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Is Cadillac's Image Dying and Does Anyone Care?



  • lemkolemko Philadelphia, PAPosts: 15,286
    Funny thing, most people I see in NE Philly with BMWs, Mercedes-Benzes, and Lexi are either those who are highly leveraged, drug dealers, or Russian mafia. Heck, the ghettos are full of luxury cars and BHPH lots selling out-of-warranty luxury cars.
  • robbiegrobbieg Posts: 333
    In Pittsburgh, I a lot of people buy used luxury cars. For example, you still see way more of the previous generation 7 series on the road than you do new ones (2002 and up). Not counting Escalades, most of the Cadillacs that you see on the road are about 10 years old and are driven by a retired guy. Maybe it is just the section of town that I live in but I don't see too many new Cadillacs on the road.
    2014 Highlander XLE AWD, 2009 RX 350 AWD and 2007 Odyssey EX
  • fintailfintail Posts: 36,454
    What year are all these Buicks? I can't imagine a younger guy in a Lacrosse or a Lucerne. I'd like to see young people who think Buicks are "hot" right now.

    Same question can be asked about the posers in the import luxury around old are these cars? It takes no special money to buy a 10 year old S class or 7er, and these cars fool many into beliving they are newer than their registration may state. That's how it is here anyway.

    I suspect Caddys fall into the same hands. Pimped out Devilles are not uncommon in certain areas around here.

    The brand cachet statement from earlier is right on the nose. In some areas, these brands just don't have a lot behind them.
  • sls002sls002 Posts: 2,788
    J. D. Powers initial quality survey is a good predictor of the 3 year dependability survey. I think that the top makes in the 3 year dependability survey would continue on at the top after 6 years.

    The Consumer Reports survey is limited to what their subscibers own, and is not a scientific survey of each make. The basic problem is how to turn the data into something meaningful. I am not sure that Consumer Reports has. This does not mean that there is no useful data there, but comparing one make to another is questionable.

    Automobile also had a long term test of the SRX and were very happy with it, except that they would get the V8 instead of the V6.
  • bobw3bobw3 Posts: 2,992
    How is JD Power any better/worse then CR? Are you saying that CR subscribers who buy GM/Ford rate them lower just because they're CR subscribers. It's true that CR subscribers aren't a random sample, but I doubt if they're any more biased than any other group of people. If anything, they probably better at survey reporting because they're interested in this sort of thing since they are a CR subscriber (and no, I don't subscribe...I read them at the library or bookstore). Surveys are just one more thing to look at. They all stink in their own way, but they're better than nothing. I'd rather have manufactures be required to report on the cost per vehicle of warranty maintence work they perform, so we could really see where the problems are at!
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: US 25 & US 40Posts: 19,789
    >(and no, I don't subscribe...I read them at the library or bookstore).

    You just answered one part of the problem with CR's survey: no random sample. It's a convenience survey.
  • bobw3bobw3 Posts: 2,992
    JD Powers is also a survey of people's perceptions of their cars after 90 is that better? Just because the sample isn't random doesn't mean it will produce bad data.

    I'm not saying that CR is perfect, but if a guy owns a Chevy Lumina for a few years and is responding to a survey, I don't see why his answers would be any different if he's responding to a CR survey vs a JD Powers survey, or how the results would be skewed in any specific way.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: US 25 & US 40Posts: 19,789
    JD Powers does longer studies up to 3 years IIRC.

    Are you getting a cross section, a random sample, of the Lumina owners in the total group of buyers/owners? That's the problem with CR. How many Lumina owners responded? Do you have 1000 so that there is a sample deviation of 3-4% for each year of Lumina.
  • bobw3bobw3 Posts: 2,992
    Does JD Power survey at least 1000 for each model? I don't know if CR does or not. But you're right in that the higher the sample size, the less the error rate.

    Does JD Power provide any stats for cars beyond 3 years? I'm more concerned with reliability beyond 3 years (more like the 5-8 year point) when the warranty is gone. I wonder why JD Power doesn't look at long term reliability beyond 3 years?

    Do you have any examples of where JD Power indicates a car is highly reliable while CR indicates it's not?
  • rockyleerockylee Wyoming, MichiganPosts: 13,993
    Now that sounds like a well off middle class american. Oh, he must drive a Cadillac. :D


    P.S. I thought BMW's were the ultimate driving machine ? :blush:
  • snakeweaselsnakeweasel a Certified Edmunds Poster.Posts: 12,362
    P.S. I thought BMW's were the ultimate driving machine ?

    Nope that was the Pontiac GTO.

    2008 Sebring Ragtop, 2011 Hyundai Sonata.

  • My original point is that GM has an inferiority complex (that may be well deserved) and has focused on the least common denominator. Even the best of what it has to offer is caught up in comparisons with its competition. Tested at Nurbriggen (whatever), more interior room than so and so..This mindset has to change. Cadillac needs to stake its own claim on the world. It needs to be Cadillac again. Right now its "I'm not just for old guys.." or "i make gangsta mobiles (just don't make me admit it..) I used to have a Grady White Boats. Someone told me it was the "cadillac" of boats. Cadillac is not the "cadillac" of cars anymore.

    Cadillac breaking away into a super luxury marque will allow the best American know how to reinvent the entire corporation. Super engineering advances have a way of trickling down. This improves the whole company. Cadillac vs. high end MB Models, High End BMW Models, is what needs to happen. Make cars that are undeniably good and have style, people will buy them.

    Just my two cents.
  • rockyleerockylee Wyoming, MichiganPosts: 13,993
    Agree, one thing that Cadillac, needs to not do is price themselves out of the working middle class's reach.

  • bumpybumpy Posts: 4,435
    One could make the case that pricing itself into the working middle class's reach is what destroyed Cadillac's prestige in the first place, and that Mercedes-Benz was on its way to a similar fate in the late '90s.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    Somehow I trust Lexus marketers more than I do those hired by GM.

    Exactly right - Cadillac marketing is great - like trying to sell the Catera in Spanish, using Cajones in the ad....dumb. Trying to sell the Escalade with an ad showing it plowing the snow - in Miami..... :confuse:

    I'm not betting the farm on Cadillac marketing taking Europe by storm....
  • >>One could make the case that pricing itself into the working middle class's reach is what destroyed Cadillac's prestige in the first place, and that Mercedes-Benz was on its way to a similar fate in the late '90s.

    Well, I suppose you could make that case regarding the Cimarron (the early inspiration for the Chevy Suburban a/k/a Escalade).

    But Cadillacs' prices have never been all that low, at least not for the big ones.

    The problem for the last 30-something years has been the fact that they've really been little more than Chevy's that have been "SuperSized."

    Which leads to another problem for Cadillac. It suffers from a kind of "reverse halo" effect.

    While "halo cars" can have a beneficial impact (or so the theory goes), the reverse is also true. Everyone knows that Cadillac is GM, and GM has managed to take the pretty stellar reputation it had in the 1950's through the 1960's, and trash it.

    Today the GM name carries negative perceptions: rental car level products, shoddy workmanship, poor reliability, outdated technology (four speed transmissions and OHV engines), and embarrassingly bad interiors.

    This impacts consumers' (and more importantly, opinion leaders and trend setters') image of the brand.

    Hence the absence of cachet (which it did have through the 1960's, but not since).
  • sls002sls002 Posts: 2,788
    OHV engines are more or less the state of the art. I think you mean pushrod. DOHC engines are still OHV engines.
  • You are right, I stand corrected. Thanks.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    . In my opinion, this does not have to, nor does it mean, that Cadillac hopes to compete with directly with BMW or Audi. Cadillac can not seriously think that their performace cars are on par with the BMW M series cars. I don't think that people cross shop an M series and a V series. I think Cadillac knows their market and believes that some of their buyers want a "hot rod".

    You and I know this, but as you can tell by the usual GM apologists here Cadillac likely thinks otherwise. The CTS-V is the rough and crude hot rod you speak of not the XLR-V and STS-V, they seem to have a much higher degree of refinement. Don't kid yourself Cadillac wants to be seen as equals with BMW and Mercedes at all cost.

  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    You sound like a GM hater. Do you have a study with data on this or are you living in the past after problems with vehicles in the 80s or 90s?

    You sound like a GM apologist of the highest order. We actually have people here telling us that GM made great cars during the 80s? That is the most insane nonsense I've read yet. Those are precisely the years GM lost their [non-permissible content removed] to the foreign makes. Every GM car my family had during those years were utter and complete junk those are you facts. Fast foward to today. GM makes some decent, even "nice" cars that still manage to be (outside the Corvette Z06) merely competitive. GM misses the details 100 out of 100 times and they never, ever seem to get it right until it is too late. Don't need to have a "study" to tell me what I can see and feel for myself. That is the problem with studies, they only address certain things. Just because a GM car is more reliable nowaday doesn't mean they've fixed their traditional lousy build quality, another finer point lost here.

  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Brillant post!

  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: US 25 & US 40Posts: 19,789
    >Brillant brilliant post!


    Your previous post contains flaws also. :)
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Long as you get the point.

  • lemkolemko Philadelphia, PAPosts: 15,286
    Well, good for Cadillac if it can once again become the super-luxury marque it was in the 1930s. What that would mean to me is that I'd probably would step down to Buick. Just as long as they make Buick the equivalent or slightly better than what Cadillac is now.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: US 25 & US 40Posts: 19,789
    The reply seemed overwrought. But I understand it's your opinion.

    My experience has been different with GM cars. End of discussion for me.
  • lemkolemko Philadelphia, PAPosts: 15,286
    Cadillac or Lexus would never be able to take Europe, by storm or otherwise. The Europeans are far more fiercely loyal to their luxury makes.
  • plektoplekto Posts: 3,738
    What they need to do is make Cadillac liek the American version of Bentley. That is, no expense spared, the best parts and options, and way overbuilt. Bring back real 5mph bumpers, ditch the plastic(including headlights), give us old fashioned heavy gauge steel(late 90s S class quality).

    Build a tank that will last for 20+ years. Price? Not a problem - if it's built well enough, people will pay whatever GM decides is fair. See, to the upper-end of the auto buying market, price isn't a factor. if $50K buys you plastic and cheapness, $60K for something with twice the build and interior quality - it just won't matter.

    More plastic just digs that hole faster.
  • sls002sls002 Posts: 2,788
    last time I checked, the Bentley and Rolls Royce price tags were considerably more than $60K. I would guess that a Cadillac with twice the build and interior quality would double the price. For example, is the XLR really twice as good as a CTS?
  • lemkolemko Philadelphia, PAPosts: 15,286
    Gee, they used to build a car like that - the Cadillac Brougham! My 1989 model is going on 18 years so far.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 36,454
    Does something like a STS-V actually have plastic headlight covers? Say it aint so.

    Indeed, build something that will last for ages, and price will become less important. It's a big reason MB was able to get 65K out of an S class 20 years ago, or 90K out of one 15 years ago. I remember showing my W126 to a friend's father, who is a very experienced lead mechanic with 30 years experience who works for a medium sized city. He was astonished at the quality of the metal used in the car.

    I don't think GM has overbuilt anything in a very long gime.
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