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Is Cadillac's Image Dying and Does Anyone Care?

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Comments

  • louisweilouiswei Posts: 3,717
    Lexus, so far, has been the most consistent one with its model nomenclature. I would put Infiniti up there as well. MB is not bad except for the AMG versions. The new BMWs are just down right confusing for the common buyers.

    I'll bet that most people who drive a new x25i, x28i and x35i have no idea that there is actually a 3.0L I6 under the hood.
  • sls002sls002 Posts: 2,788
    People who buy a BMW because it is trendy probably have no idea what they have, but car people certainly do. The basic problem with BMW's numbers is that there were x28 models (328 and 528) 10 years ago that were top of the line six's. Now they are bottom (in the USA) of the line six's.

    Back in the 60's, Chevy would put an emblem on the side of the car to indicate the engine under the hood, a six got nothing, the small 8 a simple V I think, the 327 added crossed flags and the 409 had 409 under the flags.
  • sls002sls002 Posts: 2,788
    People who own a deVille can answer the question about what kind of car they have by saying they have a deVille. But people with the DTS probably need to say I have a Cadillac DTS (or Cadillac CTS, ....). The Deville name was around for a long enough time to be known by even those whose interest in cars is limited to the appliance category.

    I think including engine size in the name is useless information, and when the engine changes, the model name shifts, making for confusion. It would be better to have a separate tag on the car to show what the engine is.
  • lemkolemko Posts: 15,205
    I refer to my car as a Seville despite the fact the name "Seville" appears nowhere on the car. If I had a DTS, I'd probably call it a DeVille, but if I had a CTS, I most definately would not refer to it as a "Catera Touring Sedan," or worse, a "Cimmaron Touring Sedan!"
  • dino001dino001 Tampa, FLPosts: 3,550
    The origin of those numbers are in displacement, but BMW departed from it long time ago. They shuffle those numbers back and forth, which allows them to have a new name every so often without big changes in the actual car. This way one could quickly distinguish model years on the street - just by looking at the badge.

    For example, when new 3-series came along, 325 and 330 were designations used for both 3.0 engines: one was about 180-190 hp, another 220-230 hp. My guess is that 325 was selected to show that the performance in 325 was similar to previous 325 with 2.5 engine. Then they introduced the 3.0 turbo and tuned the NA engine to have performance between 325 and 330 version. The new cars had then performance that would be "natural" to 2.8 and 3.5 engines, hence the names: 328 and 335.

    I completely made it up, but I stick to it ;) :shades:

    2012 BMW 328i wagon, manual and sports package. No. sold in the US: 1. Probably.

  • louisweilouiswei Posts: 3,717
    Like I said, BMW has been pretty confusing with its model nomenclatures lately.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 18,528
    The 2008 CTS is sure on the road to becoming a standard> it"s a striking car!
  • rockyleerockylee Wyoming, MichiganPosts: 13,989
    That'swhy the "V" will be even more exciting to see. :shades:

    -Rocky
  • lemkolemko Posts: 15,205
    Shoot, I saw a regular 2008 CTS from a distance and I was afraid to approach it as I might fall in love. The V-Series will be irresistable. The last thing I need now is a car payment as I'm trying to fix up my place.
  • Like I said, BMW has been pretty confusing with its model nomenclatures lately.

    Not nearly as bad as Lincoln, though.
  • 62vetteefp62vetteefp Posts: 6,048
    Like I said, BMW has been pretty confusing with its model nomenclatures lately.

    Not nearly as bad as Lincoln, though


    Actually it is pretty easy at Lincoln. The models are all MK_. BMW uses numbers that on one side are easy 1,3,5,7 but on the other nonsensical 28, 35 etc.
  • sls002sls002 Posts: 2,788
    The problem with BMW's numbers are that they change from year to year. The basic problem is that they are trying to identify the engine in the model name, but after a few engine changes, one has to be a BMW expert to really know what any of it means.
  • louisweilouiswei Posts: 3,717
    That's really not a problem for BMW, all the general buying public (except car enthusiasts) has to know is:

    335i > 328i
    550i > 535i > 528i
    760i > 750i

    Usually trophy wives don't care what's under the hood...
  • sls002sls002 Posts: 2,788
    Generally speaking the larger the second and third digits are, the higher the model is in the pecking order. The problem is that the second and third digits vary from year to year, so the top of line model this year is a 335, but not too long ago it was a 330. This is what confuses one. The only difference between a 330 and a 335 is the turbo charger. Well, actually the turbo engine is all new, but both models were/are top of the line.
  • louisweilouiswei Posts: 3,717
    Yeah, but it doesn't matter because 335i is still better than 330i because it's faster and more expensive. That's all the trophy wives need to know.
  • sls002sls002 Posts: 2,788
    R&T's latest edition has a comparison test of the CTS and Infinity G35. There is a sidebar explaining why they did not include a BMW 535 as planned. The CTS was priced nearly $20,000 less than the 535. The 535 had a nicer interior for the money, was the best performer for the extra money, and had the best ride/handling too. For the money, the CTS is a lot of car though.

    R&T rated the G35 better than the CTS in the comparison. The G35's smaller size and less weight gave it an edge in performance and handling.
  • jkr2106jkr2106 Posts: 231
    hmm...too big to beat the Infiniti G35...too cheap to beat the BMW 535...wonder what that means...

    I know! Bring on the smaller BTS!!! and push the CTS up about $15-17K!!!
  • lemkolemko Posts: 15,205
    I've got to go to the Cadillac dealer for an oil change for my Seville STS! Hope I don't give into temptation when I see those new CTS's!
  • sls002sls002 Posts: 2,788
    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.
  • jkr2106jkr2106 Posts: 231
    go ahead...give in...you know you want to...
  • jkr2106jkr2106 Posts: 231
    I get what you're saying. Actually, my Dad will be in the market in about a year and those are his reasons. So, its good for select consumers, but I think Cadillac would benefit from a more traditional product structure...at least until they are on top of the game again (they can't come in changing rules as a rookie; wait for them to be the team captain, then they'll call the plays).
  • sls002sls002 Posts: 2,788
    Cadillac will do best to market cars that are not direct competition with BMW or Mercedes. If Cadillac can build something different, but American, then it should sell. Cadillac will not be able to sell something very expensive. The XLR does not sell like the Mercedes SL's.
  • 62vetteefp62vetteefp Posts: 6,048
    Cadillac will do best to market cars that are not direct competition with BMW or Mercedes. If Cadillac can build something different, but American, then it should sell. Cadillac will not be able to sell something very expensive.

    OK but they have to offer something to bring those BMW or Mercedes buyers over to Cadillac and keep the buyers they have. Does them little good to only sell to their current buyers.
  • jkr2106jkr2106 Posts: 231
    I love GM/Cadillac as much as the next guy, but the interior on the XLR is sub-standard, and personally, I don't think its a looker on the outside either. Who wouldn't rather have a vette? So, for me at least, the XLR is not indicative of Cadillac's capabilities as a tier one luxury make.
  • rayainswrayainsw Posts: 2,578
    Cadillac will do best to market cars that are not direct competition with BMW or Mercedes. If Cadillac can build something different, but American, then it should sell. Cadillac will not be able to sell something very expensive. The XLR does not sell like the Mercedes SL's.

    = = =

    While I agree with statements 1 & 2, I disagree with #3.

    If Caddy does build something unique & American, I think that they CAN sell it. Particularly if the Price is Right. Even if expensive.

    I look to Chevy. The Corvette ( full disclosure here: I drive a 2007 Coupe ) is rather expensive, compared to most other Chevys. Yet they sell in volumes that allow GM to 1) make a profit & 2) make a GM ‘flagship’.

    The XLR sells in very low volumes, true enough. Yet sharing parts & platform with the Corvette allows the XLR to survive. And the XLR-v. ( And I applaud Caddy for investing the time & $$s in all the ‘v-series’ cars. )

    I happen to disagree with a couple of aspects of Caddy’s approach \ direction in all but the CTS-v, however. My sense is that the ( very expensive ) STS-v and XLR-v are priced largely according to the very sophisticated and expensive powerplants under their hoods. STS-v for 2008 = approx. $76K and the XLR-v is over $97K.

    My opinion is that both the STS-v and the XLR-v could have been equipped with a larger, normally aspirated, simpler & cheaper motor – and would have sold much better. If they had been equipped with ( for example ) the 6.2L V8, from the 2008 Corvette – or even the 400 HP 6.0L V8 ( with 400\400 HP\TQ ) instead of the supercharged NorthStar, they would likely have had very similar acceleration and been a whole lot less expensive to develop & to produce. And to sell. That would clearly have been a large ‘step up’ from the NorthStar – at 320 \ 315 HP\TQ, and now offering barely improved acceleration compared to the new 300+ HP DI V6 available in the 2008 STS.

    The XLR-v, with the s/c NorthStar posts almost identical acceleration numbers to my 2007 Corvette w/automatic. (The automatic trans. is essentially identical in both cars.) For nearly $100 Grand.

    Though this lovely ( and expensive ) 4.4L s/c motor makes more HP and marginally more TQ than the 6.0L V8 in the Corvette, they are so close in acceleration largely due to the XLR-v’s much greater weight – 3800#+ vs the Corvette at close to 3200#.

    The STS-v with 469 HP and 439 TQ is a 13.2 second sedan, according to R&T’s test. I’d bet that with the current Corvette’s 430 HP & 424 TQ would be capable of a mid- to high 13 second quarter. And would feel ‘just as quick’ and \ or ‘just as fast’ to 90+% of potential buyers. And it might very well also even feel ‘more American’ than the s/c NorthStar.

    And these cars could then have been marketed at something like a ( clearly, I am guessing here ) $10K or more ‘discount’, compared to those ‘-v’ cars actual MSRPs. I think an STS-v at closer to $63K or $64K would have been much more likely to develop into a sales success for Caddy. At almost $75K to start, the STS-v pricing makes for difficult volume sales – even for a Caddy. Note that $63K - $64K qualifies as “very expensive”, to me. But I believe that Caddy ** COULD ** sell the STS-v in significantly higher volumes at this MSRP \ Price Point.

    Said another way, if GM had decided to ‘pull ahead’ development of the 6.2L V8, instead of developing that s/c & hand-built version of the NorthStar, and plug the n/a 6.2L V8 into the STS-v at launch – and the Corvette a year later, perhaps – this would have been far better received. And would have sold better.

    Again, I mean no disrespect to the NorthStar motor. GM’s continued development of “regular” V8s strongly suggests to me that this would have been a better, as well as cheaper, route to an STS-v and an XLR-v. And partly here again I am considering that “different, but American” aspect.

    And I suspect that the 6.2L V8 is actually cheaper to produce than the base, 4.6L n/a NorthStar V8 – whereas the s/c NorthStar is clearly MUCH more expensive. Thus, an STS-v with the 6.2L V8 and 1SG level of equipment, plus a few unique touches, could probably be sold at a very modest ‘markup’ over a ‘regular’, NorthStar 1SG. Currently priced at roughly $61K MSRP.

    The same would apply to the XLR-v.

    And I will reiterate here that I would really, REALLY like to see Caddy succeed – and establish itself as a top tier Luxury Sports Brand. The 2008 CTS appears to be a large step in the right direction, though we’ll see where sales are after 6 to 9 months or a year on the market.

    Just my 0.02 gallons worth . . .
    I could be wrong.
    Cheers,
    - Ray
    Considering the Corvette, with top option group, to be nearly as much a luxury GT car as the XLR, for much less money and featuring better acceleration ( highly American ) to boot . . .
  • sls002sls002 Posts: 2,788
    Well the problem is that if Cadillac is going to take the BMW or Mercedes buyers away from BMW and Mercedes, they will have to build something better and cheaper. I think this is not possible unless it is done in China. The CTS is a perfect example: it is not really a 3-series or a 5-series car; it also does not cost as much as the bigger 5-series, so there is a market for it, but probably the market is to those who want a bigger sport sedan than the 3-series, but don't want to pay 5-series prices.
  • sls002sls002 Posts: 2,788
    Your example of the Corvette is wrong: the Corvette is a very good sports car for the money, it is cheap compared to European sports cars. This is why it sells. The XLR is nicer than the Corvette and with the DOHC V8, is more refined. However, it is not worth what it costs. The Corvette is a much better choice.

    However, putting the pushrod engines in the higher end Cadillac's to make V-series performance sedans is not what the market wants - it may be what you want, but you should buy the Pontiac G8. The true luxury performance sedan market is expecting refinement more like the AMG Mercedes models - the 6.2 liter V8.
  • volvomaxvolvomax Posts: 5,274
    OK but they have to offer something to bring those BMW or Mercedes buyers over to Cadillac and keep the buyers they have. Does them little good to only sell to their current buyers.

    The truth of the matter is, you are not going to bring a current BMW or Mercedes owner over to Cadillac.
    Those people have drunk the Germans kool-aid, and aren't gonna change.
    Unless their portfolios tank.
    The people you CAN influence are the ones who are moving up from mass market cars, who maybe cannot afford a Bimmer or Benz, or lux buyers from other brands with less pedigree. Lexus, Audi, Infiniti, Volvo, SAAB(throwing that in for Rocky, even though they don't really belong).
  • rockyleerockylee Wyoming, MichiganPosts: 13,989
    I disagree and think Cadillac, can and will bring buyers of those brands you mentioned to Cadillac. Cadillac, is more reliable, has a better warranty, and is less expensive. Sure the STS, XLR, need to be upgraded but the new CTS, current SRX, Escalade SUV & EXT (Truck) are top shelf, no exuses examples of what Cadillac, can do when they try. :shades:

    As far as Saab, goes they are getting better but would agree their is work that still needs to be done. ;) I assume by the end of this decade Saab, will be completely overhauled or nearly overhauled. ;)

    -Rocky
  • louisweilouiswei Posts: 3,717
    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 :P ).

    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. It'll be much easier for the younger buyers with less experience to consider Caddy because they simply have less to compare to. That's why I think the most important thing Caddy needs right now is a successful entry level program that can rival BMW's 3-series.

    Get them while they are young and dont let go.
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