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Is Cadillac's Image Dying and Does Anyone Care?

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  • snakeweaselsnakeweasel a Certified Edmunds Poster.Posts: 11,791
    The mortgage broker was like, "Nobody pays off their house anymore!" Bull!

    The sad thing is that we are heading that way. Interest only and 50 year loans are becoming more and more common. Plus there are many investment advisors out there telling people to take out home equity loans and invest that money.

    As for me my house will be paid off in a bit more than 10 years. :shades:

    The sign said "No shoes, no shirt, no service", it didn't say anything about no pants.

  • laurasdadalaurasdada Posts: 2,689
    Nope. It worked! I got the telemarketing job! Talk to you soon... After I return the S, of course... They can't take away my headset when I show up in my real wheels, can they??? :surprise:

    '13 Jaguar XF, '11 BMW 535xi, '02 Lexus RX300

  • snakeweaselsnakeweasel a Certified Edmunds Poster.Posts: 11,791
    Cadillac owners are a different demographic than other luxury car owners. Cadillac owners are more likely to be much older, more establsihed and have built up some wealth. The other luxury makes are more likely to be much younger on their way up and haven't created much wealth. That being said I believe that a Caddy owner could very well be living beyond their means, but IMHO it is going to be much less likely than say a BMW driver.

    The sign said "No shoes, no shirt, no service", it didn't say anything about no pants.

  • fintailfintail Posts: 34,005
    I never debated your point, I don't see how that is relevant.

    An educated guess of success CAN be made by a vehicle, or condition of a vehicle.

    I know of a lot of local mcmansions with 3 car garages completely loaded up with crap, so the 5er and wifey's RX have to sleep outside.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 34,005
    Do you have numbers on that assertation? Regarding age and wealth.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 34,005
    Probably just for the Germans. Just as how Lexus drivers don't buy for status, only German car drivers.
  • trimastertrimaster Posts: 163
    Thanks for the candid answer. Some who buy these cars (especially used) don't realize how terribly expensive the repairs can be. I think that's where they really get hurt. The purchase price may be thousands cheaper than the new car price, but the repair cost is still just as high: PLEASE don't take that used Benz you just bought to Jiffy Lube!!! lol

    Obviously you're not living above your means. But that's the point I was trying to make: not everyone who drives these cars are living above their means or check to check. People can't look at someone & automatically assume they're a poser just because they drive a certain car.
    If you did it that way, then others can too.

    There's no way to tell by looking at someone what their NAV or debt ratio is.

    But we live in a debtor nation. This problem is much bigger than cars.
  • lemkolemko Posts: 15,196
    My Cadillac Brougham and Seville STS sleep indoors, but my 1988 Buick Park Ave sleeps on the street. Girlfriend's Buick LaCrosse gets to sleep behind my Brougham.
  • snakeweaselsnakeweasel a Certified Edmunds Poster.Posts: 11,791
    Because I have to deal with clients who think the same way, I have to accept the reality and deal with it,

    I deal with that type of people too, but I usually show up in a 7 year old Hyundai than a 1.5 year old Caddy. Thats because I am usually trying to straighten up their finances and part of that is trying to convince them that, at least for now, they need to dump the high priced cars and economize. I can't do that driving a high end car.

    The sign said "No shoes, no shirt, no service", it didn't say anything about no pants.

  • pch101pch101 Posts: 582
    An educated guess of success CAN be made by a vehicle, or condition of a vehicle.

    I'm inclined to agree with Snakeweasel on this one. Possessions often reflect a willingness to utilize one's debt capacity, which is fairly easy to get if you have even a modest income.

    Speaking for myself, I have a ton of debt capacity that I don't use. I could have a lot more stuff than I do (and I'm not hurting for possessions), but I don't because I don't particularly want them. Yet despite this, I know plenty of people who have far more stuff than I do, but far less money -- they spend and borrow the max, and save nothing.

    As for Cadillac buyer demographics versus those of competing makes, that surely varies depending on the nameplate. I have no doubt that C-class, A4 and 3-series buyers are younger than DTS buyers, for example, but I'd guess that Escalade buyers skew fairly young. (Bling factor and all that.)
  • trimastertrimaster Posts: 163
    That's what I was thinking. On Car & Driver they have a comparo of cars 35k & under:

    2005 Acura TL vs. 2005 Audi A4 3.2 Quattro vs. 2006 BMW 330i vs. 2005 Cadillac CTS vs. 2005 Infiniti G35 vs. 2006 Lexus IS350 vs. 2005 Saab 9-3 Aero vs. 2005 Volvo S60R AWD.

    I'm willing to bet the person who chose the BMW 330i is considered a poser & living above his means, while the person who bought the Caddy CTS is frugal & smarter with his money!

    Even though the cars are in the same price range & BMW won the comparo. :confuse:

    C&D
  • sls002sls002 Posts: 2,788
    I have generally always paid cash for my cars. I figure if I don't have enough cash, I don't need a new car. Right now I am looking at getting a program SRX, because I have enough cash for a used one, but not enough for a new 2007.

    A problem with dumping a Cadillac is that it may be worth less than the remaining loan is worth.
  • snakeweaselsnakeweasel a Certified Edmunds Poster.Posts: 11,791
    I never debated your point, I don't see how that is relevant.

    Then you haven't followed the thread. My point was about the one who said he looks at the car that interviewees get into as part of his hiring practice. To that my point is totally relevant.

    An educated guess of success CAN be made by a vehicle, or condition of a vehicle.

    And it will be just that a guess and as such are oft times wrong.

    I know of a lot of local mcmansions with 3 car garages completely loaded up with crap, so the 5er and wifey's RX have to sleep outside.

    yep so do I and I cringe when I see some of their their financial situations. Saw one couple a month or so ago that had that 4000 square foot McMansion completely loaded with so much stuff that his 5 series and her X5 had to sleep outside. The only problem was that they had 3 mortgages and a home equity Line of Credit that equalled about 95% of what their house was worth, had nearly $100K in credit card debt and about $20K more in other unsecured debt. This couple had a negative net worth, they were bankrupt.

    You can look at them, go to their house and make an educated guess that they are successful. But I would be very surprised that they will keep their house for more than 3 more months without filing bankruptcy.

    The sign said "No shoes, no shirt, no service", it didn't say anything about no pants.

  • fintailfintail Posts: 34,005
    Exactly. The Lexus buyer would also be seen as being concerned with "quality" and nothing else.
  • trimastertrimaster Posts: 163
    yep so do I and I cringe when I see some of their their financial situations. Saw one couple a month or so ago that had that 4000 square foot McMansion completely loaded with so much stuff that his 5 series and her X5 had to sleep outside. The only problem was that they had 3 mortgages and a home equity Line of Credit that equalled about 95% of what their house was worth, had nearly $100K in credit card debt and about $20K more in other unsecured debt. This couple had a negative net worth, they were bankrupt.

    You can look at them, go to their house and make an educated guess that they are successful. But I would be very surprised that they will keep their house for more than 3 more months without filing bankruptcy.


    That's sad. I don't wish that on anybody. But it's the society we live in. Their problem is bigger than BMW.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 34,005
    That's nice. Again, an educated guess can be made. No different than judging someone's hygiene and applying it to their employability.

    "And it will be just that a guess and as such are oft times wrong. "

    No more wrong than assuming a highline car driver is living way above their means, is on the verge of financial collapse, etc.

    I suspect a lot of mcmansions are/will be in that situation. I wonder how much of the economy is really based on that equity.
  • snakeweaselsnakeweasel a Certified Edmunds Poster.Posts: 11,791
    It is sad and it happens a lot. I have helped many out of situations like that. The odd thing is people like that could live in a nice modest 2000-2500 square foot house and have one real nice car with no problems. They just go way overboard with their lifestyle.

    The problem is bigger than BMW, its just that BMW (or MB or Lexus or whatever) is a symptom.

    The sign said "No shoes, no shirt, no service", it didn't say anything about no pants.

  • snakeweaselsnakeweasel a Certified Edmunds Poster.Posts: 11,791
    No more wrong than assuming a highline car driver is living way above their means, is on the verge of financial collapse, etc.

    But the thing is I have not made such an assumption. The only link I have ever made between a persons car and their financial situation is that you cannot always determine one by the other.

    The sign said "No shoes, no shirt, no service", it didn't say anything about no pants.

  • smittynycsmittynyc Posts: 291
    "You are what you drive - get over it."

    What if you don't drive anything at all? There are plenty of seven-figure lawyers, investment bankers, surgeons, etc. who live in Manhattan or Brooklyn or even some suburbs and don't own a car, period.

    Then there are those who drive something less than the greatest and latest because even a garage-kept car takes a ton of abuse from the attendants -- lots of dings and dents, getting started and moved around 20 times a day, etc.

    Drive around the old-money suburbs here -- Bedford, Morristown, New Canaan -- and you'll see loads of 10-15-year-old Volvos and Mercedes diesel wagons and Accords and Subarus in the driveways (admittedly, mostly the classy, tasteful colonials, not the ghastly newer constructions).

    What a person drives is WAY down the list of things I use to evaluate someone. To use it as the *primary* means of evaluating someone's intelligence, wealth, and ability carries with it a huge risk of ending up with egg on your face, imo.
  • grbeckgrbeck Posts: 2,361
    snakeweasel: But thats just my point. Take any good car put a BMW badge on it and everyone will like it and say its good. Put a Cadillac badge on it and all of a sudden its a piece of junk. The only thing different is the badge.

    The reason is because BMW has earned a good reputation, while Cadillac has earned a bad one, and is only now slowly recovering.

    The Cadillacs are getting better - no doubt about that, as successive generation improves over the preceding one. The company HAD to get better - otherwise, it would be out of business by now.

    And there are still substantive differences in the way these cars drive, and their workmanship. Discriminating buyers - not to mention discriminating reviewers in EVERY publication, including those in Great Britain - can tell the difference.

    The BMW 3-Series is still the standard in its class, in both America and Europe. The 5-Series is also up there. Cadillac is getting better, but "getting better" is not the same as "already there."
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,324
    I'm sure the reasons are numerous, but one reason a person buys a $60K++ car is that he/she doesn't want it to break down....EVER...

    I really don't think someone buys a Cadillac and expects to be that lucky...IMO they are more driven by patriotism, brand loyalty, or even just because they like the looks...but it would be hard to convince me that the average Cadillac buyer has this voice in his head saying "I'm going to buy the best car in the world and obviously a Cadillac is it...."

    I don't even think BMW buyers think this....

    But I do sorta think this is the mantra in the head of Lexus buyers.....

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  • dhamiltondhamilton Posts: 873
    for myself, I buy cars based on driving dynamics. I've turned my wife in to a driving dynamics snob as well. On our combined income, we can spend 10% or less a month on car payment, insurance, and gas, and still drive two fairly high end cars.

    She drives a 1 year old Infiniti, and I drive a 7 year old truck [Silverado, total pos.] I'll eat dirt for another year or so, and then make another run at an S4, or 335.

    I can't say what causes each person to drive what they drive with 100% accuracy. I can say that most people drive what they drive, and think everyone that doesn't drive the same thing is probably a stupid _________
    1. liberal
    2. Conservative
    3. Commie
    4. Tree hugging pansy
    5. Snob
    6. Self righteous republican
    7. Bleeding heart democrat
    8. Consumer report loving foreigner wannabe
    9. Thumb sucking, UAW worker on a 3 hour paid lunch
    10. America hating anti gun weanie

    Yeah, I think that about covers it.
  • tlongtlong CaliforniaPosts: 4,767
    In this day and age where leasing and interest only mortgages are so common, it's really hard to look at someone's possessions and tell who is really making it and who is doing it with smoke and mirrors.

    There is a saying "you either look rich, or you ARE rich". While if you are really wealthy you might accomplish both, most of the truly affluent people don't look the part. Read the book "The Millionaire Next Door". Most millionaires are people who live modestly and spend well below their means. Many who look wealthy are going into hock up to their eyeballs.

    Me? I could afford $60K or $70K for a car, but what's the point? I wouldn't get double the enjoyment out of double the price!
  • tlongtlong CaliforniaPosts: 4,767
    Take any good car put a BMW badge on it and everyone will like it and say its good. Put a Cadillac badge on it and all of a sudden its a piece of junk. The only thing different is the badge.

    I disagree. I see too much of this type of apologist behavior. There IS a big difference between these makes. The Cadillac loyalists can [non-permissible content removed] about it from here to Sunday, but it's not going to stop the erosion of the brand. Only excellent products will (and they've improved tremendously). But to pretend it's ONLY about the badge is hiding your head in the sand. Do you really think that there is no difference between Cadillac and BMW, and that the BMW name is all about snobbery?
  • gsemikegsemike Long Island, NYPosts: 1,778
    Snake,
    I said:
    If it was a GM or Ford, it wouldn't be a Mini anymore. That's like telling a Metalicca fan that if Rascal Flatts sang Enter Sandman, you wouldn't like that.

    One of the things that makes the Mini what it is is that it is small and tossable. GM is still not able to build anything light. If they made the Mini, it would weigh 500 pounds more and be not that fun.


    You said:
    But thats just my point. Take any good car put a BMW badge on it and everyone will like it and say its good. Put a Cadillac badge on it and all of a sudden its a piece of junk. The only thing different is the badge.

    Huh?? We're saying completely opposite things and you're saying that I'm making your point? If it was the easy to make a 3 series, everyone would do it. It's BMWs engineering and execution that makes it what it is. If Caddy could snap their fingers and replicate that, they would have done so. It's pointless to speculate about how a BMW with a Caddy badge would be percieved. A Caddy badge isn't ending up on a Caddy anytime soon.

    Let's face it. Caddy has hitched their wagon to science & art. Everyone knows it and that is a design that only resonates with a select few people. They've chosen their path.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    What a person drives is WAY down the list of things I use to evaluate someone. To use it as the *primary* means of evaluating someone's intelligence, wealth, and ability carries with it a huge risk of ending up with egg on your face, imo.

    Nobody said it was "primary" to begin with. Nobody. Egg tastes good with salt & ketchup anyway. But you're way overreacting.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Either way, 140, 170 or later on 200hp it wasn't competitive, nor was the Allante in general. Those numbers were downright awful for a V8, especially after the mid-80's. The BMW M3 of the day had 190hp from a 4-cylinder.

    Allante sales were steady at about 3000 annually. The 1990 Mercedes did not affect Allante sales as far as I can see. The 93 Allante did better, but I think Cadillac or GM, decided that upgrading the Seville with a computer suspension was perhaps a better waste of money.

    Sales and relevance are two different things. The car wasn't within a 100 miles of being competitive with the SL when the 1990 500SL came along. The 1993 Allate has a good sales number because the 1993 model Allante went on sale in the spring of 1992, so it had a very long "1993".

    M
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    I really don't think someone buys a Cadillac and expects to be that lucky...IMO they are more driven by patriotism, brand loyalty, or even just because they like the looks...but it would be hard to convince me that the average Cadillac buyer has this voice in his head saying "I'm going to buy the best car in the world and obviously a Cadillac is it...."

    LOL - I've been trying to figure out what the hell IS in the mind of a Cadillac buyer these days, shifty - and I can't. I see a lot of younger people though, who just say they "like the looks" of them, and buy them for that reason. But I have found nobody who says they think they're the best in the world anymore. Those days are gone forever, I think.
  • sls002sls002 Posts: 2,788
    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.

    If the Allante had used the Corvette chassis as a starting point in its development, a significantly better car could have been produced.

    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.
  • sls002sls002 Posts: 2,788
    Well, for me having a Cadillac dealer nearby is better than having a Mercedes dealer a thousand miles away. Well, OK a thousand miles roundtrip. If my Cadillac has a leaky water pump I can drive it in for repair. Now I suppose that the Mercedes water pump's last for a million miles so replacing one is never an issue, but the point is, with a water pump that has started to leak, would it be wise to set off for the dealer that is 500 miles away???????
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