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Is Cadillac's Image Dying and Does Anyone Care?

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Comments

  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    Lighten up, Mike, I was joking! Geesh!! :shades:
  • dhamiltondhamilton Posts: 873
    "Now the opposite can happen. The SRX is pretty darn nice of an enthusiast SUV/whatever it is. problem is most that are interested in that type of vehicle do not care about handling, etc. they want space and room. So while C&D like it there are not enough buying public in that niche to buy it."

    Wrong, wrong wrong. At this price point the SRX is up against the MDX, the Q7, and the X5. The Caddy handles as well as none of these. The real problem is that in spite of the interior upgrade, the SRX isn't really capable of bringing new blood in to dealerships like the Escalade has done.
  • 62vetteefp62vetteefp Posts: 6,048
    Wrong, wrong wrong. At this price point the SRX is up against the MDX, the Q7, and the X5. The Caddy handles as well as none of these. The real problem is that in spite of the interior upgrade, the SRX isn't really capable of bringing new blood in to dealerships like the Escalade has done.

    My point was that the SRX is a high station wagon in appearance and design unlike the others which appear more like an SUV. It is basically a bigger CTS wagon. C&D likes the SRX due to its more car like handling and ride. Why else would they like it? The three you mentioned look like SUVs, not wagons.
  • anythngbutgmanythngbutgm Posts: 4,158
    Exactly. Also, C&D praised it for the Northstar motor under the hood. Utility aspects and the pre-07 interior (Materials and build outclassed by a Kia Spectra) were sore spots as well as the exhorbitant asking price. But, it still managed a hat-trick in the 5 Best column. I think the breadbox shape was a strike against it on the market as well.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    There's more wrong with the SRX that that too. The anemic Air Conditioner fan is inadequate for summer below Colorado...
  • dhamiltondhamilton Posts: 873
    I'm begining to wonder what Car&Driver is smoking, and I'm a subscriber.

    Once again, it's irrelevant because in the class, it doesn't out handle, or out ride quality anyone. It maybe undercuts price due to GM offering incentives on anything and everything.

    Which brings me to my last point. In the newspaper today I notice that they are allready offering 6k off of new Escalades. Gm needs to just drop the MSRP on these bohemoth dinasours. They are only hurting themselves with this nonesense.
  • rockyleerockylee Posts: 14,011
    Thanx, lemko :)

    Rocky
  • rockyleerockylee Posts: 14,011
    dhamilton,

    $6K off where ????

    Rocky
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    I am going to say this again: The basic problem with the Allante, and the Buick Reatta, was not a lack of horsepower, but a lack of overall design. Both cars looked like sports roadsters, but really were FWD conversions of the luxury E-bodies into a smaller but not better two passenger car.

    I don't know what the reason behind putting the Allante and Reatta into production was, but I suspect that it may have had something to do with making the FWD sedans more desirable.


    It was a lack of hp and all those other things that made them lame ducks. I mean really is it that serious to debate about which flaws did the car it? It is matterless, those cars were grand flops.

    My point about sales seemly holding steady at about 3000 annually is still true. While it is true the 93 model year production was higher, the 92 model year was a short one with reduced production. You are claiming that the 1990 SL did the Allante in, but the truth is that Allante production remained steady through the 1993 model year. I am not sure why Cadillac decided to end production at that point. However, I suspect that the new Seville was doing quite well at that point, and the Allante was not needed as a halo car anymore.

    You missed my original point. When I said that 500SL did the Allante in, I meant from a design, engineering, performance, safety, technology, styling, etc. etc. point of view, not sales. Who cares what the Allante sold, it had its lugnuts handed to it. Just because the car sold well doesn't mean it was relevant or competitive anymore. The DeVille used to be the best selling luxury car in America it was about as irrelevant to most luxury car buyers as it could be.

    M
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    YEs but, Cadillac has pretty much nothing in common with any other division (DTS excepted) in GM these days. They have done a good job of differentiating themselves from the lower level cars, so I believe people are now at least seeing Cadillac as something different than GM offers - which is why I think putting little GMs on everything they build is stupid. Typical GM thinking - telling people GM is good makes them good - no new paradigm there. Anyway, Cadillac may not now, nor ever be considered the STandard of the World again, but I do believe most younger people see Cadillac as different now, not just a move up car.

    I agree completely. If I were head of Cadillac I'd have the GM badges removed. Who Cadillac buyer wants to be reminded that this is the same company makes a POS like the Ion?

    M
  • rockyleerockylee Posts: 14,011
    I agree completely. If I were head of Cadillac I'd have the GM badges removed. Who Cadillac buyer wants to be reminded that this is the same company makes a POS like the Ion?

    Merc, in a few years cars like the ION won't be in production any longer so having the GM emblem on the sides of the car won't tarnish a nice car like a Cadillac. I do understand exactly why you said it but in a few years it won't be so disgraceful. ;)

    Rocky
  • 62vetteefp62vetteefp Posts: 6,048
    Which brings me to my last point. In the newspaper today I notice that they are allready offering 6k off of new Escalades. Gm needs to just drop the MSRP on these bohemoth dinasours. They are only hurting themselves with this nonesense.

    Took a look at the incentives and right now GM does offer 5.9-7.9% interest but no cash. Perhaps this is a dealer incentive? This is for '07 and '06 models.

    There is an average inventory supply (80 for Escalade vs. 79 for industry but GM does force up the average significantly)so perhaps individual dealers are taking it upon themselves to advertise and sell them.

    Sales wise the Escalade is up for the calender year as of December 1. 34k vs. 27k. This would include last years model as well.

    Now is it overpriced? Depends on how many GM wants to sell. Demand today seems to be there but next year it may not!!
  • gsemikegsemike Long Island, NYPosts: 1,743
    "in a few years in a few years in a few years"

    Rocky, I admire your verve but GM ridding itself of a negatvie reputation that is well earned is not going to be as easy as flipping a light switch.

    In a few years the Ion will be gone and all the competitors will have better product too. In the new sedan comparo in C&D, the Godsend Aura placed middle of the pack and that is a vaunted new model.

    GM tarnished their reputation over a period of decades. It will take years and years to change everyone's perception of them IF they make a commitment to product that is not yet evident.

    btw: the SRX looks like a CTS converted into a hearse. That's why no one buys it even with $339 a month leases.
  • 62vetteefp62vetteefp Posts: 6,048
    In a few years the Ion will be gone and all the competitors will have better product too. In the new sedan comparo in C&D, the Godsend Aura placed middle of the pack and that is a vaunted new model.

    Yet it is one of 3 NA car of the year finalists and will most likely be #1 (close to 50 press reporters poll). One mag review does not make a car or kill it.

    But it will take years to change opinions AND buying preferences.
  • 62vetteefp62vetteefp Posts: 6,048
    Not sure if this was posted here. Autonotive News analysis.

    Could not post a chart shich showed the CTS having remarkable sales progress. In '02 39K sales and increasing to 60k in '05. For '06 it looks like it will be 55k. Time for a new one!

    The Cadillac CTS sedan may be about to start a family.

    General Motors insiders say Cadillac is seriously considering a plan to create a family of CTS sedans, coupes and wagons that would emulate BMW's 3-series lineup.

    Mock-ups of a wagon and coupe already lurk inside GM's design studio in suburban Detroit. Of course, that doesn't mean they'll ever go into production. But GM executives clearly have spotted an opportunity to create a CTS minibrand within Cadillac.

    The sedan would remain the centerpiece of a CTS family, generating the bulk of total sales. And GM is prepared to brag about it. The redesigned sedan - which sports a new interior and a grille reminiscent of the Cadillac Sixteen concept - will debut during the Detroit auto show in January.


    Niche strategy

    With sales of 50,024 units through November, the CTS sedan has a secure market niche. Because the wagon and coupe would share mechanicals with the sedan, Cadillac can make money if those new models generate sales of 20,000 units apiece.

    That's where Cadillac's European strategy could prove useful. Most Americans supposedly don't care for wagons - but Europeans do. If Cadillac can sell a couple of thousand CTS wagons in Europe, it would help reach the wagon's breakeven point.

    If GM goes ahead with this strategy, expect the CTS family to be $30,000 to $40,000. That would target the fattest portion of the U.S. luxury market - a segment that generates annual sales of 1 million units.

    Here's how the rest of Cadillac's lineup would fit the brand's strategy:

    Stop dreaming about a production version of the Cadillac Sixteen. That concept car drew rave reviews, but a production version would cost a couple of hundred thousand dollars. The Mercedes Maybach and the Rolls-Royce Phantom have demonstrated just how small that segment is.

    Forget about an uber sedan that could challenge the Mercedes S class. Volkswagen's Phaeton flop-aroo has demonstrated the risks of moving upscale too quickly.

    Cadillac executives think they could pull it off. But product development is costly, and GM is trying to conserve resources. An S-class competitor simply isn't a priority.

    In fact, Cadillac's flagship car is actually a truck: the Escalade. The Escalade still has room to move upscale with new powertrains and interiors. Stay tuned.

    Cadillac needs only one $50,000 sedan, not two. We are told that Cadillac executives might dump either the STS or the DTS sedan. The $40,000-to-$50,000 price segment generates industry sales of 300,000 units.

    In a segment of that size, Cadillac's old something-for-everyone strategy is obsolete. Customers don't walk into a Cadillac showroom asking for "traditional American luxury" or "European-style performance." Says one executive: "They just want a nice car."

    But here's the problem: The front-wheel-drive DTS handily outsells the rear-wheel-drive STS. But traditional DTS buyers are dying off, and Cadillac wants to promote rwd performance.

    What about the SRX and the XLR roadster? Cadillac needs a crossover, so the SRX has a future. The roadster seems expendable. But the XLR shares mechanicals with the Corvette, so it is not hugely expensive. I'll leave it to the buff magazines to track the roadster's future.

    The bottom line: GM executives are convinced that Cadillac can attract younger buyers, that the CTS lineup can expand and that the brand can afford to get sassier.

    At this point, I wouldn't be surprised if tail fins reappear someday.
  • sls002sls002 Posts: 2,788
    I went back to your original post. You claimed that the Allante's basic problem was a lack of horsepower. You understated the Allante's horsepower and overrated the 1987 Mercedes 560SL's horsepower. The 560SL was rated at 227 hp
    see - http://www.conceptcarz.com/vehicle/z9732/Mercedes-Benz_560%20SL/default.aspx

    That was my point in my first post.

    What I have tried to say after that is that the Allante, essentially an Eldorado with the back seat missing, was just another FWD Cadillac with no real engineering design to make it into a sports car. I think that the buyers of the Allante were Cadillac owners who wanted a convertible.

    What I really don't understand is why Cadillac upgraded the last Allante's to the new Eldorado's platform (new for the 92 model year) and then stop production. Why not kill the Allante with the 91 or 92 model year? Or, having gone to the expense of upgrading, keep it in production through the 95 model year. I would think that sales would have continued at a rate of 3000 or so annually, which would have been another 6-7,000.

    In terms of design, I think that the old SL was a much better car than the Allante. What the Allante had was style, but not much more. The 1990 Allante did offer traction control, and was the first vehicle with it I think. I don't think that the 86 Eldorado chassis would have worked with 300 hp. The 92 Seville/Eldorado chassis was a complete re-engineering with the northstar's 300 hp engine in the works. The 94 DeVille chassis was then upgraded to the new design.
  • sls002sls002 Posts: 2,788
    I think that a CTS wagon would take sales away from the SRX, especially if the CTS has AWD. However, a CTS wagon could be the new SRX. There are rumors that the DTS will be a zeta platform car. The STS could/should be upgraded into a more upscale car perhaps. A zeta DTS would not be a "sports sedan". The current STS is a sports sedan. Perhaps the V6 STS should disappear, with the CTS V6 being that car.

    If Cadillac is going to make an S-class car, the sigma platform would be the right platform to make it on, but it would have to be at least as big as the DTS, but much better in terms of refinement, luxury and priced accordingly.
  • trimastertrimaster Posts: 163
    Saw a nice commercial over the weekend. It showed various makes & models over the years driving down a rural highway. Pretty nice. I liked it.
  • gsemikegsemike Long Island, NYPosts: 1,743
    It's a good commercial but it skips about 25 recent years. It jumps from a humpback Seville to a CTS. What about all those great cars of the 80s and 90s?
  • HEY! That's JUST what I posted about two years ago as advice to Cadillac!! Follow the BMW line, forget about Lexus and Benz for now.

    HOW TO BE THE BEST IN THE WORLD:

    Cadillac would have to excel in three major areas:

    1. Performance
    2. Prestige
    3. Beauty

    Just ONE of these doesn't do it. And just copying someone else doesn't do it.

    And Cadillac would have to excel in these 3 areas while climbing 4 mountains.....Benz, BMW, Audi and Lexus.

    So it would have to beat all four of those makes in all 3 of those areas.

    Right now, I'd say Cadillac is working hard on Performance and making progress...good progress...against its 4 opponents....but in prestige and in beauty, they have a long way to go yet.

    At best, their styling is quirky and dates quickly (not bad, but not great) and in prestige, it's mostly just some notoriety, which isn't the same thing.

    Probably their best success has been the Escalade (which ironically, is the least distinctive Cadillac), and their worst flop has been the XLR, which was supposed to compete against the SL and has dropped off the radar in less than two years.
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