This article is part of the GM Authority Mailbag series, where the GM Authority Crew features and replies to your questions, comments, and observations.
The following comes to us from Mick in New York City:
As a professional responsible for product in the technology sector, I feel strongly to write about this since Cadillac has a pretty sizable disadvantage compared to BMW, Audi and Mercedes.
Now then: my last 4 cars were BMWs and the last two were VWs. All six were in white. I always buy my cars white. It’s just the way I like them. And traditionally, it has been pretty easy to get a car in white (everyone has one), until Cadillac.
Two weeks ago, I was seconds away from ordering a 2015 ATS Sedan. I love the car, the style and how I can drive it. It’s a great car. But then, my salesperson told me that the only white I can order the ATS in is the Crystal White Tricoat. I double checked and was appalled.
Let me tell you: that color does not appeal to young people such as myself.
It actually reminds me of the Cadillacs my grandpa used to buy in the 1970s. It looks good if you’re 60 years old and drive to the country club every day for some brunch and bingo. But at 38, there is no way in hell I’m buying a sport sedan in the old man white. No way.
Cadillac disk get a sale that day from me all because their color selection has yet to enter the 21st century. That’s really too bad, because the ATS is a very good car.
So until Cadillac decides that it’s high time to offer a non-metallic white on the ATS (for free), I’ll be hanging on to my 2013 BMW 335i, which I also really like. It looks good in white.
We are right there with you, Mick.
Why Cadillac refuses to offer a free, non-metallic white on the ATS (and CTS, by the way) has had us scratching our heads since the car’s debut a few years ago.
The sad part is that Cadillac has done all of the hard work in making the ATS on par with, or better than, BMW — from the driving dynamics to the styling and to the quality. But the easy stuff — like figuring out which colors to offer — is an area in which Caddy continues to stumble.
You mentioned competitive disadvantage, so let’s review the situation with Cadillac compared to BMW.
Cadillac has only one white on the ATS (and CTS). It’s a rather expensive ($995) option that some (such as yourself) don’t like. By contrast, BMW has two whites on offer on the 3 and 5 Series:
- A free, non-metallic white called Alpine White
- An optional, $550 metallic white called Mineral White Metallic
The same is the case for Audi and Mercedes-Benz vehicles of the same segment. These vehicles offer two whites for a reason: luxury car buyers like yourself don’t settle for something that they are “ok” with; that’s what a Corolla is for. Instead, luxury car buyers want their “toys” their way.
As GM and Cadillac fans, we want the brand to succeed. We want to see sales grow, rather than decline. And unfortunately ATS and CTS sales have been falling lately. We can’t help but realize that simple things like color choices have an affect on this, as this situation with the whites presents one more reason for consumers not to switch to Cadillac from their current BMWs, Mercedes, Audis, and Lexus vehicles.
All in all, Cadillac can leave the Crystal White Tricoat color as an option on the ATS, but offer one more white color across its entire vehicle portfolio. The second white needs to be free and it needs to be non-metallic. That shouldn’t be that difficult.