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Is Cadillac's Image Dying and Does Anyone Care?

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  • pmc4pmc4 Posts: 198
    "And another important part is that in NA, MB and BMW have an image and a marketing direction of luxury and status and nothing else, while in the EU they are much more mainstream, with offerings as you mention - small diesels, cloth interiors, little gadgetry - the W210 could be had with a small 4 and plastic wheel covers. How the average American sees an E-class isn't the same as the average German."

    Good point! Like I always said, the wealthiest people in this country (Ameica) are also the dumbest. Germans see Mercedes and BMW's for what they really are: Taxi's for the global taxi fleets.
  • louisweilouiswei Posts: 3,717
    the wealthiest people in this country (Ameica) are also the dumbest

    Okay, since you are so smart why aren't you as wealthy or wealthier than those so called "rich dumb people". Somehow that just doesn't add up... :confuse:

    I'll let you into some little secret, there are places in this world besides Europe that use MB for taxis, luxurious taxis that is. You see, just because it's a taxi doesn't automatically mean it's not a good car, a car is judged by it's driving dynamics, comfort and reliability. Just because it has a "for rent" sign on top of the roof doesn't mean it is less desirable than a beat up Hyundai.

    Since the new CTS has already hit the rental lot does that make it less desirable than say a Honda Accord?
  • laurasdadalaurasdada Posts: 2,629
    Round and round we continue to go. There is no Standard of the World, don't ya know...

    Again, here's how to determine your Standard of the World (because, does anyone else's Standard really matter to you or your wallet?):

    Research some cars
    Drive some cars
    Buy a car

    And, voila! You have just created Your Standard of the World! Because, unless someone else is paying for (or driving) it, does it really matter what anyone else considers "The" Standard?

    Even if you hold on to the argument that, as there has been no Dewar Trophy awarded since 1906 (ish, forgot the exact date...), Caddy is still the Standard, well, good for you! Of course, that just means nothing in 2008...

    Remember, at Ford, Quality was Job 1. So, Fords must be the Standard of the World for quality. And, the Renault Alliance was The Car of the Year, so it must have been The Standard that year. The VW Beetle was the best selling car in history. If that's not a Standard, then what is? Or is the Standard the Toyota Corolla? The BMW 3 has been on C & D's 10 Best list for like 15 straight years, now there's a Standard. I'm sure that in the very, very few countries on earth where Caddys are not sold, even those auto enthusiasts would recognize Caddy's Standardness.... Not to mention the Trabant, The Standard of the Eastern Block. Had they won the Cold War: Trabant. The Standard of the World. Disagree and you can drive your non-Standard all around Siberia...

    Yes, it is very important to establish The Standard of the World and convince all the world to acknowledge and accept The Standard. It is significant, important and shall continue to determine the success of the Marque that controls this currently most coveted title.

    Hey, that was kinda fun! Please continue because:

    Hey hey. My my. Fanboy arguments will never die!

    '13 Jaguar XF, '11 BMW 535xi, '02 Lexus RX300

  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,711
    I don't know if I would go so far. The platform of the E is simply so versatile that it can do service in many forms and be competent at each. The old W124 E class existed in sedan, hardtop coupe, convertible, and wagon form - with engines ranging from 2 to 5 litres, from anemic diesel sedans to bahnstorming tuned sedans to posh convertibles to utility wagons. Not many modern cars have done so.

    Germans see MB and BMW as national pride, the little they are allowed - and Germans understand how a car is supposed to drive. I will admit I am biased, I have driven MB since I was in high school and have owned no other marque since - as there is common DNA to how they all drive. Many BMW people feel the same. Both marques have had substantial problems over the past 8-10 years - but still retain an enthusiast base. On the large scale, I don't see this dying.
  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,372
    Love the post and agree completely...you make your own standard and Caddy, to me, is NOT EVEN CLOSE!

    Regards,
    OW
  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,372
    Americans USED TO SEE their autos as national pride until the cars became junk. Now it's wake up time because the edge is across both ponds!

    Regards,
    OW
  • aldwaldw Posts: 82
    It's interesting to see how import enthusiasts like to compare American cars with vehicles such as the Trabant, even though on an objective sense there is very little difference between American and Japanese vehicles at this point, except perception. This shows just how pernicious perception can be on actual values of products, however well built they may be.
  • aldwaldw Posts: 82
    There is a world of difference between those who state positive criticisms for the sake of genuine improvement, and those who expound negative criticisms for the sake of see those they hate fail, which is why understanding the actual qualitative basis of products in relation to their perception is important for GM and co.,,,
  • pmc4pmc4 Posts: 198
    The best cars to compare the Trabant to would be German "luxury" cars from the 1970's and 1980's.
  • pmc4pmc4 Posts: 198
    Actually, for the first time in corporate history, Mercedes Benz and BMW are actually making competitive products. Their only problem at this point is reliability and probably price.

    Oh, and the only person I ever saw drive a Cadillac DTS rental car was the President of the US.
    On CNN the other night.

    .
  • pmc4pmc4 Posts: 198
    I'm somewhat disagreeing with this. The reason why Mercedes Benz is dressed in so many costumes is because Europeans aren't the drivers, don't have the inexpensive gas and don't have the roads that we enjoy.
    Their purchasing power is also lower and their streets are designed for small vehicles, too.

    Therefore, its a common strategy for Mercedes Benz to make "people cars" such as C-Classes, E-Classes and 3-Series vehicles to be sold to taxi fleets for the European continent. But realising that American rich people are also American dumb people, Mercedes Benz and BMW only need to take the taxi's they use in their own countries, add fake leather, a petrol engine and a passable sound system to it and sell it on our continent as an 'exotic, foreign car'. Knowing full well that rich Americans will buy anything that's exotic and foreign, they market them here as such, knowing that the buyer is either too dumb or too lazy to do his research on said vehicle.

    In the end, we end up with a bunch of cheap European taxi's with OK sound systems clogging our highways and byways.

    .
  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,711
    So non-competitive products rule the mass market luxury segment on a global scale and have done so for decades? Uh....no.

    Go to your local airport, you'll find DTS rentals.
  • pmc4pmc4 Posts: 198
    "I will admit I am biased, I have driven MB since I was in high school and have owned no other marque since..."

    This explains why fintail is against Cadillac. circlew is the same way.
  • pmc4pmc4 Posts: 198
    Dude. What I was trying to get across was the fact that what's "luxury" in the rest of the world is "taxi" in the US. We have the roads, wealth, purchasing power and inexpensive gas. They don't.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,711
    Europeans are the drivers, they have a different idea of driving competency and luxury than Americans. What Americans want works much less on a global scale than what Europeans want. Their roads are what many dream of here - road width is not road goodness. Have you ever driven outside of the US? And their purchasing power hasn't really been lower - they just aren't addicted to debt like people on this continent. They do get the same loaded up versions of these cars as we do, you know. It's just that the cars exist in lower form along with the sometimes overloaded models seen in NA.

    Your views on this product strategy are misguided. Making a competent platform with many variations is not about stupid people, it is about efficient engineering. Are American rich people who bought Caddys with archaic or plain lame engineering stupid too? Or are they smart for preferring a car with a bordello interior and plood over something that can take corner and not rattle after 30K miles? Do you think Caddy would be improving today, as it very much is, if not for the competition?
  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,711
    I am not against Caddy. I could provide a list of Caddys I would like to own. The only problem is most of them were made before I was born.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,711
    Have you ever ventured off American soil? Could you really mean what is "luxury" in the US is obese ostentatious crap in the rest of the world? Seeing as MB sells in pretty much every country that is at least semi-developed, it seems the world has voted.

    Right now Europe has endless superior roads, and more purchasing power than most debt-ridden Americans.
  • steverstever Ex Yooper, just arrived in New MexicoPosts: 40,538
    Can GM make Cadillac a world standard (again?).

    Moderator
    Need help navigating? stever@edmunds.com - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

  • laurasdadalaurasdada Posts: 2,629
    I also mentioned the 3 series in my (I guess not so obvious) tongue-in-cheek rant. Yet, Trabant is the one vehicle that is noted in subsequent posts as to be compared with Caddy? Hmmm, something Freudian there...(disclaimer: again, being tounge-in-cheek-ish).

    Again, I believe that while Caddy (GM) can build cars competitive with the rest of the world, and have been slowly (re)building to such a position, no they will never be "The Standard." Unless "Standard" (e.g. as in the early 20th Century, most easily interchangeable parts. Which, as I noted, really means nada in 2008...) can be defined and agreed upon by all concerned. Not bloody likely...

    Again, the only "Standard" that matters is the one in your garage by the motorway...

    '13 Jaguar XF, '11 BMW 535xi, '02 Lexus RX300

  • dvpriemdvpriem Posts: 11
    I read page after page of comments about MB and BMW but virtually nothing about Cadillac. I thought I was in the wrong forum. Guess that tells the story - "No" is the answer to this forum's question.
  • coolrunningcoolrunning Posts: 117
    It is spelled AMERICA.
  • coolrunningcoolrunning Posts: 117
    It would be a feat for GM to make anything (including Cadillac) an American Standard, let alone a World Standard. Cadillac may have had a chance if GM had never absorbed them into the conglomerate. GM should set Caddy free! :P
  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,372
    I can only rflect my reality and until the Malibu, the US cars are really not very appealing. The Camry and the ES from lexus are appealing.

    Simple enough to me.

    Regards,
    OW
  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,372
    When improvement is so painfully so that the level of satisfaction is lost, one looks elsewhere.

    Regards,
    OW
  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,372
    I am not against anything. Give me something to get excited about, that is all I am saying. You vote with your wallet.

    The CTS is really a good car. It still needs refining, IMHO. As Top Gear said, the previous CTS-V looks like it was designed with someone who only had a ruler available.

    Regards,
    OW
  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,372
    Not yet...not even close.

    Regards,
    OW
  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,372
    Excellent idea! Never going to happen because it makes too much sense.

    If you don't stand apart from the rest, how can you be recognized as a World Standard?

    It's exactly like Dada said. End of story!

    Regards,
    OW
  • lemkolemko Posts: 15,162
    Certainly Cadillac is the American standard. Lincoln is so pathetically behind both Cadillac and the imports and Chrysler hasn't offered a true luxury Imperial since 1975, and some might argue 1973.

    I used to be a big fan of Mercedes. The W126 S-Class was just about automotive perfection in it's time, but Mercedes didn't follow it up well. I don't care for the bloated, ostentatious 1992-era S-Class which seems to be the preferred conveyance of Russian mafia in NE Philly. I'm frightened of the expensive repair and maintenance costs I've seen my BIL endure with his 2000 S430.

    BMW? Well, if I had a lot of money to throw away, I MIGHT take a chance on one just to see if it really was the "ultimate driving machine" but I'll leave that to my friend who's more of a European car afficianado and has a greater disposable income. A BMW always came across as being a bit fragile to me. I'd end up breaking it too much on Philly's cratered streets.

    I don't like the new styling direction in which Lexus is heading. I liked it better when they were copying the last-generation S-Class. The Lexus LS was like getting the look of the S-Class and decent reliability all in one. The GS? Well, my girlfriend's Buick LaCrosse is a lot less expensive and a lot prettier too.The ES? Geeze, when I saw a new one outside a pizza joint, I thought it was a Camry. The IS? Good God! It's cramped, fierociously overpriced, and nondescript. Everybody else's car walks all over this one.

    Inifiniti? Miss the Q45. Don't care for their new styling direction. It looks too alien.

    Acura? The RL desperately needs a V-8 to be competitive in the $50K+ segment.

    Buick? The Sensible Choice! My brain tells me I should've gone for the Lucerne CXS, but my heart went for the Cadillac DTS Performance.
  • laurasdadalaurasdada Posts: 2,629
    "Certainly Cadillac is the American standard."

    Interesting thought. If we take "standard" to mean the level to which others aspire, let's review Cadillac for the last 20 years or so:

    With the (I think this was the first year of the "new" direction) '92 Seville (STS, SLS) and continued iterations, the latest DTS, phasing out of Brougham's and Fleetwoods et. al. and, probably most notably the Gen 1 and 2 CTS, Caddy has been dialing in more driving dynamics and less float/boudiour on wheels. Also, interiors have lost the "button tufted" shiny red leather bench seats in favor of (as evidenced by the pix PMC4 posted of the STS) more supportive, performance-type style bucket seats. In other words, the Caddy lineup is aggressively emulating European (sport) sedans (yes, you can read that as BMW & MB)!

    Therefore, if you are correct about Caddy being the standard, then it would appear that the standard is to be of European design and driving dynamics!

    Therefore, if a=b and b=c then a=c, if Caddy aspires to be BMW/MB and Caddy is The Standard: BMW and MB (and other European Marques) are the true "Standard!"

    Of course, I drive an Acura, so I simply (again) drive my standard. :shades:

    Oh, yeah. Your comments re: BMW build/reliability? Many have been making the same arguments regarding the domestics since the '70s: waste of money on poorly built, unreliable, yesterday's technology. Valid? Voted with their wallets... And note my ride prior to TL was a '99 Chrylser 300M. A car I thoroughly enjoyed, even though the build quality and reliability were not up to the standards of my TL. Still, the M was great for me! So, I think that represents my fair and balanced view (hated Gen 1 CTS: Worst. Interior. Ever. Esp. for $40k! New CTS, wow, nice job... And, I've had an inexplicable hankerin' for an XLR... :confuse: )

    '13 Jaguar XF, '11 BMW 535xi, '02 Lexus RX300

  • steverstever Ex Yooper, just arrived in New MexicoPosts: 40,538
    let's review Cadillac for the last 20 years or so:

    Let's not - that's past history.

    What's Caddy doing now? - people aren't flocking to the showrooms to buy anything from 1992.

    Moderator
    Need help navigating? stever@edmunds.com - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

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