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Is Cadillac's Image Dying and Does Anyone Care?

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  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,694
    Six months ago Cadillac was not on my radar screen. I am in the market for a newer SUV. I am tired of getting in and out of my wife's LS400. It is a nice car and we will keep it. We want something newer for taking trips in. My wife leans toward the Mercedes as she owned several and liked them. I am not wanting to deal with the local MB dealer. Also not sure of the cost for long term warranty. As a result of some posters here I decided to look at the Cadillac SRX. It was nice, BUT. I like the last generation of Escalade better. I like the plush feel and the handling. I like the white diamond color. Most of all I like the price. Just as ALL cars there is a BIG hit when you drive off the lot. If I buy the 2006 Escalade I am looking at. The deciding factor is the Certified warranty. It is 6 years and 100k miles bumper to bumper with $0 deductible. The price is below Edmund's TMV by several thousand dollars. And I like the salesman I was talking to.

    Cadillac are sure they are the standard of excellence, and give a better warranty than the competitors to back it up.
  • punkr77punkr77 Posts: 183
    Generally, I would think that if you can afford a V-12 car, you aren't worried about repairs, fuel mileage, etc. I'd figure it would be in the $80k+ price range. Most of those purchasing at that price aren't going to be keeping the car past warranty.

    I wouldn't think it would be much, if any worse than maintaining one of the high dollar Benzes once the super expensive electronics and rare-ish model specific parts start failing. Ever look at what you can buy a $100K Benz for after it's 5 or 6 years old.

    But again, people who buy that kind of car don't care about that. For people buying cars at that price range it boils down to: I want it so I'll buy it. The real question should be how many people who can afford to drop $100K+ on a car would buy a Caddy? I can't picture many CEO's and Hollywood types going out and buying a Caddy to show they've "made it." There's only two American cars that really fit that bill that have been made in the last decade (not counting one-off's and customs) the Ford GT and the Saleen S7.

    I just don't see a workable business strategy that would result in Caddy again becoming the standard. Competative in the $30-60K luxury segment maybe, but not a global player at the pinacle of the automotive art. This is especially true when it's parent company is struggling. GM needs to focus all it's efforts on building amazing cars and trucks at the price points 99% of us buy at.
  • MrShift@EdmundsMrShift@Edmunds Posts: 43,700
    The entire US auto industry is no longer a major global player, so I agree, Cadillac has no chance at that either.

    In 1957 US share of the global market was 67.5%. Today it is only 17.7%.

    The market world-wide is far too diverse for any one marque to gain dominance. Competition is ferocious and it's very difficult to overtake anyone, much less someone out in front of you.
  • MrShift@EdmundsMrShift@Edmunds Posts: 43,700
    Not from PR releases, no matter how good they look.

    It all happens on the battlefield...how a car performs day after day, year after year, and how brand equity is built in the public's mind.

    Even if Cadillac (or WHOEVER) suddenly built the best car in the world, it would take 5 to 10 years for the buying public to respond significantly, in terms of sales.

    For example, Hyundai cars are 10X better than they ever were---do they outsell Toyota? Nope. Mitsubishi cars are vastly improved over ten years ago---but still a second tier player. Mercedes is probably a lesser car than it was ten years ago---are they falling off the table into obscurity? Nope.

    So it takes a long time for the situation to change, pro or con.
  • sls002sls002 Posts: 2,788
    The STS is still a quite new model, so the changes for 2008 are minor improvements. The big change is the DI V6 with the six speed automatic which I think will make the V6 a much better car. For the money, the V6 is probably a good choice, although a CTS might be an even better buy. The STS V8 is of questionable value, depending on the level of options. With the performance packages, the STS V8 is so expensive that I think it is not worthwhile.

    As far as the idiotic Standard of the World stuff goes, I question that Cadillac was ever the standard of the world, although, after World War Two, when the auto industry in the rest of the world was bombed out for the most part, perhaps Cadillac was on top in some meaningless fashion. At this point in time I do not think any make is a "Standard of the World". No one has explained to my satisfaction just what being the "Standard of the World" really means. Cadillac won the advertising rights to this title by taking the Dewar Trophy for "Standardization", but this had very explicit meaning at the time, and has nothing to do with Cadillac's use in its adverstising of the late 1950's. Cadillac's advertising slogan "Standard of the World" is the usual stuff and nonsense of advertising.

    I suggested at the beginning of this forum that it was a pointless discussion unless we could define exactly was we are really talking about.
  • mediapushermediapusher Posts: 305
    Snakeweasel-

    It's very much a basis in reality. If a company wants to be standard of the world it can't for decades deceive its customers and expect them to be loyal or expect its products to be standard of the world (whatever that means) when it insists on using cheaper than cheap materials and building cars that make one feel as if they're sitting in an ice chest.

    So if there is an anti-GM bias, IT'S JUSTIFIED, based on the horrible experiences people have had with this corporation.

    Ever heard of the term "Once bitten, twice shy". Many of these people were three times bitten or more, then finally got shy. The massive defections from Cadillac that they brought upon themselves and that occurred in the 1980's and 90's, still lingers on today. That's not anti GM bias. That's reality.

    Look at what the CURRENT consumer index has to say about most of Cadillac's products. Do you consider that anti-GM bias too simply because it offends your blind pride and sensitivity?
  • bumpybumpy Posts: 4,435
    It reads nice enough, for $36,000. I think GM will want more than that, though, which will be a problem when this shows up on dealer lots.
  • lemkolemko Posts: 15,077
    Oh, they most definately brought it upon themselves in the early to mid 1980s starting with the V-8-6-4. 4100 engine, Cimmaron, radically downsized Deville/Fleetwood of 1985 and the diminutive Eldorado/Seville of 1986.

    But what was wrong with the 1990s Cadillacs? I believe the 1992 Seville and Eldorado were the beginning of Cadillac's rebirth. The 1998-2003 Seville was even prettier. I had a 1994 DeVille and had absolutely no trouble with it. Heck, even my 1989 Cadillac Brougham is pretty much bulletproof.
  • mediapushermediapusher Posts: 305
    Rayainsw-

    That report doesn't prove anything. It's just more delusional public relations spinning from General Motors. They did the same thing in January 2007 with their Chevrolet Volt Electric Concept Car, which they don't and sadly engough never did intend on bringing to production.

    ---mediapusher
  • bumpybumpy Posts: 4,435
    But what was wrong with the 1990s Cadillacs?

    They looked nicer than their '80s predecessors, but they were also 5-20 years (depending on the model) behind their German and Japanese counterparts in technology and design. Your 1989 Brougham is basically a 1969 Caprice with some ill-considered emissions equipment added on.
  • mediapushermediapusher Posts: 305
    Lemko-

    I agree with you, but the problem with the Cadillac Seville is that is wasn't a CTS. Cadillac needs more of a line up similar to their CTS's. Look at what a hit the CTS has been. A little more tweaking and refining and they can use the CTS as their "frame".

    I'm really surprised the STS has had so many problems, since it's basically a longer CTS on steroids. And uhh.... the Catera :( puhleeeez. What a nightmare the Catera was.

    Cadillac still has too many "highway ocean liners". People that enjoy driving, don't like those kind of cars. We want something more sprite and athletic. Even the XLR gets mixed reviews. It's not refined enough for the price they want for it.

    Another problem is that GM always seems to be way behind the competition and has strange marketing tactics, as if all they want to do is insult their potential customers. (e.g. -- The "C.E.O but not quite" commercial for the CTS, and "The Power of &")
  • mariner7mariner7 Posts: 509
    I doubt Lexus, and especially Infiniti, will find much success in Europe as Europeans are even more fiercely loyal to their own luxury makes.

    1) Higher growth is to be found in the big developing countries (China, India, Russia) which are not as loyal to the Germans. Lexus and Infiniti are moving in there, in many cases even before they move into Europe.

    2) Toyota and Nissan are very patient. Toyota likes to brag they were in the US for 20 odd years (from the 50's) until they realized any profit. Same thing in Europe, for a long time the Japanese share remained stagnant, but recently it gained more than any other sector. One reason is EC expansion, so auto nationalism was much reduced: now Renault, Peugeot and VW all produce cars in eastern Europe (sounds familiar, doesn't it, American cars made south of the border!). And most importantly, the German makes can't seem to erase the quality gap with the Japanese. That gap will not erode loyalty overnight, but it most probably will over time.

    I said Caddy will have to hard expanding overseas mainly because GM of NA has almost no experience exporting cars. The only GM divisions with export experience are Opel and Saab.
  • bumpybumpy Posts: 4,435
    The only GM divisions with export experience are Opel and Saab.

    And Holden.
  • 62vetteefp62vetteefp Posts: 6,048
    They did the same thing in January 2007 with their Chevrolet Volt Electric Concept Car, which they don't and sadly engough never did intend on bringing to production.

    Do you have anything to back this up? I know the guys (whoops and gals) working on it. There will be one. However it will not make the promises of 40 miles per charge UNLESS the batteries get better. Luckily battery tech is rapidly changing and we may have a battery by 2011 that will come close to the goal.
  • 62vetteefp62vetteefp Posts: 6,048
    and GM Daewoo and every other division that builds cars. In fact what division/engineering center does not export cars?
  • mediapushermediapusher Posts: 305
    Here's your back up sir :|

    http://www.denverpost.com/ci_5510138?source=rss

    And what are they gonna do 62vetteefp, if and whenever it comes to fruition; build it, then "kill" it a couple years later like they did with the EV1?????

    _______________________________________________

    reference text::::
    They did the same thing in January 2007 with their Chevrolet Volt Electric Concept Car, which they don't and sadly engough never did intend on bringing to production.

    Do you have anything to back this up? I know the guys (whoops and gals) working on it. There will be one. However it will not make the promises of 40 miles per charge UNLESS the batteries get better. Luckily battery tech is rapidly changing and we may have a battery by 2011 that will come close to the goal
  • bumpybumpy Posts: 4,435
    However it will not make the promises of 40 miles per charge UNLESS the batteries get better.

    The batteries already exist, just not at a price that GM is willing to pay.
  • punkr77punkr77 Posts: 183
    Very few of the big American cars will see any success in Europe, but not just because of fierce country loyalty. Most vehicles that are successful here just don't fit the conditions overseas. Big cars and SUV's are ill suited to the European driving environment. Traffic in most Urban areas makes rush hour in Manhattan look tame, parking spaces are few and far between, narrow streets, and super high gas prices and tiny garages are just a few of the differences.

    Kind of like the Smart car's introduction to America, only in reverse.

    If you add in the costs of shipping the cars overseas, extended dealer networks, etc. and Caddy wouldn't be able to compete price-wise either. Think BMW in reverse. BMW's run thouands of dollars more here than they do in country.
  • punkr77punkr77 Posts: 183
    Mediapusher's post is a perfect example of why GM and the rest of the Big 3 have their work cut out for them. There's a large segment of the population that hold a huge amount of animosity towards GM for very personal reasons.

    It's kind of like poor customer service at a restauraunt. Most people don't complain, they just never go back and tell every person who will listen how bad their experience was. There are legions of people for whom GM=junk, overcoming that will take years (which GM may or may not survive).

    Caddy, along with the rest of GM will likely never bring them back into the fold. Worse, they have another huge chunk of the population that has been saturated with GM horror stories from the age of 16 on.
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