Ford Verses Chevy who wins?

Let’s talk about rivalries. Sports teams have them, siblings have them, gangs have them and companies have them. Aside from the Montreal Canadians being a terrible team  – go, Leafs, go – nothing is better than a good old rival between two car companies over competing products.

A rivalry pushes both manufactures to bring out a more fuel efficient, safer, faster, quieter, cheaper and pretty well everything else that ends in “er” in a bid to dominate the competition. What does this mean for you, Mr. and Mrs. Customer? Well, you can stuff all those “er’s” in your back pocket and smile. We are going to focus on two companies who are constantly at each other’s throats: Chevy and Ford.

I saw two cars parked next to each other today that epitomize this rivalry, and it inspired this article. I was going to write about the ultimate gifts for the car lover on your holiday list, but I refuse to accept the holiday season before December first. I also refuse to spend any amount of time in a place that plays Christmas jingles, serves eggnog or has ugly Christmas sweaters… I will save that rant for another time.

Camaro vs. Mustang:

The American dream in vehicle form, presented in the form of a vehicle.  Cheap V8-power, rear-wheel drive, 2-door coupe and convertible. These cars can lay down some serious rubber and belch a fantastic sound with some minor exhaust work.

The winner:  While the Camaro went on a hiatus in 2002 and came back with a vengeance several years ago, the Mustang wins because it invented the “personal sports car” market and has never gone out of production.

Chevy Silverado vs. Ford F-150:

We like our pickup trucks BIG, powerful and comfortable, with lots of towing and payload capacity. Nothing says I’m a manly-man quite like a shiny grille at eye level, big meaty tires and a side profile bigger than most barn doors.

The winner: Ford F-150 has been the best-selling pickup truck in America since TV’s were black and white….seriously.

Chevy Blazer vs. Ford Bronco:

Who makes the better full-size, 2-door convertible 4X4? This market segment is distinctly American. Yes, I would like a massive truck and, no I do not need a pickup box, but could you cut the roof off for me? After we finished with them as daily drivers, snow plowers would buy them for their bulletproof drivetrains and tight turning circles.

The winner: Ford Bronco because in 1992, O.J. Simpson drove on down the highway while we all watched, stunned.

Cadillac vs. Lincoln:

This is Classic American Luxury at its finest. From interiors that looked like they came out of a porno shoot (both Cadillac and Lincoln were guilty of this from 1969-1992)to trunks that could swallow a medium-sized sow (a guy in my dad’s hometown actually hauled a pig in the trunk of his Lincoln).

Winner: Cadillac by a Texas mile. Lincoln is a shadow of its former self. All of their products are merely Ford vehicles with ritzy interiors and updated exteriors. The Cadillac Escalade continues to dominate the luxury SUV market and the CTS-V is one of the best performing sedans on the market.

All said, two great American car companies both competing for the same thing: to be in your driveway. See, stop fighting your sibling for extra dessert or the t.v. remote. The rivalries between auto manufactures are way better, and nobody gets a time out!

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2015 Chevy Colorado

This week is the LA auto show. This is where industry bigwigs get together and unveil new products that will make it into showrooms in the coming months and years. One of the most important new vehicles is the 2015 Chevrolet Colorado. Their mid-size pickup that was put on hiatus a couple of years ago is finally back! Anyone who knows me knows 2 things: I love cats and I love pickup trucks (a weird combination, I know). The new Chevy Colorado is possibly the most important North American/North American market vehicle of the past couple of years, this is why:

1)      Pickup trucks are the big profit generators for manufacturers. Typically the largest amount of profit found in a segment is the pickup truck segment. This is a good thing for GM since they produce lots of full-size/heavy duty/medium duty trucks but not a compact/midsize pickup. Ford stopped producing the compact Ranger and Dodge cancelled the midsize Dakota a couple of years ago.

2)      Pickup trucks are very popular in the United States. How popular? In a list of the top 10 most popular vehicles sold today the Ford F-150 was #1, the Chevy/GM duo was #2 and the Dodge Ram was #7. So the good ol’ USA likes trucks… What about Canada? Ford F series is #1 in the land of maple syrup. The Dodge Ram is right behind it and the Chevy/GM twins are #6. We love our trucks! they are versatile, large, rugged and if your kids won’t stop screaming you can make them sit in the penalty box (pickup bed).

3)      Around the time that phones became “smart” the pickup truck saw an onslaught of buyers who wanted to use a pickup truck as a personal vehicle. This is why we we started seeing ultra-premium pickup trucks and crew cab pickups replace bare bones workhorses. Don’t believe me? do a quick search of your local listings and see how many trucks available have leather, heated seats, sunroof, navigation, etc…. This is a new market segment within a segment for truck manufactures. Essentially they can appeal to the everyday work truck buyer, the weekend warrior who will fill the truck bed on the weekend, and the glitzy urban cowboy who will rarely use the space behind the cab.

This is all good news for Chevy and frankly I am shocked that it has taken so much time for one of the big 3 to bring back out a viable pickup option that is not a full-size. Yeah, Toyota and Nissan sells midsize pickup trucks but their offerings have never been as well received as the American choices. They are great vehicles but are expensive and red-blooded Americans (and Canadians) would rather drive more for their money it seems. What is most interesting about this is that traditionally American truck buyers have bought the largest vehicles they could afford. Chevy is hedging a bet that these buyers are willing to trade in the extra cylinders and heft of a full size pickup for a midsize in the name of smaller size, and most importantly better fuel economy. This is a big step for GM. If it is successful you can bet that Both Dodge and Ford will jump back into the market shortly. They are attacking the North American truck buyers psyche. “Yes you can have your American pickup truck, no it does not need to be so big it gets its own postal code”. We already know that the small independent contractor who does not need a massive truck will buy these. The small size and better fuel economy will attract them. Chevy hopes that weekend warriors will be happier with the improved fuel economy and not having the stigma of driving something called a “Larime Longhorn 1500 4X4 Hemi” to the office on Monday morning. They are hoping that the glitzy truck driver has woken up and smelt the gas bills. Chevy is hoping that they to will go for something a little smaller if it means better fuel economy and that it can fit in a parking lot.

 Oh and did I mention that the new Colorado is going to be offered with a diesel?! Yep. Wicked fuel economy and towing ability are standard. Not since the Bush Sr. administration have you been able to get a compact or midsize pickup truck in diesel and the offerings were puny at best. This, ladies and gentleman, will be a game changer. Stay tuned for an interesting truck battle between Chevy and whoever else decides to drive into the midsize truck ring.

In closing, are we ready to “downsize” our rigs? are we ready to trade in massive payloads for better fuel economy? Will we choose a more compact size and versatile truck over a massive highway cruiser? Chevy seems to think so, I don’t disagree. I am pre-ordering a 4X4 extended cab in black, I just need to figure out the manliest way to secure my cat carrier into the pickup bed.

Winter Warriors

Let me paint you a scenario: Your into cars. No, no, you LOVE cars. Speed, handling, exhilarating exhaust notes, attacking corners, the list of what drives your passion goes on and on. You live in the excellent northern realms that we call Canada. You only have room for one car and it needs to handle our northern climate. This is a dilemma.  Your automotive compass is compromised. Do you get something that is going to appeal to your right foot and take the bus in the winter? Do you know how unpleasant an overcrowded city bus is in the winter? All those warm bodies in massive jackets jammed together, all the slush on the floor of the bus ruining your shoes. Foggy windows, foggy glasses?!?! Not pleasant. Having to wait outside for a bus in the freezing cold… Avoid at all costs!

What you need is the Canadian hybrid sports car. Nothing green about this car. You need a sports car that is great in winter. Yes they exist. 2 door and 4 door and even some wagons!

Audi S4/S5/RS5

Audi’s legendary Quattro all-wheel drive system is one of the best all-wheel drive systems. Audi starting making all their cars available in all wheel drive during the 1980’s and it has been synonymous with the brand ever since. Weather you need 2 doors or 4 Audi has your back. The S4 is the responsible choice with seating for 5 and 4 exits. The RS5 is the car your inner car nut wants to get with explosive power, 2 escape hatches (doors) and ridiculous handling. When the RS5 is done melting snow it will turn phenomenal laps at your local track.

Subaru WRX STI

The Legend from Fuji Heavy Industries lives! Subaru’s all-wheel drive system is so good that it can modulate 100% of the power to one wheel. This means you have to try really, really hard to get the rally legend stuck. With room for 5 this is a no-nonsense stripped out fan boy race car. These cars have a cult following and have the performance to back them up. For cold weather fun accept no substitute to a turbo flat 4 cylinder.

 this is Ken Block launching his Subaru off a snowboard jump….with snowboarders….

Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution

From the company that brought you household air conditioners is this gem. The lancer follows a similar recipe as the Subaru: take a 4 door economy car, add all wheel drive, turbo’s great suspension and breaking and take it to the track! While the lancer evolution is great in the snow, it really shines on the track. They are less of an off-road rally car and more of a track car but you will never know the difference. You will be having too much fun sliding through corners.

Mercedes E63 4matic

For those of you that don’t know the AMG E class is now all wheel drive. We are all mourning the death of the 200 foot Smokey burnouts they provided at will. We are however, welcoming the fact that these torque monsters can now be driven in the winter. Available in sedan and wagon (with amazing rear-facing seats for the kiddies) these cars will get you to the chalet faster and in more comfort than anything else on this list. If you have a family and need something with some space and comfort. This is your best bet.

Lamborghini Gallardo

So you have deep pockets eh? You want something REALLY fast eh? This might be your best bet. I know, Italian exotic cars are not good winter cars but since the fruitful interracial marriage with Volkswagen, Lamborghini has gained access to Audi’s Quattro all-wheel drive. the result is this: 550 plus horsepower V-10 driving all 4 wheels, a body that is largely carbon fiber, aluminum and other high end materials. Mr. Snowman will never know what hit him.

Goes to show that there are cars to fit all budgets and needs for one season or all 4. Go drift some winter roads and have fun! As always, we have a range of winter prep packages and tire packages custom suited to your vehicle and your needs.

OKTOBERFEST IN VANCOUVER

Auto|One Group was clinking beer steins to traditional Bavarian music on Thursday night! We hosted our Oktoberfest event to unveil the renovation of our new showroom space and celebrate with customers, family, friends and colleagues alike. Over 200 guests came from all over the lower mainland to enjoy some traditional German food & drink, live Bavarian music and exotic German cars.

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Did you know that the first Oktoberfest was held in Munich, Germany in 1810 to honour the royal marriage of Crown Prince Ludwig?  These days, Bavarian festivals are held outside of Germany all over the world when the crisp days of Autumn arrive. 

Through raffle ticket sales, the Auto|One Group supported and managed to proudly raise $3,000 for the Sunshine Foundation of Canada (www.sunshine.ca).  This foundation makes dreams come true for kids with physical disabilities or life-threatening illnesses. 

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Our newly renovated back showroom became a Bavarian music hall with some amusement activities to boot.  Believe it or not, we had a full race course set-up – remote control cars of course.  There was a photo booth and a Hammer Striker activity where guests could show their strength.  The band was truly authentic as the sounds of an Accordion and Alpenhorn filled the space.

The front showroom was transformed into an Oktoberfest beer tent that housed a 2009 Audi R8 and a 2012 Mercedes SLS Roadster.    Raffle prizes and Oktoberfest Souvenirs were also on display here.  Congratulations to all the winners!  Prizes from full vehicle details to a 50” Flat Screen Entertainment package were won with all ticket sale proceeds being donated.

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We would like to thank all of the guests for coming out to celebrate Oktoberfest with Auto|One.  We would also like to thank those guests for generously donating to the Sunshine Foundation Cause.  Prost!