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Is Cadillac's Image Dying and Does Anyone Care?

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  • 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.....
  • 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: 4,700
    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: 4,700
    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: 1,743
    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???????
  • sls002sls002 Posts: 2,788
    BMW's have earned a reputation for building sedans with an excellent combination of ride and handling. This is what the BMW name is all about. It was not about luxury, although the 5 series and 7 series are luxury sedans. BMW has been the "standard" for sports sedan handling and ride. The 3-series is more luxurious now than the forerunner 2002 model was.

    Cadillac has not really made "sports sedans" in the past. The CTS is Cadillac's first real sports sedan. The Catera was a standin so Cadillac dealers had something to offer while Lincoln dealers were selling the Lincoln LS. When Cadillac put the Cimarron into production, some GM executives thought it was competition for the BMW 3-series.
  • You make a good point. One of the worst things an automaker can do is make a car that looks like something it is not (e.g., latest Ford Thunderbird, the Allante, the Reatta, the Fiero, the term "eurosedan', the first Corvette).

    Having said that, I can now contradict myself with putting forth plush 2WD SUVs built on a car chassis....oh well....

    Maybe it's that sports sedan owners or sports car drivers don't like to be deceived but SUV drivers don't mind at all?
  • bumpybumpy Posts: 4,435
    I see absolutely no evidence to indicate that. I don't believe for a second that the teams who designed the Mustang or Silverado have the slightest idea what a Mini buyer looks for in a car.
  • lahirilahiri Posts: 394
    Great post! Yes, this is why over 300 light vehicle (cars, SUVs, pick up trucks) models are marketed in the US. If everyone thought alike, we would have a dozen at most.

    As far as Caddy goes, I like CTS, XLR, Escalade. Unfortunately, the reason I don't drive these is money. I need to stick to non-luxury brands (so far the list includes Geo, Chevy, Mazda, Honda) till I win a lottery.

    GM expects consumers to move up from Chevy to Pontiac to Buick to Caddy... (I may not have things in the right order). However, if you are driving a Chevy or Pontiac today, you will most likey move up to Acura, Lexus. Brands ike Chevy or Pontiac hurt Caddy more than they help - once you see cheap plastics, numerous quality issues with these brands as I have seen, you are unlikely to give GM's better brands like Caddy a chance.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    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.
  • gsemikegsemike Long Island, NYPosts: 1,743
    "but I do believe most younger people see Cadillac as different now"

    Most.. as in the majority, more than 50%??? That may be stretching it a bit. Besides the hip hop communicity and their affinity for Slades, most young people think Fla Turnpike Cruiser when the think Cadillac.
  • rockyleerockylee Posts: 14,011
    That about narrows it down as I agree with it. :D ;)

    Rocky
  • rockyleerockylee Posts: 14,011
    I gotta agree with Snake, because if the CTS had a BMW badge on the hood it would celebrated as a good ELLPS choice. Sure even BMW fans wouldn't admit it's great because it isn't but it wouldn't get trashed like it does now. ;)

    Rocky
  • gsemikegsemike Long Island, NYPosts: 1,743
    All this discussion of sticking this badge on that car is pointless. There are characteristics of cars that contribute to how they're perceived. We're not just going to wake up tomorrow in bizarro world where Caddy makes the 3 series and BMW makes the CTS. BMW has been doing what they do better than anyone else for decades. Caddy has demostrated that they just can't snap their fingers and replicate those virtues. Those virtues make a BMW a BMW.

    I would bet that half the people that bought a Mini don't even know of the relationship to BMW.
  • rockyleerockylee Posts: 14,011
    And "if" Cadillac surpasses the BMW 3 with the 2008' CTS in almost every category will the car media allow the tarnished Cadillac brand and the 08' CTS to be known as the "benchmark" ????? I seriously doubt no matter what the ELLPS lovers will not allow a Cadillac to be known as the benchmark ELLPS. :sick:

    Rocky
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