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2008 STS Changes?

pearlpearl Posts: 336
edited March 6 in Cadillac
The STS seems to have hit a wall, both in sales and in discussions. What should Cadillac do to the 08 STS to revive interest?

Comments

  • rockyleerockylee Wyoming, MichiganPosts: 13,989
    Well make the 08' look exactly like the Chinese SLS and keep a loaded out AWD one at $59K. They could could sell more units and make more profit than they are now with volume. Right now they aren't selling many with the high MSRP's because the car has been priced out of the well paid blue collar worker's reach and our wage's haven't kept up with the price hikes. I do know that GM, has reduced costs building cars and thus I think the current generation STS, was a greedy blunder by GM. I'm saying the current STS with AWD shouldn't be $66K but rather $56K that my friend is why they aren't selling. ;)

    Rocky
  • pripri Posts: 9
    What? Since when is a Cadillac a "blue collar worker's car"? It should be the boss's car. It is supposed to be the "Standard of the World" and not a Chevy or Pontiac! Your view has been GM's problem with this car: GM went after the mass market while Lexus went up-market and has a several month waiting list for 2007 LS's. Right now, it is not exclusive enough and the product does not have enough quality. Years ago, I bought a Fleetwood Coupe and it was great. My latest car is a Jaguar even though I wanted to return to Cadillac. Make it more like the high end imports in quality and styling (especially the interior) and it will sell better IMO. The Boomers are coming of age and if Cadillac is smart, it will go after this ever-increasing market which has the wallet to buy the best. Go after the younger crowd with the CTS and XLR. Go after the Boomers with the DTS and STS.
  • rockyleerockylee Wyoming, MichiganPosts: 13,989
    I think you can have the best or damn near it with a under $60K price tag. The Lexus LS sells good because it had the Toyota Emblem called Lexus and the years of brainwashing have finally rooted in to american society. The Volvo S80 for example is 80% of the car the LS is and is $20K cheaper. It would give about as much driving pleasure the LS would for a fraction of the cost. This is where Cadillac needs to be. The STS could give 90-100% of the LS experirence at a $10-15K discount. The LS is over priced and only people on the Left Coast are going to buy them.
    The self parking gadget is useless and only hollywood stars will want to own it because they would like to dazzle their friends and have bragging rights over their Mercedes buddy's.

    Rocky
  • pripri Posts: 9
    People who are real car fanatics, like myself, are not looking to drive a car that is 80%-90% percent of anything. We are looking for the best of a particular class and that is where Cadillac belongs (or used to anyway). We do not want to "settle" for "almost as good". That is why I bought a new, 12 cylinder, Jaguar XKE years ago and a new, hybrid Prius a few years ago. They were very different cars, but each was the best in its class. The manufacturers didn't settle for "almost as good" when they built them and I didn't either when I bought them. According to the latest interviews I have seen, the Cadillac bosses feel as I do and are planning to dramatically improve the styling and quality of the brand. Build 'em and they will come. About time I say.
  • I may be wrong, but Cadillac can't possibly want to emulate a Lexus -- the new ones are not driving machines, they are sofa's on wheels.

    The current CST and STS and the ones in the pipeline are being honed on the German test tracks. Cadillac seems, to me, to be persuing those who like much of the European car driving experince with some decidedly American style.

    To me, Lexus has always been innovative, but not inventive. Cadillac's history has been one of both innovation and invention -- pretty much a European phenom too.

    The Japense, especially Infiniti, seem hell bent on becoming more inventive, and they may soon get there.

    The new survival instinct that seems to have kicked in at GM and as evidenced in the CTS and the STS (especially the new CTS for 2008, apparently) should bring them back from the brink.

    If Cadillac can continue this steady march forward, I, for one, think they can return to being the standard of the world -- or at least catch up with the rest and then pass them up.

    "If."

    I am rooting for them.

    The new CTS, if it can be configured with decent variability, could indicate what will be coming in the replacement STS.

    Folks wanting an STS, that I know, felt it didn't have the same value proposition as the imports -- and of course, here in Cincinnati at least, GM's response seemed to be discounts upon discounts.

    I wanted the STS but the option groupings were insane and the price shot past $60K -- into Audi, BMW and Mercedes territory.

    For me, they shot themselves in the foot -- if they come up with sane configurations, I would think the car could compete well.

    For me, the STS felt very German-like only when equipped with Magnaride and AWD. Whooooosh -- now passing $60,000.

    Why not offer -- for a price -- some of the performance bits that added that feeling behind the wheel that seems to come standard on the Germans? Well, someone's bright idea seems to have been to offer these bits bundled and bundled and bundled so that your $40K car shot up in price 50% when all you wanted was Maganaride and plus sized wheels and tires?
  • pripri Posts: 9
    Well said.
  • rockyleerockylee Wyoming, MichiganPosts: 13,989
    Well I agree with you for once.

    When I was referring to the STS, being Lexus like I should of stated that I wanted the interior quality and most of the gadgetology. I want buick to ride and be more like a Lexus without the price tag and agree Cadillac, needs to be more European. ;)

    I hope that clears things up. My mistake. ;)

    I still think the Cadillac STS needs to be obtainable by the "upper middle class". The STS is a Luxury Performance Sedan (LPS) but would sell very well like the Seville if it doesn't go over the $60K mark. Cadillac, should build a RWD DTS "Big Body" car like a Mercedes S-Class or BMW 7-series that could cross the $60K mark. I have no doubt it could be done and be profitable but it will need benchmark perceived quality, engine, perhaps warranty, Euro-inspired performance to make it work. ;)

    The current STS's MSRP is to high and even if it had a better interior and more power it doesn't have the fan base with its current size to garner that MSRP respect. A RWD STS that is 7-series/S-class could however. ;)

    Rocky
  • pripri Posts: 9
    You have just proposed reversing generations of Cadillac tradition: the DTS (DeVille) being more expensive than the STS (Seville); the target market changing from blue collar buyers to upper middle class; cars that are almost as good as the best (at fire sale pricing) to cars that are the equal of the S-Class and 7-series. That, my friend, is flip-flopping on a world scale that even John Kerry would be proud of. ;)
  • rockyleerockylee Wyoming, MichiganPosts: 13,989
    I guess you misunderstood me. I wasn't saying a DTS per se but the old FWD DTS need to be put out to pasture and like the Europeans and Japanese the bigger car in the premium brands is usaully more expensive.

    When I was talking about middle class I guess I forgot to mention the word "upper". Does it really matter as people will site different money figures to break down the class systems in this country ? I guess I look at upper middle class as someone making over $60K as being in the top 20%

    Middle Class to most to the best of my knowledge is $45-59K a yr.

    I did yes say that the DTS or a equivalent should target its self to upper middle class folks. A person making over $60K a yr. Of course circumstances and cost of living play a roll into affordability. I know that the Cadillac Seville STS was always obtainable by General Motors-UAW employees thus many were owned by employees. However this current generation went up about $10K from 04' to 05' and IMHO it's not a good enough car to demand that kind of premium and the market has proven me right. I also seen for the first time no UAW employees buy top trim V8 models like AWD and most can only dream about affording the STS-V, unless they have a spouse with a killer job or inherited money.

    GM, like Mercedes and BMW needs a "Big Body" car like a DTS only larger to tackle the more affluent. I also think they need to go one step further and build the Cadillac ULS with a V-12 or V16 engine to go after the rich. Maybe a V-16 coupe like the Cadillac Sixteen would also be credible enough ? I do believe a V-12 mid engine high performance car would further add prestige to the brand but first they need to get the DTS or like car to RWD before they concentrate on those fish. ;)

    Rocky
  • pripri Posts: 9
    OK, but we need to be talking about the non-UAW buyers' market. (Note: upper middle class is now in the six figure category.)

    Two points to remember:
    1. UAW plant line workers get paid way more than the average blue collar worker who is not in the automobile industry for the same amount/type of work so they have a distorted view of the non-UAW plant work force pay scale. This is not a criticism, just a fact. If you can get paid that much then go for it I say and I don't blame you for it. Many professionals (like some CPA's, general practice doctors, military officers and many lawyers) do not get paid as much.
    2. UAW plant workers get a significant discount on their company's products when they buy them. Again, I have no problem with that either. It is a common practice in most industries. But how many of your workers could afford the same car, with the same options, without the discount?

    In summary then:
    1. From what I have been reading, I believe and hope that the next generation STS will be going upscale, with a better quality interior and smoother paint, and not be worried so much about maintaining a low price point. There is a definite attraction to owning a car that your neighbor cannot afford.
    2. I am hoping that the 2008 STS will be up to my standards next year when I plan on buying a new car. I would really like to buy another Cadillac!
  • rockyleerockylee Wyoming, MichiganPosts: 13,989
    Well those non-union Toyota workers made $3.00 more than those UAW workers this year. ;)

    Rocky
  • rockyleerockylee Wyoming, MichiganPosts: 13,989
    Well I hope GM, builds you a car like you want. ;)

    Rocky
  • sls002sls002 Posts: 2,788
    Upper middle class are people with incomes over $100,000 per year. Middle class are people whose incomes range from about $30,000 to $90,000. Lower middle class would be somewhere from $25,000 to $40,000. A lot depends on where you live, I live in a State whose average income is 50th of all the states.
  • sls002sls002 Posts: 2,788
    I think the middle class can afford the V6 STS program cars.
  • rockyleerockylee Wyoming, MichiganPosts: 13,989
    Not a bad lay-out. I agree it all depends on where you live.

    Rocky
  • If the next STS, whatever and whenever they decide to release it, will have the same leap from the curent model as the 2008 CTS has over its own, then Cadillac has the chance to wipe the floor with its competition.

    Here is what I think that means:

    A more elaborate, softer and cooler looking interrior with metallic and wood materials, leather in the doors, and cool ambient lighting, possibly driver selectible.

    More rear seat room. The current version has a problem with that, specifically, I sat in an STS, and found it cumbersome to get out from the back seat. Now, if this was a pontiac G6 or a Honda Accord, I would not find any problem with it, but on a 50 - 60K car, it should pick you up and sit you down itself :P

    A much better engine. There is nothing wrong with the curent Northstar, but the engine is a big deal. The japanese are really on the ball with this, and so are the germans. Cadillac and Ford both have great new V6's, with GM's bieng the best in the CTS at 300hp. This should be the base engine, with a V8 redone to 400hp and possibly 4.8 or more than 5.0 liters, with all the advancements of the new DIrect Injection V6.

    They should keep all of the current features, including the HUD system. GM needs to martket this feature, It really sets the STS appart, and meybe GM could expand on this idea by adding come more features to the HUD and filing some more patents.

    Any new features would be welcome, as long as they are easy to use and sound cool (for some, its what luxury is all about).

    And don't loose the focus on quality. This is the biggest sellar next to fuel economy, performance, etc. It's very important to test the car over and over again untill it tops the charts.

    What do you think?
  • rockyleerockylee Wyoming, MichiganPosts: 13,989
    It needs to 2008' Chinese interior to be a world beater. ;)

    Rocky
  • pearlpearl Posts: 336
    Dragon, I think you have a good post. I bought GM cars for a long time, but have gone over to Audi then BMW because they made cars I WANTED TO DRIVE. Caddy has absolutely blown it with the STS, because many of the features that would make people want to drive it come packaged at ridiculous prices which include things people do NOT want. I recall a 1967 Pontiac Lemans that I bought new that had an order sheet with no packages, just the options. You could pick and choose between HD suspension, bigger wheels/tires, dual exhausts, various radios, etc. Yes, the world in more complicated these days, but if Caddy would take all their Nurburgring goodies and let people buy them without a lot of stuff they don't want/need, they would sell more cars.
  • pearlpearl Posts: 336
    Looks like some interior/exterior changes, plus direct injection V6 among other things...

    http://www.cadillacforums.com/forums/cadillac-sts-forum-2005-beyond/102972-2008-- sts-press-release-pictures.html
  • pripri Posts: 9
    1. Agree: No more "option packages".
    2. I just saw the preview photos of the 2008 STS. Ugly! Get rid of the side 'bling' (bright gills and door handles)! Make them the same color as the body. The gills look like they belong on a Buick.
  • bringmanbringman Posts: 3
    All I can say is: go, GM.

    I'm not a big fan of bling either, but at least GM is introducing new models (CTS) and refreshing older ones (STS) to have a more consistent look at the same time.

    I agree that the next-gen STS has a potential to be a knockout. This current, refreshed one is a great vehicle in many respects but lacks the WOW factor and presence that afforded the 1992 model so many design awards (both interior and exterior, remember?). I'm sure this is partly because that model had nothing in the Cadillac line that was a stylistic counterpart at that time.

    When the current-gen STS made its debut, many casual observers just thought it was a plainer looking CTS.

    Cadillac has really set the bar high for themselves with the new CTS. Somehow, they need to find a way to keep the familiar DNA in the next-gen STS while making it distinctive enough for people to know upon the first glance that this car is even more special than the baby brother CTS. They're on a roll. I think they can do it.
This discussion has been closed.