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Is Cadillac's Image Dying and Does Anyone Care?



  • tlongtlong CaliforniaPosts: 4,737
    This is a Cadillac forum, so your posts are completely off topic as are marsha7's.

    Point taken. This thread started with your post 5142, we shouldn't have let ourselves get off Cadillack in this forum... :)
  • tlongtlong CaliforniaPosts: 4,737
    Cadillac would have to dominate the world luxury market

    Clearly to be the standard of the world they would have to be recognized as such in Europe and Asia.

    I'm guessing that the closest makes to that standard that aren't tiny niche makes are BMW and Mercedes. So Cadillac would need to be able to compete as an equal to those brands.

    They have made a good start in the past few years but they would need to:
    1 - Add a smaller model than the CTS that can go head to head with the BMW 3 series (rumored)
    2 - Improve their high end offerings to be viewed as competitive or superior to the BMW 7 series and/or Mercedes S class.
    3 - Maintain and continue to improve their quality, technology, and reliability through successive refinements to these vehicles.

    The one thing that Cadillac has going for it to accomplish this is the weak dollar. They could conceivably be more competitive overseas with American made cars due to a cost advantage. They need to have the vehicles and establish good dealer networks overseas. I also suspect they need to have right-side drive versions of these world-class vehicles for markets like Japan, Australia, and the UK.

    The difficulty in doing this is the current financial and competitive position of GM. It's going to continue to cost a lot of money to make major improvements in their vehicles. We all agree (I think) that the CTS comes closest to being there, but that is not a full lineup, especially for non-US markets. I don't see them wanting Escalades in Japan!
  • laurasdadalaurasdada Posts: 2,590
    Round and round we go, how to define "Standard" nobody knows. It's been really pretty well covered from the Dewars trophy through tailfins, Cimarrons, Allantes, V8-6-4, downsizing, badge engineering to today.

    No car can be a standard to all people. The car that you purchase, that is your standard.

    It's well past my bedtime, but I'm actually working... So, I'm not sure of my coherency here...

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

  • m4d_cowm4d_cow Posts: 1,491
    first is to define the term world standard, cuz for me Cadillac's only time as a world standard was in the 50s, when Cadillac was cross-shopped with the likes of bentley and jaguar.
    To return Cadi to that position will require more than just one good product, CTS. The Northstar is a start, the newfound ride and handling too, but it takes more, and time. Try to catch up with lesser divas first, like Acura and Infiniti, then target BMW and MB later on.

    I dont see them wanting Escalades in Japan

    Well, I see them wanting Escalades in China, especially Shanghai. Escalades, H2s and Chrysler 300cs are everywhere there.
  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,353
    I believe you are right about personal standard.

    It's not fair to put Caddy in the same field as Bentley or Rolls. Ultra Luxury really.

    BMW, Mercedes, Jaguar, Lexus, Infinity is more a level playing field. In this field, Caddy is not the standard. Period.

    Can they ever really top this class?

  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,353
    We can start here and say Caddy at least has a desire to return to some standard it lost years ago. Caddy is certainly not the luxury standard in terms of a sales leader and mark anyone needs to meet or beat. Quite the other way around, don't you think?

    In reference to personal luxury:


    American 'personal luxury' cars began to die out in the late 1980s as younger buyers moved toward imported European and Japanese cars, or toward sport utility vehicles. After years of steadily declining sales, the Oldsmobile Toronado died after 1992, the Lincoln Mark after 1998, the Buick Riviera after 1999 and the Cadillac Eldorado after 2002.

    Nevertheless, conceptually similar imports from Japanese manufacturers like Lexus SC and Infiniti and European marques like BMW and Mercedes continue to sell well, even though their vehicles tend to be higher priced than their former American counterparts.

    Here's what Wkipedia has on luxury car definition:

    Luxury vehicle is a marketing term for a vehicle that provides luxury — that which is beyond strict necessity — in exchange for increased cost to the buyer.

    The term suggests a vehicle with greater equipment, performance, construction precision, comfort, design ingenuity, technological innovation, or features that convey brand image, caché, status, or prestige — or any other discretionary feature or combination of features.

    The term may be applied to any body style — from minivan to convertible, crossover or sport utility vehicle — and to any size vehicle, from small to large.[1]

    Though widely used, the term is broad, highly variable, ambiguous and abstruse — and lacks both measurability or verifiability. "What is a luxury car to some.. may be ‘ordinary’ to others." [1]

    In some nations such Australia, a luxury car is defined as one whose value exceeds a certain threshold[2] (see: Luxury Car Tax).[3] while in Portugal, a luxury car is defined by the cubic capacity of the engine.[citation needed]

    So Caddy is not the one standard of the world. Never was, never will be.

  • sls002sls002 Posts: 2,788
    I think your timing is a bit off. Younger buyers (at least the observant ones) were interested in the BMW's in the late 70's and early 80's. This is one reason why Cadillac wanted a "small" car and put the Cimarron into production.

    I think Cadillac was at one time (in the 50's and 60's) a car that a lot of Americans would have named as the one to own if they were rich enough. Hence, the saying "this is the Cadillac of ___", This of course is not really enough to make a car of today the standard of the world, but should be part of the definition. BMW's are recognized world wide in some circles as desirable cars. However, BMW does not dominate the luxury car market world wide.
  • aldwaldw Posts: 82
    Manufacturing excellence was the most important standard for Cadillac to have, that was what made their reputation to begin with, and impacted the customer's direct usage more than many other factors. This quality was such that Rolls used Caddy transmissions for year starting in the 1950's. This is the quality that Caddy strives to gain even more so than being a performance standard, regardless of personal tastes.
  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,353
    Caddy WAS great at one time. The operative word was. Now not even close.

    That's the current reality. The past is gone but not forgot! Not by a long shot. That's the key reason Caddy lost it's way. It forgot!!!!!!!

  • lemkolemko Posts: 15,116
    What the heck are you talking about "badge-engineering of today." Cadillacs are significantly different from other GM marques, you could not simply call it badge-engineering. They have their own unique drivetrains for one. If you want to talk about platform-sharing, well that goes on over at Lexus, Infiniti, and Acura as well. They share a lot of parts with their lesser Toyota, Nissan, and Honda counterparts. Sheesh, you make it sound like Cadillac just takes a Chevrolet Impala and slaps a wreath and crest on it and calls it a DeVille. Hello? They didn't even do that back in the 1980s which was OVER TWENTY YEARS AGO!!!

    Cadillac is the standard to me! I can at least count on it to get me to work in the morning, I can count on everything working properly, and it won't cause me to file for bankruptcy any time it needs to be serviced or repaired like those cherished German marques.
  • lemkolemko Posts: 15,116
    I haven't forgot! I still remember those wonderful Cadillacs of my youth from the 1960s through the 1980s. Funny, I just realized I owned a Cadillac from almost each decade up to the present. My high school/college girlfriend had a 1969 Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham, I've had a 1975 Cadillac Sedan DeVille, 1989 Cadillac Brougham, 1994 Cadillac DeVille, a 2002 Cadillac Seville STS, and currently a 2007 Cadillac DTS Performance.

    I've actually owned Cadillacs and I have very low tolerance for defects. A burned-out bulb drives me bananas, so why would I want to tolerate even more serious problems year after year? At least I can speak from experience. Everything else is just rumor and speculation.
  • marsha7marsha7 Posts: 3,666
    I gotta tell ya...we run into each other on other "highly charged" topics, so you know where my opinions lie...but, listening to you has made me add a DTS to the cars I am looking at the replace the Crown Vic...if I buy one, it is because of YOU...

    So, if I get a lemon, I am sending the repair bill to you... :P ;) :cry:
  • laurasdadalaurasdada Posts: 2,590
    Read a little closer, my friend. What was actually posted was, "...badge engineering to today.'' A rough timeline, TO today. Not of today.

    Not badge-engineering today, just platform sharing. And most mfgs do it so no harm there. Just start with good platforms.

    "Cadillac is the standard to me! " And that was my original point. You are correct for you, no argument. The only car that is a standard to me is the one I buy. Right now, Acura TL is The Standard.

    You've had wonderful GM cars, fabulous. I've owned/driven GM/Ford/Chrysler/Nissan/Acura/Saab/Lexus/Mitsubishi. My experience? The Japanese cars have been better built and more reliable. Not to say the domestics have been unreliable, just not as reliable as the Japanese. Loved my Chrysler 300M. But, the TL is screwed together significantly better and has been more trouble free. Just a fact.

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

  • sls002sls002 Posts: 2,788
    You might want to look at the long term JD Power for 2005 results
  • marsha7marsha7 Posts: 3,666
    If I understood what I think you were pointing out, it is that Buick and Caddy were Numbers 4 and 5 on the that what you meant, or did I miss your point???...
  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,353
    Cadillac is a standard for you if you have had no issues. Sounds pretty good to me. Enjoy!

    But for me, not so standard.

  • sls002sls002 Posts: 2,788
    Also that the Crown Vic was second to Buick LeSabre in full size for long term quality. Ford's overall standing is above the industry average and matches Chevy. Buick and Cadillac are near the top, and have been for some time. The important thing overall is that the worst vehicles have about twice the number of problems as the best (compare Toyota with Land Rover for example).

    This is a more recent long term study done in 2007 (most recent) for 2004 model year cars (my previous post was released in 2005 for 2002 models). Note that the industry average has improved from 237 to 216. Ford now has more than the average (221) but is better than before (231). Buick now matchs Lexus.
  • 62vetteefp62vetteefp Posts: 6,048
    This is a more recent long term study done in 2007 (most recent) for 2004 model year cars (my previous post was released in 2005 for 2002 models). Note that the industry average has improved from 237 to 216. Ford now has more than the average (221) but is better than before (231). Buick now matchs Lexus.

    Who are you going to believe? Data based on a huge pool of data or some guy on the internet that has owned less than 20 cars? I go with the guy on the internet every time :P I mean he did confirm his results by talking to other people.

    In reality if you look at the data there sure is not much difference between them anymore.

    So lets find some other way of bashing american cars. Hey lets use gas mileage!
  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,353
    No, let's use market share. :lemon:

  • 62vetteefp62vetteefp Posts: 6,048
    let's use market share

    OK I guess that makes sense. :P

    Overall GM cars are well up in June over last year. They are selling very well, especially the smaller ones that are in vogue now. (in fact the reason many cars did not increase volume was due to lack of inventory because they wer sold out in previous months) What is killing GM is the drop in truck sales, as is it for all companies offering trucks (even Toyota as much as GM). Should GM have not engineered and sold all those trucks in the past? No, in fact most every major make was ramping up truck capacity.

    Cts up 16% over last year.
    STS up 12%
    Cobalt up 22%
    Malibu up 74%
    G6 up 34%
    Vibe up 25%
    Aura up 25%
    Sky up 44%
    SRX up 12%
    Equinox up 46%
    HHr up 24%
    Vue up 25%
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