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Is Cadillac's Image Dying and Does Anyone Care?



  • marsha7marsha7 Posts: 3,703
    Thanks for the info......................
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    All the D3 had to do was SIT IN and DRIVE any Accord, Prelude, Camry and a blind man could see the difference in quality, performance, and overall ergonomic design...sit in a Honda and everything is where it should be, easy to reach, nice tactile control, well could the Big 3 miss the pink elephant in the room??? could they just not see it???

    They saw it, marsha, they knew it, and they admitted that the Japanese cars were better than ours. And they WANTED to make our cars as good or better. What got in the was was cost. The Beancounters, to keep the company profitable unit by unit, scratched triple door seals, clear headlights, NVH engineering and sound insulation, etc., until our cars sounded like cornbinders and Toyotas sounded like sewing machines...... We WANTED to do it, but could not because of the short term wall street mentality, even build the car they want to build.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    A bit of messed up Velcro and the blog posters go ballistic.

    2008 Cadillac CTS: Shortcuts That Try My Patience


    It could be a worse design however.
  • marsha7marsha7 Posts: 3,703
    I can understand ignoring it in the 70s and 80s, as the tidal wave of imports had not gained sufficient momentum for Big 3 to literally ring the bells of desperation...

    But by the 90s, with Acura, Lexus and Infinit, and the increasing sales of the lower level Honda, Toyota and Nissan, the tsunami from the underlying earthquake
    (shades of Indonesia) was beyond obvious...the elephant was standing on their feet, and they still pretended like nothing was happening...

    For all the fault of management, if I was a UAW worker, especially on Lincoln and Cadillac luxury cars, I would have been wondering why "my product" was not as good as the brand new competition from Japan...

    I understand why a little child covers its eyes because of the "monster" that hides in a dark closet...but I expect a little better from adults making Cadillacs, and that is probably my biggest failing, expecting Big 3 workers to act like intelligent adults...
  • cooterbfdcooterbfd Posts: 2,770
    Bob, I understand what you're saying, but what can a few workers do versus the investor with 10,000 who demands his 10-15% this year (plus dividends) and is gone 18 months later, only to be replkaced by another investor who demands the same thing???
  • lemkolemko Philadelphia, PAPosts: 15,294
    I pass on the Mercedes not because the Cadillac is cheaper, but that I can depend on the Cadillac and the repair and maintenance costs won't eat me alive! Besides, the Cadillac is much prettier. A Buick is an even more sensible choice.

    Some people truly do appreciate the Mercedes marque, but many other are just status seeking social climbers. These are the type who will brag about spending the extra $15K just because they can. They simply look foolish to me.
  • jimbresjimbres Posts: 2,025
    Some people truly do appreciate the Mercedes marque, but many other are just status seeking social climbers. These are the type who will brag about spending the extra $15K just because they can.

    I happen to agree with you, but your remark raises a question that I've asked before & that no one has answered.

    When I was a kid, status-seeking social climbers bought Cadillacs & helped make the Cadillac franchise into a veritable money machine for GM. Although Lincoln & Chrysler tried to grab some of this business, Cadillac dominated the luxury market & generated enormous profits.

    Cadillac used to know just how to pull these people into its showrooms. One of my favorite Cadillac ads ran in the mid to late 50s & shows what we would now call a couple of yuppies waiting for the valet to bring them their car. He's wearing a dinner jacket, she has a fur around her shoulders, & it's perfectly obvious that they drive a Cadillac, although no car is pictured.

    The ad just drips snobbery. It's clearly aimed at status seekers & it's very well done. If you're in the business of building & selling luxury cars, you want these people in your showrooms. They travel in packs & their business is hugely profitable. If you can't get social climbers to buy your luxury car, you have to ask yourself what you're doing wrong.

    Cadillac used to be the best in the business at separating these people from their money. What went wrong? How did Cadillac lose its mojo?
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 31,180
    What went wrong? How did Cadillac lose its mojo?

    Cadillac would still be in the toilet if not for Lincoln. They built the Navigator in 1997 and Cadillac played follower with the 99 Escalade. Nothing else saved Cadillac but the BIG SUV. And GM still could not make money. They were selling big SUVs like there was no tomorrow and barely squeaking by. Of course the 1998 UAW Strike did not help matters for GM. While GM's design and engineering has not been earth shattering for decades. There labor relations has probably been their downfall. Their stupid promises to the UAW for retirees has to be held over the head of weak management. The real amazing part about GM is that they have not had to file for bankruptcy before this.
  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,624
    I would say the competition killed the Caddy!

    2008 Sales
    Total BMW division car 195,085
    Total Mercedes-Benz car (I) 158,697
    Total Lexus car (I) 151,567
    Total Cadillac car 105,293
    Total Acura car 83,282
    Total Infiniti car (I) 79,799
    Total Audi car (I) 74,551

  • dieselonedieselone Posts: 5,727

    You have "car" listed after each manufacturer. Does that mean the numbers don't include SUV/crossover models? If that is the case, I'm surprised by some of the numbers.

    I'd never guess that Audi is only 10k in sales from Acura. Pretty sad with all of deep discounts, Cadillac still can only muster a little more than 1/2 what BMW sells. Then again, Cadillac only has one vehicle like, BMW has several.

    I'd love to have a 3 Series, but the snob appeal is the main reason I won't buy one. I don't want to be associated with most of the wannabe pr!(k$ that drive them. But I do love the way they drive.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 31,180
    Speaking of BMW. I saw a 335i hardtop convertible yesterday. Nice looking. It had what looked like German license plates. Wonder how much of the trunk the top takes up.

    Ah, something that a UAW worker could only dream about building. Unless of course they move down to Greenville, SC near the BMW factory. And swear they hate the UAW and just love to build wonderful cars. :P
  • lemkolemko Philadelphia, PAPosts: 15,294
    3-Series just says one thing to me:

    I LEASED my car!

    To be a real serious Bimmer-phile, I need to see you in at least a 5-Series.
  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,624
    Yes, cars only. I left out trucks because until the Escalade, Caddy did not have an SUV so it was about lux cars. You see the comp has completely destroyed their reign in the U.S.A.

    I just came of lease on a was the best car I've driven to date, damned the snob appeal. I could care less about that. The damn thing becomes part of your brain! Simply fantastic! No Caddy until the CTS in '08 could come close.

  • lemkolemko Philadelphia, PAPosts: 15,294
    If a teeny tiny 3-Series is the kind of car you want. I'd spend the same money on a very nice Buick and get my money's worth.
  • jimbresjimbres Posts: 2,025
    Come back & talk to us about 3-series Bimmers when you've driven one that's properly equipped - with RWD, the sport package &, of course, a stick.

    You do know how to drive a stick, I assume.

    Don't forget to get back to me with an answer to the question that I asked a few posts back: how did Caddy lose the magic?
  • jimbresjimbres Posts: 2,025
    Nothing else saved Cadillac but the BIG SUV.

    Unfortunately for the domestic manufacturers, you can't build a strong luxury franchise around trucks, no matter how good they are. The core of any luxury brand has always been & will always be fast, sexy sedans & coupes.

    Next to an early 1960s Lincoln Continental - one of the most beautiful post-WWII American cars - a new Navigator looks like a over-chromed shoe box on wheels. Which one would you rather drive to your next high school reunion?
  • lemkolemko Philadelphia, PAPosts: 15,294
    I can't all you how Cadillac lost the magic because it still has a spell on me! :shades:

    All I can say is that maybe Boomers' parents were right all along about their kids sitting too close to the TV. They've all lost much of their sight thinking any other car is more attractive than a Caddy. How else can a Bangled-up Bimmer look good unless you were going blind? Fortunately, I didn't waste my childhood sitting in front of the idiot box.

    A little 3-Series with a stick and a sport package? Wouldn't it be more cost-effective to get one of those old Datsun 510s to duplicate the experience? All that banging around in a tiny metal box is kind of the antithesis of luxury in my book.
  • lemkolemko Philadelphia, PAPosts: 15,294
    It's pretty hard for any car, past or present, to be as beautiful as a 1961-65 Continental! The Navigator's got as much beauty as my mother's circa 1970 Hotpoint stove with instruments that remind me very much of it.

    Of course I would be extremely proud to drive either my 1989 Cadillac Brougham or 2007 Cadillac DTS Performance to my high school reunion.
  • wvgasguywvgasguy Posts: 1,405
    Maybe the DTS, but seriously the 89 Brougham? Although you could haul yourself and 10 or 12 of your friends in it with you.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    how did Caddy lose the magic?

    Easy. They quit being the best in about 1980, and started putting real crap on the road. My 1983 Fleetwood Brougham was my first Cadillac, and it was lovely, except it had a 4.1L Aluminum V-8 that was slow, and self destructed in 20,000 miles, and constantly leaked. So I traded it on the downsized 1985 Fleetwood. Same engine though, FWD, and no, they didn't fix the engine. Same thing happened. Traded it on a 1987 Sixty Special. Oops, same damn engine, same damn thing happened, but I put some serious change into that car, so I kept it until 1990, and bought another Fleetwood. This one had a revised 4.5L engine in it, and wasn't so bad, but the rest of the car was just mediocre at best, and unreliable generally. That's when I switched to Lincoln, in 1992, and never went back. In 2002 I left Lincoln for Lexus, and feel no urges to go back to Cadillac, despite the good little CTS. And I do mean little....

    Cadillac will never be the same, nor will the world. That's what went wrong with their magic, they got complacent, and the competition got smart.
  • jimbresjimbres Posts: 2,025
    Ah, it's just as I thought: you can't drive a stick & your domineering girl friend won't let you learn. Too bad.

    Still, you're partly right about the 3. It's not a luxury car & BMW shouldn't try to market it as one. Those of us who really like BMW aren't thrilled with the latest iteration of the 3-series. It's put on too much weight & it's losing its edge.

    (And, BTW, the Datsun 510 was a genuinely cool car - cheap, durable & fun to drive.)

    As for Cadillac, it won't be a serious contender in the luxury segment until it figures out how to attract status-conscious buyers from the Germans. A luxury brand can't stay alive by selling only to bargain hunters like you. It desperately needs people who crave the badge. Cadillac used to own these buyers. It has to get them back.
  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,624
    Try the current 3 before you surmise what banging around is. The hard-core bimmerfiles call it a BUICK! But it won't slam into the wall on a spirited turn and leave all current US cars in the dust.

  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,624
    Yup. That's the only place it will be in style...high school reunions!

  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,624
    Heck,Hyundai will get them before Caddy gets them back. That will put them far deeper in the whole...until they loose the UAW and management of old, no chance in Hades!

  • lemkolemko Philadelphia, PAPosts: 15,294
    Oh, I'm familiar with those early '80s Caddies and I avoid them like the plague. They're beautiful cars with awful engines. If I were Cadillac during that period, I'd have stuck with the 425 V-8 and given the eco-weenies and their stupid CAFE rules an upright middle finger until a decent alternative could be developed.

    I've been doing well since I bought my first new Cadillac in 1989. I followed it up with a 1994 DeVille, a 2002 Seville STS, and my current DTS Performance. If they were so bad, I wouldn't keep buying them.
  • lemkolemko Philadelphia, PAPosts: 15,294
    I learned to drive a stick a long time ago on a 1953 Chevrolet truck. I've followed up with driving my then-girlfriend's 1994 Jetta and my friend's BMW Z-4. It might be fun on the open road, but rowing through the gears in city traffic everyday would be tiresome at best.

    Oh, my girlfriend - she's a very petite 5' 1" and weighs 99 lbs. She's far from "domineering."

    I truly love the Cadillac marque. If a Caddy cost the same as a Bimmer or Benz, I would still buy it.
  • bumpybumpy Posts: 4,435
    If they were so good, how come you only kept one of them? :P
  • ingvaringvar Posts: 205
    If a teeny tiny 3-Series is the kind of car you want. I'd spend the same money on a very nice Buick and get my money's worth.
    Not everybody needs a huge car. I love 135i. I could drive it around any Buick:-)
  • lemkolemko Philadelphia, PAPosts: 15,294
    I still have my 1989 Cadillac Brougham and it is still in excellent condition. I intend to keep this car for life! I traded the 1994 DeVille for the 2002 Seville STS and the Seville STS for the DTS Performance.
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