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Is Cadillac's Image Dying and Does Anyone Care?

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  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,090
    Bingo, that is my snapshot of the IS buyer. It cheapened the Lexus name plate. I don't think some folks understand what it means to those that have the cash to buy an LS460 or S550, when they see a car like that with Lexus or Mercedes boldly displayed. The perception is, very negative. I know when we parked next to one of those Yugo looking little IS hatchbacks my wife could not believe how far Lexus had gone down hill. In her eyes that was what Lexus was now selling and she wanted nothing to do with them. She has all the money.

    By contrast Cadillac had a tuna boat image. They have added a very popular SUV that is popular across all age groups. It was a plus for them.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,090
    The difference that I see is BMW started out with small good handling cars and went up in scale. Lexus went backward to try and please all groups. The GS is a flop if sales mean anything. The IS is not keeping up with the gains of the C class MB.

    And you are right. This has nothing to do with Cadillac. They are different kind of breed. I do not see much cross shopping.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 18,458
    My point was I'm not sure this guy is living in his means. I recall one person posting about someone having a good year and overspending on a Mercedes over in Storie From the Sales frontline.

    I didn't make it super clear but some of the brokers operating in the area may have a public area for customers but also do phone selling--as in some of those questionable scams you used to read about.
  • 62vetteefp62vetteefp Posts: 6,048
    No. Caddy's suppose to be the "standard of the world" and serves as domestics' MB, BMW, Lexus fighter. There is not a single entry in the entire Caddy line screams "affordable".

    These are all "affordable" to the market they are after. :P
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,648
    I don't see Cadillac shoppers as even remotely cross-shoppers of BMW.

    Perhaps cross-shoppers of Lexus, Acura, Lincoln and the Benz & Lexus SUVs--I could see that.

    I sure hope Cadillac isn't competing directly with BMW. If they were banking on those conquest sales, they'd be slaughtered.

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  • mariner7mariner7 Posts: 509
    I went here to read about Caddy. All I see is discussion of Lexus. Which fans are more obsessed about Toyota/Lexus? GM, MB or BMW?
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,090
    It is a natural tendency to want to tout the car that in your mind is the standard of excellence for the world. That is why the other possible contenders are brought up. Cadillac seems the most willing to back up their cars with a good warranty. I want a car that lasts a long time in years, not a lot of miles. I can buy a near new Certified Cadillac and it includes a 6 year bumper to bumper 100k mile warranty. With zero deductible. The others I checked were not so generous with their warranty. Whether you spend $50k or $250k on a luxury car, they all fall short somewhere. They all lose a bigger percentage of their value sooner than when Cadillac was presented as the "Standard of Luxury" in the 1950s & 60s. I can remember people buying a new car in the 1950s and selling 5 years later for more than they paid new. A car was an investment in the past. Now it is a throw away item. Sad indictment on the auto industry as a whole.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,648
    You can partly blame the credit industry for that I think--which tends to not only make people bottoms up in their loans but also tends to devalue the object of desire. If you can lease a new Cadillac (or whatever luxury car) on a credit card, why would you pay a premium price for a used one?

    I realize nothing could be more boring for a younger person than to hear about the "old days" but Cadillac was really highly regarded in our culture---owning one was the object of outright jealousy and the average man on the street was genuinely impressed to see one. Why? Because they were conspicuously opulent compared to the shabby everyday cars most people drove (go look at a 1954 Chevy or Ford and then a 1954 Cadillac Eldo) and because the average working person couldn't possibly own one unless they stole it or stole money to get it.

    So the "currency" of luxury cars today is vastly inflated.

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  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    The DTS is closer in size to my current car and they made the STS way too small. Don't like the fact that there's a V-6 in the low-end STS either. It cheapens the car. The only thing I like about the STS is that it is RWD.

    Amen, Lemko!! You're right on. The DTS is also my favorite Cadillac as well, despite the FWD layout. It's also by far, the roomiest and most comfortable Cadillac made. There is still a market for that. I'm not sure it isn't the best looking as well. Frankly, you can't tell a CTS from an STS unless you're an expert.
  • sls002sls002 Posts: 2,788
    The STS is not for everyone. It is supposed to be a luxury sports sedan. The CTS is an entry level sports sedan, not quite luxury. The next generation DTS on the zeta platform (probably) will be a larger RWD sedan than the current STS. I am not sure as to what GM/Cadillac plan on doing with the zeta platform line up. If the DTS remains in the current price range, then probably there will not be a quasi sports sedan version, or at least I think that the DTS should focus more on being a luxury barge for those who want that.

    The basic problem that I see at Cadillac is this: In the 60's and even the 70's the DeVille was a mid-level Cadillac, with a somewhat cheaper Calais at the bottom. The Fleetwood Sixty Special (also Brougham) was top of the line (setting aside the limos). The Eldorado was a Fleetwood model too, although started out as a series 62 I think. So the basic line up was Calais, deVille, Fleetwood models.

    When the Seville was introduced as a "small" Cadillac in the mid-70s, it was a Fleetwood model. So the Seville was a top of the line model. Cadillac did have some FWD Fleetwood models until the mid-90s when I think that they dropped them making the deVille the primary large sedan. The RWD Fleetwood (the old sixty special) was dropped at the end of 1996, which sort of put the Seville at the top of the line. However, the deVille models were expanded to include a luxury trim edition (DHS). The FWD Seville was replaced with the RWD STS on the premium sigma platform, which might make it top of the line, but with a V6 standard and no wood trim, the base STS is really more of a low end Cadillac not unlike the base DeVille (DTS). The V8 STS pricing gets quite expensive with the performance options, but this does not make it a top of the line model, as the interior is still much the same as the base V8 model.

    My point is this: Cadillac does not really have a top of the line sedan any more. I think that they should try to develop something similar to the old Fleetwood Sixty Special. Of course they might try adding a sedan in the same class as the old series 80 or 90 models, but I am not sure that Cadillac has the resources (someone who knows how) to do that.
  • plektoplekto Posts: 3,738
    There simple reason is that the BLS is a complete flop in Europe. It also doesn't help that every time you try to compete in the luxury subcompact segment, you cheapen your image.

    Even the BMW 318Tii was a flop. The Mercedes C230K Coupe? Same deal. If you are trying to position yourself as a luxury make, then you need to avoid this segment at all costs.

    So Cadillac has no small car - they skipped right up to the 5/E/ES segments in the U.S. And trust me - they don't want to go the small route. Would you actually buy a Saab-illac? Of course you wouldn't. And, GM has Saab to fill that segment - effectively you get a BLS with different sheetmetal and no degredation to Cadillac's image with the new Saab 5 series.
  • louisweilouiswei Posts: 3,717
    So you are saying Caddy shouldn't have a competitor in the entry level luxury sedan segment? In another word, they shouldn't have a 3/C/G/TL/IS fighter?

    I agree that the 318ti and C230K Coupe are flops but TSX and A3 looks pretty good to me. Also, the success stories of the 3er, TL and G speak for themselves as well.

    By the way, the ES does not belong in the same segment as the 5 and E.
  • plektoplekto Posts: 3,738
    I was speaking about size and preceived market. Midsize cars as opposed to small 3-Series competitors. Cadillac knows they can't build a better 3 series - and the profit margins just aren't worth it, either. So they don't do it at all.

    No, they shouldn't, anymore than Mercedes ever should have gone cheap and made the C Class. Such a dissapointment, starting with the very first one(remember the 190? Egads that car was a joke), right up to the newest one.

    GM's only way to survive is to get into niche marketing - and Cadillac is aiming for the 5 series with the new CTS. Bty the look of it, kicking its butt for $10K less. :P
  • sls002sls002 Posts: 2,788
    The current CTS is nearly a 5-series size, but is priced like the 3-series. The 2008 CTS will be a 5-series in size, and with a nicer interior than current CTS, but still not 5-series interior, will be a very nicely priced car.

    The STS is nearly a 7-series, but much cheaper? Its interior falls short of the 5-series.
  • plektoplekto Posts: 3,738
    We'll have to see, won't we? I bet the CTS and the 5 are going to be very close in their interiors, or at least enough so that the line begins to get blurry.

    Costs less, is more reliable... the new CTS is aimed at the type of person who buys their car and keeps it for 10-12 years. And it's going to make a lot of imports have to do some work, just like Hyundai is - I mean, why buy a Corolla when you can get a Hyundai for a huge amount less if your only goal is to own a commuter-box?
  • sls002sls002 Posts: 2,788
    To really compete with the 5-series, the next generation CTS should offer a V8, perhaps a smaller version of the Ultra engine that is to replace the northstar.

    The new CTS's interior will be similar to the current SRX I think. Pictures are not able to transmit a "feel" so it hard to say what the new CTS interior is really like. If they were to offer a luxury upgrade to make the base CTS interior much nicer, then perhaps it could compete with the 5 series. But I think the new CTS will be a very nice car for the money, with a nicer interior than the current one.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    The DTS is the ONLY Cadillac with a nice interior. Sorry, guys. The Sigma cars are bleak, plastic inside, and depressing to me.
  • punkr77punkr77 Posts: 183
    So you are saying Caddy shouldn't have a competitor in the entry level luxury sedan segment? In another word, they shouldn't have a 3/C/G/TL/IS fighter?

    Caddy would have one heck of a time competing in that segment. It's probably the most crowded segment right now. Everyone and their uncle (even Hyundai) is throwing their hat in the ring. You're car has to be pretty amazing (or pretty cheap) to have a chance. Lackluster entries get their lunch handed to them (ex. Saab).

    Developing a car for that segment that stands out would be risky and expensive.
  • 62vetteefp62vetteefp Posts: 6,048
    CTS interior is trimmed like the SRX. Cut and sewn unlike others in the lux market.

    Actually I think the latest STS interior is a disappointment.
  • autoboy16autoboy16 Posts: 992
    Hey don't for get acura's 3rd best selling model, the TSX is in that category (3/C/G/TL/IS) also.

    I think that for now, the 9-3 is in a grey area as its on the old Elpsilon platform with the old malibu. Now if GM can give the 9-3 a more powerful v6 turbo(300+hp) and the 2.0t to get 220hp, then caddy could benefit from it.

    Another thing about the BLS is that its priced to closely to the CTS. With this new CTS on the way, its price should increase and give the BLS a spot.

    If the BLS had the 2.0t w/ 220hp, and was priced at $27k, it would sell here. Hopefully if they do bring the BLS here, it will have a convertible option like the SAAB instead of the wagon.

    -Cj
  • 62vetteefp62vetteefp Posts: 6,048
    Uh, the SRX and the new CTS interiors use nicer materials and better/tighter gaps than the DTS in the interior.

    Now you may not like the styling of the CTS/SRX but I like them a heck of a lot better than the DTS. I like the way the center flows into the console which the DTS does not do. The new CTS does even a better job of this.

    http://www.cadillac.com/cadillacjsp/model/gallery.jsp?model=srx&year=2007

    http://www.cadillac.com/allnewcts/
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,090
    Let me ask you a question. Is Cadillac getting a lot of complaints about the harder seats in the 2007 Escalade? Both the SRX and Escalade seemed a lot harder than the previous model Escalade. Will they offer a more conventional seating option?
  • autoboy16autoboy16 Posts: 992
    there is a whole difference in interior quality between the cts and DTS. Just look at the steering wheel. The DTS has a 1980's vintage wheel. Even the 2003 CTS with the cluttered buttons has a better steering wheel.

    -Cj
  • 62vetteefp62vetteefp Posts: 6,048
    I do not know.
    Can somebody compare the hardness to the CTS or STS? I would imagine that they have modified the Slade seats to be more"euro sporty" like they have the CTS/STS.
  • rayainswrayainsw Posts: 2,562
    “Pontiac is supposed to get more RWD models.”

    Since this is not a Pontiac forum, I will limit my comments – but I’ll point out here that GM has officially announced the RWD ( apparent ) replacement for the PONTIAC top of the line sedans ( Bonneville & Grand Prix ) – and it will be the G8.

    Some production ( as well as show car ) details here:

    http://media.gm.com/us/gm/en/news/events/autoshows/07chicago/brands/pontiac/inde- x.html

    Aside from a somewhat higher weight than I’d prefer to see, the specifications suggest to me that the G8 may become a viable Sport Sedan.

    With respect to Caddy’s marketing strategy: I wonder if Caddy is going to concede the Sport Sedan segment to Pontiac?

    The V8 version of the G8, with RWD and a version of the 6.0L in my Corvette and a nearly identical automatic trans. ( 6L80 ) - and a 6 speed manual trans. to be available, does this mean Caddy will again re-focus more on Luxury? With some ‘Sport’ available – if you insist. And are willing to pay STS-v or XLR-v prices.

    I doubt the interiors of the production G8 will quite match the best Caddy interiors, yet my ** GUESS ** is that the G8 V8 will provide acceleration slightly better than the current, 2008 STS V8. Probably high 13s, with the automatic – and perhaps mid-13s with the manual. Published tests of the Holden sedan ( that is virtually identical to the G8 that we’ll see here early next year ) also seem to indicate that this will be a serious competitor in the Sport Sedan category.

    If the G8 V8 is designated GT ( seems most likely, as this point in time ) and given the current model designations Pontiac seems to have ‘standardized on’, that would appear to offer 2 higher equipment levels – a GTP and GXP. This seems to present the opportunity for Pontiac to bring the equipment & interior refinement ( ? ) level up. And add more Luxury features. Twice. In the future.

    Will this mean that if you want a RWD Sport Sedan, with some level of luxury, you’ll be expected to shop at the Pontiac store? And if you want Luxury – you’ll shop at the Caddy store? Will the CTS-v be offered with an automatic trans. this time around?

    So many questions.

    We shall see . . .
    - Ray
    Somewhat confused by GM & Caddy’s current & projected Marketing Strategy.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,090
    That is what the salesman said with a shrug of the shoulders. It seems to be selling well even with high gas prices. Though in the reviews there are grumblings. I believe I would pass, as I just don't think it would be comfortable driving cross country. I could be wrong as my Passat was similar and not bad for the one long trip we took in it.
  • sls002sls002 Posts: 2,788
    I guess if 0-60 performance is important to you, and being able to burn up your tires quickly, then perhaps the G8 with the oversized engine is good. I would rather have a smaller, more fuel efficient engine. Motor Trend did a test down under of the 6 liter engine and got 0-60 in under 6 seconds. What I would like to see is a wagon version of the G8 with a direct injection 3.6 and six speed automatic.

    The heavier SRX will do 0-60 in just over 6 seconds with a smaller engine.
  • jkr2106jkr2106 Posts: 231
    With respect to Caddy’s marketing strategy: I wonder if Caddy is going to concede the Sport Sedan segment to Pontiac?

    Actually, I think you raise a valid point. We've all heard how Lutz fancies Pontiac a poor-man's BMW. Well, maybe That would free Cadillac to go in the Mercedes direction. Personally, I like that idea better (just MHO) :)
  • sls002sls002 Posts: 2,788
    The G8 is a big car, with similar shoulder and hip space as the DTS. I do think that Cadillac should move toward being more luxury. I think that the CTS, being smaller, is going to have an edge in handling. The G8 will have better acceleration.
  • bumpybumpy Posts: 4,435
    I think that the CTS, being smaller, is going to have an edge in handling.

    The 2008 CTS isn't any smaller than the G8.

    CTS: length 191.6", width 72.5", height 58"
    G8: length 192.8", width 74.8", height 58.1"

    Curb weight is about the same for both in the 3800+ pound range. Spending the extra 10 grand on the Cadillac gets you a badge, some aluminum suspension bits, and a shorter final drive ratio.
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