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Is Cadillac's Image Dying and Does Anyone Care?

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  • 62vetteefp62vetteefp Posts: 6,048
    Can somene tell me what makes the autobahn? I have driven it and it seems to me like a plain old expressway here in the states. There are straighter curves but not much difference. Probably 98% of our expressways are straight as an arrow. Our expressways have been around a long time and in my much younger years I drove it at close to 100 for long distances (radar detector and stupidity and the roads were empty on the way to Florida). Most drive at close to 85 or over now anyway.

    Our country is set up differently than Europe. They started with congested cities with tiny streets and sharp corners. Their cars had to be small and nimble just to get around, even in hte middle of major cities. No choice. Here we have always had wide 2 lane roads and pretty much 4 lanes with huge corners so large vehicles could be made and were desired by the consumers. That all changed starting in the 70's of course with the fuel issues but even today consumers buy the big SUV's.
  • bumpybumpy Posts: 4,435
    Here we have always had wide 2 lane roads and pretty much 4 lanes with huge corners so large vehicles could be made and were desired by the consumers.

    :confuse: No we didn't.

    As for the autobahns, they are maintained to a vastly higher standard than anything on this continent, and so are the drivers.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 18,157
    The US interstate system was planned after looking at autobahn type roads. However some people still consider only autobahn and only the specific car brands they associate with high speed autobahn driving, where there are now no limits on autobahn, and try to glamourize that small piece of the driving experience in Deutschland.

    Our road system has been developed well other than going through some cities where they should have gone around the city.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,687
    Developed not horribly, but maintained horribly. That's certainly a key difference between roads in Europe and here. I can't imagine a US interstate that compares.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,687
    The proper banking of curves is also more common there than here.

    The biggest difference however is driver competency. Lane discipline.
  • sls002sls002 Posts: 2,788
    Autobahn is a german word for what we call our interstate system. Speed limits are a matter of what government decides. I don't think speed limits are a bad thing. In the Motor Trend article the writers had to get to an airport that was 500 miles away and they had less than 9 hours to get there. It took all of the time they had, so even though they were do more than 100 when they could, the average speed was closer to 60 MPH.
  • sls002sls002 Posts: 2,788
    I think that their accident rate is somewhat worse too (which will eliminate the worst drivers eventually).
  • 62vetteefp62vetteefp Posts: 6,048
    Here we have always had wide 2 lane roads and pretty much 4 lanes with huge corners so large vehicles could be made and were desired by the consumers.

    No we didn't.


    I guess you are referring to my "have alway" statement. I guess if you look at the old, old towns like Boston, yes they have tight roadways in the city. However look pretty much anyplace but the older eastern cities, you have wide roads big enough to easily get around in large vehicles. Any cities modernized or built up in the later 19th century are that way. Chicago, LA, Detroit, Cincinnati, Phoenix, etc. Come to think of it there are some cities on the West coast that can be tight like San Francisco.

    My point is that Europe in the early 20th century was/is full of old tight roads in thier cities.
  • xrunner2xrunner2 Posts: 3,062
    The original VW Beetle, produced in the 1040's was a more stable and capable car at Autobahn speeds than any American made car of its time.

    Any? Don't think so. One car that I have heard about from an old relative who owned one was a very limitted production Cord (1937). It was very stable at speed. Also, it was a FWD.

    Didn't the original 40's beetle have swing axles in rear that made the car highly unstable? Think that there were some decent American road cars in 40's such as Hudson, Lincoln, Cadillac. Didn't these brands, in relatively stock form, do well in the Mexican road races of the 40's and 50's? Did Mercedes compete in the Mexican road races?

    I would not want any interstate converted into autobahn type speed limits. Have never been to Germany, but have read many accounts of drivers (left lane and right) and their experience in handling great speed differentials. There have been spectacular accidents/crashes on the autobahn. It is bad enough already in U.S. if one is driving along in right lane at say 70 and sees someone coming up fast in left lane going perhaps 95. Just a 25 differential is undesirable for safety let alone someone on the autobahn doing 150 in left and passing someone doing 70.
  • Can somene tell me what makes the autobahn? I have driven it and it seems to me like a plain old expressway here in the states.

    I have spent an average of 4-8 weeks per year in Germany for the past 25+ years and have driven the autobahn in everything from a rental Audi A3 to a Porsche 911 GT2.

    The design differences may seem subtle to some, but are very significant. The road does NOT go in a straight line for mile after monotonous mile. It is contoured to the land with slightly banked curves. The road surface itself is much smoother than US interstates, and constructed with a much thicker foundation, base and surface (i.e. meaning it holds up much better). Every time I return from an extended stay in Germany, I find myself checking my tires to make sure I don't have a flat - that's how much more vibration and road noise there is on the Interstates in my area (Pittsburgh).

    The Autobahn is to the Interstate system what a BMW 5 series is to a Buick Century. Yes, you can go 120 mph on each and in each, but the 5-series on the Autobahn at 120 is completely comfortable to an experienced driver. The same speed in a Buick on an American Interstate is something that Evil Knievel might not have found comfortable.
  • jkr2106jkr2106 Posts: 231
    I've heard the same about Sigma (and even that the CTS will shift to a premium sigma, albeit shorter than a Cadillac S-class/7-series) and also agree about a premium Zeta.
    OOPS :blush: I meant to say premium zeta. To clarify, the plan that I believe is most accurate is that sigma will die because its too low volume and not flexible enough (which is another reason I don't think there will be an exclusive platform for the super-Caddy). The Zeta in the CTS would be a premium version of the G8/Commodore whereas the one in the super-Caddy would be a premium version of the statesman's architecture. Here's the only link I had saved:

    Soon after, expect the CTS family to get redesigned and migrate to a version of the Zeta platform sometime in 2012 as 2013 models. When this migration to Zeta happens, Sigma will essentially be dead come 2012, as GM will reduce the number of mid/large passenger car platforms down to the highly flexible Zeta platform, with Alpha taking up the mid/small range (no word on Kappa -- if it will elvove into Kappa II or use a smaller variant of Alpha).
    gminsidenews
  • 62vetteefp62vetteefp Posts: 6,048
    They all sounds about right. Interesting the question about Kappa. Since Alpha uses Kappa and Zeta bits most likely Kappa will be gone and a shortened version of the Alpha will be used for Sky/Solstice.

    GM's car platforms are being whittled away.

    Alpha
    Zeta
    Epsilon
    Gamma
    Y
  • rockyleerockylee Wyoming, MichiganPosts: 13,989
    The Autobahn, like many of you said is waaaaay over-hyped !!!! I watched a video on the history channel about the autobahn and how congested with traffic it is. There are small pockets of unlimited speed limits but even those are now being discussed with adding speed limits to them. :surprise:

    As far as habitat, attacking Cadillac, lets just say my former 2002 Cadillac Seville STS with Magneride at 155 mph (elec. limited) felt very comfortable and solid on a Texas, Farm & Market Road about 4 summers ago and I did that more than once. ;)

    -Rocky
  • jkr2106jkr2106 Posts: 231
    I don't know, I think the fact that Alpha uses Zeta and Kappa parts makes the business case for retaining both stronger. But they are trying to reduce the number of platforms (don't forget delta...i think a delta-II is promised). To bring it back to Cadillac...GM SHOULD share platforms. Not Epsilon, Gamma, and Delta, but Zeta, Alpha, the Y-Body should be shared. I just hope a Alpha BTS is mechanically distinguishable from a Pontiac G6 replacement in much the same way as a Zeta CTS and Zeta [S-class/7-series] should be somehow better suspension wise than a G8 or Park Avenue. I don't know how they make it better (stiffer, suspension choices,...) but it just needs to be done. I don't want to see another rebadge, EVER.
  • I think it means that the CTS is in a class by its self. This is not a bad thing, and with the 2008 upgrades, the CTS is now worth considering if the 3-series class seems too small, but the 5-series is way too expensive.

    I see the logic, but then again, I don't see it. So who's their direct competition? Do they have direct competition? Will the car perform well enough to woo BMW drivers away? I'm so confused! :sick:

  • I don't think it's entirely right to say that BMW and MB owners won't switch to Caddy. I am pretty sure there are still open minded German owners who know s good product when they see one (oh shut up, I am not saying that most German owners are close minded bas***ds ).

    However, I'll admit that it'll probably be harder for the loyal German owners to switch since they have been under German kool-aid poisoning for a long time.


    LOL Y does it have to be Poison Kool Aid? lol U gotta give credit where credit's due! If Caddy wants to woo german enthusiasts, they will have to produce a FANTASTIC car. Lexus did it, so maybe Caddy can do it also. Criticizing the german car drivers won't do it. Build a better car and they MIGHT follow.

  • Yes, Cadillac may be more reliable, yes it is certainly cheaper.
    But, you have ALOT to learn about what motivates,or de-motiavtes car buyers.
    Esp luxury ones.
    Lux cars are bough primarily on image and cachet.
    Cadillac's image is well below the Germans. It just is.


    Let's not forget the driving experience itself. Some may think luxury cars are all about image, but many of them are a BLAST to drive in some shape, fashion or form. Other models just can't replicate that driving experience in many cases.
  • Well the C-Class and 3 series interiors look spartan compared to the CTS. I do not know what you are talking about volvomax. Hell the S80's interior's you sell make the interiors of the Germans look like Kia Rio's.

    OK. I'm confused again. Is the CTS going up against the 3 series, the 5 series, the C Class or E Class? Is it in it's own niche? or is it going against everybody?

    1 poster said it'd be a better comparo against the E class. The E class has a better interior than the C.

    Another poster said it has it's on niche. It's in between the 3 and 5: bigger than the 3, but smaller and cheaper than the 5.

    U guys are killin me...lol
  • The CTS is only an inch and a half (1.5 inches) longer than the first generation CTS. In terms of size, the CTS was and still is about the size of the 5-series BMW. However, Cadillac is marketing it as a 3-series class vehicle.

    OK. I'm even more confused. On this website, the comparo is against the E- Class and 5 series. Yet Caddy markets the car against the 3? Y market a car the size of a 5-series against a 3-series???

    So it handles like a smaller car then? If not, that makes NO SENSE.

  • I believe "The Standard of the World" claim will be cemented once again by Cadillac around 2013' We should by then know how the line-up will look or close to it as all the good stuff will have came out. They need to build the ULS, Cien, STS/DTS replacement, along with the CTC and CTS wagon and Cadillac, will be crowned King of Automobiles, a title I would say Lexus, probably owns. However Cadillac, is inching closer and closer to Lexus, and the CTS, is just one example of more great things to come.


    Time will tell! If it's possible I think it'll take much longer than that.
  • Caddy needs to stand in line. Haven't we heard this b4 from the likes of Lexus and Infinity? Talk is cheap and time will tell, but they got a long road ahead of them.

    Infiniti maybe? But Lexus has never said they were better in the performance category than BMW, especially the M series. Lexus has traditionally not been after that market. May change with their performance series but I do not believe they have thrown down the gauntlet like Lutz did.


    I remember seeing threads on the luxury lounge where there was talk of the GS being the BMW "5-series killer." The talk may or not been in terms of prformance, but they were definetly talking about in terms of sales.
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    I believe "The Standard of the World" claim will be cemented once again by Cadillac around 2013' .... a title I would say Lexus, probably owns. However Cadillac, is inching closer and closer to Lexus,

    I agree that Cadillac is "inching" closer to Lexus. Unfortunately, they are about a half mile away and by the time 2013 comes around, Lexus (and BMW, Acura, etc. etc.) will be that much further ahead.

    Your perenial optimism of always looking to the future and overlooking the dismal performance of GM in the here and now is resiliant, if nothing else. But I don't think it's particularly healthy, if you really do care about GM.

    IMO, if the US auto industry is going to ever become qualified to even compete for a "world standard" title, the management, UAW and everybody that is an apologist for what the current state of affairs is needs to be sent to Siberia. The industry is way beyond an incremental, let's wait until 2013, fix. They are like weekend hackers trying to compete with Tiger Woods - and he's still getting better, himself. The US companies need a serious makeover, not a new sleeve of balls. And they need it NOW.

    I have several friends and associates that have test driven the new CTS as their various other cars (Audi, Acura, MB, BMW, Infiniti, Lexus to name a few) have come off lease in the last 3-4 months. So far, no takers. Those that are comparing it to a 5 series - are you nuts?? The car has less rear seat width and shoulder room than a 3-series. It is not a family friendly car and for those that are looking for a more sporty drive, it is an overweight, uninspired offering compared to a 328i/335i.

    I'd honestly like to see a shake up at GM and a seriously competitive offering to come out that would cause me to consider an American car the next time around. But between Mattel Toy chrome crazed styling and driving dynamics that are always playing catch up, I am not holding my breath. But, in deference to your resiliance, Rocky, I will give the best GM can serve up a test drive.
  • sls002sls002 Posts: 2,788
    What Cadillac has done is to make an American sports sedan. It is bigger than the other sports sedans in the same price range, but has less standard or optional equipment than the luxury sport sedans in its size range. The STS is marketed as a 5-series car, and its standard and optional equipment is similar to the luxury sport sedans. However, the STS is also bigger than the 5 series.

    As far as handling goes, Road and Track says that the new CTS does not handle like a 5-series. I think that being a bigger car its handling is not quite as good as the 3-series, which is the standard for sport sedans. The 3-series handling is better than the 5-series, which is why the 3-series is one of Car&Drivers 10 best, while the 5-series does not make the list (3-series has been on the list for the last 5 years, 5-series has not).
  • 62vetteefp62vetteefp Posts: 6,048
    I discussed this earlier. It is confusing but it looks like the Korean designed Gamma will be a very flexible platform. Cobalt may go Epsilon or Gamma. No more Delta. But it is all confusing and I am not sure the Product planners at GM know what they are going to do.
  • mrsyjmrsyj Posts: 77
    the CTS is on C&D 10BEST. In additon its handling is as good as any 5 series except the M5. The CTS is a 5 series sized car for 3 series money. It most definitely does not lack equipment compared to the 3 or 5 series and its a bargain compared to the 5 series.

    Cadillac is very serious and they have been for the last 5 years or so. The CTS-V will continue to show they are serious about performance and design. The STS doesnt get a lot of credit but its handling, features and standard power make it a bargain compared to the 530 or E350. The E class starts at $50k compared ot $42k for the STS which is just as capable and more powerful and has standard features like push button start.
  • mrsyjmrsyj Posts: 77
    "LOL Y does it have to be Poison Kool Aid? lol U gotta give credit where credit's due! If Caddy wants to woo german enthusiasts, they will have to produce a FANTASTIC car. Lexus did it, so maybe Caddy can do it also. "

    If you are talking about sports sedans most German car owners do not respect Lexus. I would say at this point Cadillac has more credibility as a sports sedan maker than LExus. Lexus is just launching the ISF three years after Caddy launched the V series and no lexus will ever be available with a manual transmission. The base IS and GS have been roundly criticized as lacking in the sporting department. The current CTS, and to a lesser extent the old one, has been praised as a legit sports sedan, not just a RWD luxury car. LExus refuses to compromise when it comes to making Japanese Buicks and thus they wont go that extra mile to make a real sports sedan. The ISF might be the first example of a Lexus that gives up a little luxury in the name of sport. Actually the first IS was an example as well but it was a flop.

    the CTS is a better car than the A4 and C class right now. The 3 is sportier but not necessarily a better all around car. There is no objective reason to by a competing Audi or MB over the CTS.
  • mrsyjmrsyj Posts: 77
    "I'd honestly like to see a shake up at GM and a seriously competitive offering to come out that would cause me to consider an American car the next time around. But between Mattel Toy chrome crazed styling and driving dynamics that are always playing catch up, I am not holding my breath. But, in deference to your resiliance, Rocky, I will give the best GM can serve up a test drive. "

    Gm's vehicles are more competitive than ever. I'm not sure where they are playing catch up. The CTS plays 2nd fiddle to no car in this class. Its interior is superior to the C class and A4. Its also superior in terms of engines. The only area where Caddy was behind was in interiors and that is over now as evidenced by the SRX and CTS interiors. No need to wait until 2013 for Caddy to "catch up", they are already there. In fact from a performance standpoint they are ahead of Acura, Infiniti and Lexus. The V series cars put them on a level those brands havent reached yet in terms of credibility.
  • jkr2106jkr2106 Posts: 231
    That would be interesting. I think it would make more sense for Cobalt to go to gamma as Epsilon is said to be big enough to support something like an Avalon, so I doubt it could be as small as the compact Cobalt. But what does that mean for the Volt. I know the concept was on delta. WAIT...Lutz said road testing would begin using Malibu Classics as mules and those are ep cars. That's also interesting considering the plant commitments in the new UAW contract, where Lordstown would stop producing the Cobalt/G5 and pick up gamma. Where did you hear/read this?
  • mrsyjmrsyj Posts: 77
    Cadillac doesnt have to fit its cars into the BMW/MB size/price categories. The CTS offers more space than the compact 3 or C300 for the same or less money. thats really all there is to it in the end. There isnt a law that says a $35k luxury car has to be a compact. The TL is midsized and has done VERY well competing with the compact European cars. The 3 and C are too small for people who plan on using the backseats of their sedans but people buy them for image reasons and because they are the cheapest cars at their respective brands. The CTS gives you more usable space and comparable handling for the same money. its a logical move. In the future a compact Caddy will slot below the CTS.
  • 62vetteefp62vetteefp Posts: 6,048
    Do not know. Googled it about a week ago and the info was very inconclusive on what the latest rumors are.
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