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Cadillac DTS V-Series



  • Your opening line of response is rather basic.

    You cite quality of components with respect to engineering capability and production line creation.

    If you used higher grade/quality components on a Ford Tarus or Chevrolet Impala, it would be more expensive too. Hence, the issue is not component quality and price, but engineering capability, market demand and marketing.

    The engineering capability question is alreaday answered! The sigma platform exists and is a finished design. Scaling up for a full size version is not a major feat, and I would venture that a full size plan (DTS)is already drawn.

    The unknown question is market demand. Certainly, keeping it easy on the current FWD platform is nice for GM, but this attitude of not making a push to the next level is killing GM and Ford on product placement versus the competition. A look at the market share number in any category tells the story.

    Certainly my sole voice calling for the DTS-V would not prompt GM to create a production line to meet my demand. However, I am of the opinion there are other unvoiced voices out there that desire a full size Caddy capable of competing with the full size BMW, Audi, and M-Benz. This is the push that GM needs to make in order to keep Cadillac in the game. They done a nice job with the CTS in the lite division, doing nice with the STS in the middle division. Now its time to start playing like a big boy and move to the heavy weight division with a DTS and stand up and be counted.

    Hence, the standard GM market approach could be to create a base model DTS for the masses and a DTS-V model for the performance crowd. This would allow for a halo effect across the entire Cadillac line up.

    If GM can take a Chey Suburban, change the badging and interior appointments and call it an Escalde, then anything is possible.

    I want my DTS-V
  • sls002sls002 Posts: 2,788
    Market demand will depend on the price of the vehicle. The price will depend on the platform that it is built on, which will determine the cost of building.

    If the DTS is going onto the expensive sigma platform as a larger car than the current CTS and STS models, then it makes sense to me that it will cost more to build and the price should be higher. However, they could put cheap plastics and cloth seats in it and keep the cost and price down. It this what you are looking for?

    The Escalde is not really a Cadillac from my point of view, but if people are dumb enough to pay extra for the bling, then why not?
  • Price and cost are intermingled.

    The more you produce, generally the lower price becomes due to scales of efficiency/economy.

    My argument is not on whether the price will be steep.
    My argument is that the demand "may" be sufficient to have scales of efficiency/economy to become a significant factor.

    If the DTS on sigma platform sells in the same numbers as that psuedo-cadillac the "Allente" then its doomed to failure and priced out of the market. However, if the market calls for it in the same numbers as the CTS and STS, then its a winner, coming in at the lower end of the high scale.

    By the way, I enjoy this exchange of ideas, concepts and views with you.

    Nevertheless, I want my DTS-V
  • sls002sls002 Posts: 2,788
    One advantage of the sigma factory is that the assembly line can build all of the sigma models. Thus if one model is a slow seller, the factory can stay busy building the models that do sell. This is why I have said that adding the DTS to the sigma line up would probably have to be at a higher price level, since the remaining production capcity is around 30,000 vehicles annually. A DTS priced around $60,000 would probably sell at rate fewer than 25,000 annually.

    If they want to keep the DTS sales at a high level, then I think that a cheaper platform is needed. Adding another factory to build expensive sigma vehicles would simply make all of them more expensive since I doubt that they could sell 300,000 annually. It makes more sense to me to put a lower priced DTS on the Zeta II (or Global RWD platform) platform, and then build a RWD Buick sedan that could be sold at entry level luxury price (replacement for the Lucerne). However, I doubt that this platform would be good for the V-series model you want.
  • sls002sls002 Posts: 2,788
    I really do not understand what you want from the DTS_V model. We already have the STS_V, which I think should be upgraded to compete better with the AMG E63 Mercedes, the current king of the hill so to speak. It would be a mistake to build two V-series sedans in the same price range. Only one is needed.
  • I'm fairly in agreement with your analysis on price and potential volume sales based on the Sigma platform.

    The general problem with volume sales is the small number of potential buyers in the full size sedan market segment, and the even smaller subset of buyers for the full size luxury sedans. If 25,000 were sold, that would be darn excellent.

    The big sellers are the crossovers, and small to mid-size sedans. Pick trucks will typically do well as a general segment. However, the full size sedan market is basically dying off, the baby-boomers are most likely into their last full sedans.

    Hence, from a real market perspective, I would not argue the realities of a DTS-V product placement, however, I find the STS-V to be mid-sedan lacking the creature comforts of a full size sedan. In the role of a Cadillac booster, a DTS-V completes the line from small to full size. Further, absent a full size model, Cadillac relinquishes the market to the Audi - A8, the BMW 740/750 (an what ever other mid-production numbers they create), and the M-Benz 600.

    This is where the rub is; the front-wheel drive DTS is good for the disappearing baby-boomer, but to sell to a new crowd, a DTS-V type product must be in the competition zone, which are the models I previously mentioned.

    So Cadillac can either be a second tier competitor and stop at the STS or it can a first teir competitor and place in product in the full size zone, as a true compititor.

    As for the Zeta II platform, sounds like its homework time for me, I not familiar with this platform.

    I want my DTS-V.
  • sls002sls002 Posts: 2,788
    The Audi A8 is selling very slow, 3000 so far this year. The BMW 7-series is better at 11,000. The S-class Mercedes is best at 17,000. All of these cars are very expensive. A DTS in this price range is probably going to sell a few thousand annually. The M5 BMW is running at 2000 so far this year. The DTS has sold 33,000 so far this year.

    The V-series is supposed to be a high performance version of a "performance" model. Cadillac considers the sigma line, the CTS, STS and SRX to be performance cars, with better handling, harder ride, more European Sports Sedan than American cruiser.

    Moving the DTS into the sports sedan market will result in a smaller car, or it will result in a very expensive up-market sedan, which will sell slower. Now, if the DTS is priced somewhere in the $60,000 level, with the base model perhaps a bit less, but with options more, the sales rate may run upwards of 25,000, but my guess is that half that is more likely.

    Perhaps Cadillac will drop the old luxury barge market that the old deVille was very popular in. The Town Car is old luxury barge style too. While the BMW 7-series is not quite the best choice for a sports sedan (the 5-series is best), the 7 series is bigger and more luxurious, so it is BMW's luxury model. Note that there is no M-series version of this model. However, the 7-series is far closer to the "sports sedan" class than the FWD DTS is. As far as pure handling goes, the 3 series is considered best, but with a V8 the 5 series is perhaps the optimum for overall performance.

    The question is: should Cadillac make the DTS into a hard riding BMW sports sedan style of car? OR: Should it be more like the S-class Mercedes? or maybe more Lexus LS. The Lexus is a luxury barge style of car.
  • sls002sls002 Posts: 2,788
    The DTS could take over the current STS position in the sigma line up. That way it would be priced lower. The next generation CTS is said to be a bit larger than the current model, although that is strange in that the current CTS is already big relative to the competition. So, the DTS could be a bit wider than the current STS, but shorter than the current DTS, making the rear seat legroom much smaller. Then the next generation STS could become a 7-series style of car, without the V-series, which would go to the new DTS. To me this makes sense: low end -> CTS; mid-range -> DTS; high end -> STS.

    There would only be two V-series models, the CTS_V and the DTS_V. Unless, the STS_V is a V12 super luxury performance car with say 700 horsepower. They would only sell one per year at cost 1 million each.

    Buick could fill in as a lower end luxury barge sort of car with a big De Ville style sedan.
  • All of what you mentioned is the problem for Cadillac. In some respects its have an identity crisis.

    The division wants to compete in the performance luxury class but has a problem with lining up properly in the class, since the Europeans are setting the bench marks.

    The STS and CTS do a nice job in the small to mid-size, but the problem comes at the full size. Ultimately the question is price. Once a person starts to lay out over $60K the current inclination is to go Euro.

    I'm of the opinion that when the new styling was introduced it caught alot of attention and the attetion became acute with the "V" line up. Now however, the look is getting stale and Cadillac failed to drop the hammer, that being the full size version, a-la, the DTS.

    Herein lies the dilemma, stay with the sure seller luxury barge or continue the cutting edge push.

    This is where I think Cadillac can have its cake and eat it too. Create small volume run of DTS-V and the associated price, and also put out a knock-off DTS at the lower price relying on the halo effect. (This probably where the Zeta II platform should be appropriately exploited.) This is the same game plan Chrysler is doing with the 300M. They have the base model, which is the bread and butter, but they also have the Hemi performance option which show as the muscle and attention getter. Hardcore folks buy the hemi, but the general buyer is happy with look general look without hemi.

    Incidently, I do find is curious that there is no M series for the 600 Benz model.

    I want my DTS-V
  • sls002sls002 Posts: 2,788
    I am confused by your last post.

    #1 - The 300M is no longer in production.

    #2 - Mercedes does not have an M series of any sort that I know of.

    Discussion of Cadillac V-series models is totally without the base model is nonsense. For the V-series to make any sense what-so-ever, there must be an appropriate base model from which to make a limited production V-series.

    I will agree that Cadillac does not have a model in the Audi A8, BMW 7-series, Lexus LS, or Mercedes S-class category. As far as that goes, Cadillac does not really have a good Audi A6, BMW 5-series, or Mercedes E-class model either. Rather than spending money GM DOES NOT HAVE on yet another mediocre V-series model, they should focus on getting what they have now improved. At least they have had the sense not to make a V-series out of the SRX.
  • Chrysler is calling it the 300C now, rather than "M"

    I meant to say the "AMG" series on the M-Benz.

    For certain a V series needs a base model, this where I propose the Zeta II platform might be the answer. V series and base model DTS both on the Zeta II platform.

    As for not having money, GM needs to make salary pay cuts on executives that are producing lame products, this might free up some factory tooling money. As for the SRX, lame product!, enough said there.

    For me the base issue, is for Cadillac to have a product placement of a full size sedan, that has performance grade capabilities. Building a performance sedan is not a major engineering feat, but the desire to put one the market that will compete is a major feat of will.

    The name brand Cadillac should signify upper eschelon quality and performance, absent a full size sedan, Cadillac is rudderless and not taken seriously, by the big boys: Audi, BMW, M-Benz, Lexus. Now if that is the GM position, then they better rely upon Chevrolet sales to keep them in the auto business, and they can continue to sell small volume CTS, STS,the rest of the alphabet and rebadged Suburbans until the devision becomes meaningless and results in shut down, ala Oldsmobile.

    I want my DTS-V
  • sls002sls002 Posts: 2,788
    I do not see how a DTS-V will change Cadillac from their current state of medocrity. Cadillac has always sold cars in the low end of the luxury price range. That is where the profits are. Mercedes makes its profits on the low end C-class cars and the E-class. Both of these sell fairly well.

    The SRX is considered by some magazines to be a very good SUV or crossover or whatever. It is not selling as well as the big Suburban (Escalade), but is selling. The 2007 gets a much nicer interior, which should help, along with a 6 speed transmission on the V8.

    It is not the big boys that count, Cadillac must be taken seriously by car buyers, and right now the car magazines have written Cadillac off as a has been. The current line up just does not compare well with the competition. The STS falls way short with its interior material quality compared to Audi (any audi), Mercedes (E-class) or other German makes.

    All this Yada-Yada-Yada about a DTS-V is nonsense. What is needed at Cadillac are better current models. Now that being said, the 2007 SRX will get a much nicer interior than it currently has. The 2008 CTS will be all new, with a much better interior too. Of course the 2006 DTS had an all new interior too, and while it is better than before, I don't see it being all that much nicer than the interior on my 2002 Seville. So, while I think things will improve, I doubt that Cadillac will compare well with the German cars for interior quality. I think that GM has lost the ability to make nice interiors.

    Back when they did know:
  • You're in agreement with me that better current models are needed!

    The art & science styling is growing stale, though it made a nice splash on introduction.

    I agree with you on Cadillac mediocrity, but I'm hard pressed to agree that Cadillac wants to stay there. Maybe there are still some brand management executives still in place that don't have the thinking/idea power to be produce models that can be considered seriously by "car buyers."

    Lack of full size performance model (my claim), lack of solid interior appointments (your claim), lack of a line up(an agreed claim), this all points to what is Cadillac?

    Anyone with reasonable taste shelling out $60K or more might consider a Caddy as an idea base on name recognition, but when its time to make the purchase, the other manufacturers are eating Cadillac's lunch.

    Hence a DTS-V would be nice punch to being seriously considered by car buyers. However, I'm lone voice pushing the envelope, and possibly ahead of my time.

    I want my DTS-V
  • sls002sls002 Posts: 2,788
    With respect to the interior quality, I base my "claim" on what the car magazine editors say in their comparision tests. However, my experience with GM interiors over the last few decades is that interiors are now much less attractive in certain ways than they used to be. Door panels are now made out of much less attactive plastics than they used to be. My 1995 Riviera had door panels that were covered with a fair amount of hard platics that was not very nice. The rear seat area around the window was hard plastic too. My 2002 Seville doors have softer plastics and are nicer looking. There is also a bit of wood trim.

    Anyway, interior quality is a combination of style, materials, and the fit and finish of those materials. GM is upgrading the fit. The finish quality is also improving, but this has been somewhat hit and miss, or so I read here and there. Style is a matter of personal taste, but I think the STS's interior style is not quite as good as the FWD Seville's was.

    When you speak of full size, do you mean Town Car, or perhaps the 1975 era DeVille? What do you mean by full size, and what do you mean by a performance model?
  • sls002sls002 Posts: 2,788
    CTS: length/width/height/wheelbase (inches) 190.1, 70.6 , 56.7 , 113.4 - performance or sport sedan $30 - 40,000 price range.

    Mercedes C-class: 178.4, 68.0, 55.6, 106.9 - luxury or sport sedan trims - CTS price range.

    BMW 3-series: 178.2, 71.5, 55.9, 108.7 - the ultimate sports sedan - CTS price range.

    Other competition are Lexus, Audi, etc.

    Note that the CTS is a bigger body.

    STS: 196.3, 72.6, 57.6, 116.4 - Price ranges from $42,000 to $65,000 depending on options

    Mercedes E-class: 191.0, 71.7, 58.4, 112.4 - not called a sports sedan by Mercedes - price ranges from $50 to 60,000.

    BMW 5-series: 191.1, 72.7, 57.8, 113.7 - price ranges from $43 to 60,000.

    The STS is a longer body. In fact the CTS body is about the same size as the E-class and 5-series, although not as wide.
  • sls002sls002 Posts: 2,788
    DTS: 207.6, 74.8, 57.6, 115.6 - price $41 to 48,000. FWD sedan

    Town Car: 215-221, 78.5, 59, 117.7-123.7 - a big sedan. Price similar to DTS.

    Mercedes S-class: 205, 73.7, 58.0, 124.6 - large luxury sedan - price range $86 to 140,000

    BMW 7-series: 198.4-203.9, 74.9, 58.7, 117.7-123.2 - BMW's luxury model - price range $71 to 119,000

    Clearly the DTS and Town Car are bigger than the Europeans, but are priced much lower. Unless you understand what the differences are, none of this makes much sense.
  • Your last post on comparision is exactly where I would expect the DTS-V to be, matching up with the S Class, the 7 series and the A8 of Audi.

    From your argument position, I'm understanding that Cadillac can't match-up to these vehicles, or . . . shouldn't even try!

    Now of course if your saying Cadillac has already relinquished this segment, fine, but then what is the value of the rest of the V line-up? They're not really matching up to the junior varsity line up of the Europeans already.

    I argue that the Cadillac needs to get into the game and get into serioursly such that the auto rags will give a nod of recognition, which potentially will tweak marketing and capture the interest and purchasing option of the North American market. Otherwise the entire V concept is futile.

    I want my DTS-V.
  • sls002sls002 Posts: 2,788
    As you say, they should either make the current line up better or the concept is futile.

    Way back when, in the late 1950's to be exact, Cadillac tried with an Eldorado Brougham. I don't know if it was successfull, but they sold about 1000 altogether, over a 4 or 5 year period. It was priced at about double that of a well equipped Sixty Special. Note that 60,000 Sixty Specials were sold in the same period.

    The Allante was a similar experiment, except that it was after the Mercedes SL roadster market.

    Cadillac has not had any experience in building a quality S-class car. I think the better Cadillac's have been closer to the C-class than E-class for that matter. I think that the DTS, which is the DeVille model of old, should continue on as a lower priced luxury car (base price over $40,000). I also think Cadillac should introduce a sigma platform model along the lines of the old Fleetwood Sixty Special. Something elegant, but still a drivers car. I do not attach much importance to a V-series designation, as these are hot-rodded Cadillacs for the purpose of stock car racing, not really street cars. However, the STS-V seems less hotrod and more street luxury performance. The CTS on the other hand, is ready for stock car racing.
  • I remember the Eldorado Brougham, American luxury at its finest, and matching up against the Licoln Mark IV and V.
    It was totally a specialty ride.

    The Allante I thought was a loss cause, right along with the Cimmaron. This was all part of the brand management era.

    Alas, what you argue is the very dilemma I see with Cadillac, a little bit of this and not enough of that, leaving a line that has significant strenghts, e.g. CTS, but significant weakness too, e.g. DTS.

    I'm sure the brand managers are content with the SRX, Escalde and CTS sales, and will ride the bubble on DTS, but they will surely find themselves lost when the demographic runs its course, the Japanese will scoop up the market with new models and consumer satisfaction. Toyota has already displaced Ford from the number 2 spot, and GM is next.

    Will I ever get my DTS-V, realistically . . . doubtful!, but its interesting to push the envelope.
  • sls002sls002 Posts: 2,788
    The CTS is selling very well. The SRX and STS sales are not as good. I am not sure what Cadillac's expectation are. However, the DTS is selling quite well, and the Lucerne, basically the same car, is selling very well.

    The DTS, basically the old DeVille series, has always been a basic Cadillac luxury model. I do not think moving it into the sport sedan market segment will do it any real good. Moving it up market will also not work. What Cadillac needs is a new model in the higher end category, but they need a lower end model too, so that they have some basis for making the upper end model.

    The CTS, as an entry level sports luxury sedan, is attractive to younger buyers. The STS is a higher end model, and probably is not going to attract BMW or Mercedes owners. As I see it Cadillac needs to keep the DTS as the low priced luxury model that is a large sedan. The basic point here is that the STS and DTS define what you can get in the over $40,000 price which is where the luxury car starts. These two models define the lower end, and Cadillac could build something in a higher price range, but this higher end model will need to be much better in terms of refinement (stronger body structure, more luxury) than the lower end models. I think that the STS's sales are weak because most interested buyers want the sports sedan options (packages 1SF or 1SG) which are very expensive, making the STS a dubious value.
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