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Is Cadillac's Image Dying and Does Anyone Care?



  • snakeweaselsnakeweasel a Certified Edmunds Poster.Posts: 13,452
    '05 Smarts are not legal in the US unless they have been modified for emmissions (and I think safety). Zap is importing them and modifying them.

    However you cannot just import a '05 Smart and sell it as is.

    2008 Sebring Ragtop, 2011 Hyundai Sonata.

  • 62vetteefp62vetteefp Posts: 6,048 148/AUTO01

    Even under a veil of darkness, the 2008 Cadillac CTS looks good.
    "Cadillac wanted to create a signature look for the CTS in the dark," said John Manoogian, GM's design director for Cadillac. "It was our way to put show car lighting on a production model."

    The new CTS, which will arrive at dealerships in late summer, will offer projector headlights, unique daytime running lights and a beautiful lighting scheme throughout its interior.

    Sophisticated lighting, refined interiors and enhanced performance could stoke Cadillac's resurgence as it keeps pace with Asian and European luxury carmakers, which have topped U.S. luxury car sales for years.

    During the day, light pipes -- a creative use of LED lights and a plastic bar -- will glow vertically on the edges of the CTS tail and head lights, creating a glowing slash near the car's four corners.

    But before the CTS can truly shine, the sun needs to set.

    As part of the CTS's optional performance package, the projector headlamps, which cast low and high beams, will feature an Adaptive Forward Lighting System, which allows the light lens to swivel up to 15 degrees in the direction the vehicle turns for better visibility on twisting roads.

    The tall and distinctive lamps look more like a glass-cut chandelier than a pair of automotive lighting devices.

    The slender tail lamps use only LEDs. Parlance for light emitting diode, LEDs have grown in popularity with auto designers and engineers because of their tiny size, low energy use and extremely long life. The CTS uses 31 LEDs in each tail lamp and 48 in the high-mounted vertical braking light.

    The CTS also has two lighting systems inside the cabin, CTS product manager Bill Mack explained. The incandescent system lights the cabin for more functional uses, such as when a door is opened, or if a button is pressed to read a map. The LED system, which uses 15 hidden bulbs for ambient lighting, creates a soft and appealing look throughout the cabin.

    Areas like the rear passenger foot wells and door handles are awash in a soft bluish-white light. A pin light shines on the gear shifter and six fiber optic cables illuminate fine lines across parts of the dash, instrument panel and door panels.

    "This kind of lighting is what luxury consumers expect in their cars," Mack said.

    Industry analyst Erich Merkle said he's been impressed with Cadillac's new sedan.

    "The CTS is a fine example of getting it right on all of the little details," said Merkle, the director of forecasting for IRN Inc., an automotive consulting firm in Grand Rapids. "The CTS is a splendid vehicle and exceeds what consumers would expect."i>
  • mediapushermediapusher Posts: 305
    That's fine, but there is just one problem... Escalades, Yukons and Tahoes are not cars, they're trucks.
    If you can see through the tint in the Escalades, Yukons and Tahoes in So California....
  • mediapushermediapusher Posts: 305
    Oh yeah? How much money have you spent on maintenance in the last ten years on your GM vehicle, compared to my Toyota vehicle? Keep in mind that my car isn't ten years old. It's a 2003, however it has 10 years worth of use racked up on it

    reference text::::
    Only a FOOL puts his hand on a hot stove forever with "LOYALTY", and then is surprised that he is burned

    And only a fool will continue to believe that the stove will stay hot forever.
  • mediapushermediapusher Posts: 305
    Can someone answer this question?

    Why would someone buy the DTS when they could have the STS?
  • bumpybumpy Posts: 4,435
    The DTS is an old-school FWD land barge, and I suppose there are enough septuagenerian badge snobs to keep it going for now. The STS is a very slightly larger CTS with a regular V8 available. I suppose there are enough people who want that extra fractional space or don't want to spring for a CTS-V to keep it going for now also.
  • snakeweaselsnakeweasel a Certified Edmunds Poster.Posts: 13,452
    Oh yeah? How much money have you spent on maintenance in the last ten years on your GM vehicle, compared to my Toyota vehicle?

    Currently I own two Hyundais (both 5 years or older both well over 100K miles) only one needed anything other than routine maintenance (one had an exhaust manifold crack at 120K miles) that was repaired under warranty. The other car I have is a Caddy thats only about a year and a half or so old with less that 20K miles on it, all I ever have done with that was change the oil.

    The last GM that I had I sold at around 150K miles and did nothing but oil changes, tunes ups and brake jobs (all routine maintence) no warranty work was ever done to it. The guy I sold it to drove it almost another 150K miles with no work other than routine maintence.

    I have a sister who has a GM with close to 100K and no issues with it.

    OTOH the last two Toyotas my other sister has had go into the shop for non routine maintence like clock work. Her current one goes into the shop for some type of warranty work almost every other month.

    So by your standards I would be a fool to buy a Toyota.

    2008 Sebring Ragtop, 2011 Hyundai Sonata.

  • louisweilouiswei Posts: 3,717
    Yes, snakeweasel, based on your personal experience, if I was you I wouldn't buy a Toyota either. However, that's not the case for many others.

    Looks like you are one of the lucky ones whom got a problem-free CTS-V. By the way, what's the warranty on that? I would feel insecure to keep it around much longer after the warranty (powertrain) expired.

    Maybe you should use your good GM experience to rescue your sister from her Toyota misery. Why's she still keeping that Toyota anyway since it's in the shop almost every other month. Good god, that's 6 times a year. My family has a 11-year-old Honda Accord and 9-year-old Toyota Camry, those combined together were in the shop for less time than that!!
  • lemkolemko Philadelphia, PAPosts: 15,294
    Maintenance? Probably the same if we followed the same maintenance schedule and had the same mileage. Maintenance = oil and fluid changes, brake pads, belts, wiper blades, cleaning, etc. I probably spend less on maintenance simply because I do all of the work myself.
  • lemkolemko Philadelphia, PAPosts: 15,294
    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.
  • louisweilouiswei Posts: 3,717
    V6 cheapens a car??!!


    lemko, you really need to join the 21st century man...

    Any high performance 6 banger like the Toyota 2GR, Nissan VQ, GM 3.6HF, Honda 3.5, BMW twin-turbo-6 does NOT cheapen the car in anyway. They only make the old V8 pushrod looks like a POS. In this day and age, any V8 that puts out less than 300 HP should be put in a museum up for exhibit and I meant a history museum.

    I don't remember what you drive exactly but I am sure it has a V8 in there. However, I'll be willing to bet that many cars out there with those high performance V6s will have no trouble smoking your pushrod V8 Caddy (or Buick) without any sweat. And that's including the Camry, Accord, Altima and the 08' V6 STS :surprise: .
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 31,110
    That's fine, but there is just one problem... Escalades, Yukons and Tahoes are not cars, they're trucks.

    And, what's your point?

    Many of us old dudes like the ease of entry and exit of the large SUVs. From where I am many young people also like the large SUVs. I'll be danged if I am going on a long trip cramped into a little car. If my wife liked the looks of the Escalade it would be in my garage right now. She is leaning toward the smaller GL320 CDI, whenever CARB gives the go ahead for diesel.

    You seem to want to ignore the facts. The Escalade is one of the main reasons that Cadillac is doing so well. Even with $3 gas the Escalade sales are 15% higher than last year this time.

    Is Cadillac the standard of the World. Not in my opinion. I don't see any brand as that. I would imagine that Mercedes as a brand comes the closest the World over.
  • lemkolemko Philadelphia, PAPosts: 15,294 current car is a 2002 Cadillac Seville STS with a DOHC 32-valve Northstar V-8.
  • louisweilouiswei Posts: 3,717
    Oh, my bad. Forgot that the Northstar is DOHC. I was thinking about the Hemi at that time.
  • bumpybumpy Posts: 4,435
    Many of us old dudes like the ease of entry and exit of the large SUVs.

    Ease? It seems to me the ideal seat height for entry and exit is about six inches below the hip, while the Escalade is well above that which would require some rather tricky climbing to get in and out of.
  • sls002sls002 Posts: 2,788
    While the 3.5 DOHC V6's have quite decent horsepower ratings, their peak torque is about 270 ft-lbs. The northstar V8 has about 300 ft-lbs, and the VVT northstar is 315 ft-lbs, with a low end torque of about 260 ft-lbs from about 1500 RPMs. %20V/2007_46L_LH2_STS.pdf

    I will have to agree with lemko that the base V6 STS is a bit plain compared with the old FWD STS which had a lot of wood trim. The styling of the new STS's interior leaves a bit to be desired too, I think. The car magazines have all said that the performance STS, priced over $60,000, does not have a good enough interior in comparison with BMW or Audi or Mercedes models in that price range.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,570
    Well personal anecdotes aside (we can all offer exceptions to any rule ever made), it's in the history books that the Japanese auto industry rolled right over Detroit, and Detroit didn't put up much of a fight until the last ten years.

    I'm not sure if it was the staggering blow itself that knocked Detroit into mindless inaction, or the hubris of Detroit that presumed that Japan and Europe just got "lucky", but whatever the case, the American auto industry got slaughtered in the 1980s by superior products and superior reliability.

    Once you've been knocked off your horse in the middle of a pretty fast and furious race, it's very difficult to hop back on and catch up. Even IF your horse is now racing at a faster pace than the leader, it's still half a track behind and isn't going to win.

    I think it was Vince Lombardi who said "we didn't lose the game...we just ran out of time".

    I wonder if this will apply to Detroit or not.

    I come from an American auto family (they worked for Packard Motor Car Co) so my loyalties run deep, but if I were forced to bet my life savings on one random new car taken off a showroom floor, as being trouble-free for 100K miles, I would not bet on a Detroit car over a Japanese one. I could lose the bet, but I think the odds are still with me. My two cents....

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  • sls002sls002 Posts: 2,788
    Both Japanese and European auto makers were building smaller, more fuel efficent cars in the 1980's. They were also using fuel injection and for a time the OHC with multi-valve engines seemed to be the optimum solution for emission standards. Detroit was way behind on putting any of this into production. GM had developed electronic fuel injection (the first Seville in the late 70's), but this was analog fuel injection and the digital micro-processor was seem by GM as the solution to both fuel economy and emissions, so the analog fuel injection was not put into production. Digital fuel injection was put into production on the 1980 Cadillacs, and phased in over the 80's as various models were re-engineered.

    Body design was set aside in the late 70's and 80's while fuel consumption and emissions were worked on. GM did develop the large FWD platform, but the basic body design was not greatly improved until the G-body/platform of the mid-90's was put into production.

    While GM was working on those things, the Lexus was introduced in the late 80's, with a mercedes like body structure, RWD and a very nice interior. Pricing was low ball to get customers into the showroom and the cars off the dealer's lot.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,570
    It seems like Japan and Europe were always one step ahead, and it seems like they still are. Detroit is always rolling out last year's ideas (with a few exceptions, like Magna-ride).

    Detroit's strong card is still VALUE--you can get a lot more car for your money---but whether that car actually works or not all the time is still a problem.

    When it comes to first year models, I have to say in Detroit's defense that I wouldn't buy a first year European car either---but I would buy a first year Japanese model.

    MODERATOR --Need help with anything? Click on my name!

  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 21,309
    >Pricing was low ball

    Do you mean less than the real cost should have been? As in dumping?

    That practice was used heavily in the past by Japan to undercut and open markets in US. REmember the surcharge, tariff, on cars-was that Jimmy Carter's era?

    2015 Cruze 2LT, 2014 Malibu 2LT, 2008 Cobalt 2LT

  • sls002sls002 Posts: 2,788
    European's have had expensive fuel, so in terms of fuel consumption they have been ahead, but Mercedes was working on the safety cage body structure in the 60's (if not before), so body design was well ahead of Detroit.

    I have owned a number of Buicks over the years and have very few problems. However, I do get interested in something new after 3 to 5 years of owning a car, so usually I only keep them for 60 to 80 thousand miles.

    My brother has a recent Honda with a 4 cylinder engine. The engine has needed a $3000 overhaul because of some inherent design fault, not covered by warranty (expired). So, Japanese models may be quite good, but they are not bullet proof either.
  • sls002sls002 Posts: 2,788
    Let us say the the Lexus LS priced at about $40,000 probably cost about $39,000 to build and ship to the US. I don't know this for sure, but I think they were selling at or even below cost to make a market in the US. The current LS is probably profitable, although I think that the real money maker for Lexus is the overpriced ES model, based on the Camry platform.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 21,309
    Someone posted that fuel injection was used by the small foreign cars. Didn't Honda use carbs into the 90s? I can't recall if my friend's 95 Civic had a carb or not when it wouldn't start several different times.

    I do know the motor was under 100K and used some oil. I marveled at the size of the motor. Small. But it hauled the car and 4 adults and luggage to Toledo to Maine and back before the dumped it due to rust, headliner falling down repeatedly, not starting sometimes, deteriorating paint in areas like bumpers. She accepted the warts as just normal maintenance concepts.

    2015 Cruze 2LT, 2014 Malibu 2LT, 2008 Cobalt 2LT

  • bumpybumpy Posts: 4,435
    The engine has needed a $3000 overhaul because of some inherent design fault, not covered by warranty (expired).

    Which one was that?
  • sls002sls002 Posts: 2,788
    I know that European engines had fuel injection, I am not sure about the Japanese engines. I do know that there was a lot of designs to meet emission standards, some better than others.
  • sls002sls002 Posts: 2,788
    He has a CR-V. The problem was the head and possibly camshaft. Not quite sure what went wrong, but a common problem with that engine, or so my brother was told by the dealer (who should know).

    Someone I know with a 99 Deville also had a problem (coolant leak that was allowed to go too long) that required a new engine at a cost of $5000. This was partly covered by an extended warranty and Cadillac cover some of the cost, so the owner was not left with too much of the total cost.
  • bumpybumpy Posts: 4,435
    I can't recall if my friend's 95 Civic had a carb or not...

    Not on a '95.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,570
    First full production European fuel injection was in 1955, Mercedes---and it worked very well.

    First "cheapo" European car with fuel injection was 1968 VW.

    DUMPING: Oh I think Lexus definitely dumped the LS400 on the market. It was easily $10,000 less than a Mercedes and a better car, too. No wonder they took the luxury market by storm. Only glitch I remember about the car was inferior leather.

    In the 80s, the slogan among auto journalists was: "when the US government tightens emissions standards, the Japanese call their engineers and Detroit calls their attorneys".

    MODERATOR --Need help with anything? Click on my name!

  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 31,110
    Actually the leather in my wife's 1990 LS400 is still pretty decent. It is always garaged and rarely sits in the sun. She did have issues with handling when the car was new. Almost told Lexus to take it back. She was used to her Mercedes handling. They did some changes and she liked it. It is better looking than any of the new Lexus. The Lexus SC400 from the early 1990s may be one of the best looking cars ever. The new SC is grotesque. May be why folks are headed back to Cadillac for some nice styling.
  • sls002sls002 Posts: 2,788
    Mechanical fuel injection and electronic fuel injection are two different things. GM had mechanical fuel injection as an option on the Corvette for a period of time too. Modern electronic fuel injection in the 70's used an analog computer (at one time I learned how to program analog computers). Analog computer controled fuel injection would need "tuning" at periodic intervals to keep it operating best. Digital computers can tune themselves to keep the electronic fuel injection at optimum operation, until they need a new sensor, which can usually be flagged (check engine light on).
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