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    I've seen the number of pills in little plastic dosage cups that cross the table between breakfast and morning-coffee, and you could definitely be on to something.

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      I'm not sure if cars are a reliable bellwether of the state of the economy, but in the last seven days I've noticed two billboards (one for Ford F150 and one for Dodge RAM) advertising 0% financing for 60. months on their bestselling pickup trucks. Hmm....why would you need to incentivize the best selling vehicles in North America?

      So...

      1 Ford F-Series -14% YTD
      2 Ram Pickup -5.2% YTD
      3 Honda Civic -6% YTD
      4 GMC Sierra +6.3% YTD
      5 Chevrolet Silverado -6.7% YTD
      6 Honda CR-V +14.8% YTD
      7 Toyota RAV-4 +9.4% YTD
      7 Jeep Wrangler +197% YTD
      8 Nissan Rogue -3.7% YTD
      9 Ford Escape +6% YTD
      10 Toyota Corolla - 12.2% YTD

      11 Dodge Grand Caravan -19.7% YTD

      So, pickups seem to be making a dive. Gas prices? Slowing labour-related businesses cutting back? Who knows. But perennial Canada-favourites Civic and Corolla have also taken a hit. The only bright spot seems to be CUVs, with RAV-4, Escape and CR-V doing well. I have absolutely no clue what Wrangler is up to with a 197% bump, so I won't comment. Note the precipitous fall of the family stalwart Dodge Caravan; out of the top 10 for the first time since the advent of the stone tablet to record buggy sales.

      And, of course, Ford has just announced that they're exiting the passenger car business to focus on SUVs, CUVs and trucks. Exceptions are the Mustang and the soon-to-be-released Focus Crossover (not its name, but its role).

      Fascinating.

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        Time for another round of bail outs, it would seem.

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          https://twitter.com/madmal99/status/991696988327493632?s=21

          WOM, it certainly is clever and technically impressive, but people could get hurt.

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            Don't want a car fallin' on ya, don't stand under a car.

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              Had it been revealing Masonic secrets?

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                Cambridge University, 60 years ago this summer:



                https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/ukn...-revealed.html

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                  Production of the F-150 has been suspended indefinitely at both plants due to a fire at a component supplier. Uh oh.
                  Car companies typically have a 30-45 day supply of vehicles sitting around on lots and trains, but I've no idea what the standing inventory of the F-150 is.

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                    The Canadian / Italian head of Fiat Chrysler, Sergio Marchionne, has abruptly been replaced after suffering 'massive' complications from seemingly routine shoulder surgery. One assumes a stroke or something similar. They're telegraphing that it's pretty serious and 'grave'. A real shame.

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                      Probably caused by having to admit that FCA might have to make a car with some form of electrification (barring Ontario).

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                        And he's dead. 66.

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                          It's very sad.

                          The shoulder operation revealed that he was suffering from late stage lung cancer, which isn't surprising given his life-long cigarette addiction.

                          He was a brilliant, doggedly determined, and at times brutally honest man who never cared much for pretense. I always wished that I had more clients like him.

                          This has been, and continues to be, a massive story in Italy, which has not produced a businessman of his stature since l'Avvocato Agnelli. There was a minute's silence in Parliament when his death was announced.

                          RIP, Sergio

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                            RIP

                            I wonder if his dogged determination and honesty might have been holding Fiat back this decade, though? He was apparently adamant that they shouldn't be throwing money at developing new models in a declining market.

                            In terms of brand perception though, around 15 years ago you'd have put Fiat and their Punto (for example) in the same bracket as SEAT with their Ibiza or Citroen with their Saxo. But now you find Fiat are probably competing with Dacia for most models, because their cars simply don't seem to have moved on at all.

                            The Fiat 500 (standard model) still looks lovely and the sales of it probably keep the whole ship afloat, but it's not been revised in 11 years and if I had to buy a tiny city car, I'd take the C1 over the 500 every time.
                            Last edited by Kevin S; 25-07-2018, 13:11.

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                              One can definitely make that argument, but the core of the company has been Chrysler (and especially Jeep and Ram) ever since the merger.

                              The UK has never been a strategic market for them, and Bexit will only make that more true.
                              Last edited by ursus arctos; 25-07-2018, 13:33.

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                                Originally posted by ursus arctos View Post
                                One can definitely make that argument, but the core of the company has been Chrysler (and especially Jeep and Ram) ever since the merger.
                                Indeed. In fact, RAM is now its own brand, while cars are being axed (Dart, 200, Avenger, Prowler, Viper.) without being replaced or (300 / Charger / Challenger) redesigned for astoundingly long stretches. It's all trucks and SUVs now.

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                                  Ford seem to have the same approach, trucks, SUVs and the Mustang are their future, apparently.

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                                    This story is tailor made for WOM

                                    https://twitter.com/l_stone/status/1050152503529140225

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                                      Hah! I just emailed that my FIL about an hour ago, as he was asking me 'whatever happened to Frank Stronach?' just this past weekend. What an ugly story. As soon as you've got father suing daughter for half a billion clams, Thanksgiving dinner is going to be a little more awkward.

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                                        Hard to fault ol' Belinda in the ambition department, though. Elected a Conservative, crossed the floor to become Liberal. Various romantic 'power couple' dalliances with members of cabinet. And then decided that filthy rich obscuria would be a lot more fun.

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                                          Various romantic 'power couple' dalliances with members of cabinet.
                                          More than Petey McKay?

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                                            I thought she was also involved with a Quebec minister at one point who did something indiscreet, like leave national secrets at her pad. Not the first nations guy....someone else.

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                                              Jesus, I forgot she was involved with Tie Domi. Must have been some deep, thought-provoking conversations there...

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                                                Okay, okay. Stop with the PMs. Here's the latest installment with total final sales for 2018. Apparently 2019 is looking hungry, with tons of inventory still on lots from 2018. Belts are being tightened.

                                                1. Ford F-Series (Pickup) 145,694
                                                2. Ram (Pickup) 77,951
                                                3. Honda Civic 69,005
                                                4. Toyota Rav-4 55,385
                                                5. Chevrolet Silverado (Pickup) 55,097
                                                6. Honda CR-V 54,879
                                                7. GMC Sierra (Pickup) 53,472
                                                8. Toyota Corolla 48,796
                                                9. Ford Escape 43,587
                                                10. Hyundai Elantra 41,784

                                                So, usual suspects right across the board. Ford wins the market in terms of both volume and profitability per vehicle, and the GM twins - even added together - don't even come close.

                                                Only thing of note is that perennial top-10 Dodge Caravan (the last mass-market minivan) has slipped decisively from the charts and shows no signs of returning. It's shifting 9,000 fewer units than the Elantra.

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                                                  The weirdest thing about this to me is that modern trucks are all ridiculously expensive. They've stopped being affordable, utilitarian things. So how on earth are so many still being sold? And also, what do people who need a ploddy utilitarian truck, but don't need and can't afford all the gizmos, buy?

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                                                    I agree. The bone-stock Rangers and S-10s have disappeared from the market. I don't know for sure, but I'd bet the Chevrolet Colorado and Canyon are the cheapest entry point. Hyundai is working madly on its first pickup, but it's going to be a type of sport / lifestyle thing.

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