, but to sell vehicles, and in many instances generate a profit. Agreed...not easy to source used inventory, but great to dispose of aged inventory.

This week we had another example that if the metal does not resonate. The deal is not closing, the sale is not happening. It was the classic case of "Lets generate numbers, values, monthly payments" first, and now lets see if the metal resonates...and it did not.

Dealers are in the people business, or they should be the NADA Dealer Workforce Study for 2015, notice the high level of turn over in sales positions. Which begs the question "How do you close deals?".

The various opinions on vehicle service and maintenance in Canada. The premise is that vehicles are not serviced, and there are missed opportunities with older vehicles. Always overlooking the reality that folks have little to no desire to service and, maintain vehicles especially older vehicles. In Canada its increasingly clear that folks do not want to be involved with older vehicles that require ongoing service and maintenance.

Think of this...old school dealers had a 5 car showroom, and 20 service stalls, today its a 20 car showroom, and 10 service stalls.

Should the folks in the auto business spend more time immersed in technology, or in being in the people business, and connecting dots. What do you think?

If you are still "sort of" following the VW diesel developments, an interesting article from Business Week "How Could Volkswagen's Top Engineers Not Have Known" its a good read.

An impressive photo gallery of the Porsche Rennsport Reunion V...enjoy.




Global Sales - September 2015

When a table tells the whole story...

Click on image to enlarge



Vroom Room

Good Morning,

Its Friday, its the Vroom Room, we have cappuccino and biscotti, join the conversation.

Now that the long drawn out federal election is a done deal, we can move on to other "things" to captivate the mainstream media. Although it was informative to see how the election was covered, and the various opinions from a myriad of pundits, analysts, observers, pollsters, editorials.

From our perspective CBC did a phenomenal job in covering different perspectives of the election, and more important the opinions of CMS (Citizen Main Street).

Yes...CMS wanted change in Canada, and made sure that it would was a clear message on Monday night.

The other day we came cross a Rolls-Royce Wraith, the car captures your attention, and then the styling truly captures your imagination and the question "Who buys/leases such a car?". The metal on that car does not resonate with the Strada Crew.

Have you noticed the various online ads from MTU for the old 2 cycle Detroit Diesel? Should we conclude that there is still a good number of these old Detroits around, and with new liners, pistons, injectors, and rebuilt blowers they are still going and going.

As an aside The Colonel at one time sold trucks with 53-71-92 series engines...yes the 2 cycle Detroits will always have a special place in the memory bank for a ton of reasons.

This month our editorial direction focused on people, at Strada we firmly believe that people make the real difference.

Vintage cars, racing, and photos from the 1955 Targa Florio.



Canadian Sales - Third Quarter 2015

Our thoughts on remarkable Canadian sales at the three quarter point...




Vroom Room

Good Morning,

Its Friday, its the Vroom Room, enjoy the cappuccino and biscotti, join the conversation. can leave a comment.

A couple of weeks ago The Colonel discovered a brochure dating back to 1979 on the GMC Truck Centre, took the time to scan it, and we published the brochure last week. A brochure back in the day was the equivalent of a web site today. Some things change, while not changing.


Years ago The Colonel concluded "We are in the people business through cars". Between the Internet, technology, social media, all sorts of plug in apps. Have we lost sense that in 2015 we are even more in the people business?

We have all sorts of elaborate, sophisticated technology to deal with a bunch of routine stuff. We get so immersed in the technology, that we forget what business we are in. Think about this for a moment.


We refer to the Ahhh moments as epiphanies. Especially when we put ourselves in different positions that we are supposed to know and understand.

> The metal must resonate to close a deal, if the metal does not resonate, its dramatically more challenging.

> We are clueless into what is going on with the software code in any vehicle.

Yes...just 2 epiphanies this morning.

Did you ever think for a moment that the VW "thing" was being conducted several layers down the management structure, that it might have been a rogue employee, that no one really knew about it. Its emerging that it was well thought out...lets leave it at that for now.

Make it a point to vote on Monday.

Our usual old cars from the Chantilly Concours d'Elegance...stunning photography.



Vroom Room

Good Morning,

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

Yes...we are on the cusp of a long Thanksgiving week end. Take the time to enjoy your family and friends.

Before we forget, the other day The Colonel is told by a captain that its a new aircraft...Wow a new plane. Looking around it begs the question is it configured to accommodate people? Dynamic prices for the flight, the seats, tight configuration, and the flight is full...go figure.

Canadian Sales:

A record September, and obvious a record year so far...we told you so. Which increasingly reinforces that CMS in Canada is inexorably migrating towards a mobility model, shifting away from ownership.

Interesting to see CMS (Citizen Main Street) give VW a clear Canadian message in September.


As we become more reliant on technology, in its various aspects we also become more dependent on people power.

Last week we posted a fascinating talk on Human Energy.

Vehicle Exports:

You could see this coming that with the low Canadian dollar, vehicle would be exported to the US primarily, with used vehicles its been ongoing for several months now. While manufacturers are warning their dealers not to export new vehicles. Imagine several years ago when the dollar was even lower, the imagination that everyone was applying to export new vehicles.

Somethings never change...

Our usual old race cars Porsche Rennsport Reunion Behind the Scenes.

From all of us have a wonderful Thanksgiving



Vroom Room

Good Morning,

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

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. 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.

Canadian Sales:

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.




Random Thoughts on Money

A few years ago we wondered where all the money went with Where Is The Money. It still resonates today.

Auto Business:

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.

Dealer Groups:

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.