About Me

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Toronto, Ontario, Canada
My passion is also my business, as I am with the Toronto based Hav-A-Kar Auto Group. I sell or lease any make of car, van or truck available in Canada. My interest in all things "car" has helped me with my many clients in Ontario over the past 20+ years. Please give me the opportunity to assist you.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Jan 16: "Tennessee dreaming" - an opinion

Gee, up until a couple of years ago, I could have entitled today's blog California dreaming (with apologies to the Momas & the Pappas). Stay tuned........

This is the opening day for the Detroit Auto Show, one of the biggies. I used to go to it as often as I could, since it's only about 3-4 hours down the 401 from Toronto. Leave early in the morning and be back home early evening - piece of cake. Well, as time goes by, those quick runs become more of a pain than a pleasure (a couple of years ago, we stayed overnight). But, and this is a very big "BUT", this time of year, the weather is unpredictable and last time, we had a very unpleasant and extended drive home thru a surprise storm (well, it was a surprise to me). So, for now, love that internet.

Anyway, back to the big show.........

Wouldn't be a North American auto show, unless some form of new pick-up was being intro'd. Ford had a continuation of the biggest news, but Ram showed up with a kinda Raptor competitor, the Rebel. More of an off road beast and less of a demonically fast off road beast, like the Ford, but still interesting and worth a look. Ram sells about 617k of their pick-ups, so this model will definitely add a few thousand to that total. Note the absence of Ram's traditional cross hairs grille.

The new aluminum F150 is only now arriving at the Ford dealers, so a little gasoline is needed to make sure that the fire keeps burning.........

Rough, tough and ready, this is the latest Raptor. Great for going off road the right way or just amazing the neighbourhood children with its over the top power. Either way, Ford did the job right with the original version and haven't let us down with this latest edition.

But it was left up to Nissan to introduce a completely new version of their full size pick-up, the Titan..........

Here is the man, Carlos Ghosn, during the intro. Now this guy is one smart cookie and he has done some amazing work for Nissan and Renault. As he explained, the Titan was not built to do battle with the Big 3 - Ford, Chev/GMC, Ram - pick-up brands, but was built to slide into a niche that they don't compete in. Now, I'm not going to go into his explanation of this supposed niche, since I think that it is make believe.

Now comes the Tennessee dreaming, since Nissan's US headquarters has been relocated to the Deep South from California. Ghosn expects this latest Titan to take 5% of the nearly two million in salesof the  pick-up truck segment, with up to 10% an achievable goal. Now, hold on just a cotton pickin' minute, fella. That is about 100k in sales at the low end. Not really very many, but in 2014, the Titan sold just over 15,000 trucks! Maybe the Nissan folks have swapped their west coast chemical substances for Tennessee moonshine, but someone is smoking or drinking something to come up with those numbers. Toyota plays with a full field of Tundra models and they can only manage about 128k in sales. Me, I can't see sales passing 50k in the first full year and that might be a stretch.

Always good to be an optimist, but here is a good case of Tennessee dreaming in the extreme. Stay tuned and check back here in about eighteen months.

Until next time........


  1. Coming from truck country, new trucks always capture my attention. I remember when Nissan first entered the full-sized truck market; the local dealer sold a pile of them but things died down from being plentiful to being visible, and nothing more. Toyota has been much the same with its Tundra. I'm not knocking them; I'm just seeing the reality. Myself, the offerings from Ford and GM have always satisfied me so I see no reason to change. But that's me, not the others. One thing I will say: No one manufacturer should allow themselves to get complacent because the market is extremely competitive.

    1. George, appreciate your opinion from "pick-up" country. In the run of a year, I never get asked about the Titan. The Big 3 are super strong and yes, complacency has killed a few good brands.