The First Problem With The Cadillac CT6: It’s Not Greater Than 7 (Series) Or 8 (A8): Opinion41
Earlier this week, Cadillac made waves in the global automotive industry by prominently announcing a change to the way it names its vehicles, along with plans to move its headquarters from Detroit to New York City. As part of the announcements, The Crest also let the world know that its upcoming full-size flagship sedan will be named CT6, bucking industry watchers who were of the opinion that the Omega-based vehicle would end up being called LTS. But outside of the never-ending debate about whether an alpha-numeric nomenclature is good or fitting for the brand, what does the CT6 name say about Caddy’s upcoming flagship?
The most consequential thing to remember is that the CT6 will compete head-on with the BMW 7 Series, Mercedes-Benz S-Class, and Audi A8. And in that regard, the 6 in CT6 is less than BMW’s 7 and Audi’s 8. And that’s slightly disappointing.
Sure, the 2016 CT6 has all the makings of being one great, competitive, if not class-leading luxury vehicle: it is being designed from the ground up to take on the world’s best, it will utilize an all-new, rear-drive vehicle architecture that will equip it with stellar driving dynamics and road manners, it will have an attractive (if not beautiful) design, and it will have the latest creature comforts and technological gizmos. No one will be able to dispute that it will be an outstanding product. But when it comes to the luxury car market, image, reputation, and history are everything. And the CT6 name is (algebraically) less than a 750Li or a A8L, putting the Caddy at a naming-based disadvantage right off the bat, thereby affecting its image before it even leaves the factory.
The most surprising part in all of this is Cadillac had a clean slate with the CT”X” naming convention. It could have named the new full-size flagship CT8, for instance. But it chose a number that is smaller than the digits used by BMW and by Audi. Perhaps it’s not too late to change things up with a higher number… or perhaps it won’t matter at all. But being the new kid on the block in the full-size luxury segment, with a brand new car and a brand new nameplate, we’d like to think that Cadillac would try to give its newest baby every possible advantage that it can, especially one that’s as easy as a higher number.
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Everyone is losing their minds over the name and we haven’t yet seen a single press photo of the car.
A8 and 7 series, but they also have nothing to regenerate and have already seen pototüüp 7 series.
MB S Class W222 is impossible to obtain. I do not think even the new BMW 7seeria not get a MB S Class. I dare say that the MB S Class is the best luxury car in the world. Better even than the Bentley or RR. Bentley and RR is the name of history, and can be more specialized and cost more but what MB S Class W222 offers they have.
MB S 65 is a top-V222
That’s what I thought when I heard it was CT6, that it’s less than 7 & A8. Also Lexus have a CT200.
Two points I’d like to make:
1 This post is stupid
And 2, maybe they did it on purpose so people lower their expectations for the car before they see it.
Yes it is stupid. Look who posted it: staff, nobody wants to claim it. I have a feeling this whole naming scheme is going to backfire on them. And what to make of the 4 after any of the product offering AWD. I just want to see the dang car.
I honestly think the “6” is because Cadillac has much nicer cars planned for numbers 7, 8, & 9. 7 could be a new XLR, 8 could be a Corvette Zora based mid engined XLR (Audi R8 competitor), and 9? No idea. GM has the resources to build a hyper car. They might. Who knows?
Erm, the number does not represent the said vehicle’s performance or desirability, but its size. Just assuming this XLR is Corvette-sized, it won’t be larger than the Omega sedan. This XLR you exemplify will likely use a different sequence of letters, not CT_, but maybe more like XL_.
GM wisdom seeker… Maybe it should be named… The “Republic.”
The number doesn’t necessarily represent size. It’s mostly a designation for the price and level of luxury/performance/exclusiveness of the car. Higher number = higher price = less sales volume
Are you going to give me an example of when this is true? I’ve never seen a 3 Series stand taller than a 5 Series nor have I seen an A6 be trumped in length by an A4. Yet a 4 Series may be equal to a 3, I understand this.
But please do prove me wrong when it comes to this Germanic alphanumeric system, apparently I’m ignorant.
I’m guessing 7, 8 & 9 will be SUV’s.
Who is to Say Cadillac does not have a greater coming in the future? It has already hinted more is to come. Possibly a sports car and other models.
Don’t just assume this is it as with GM there is often always more than you know around the next corner
Wow, mine is bigger than yours so I am going for a CT9! Oh, maybe a CT10.
Then BMW will come out with the 11 series. Audi will up them with an A13. Pretty soon we will have 999 series.
When will it stop!!!!!!!!
But I agree a CT8 would have been my choice. But then everyone would be complaining Cadillac is “copying” Audi and the guy came from Audi and therefore Cadillac is 2nd choice. Blah, blah, blah.
This post is ridiculous 😛
Maybe it’s called 6 because it has a twin turbo V6 or maybe it has 6 wheel drive?
CT6^3 ohhh snap that’s gotta be a hot ride !!! Lol
In racing 1 is greater than 2
It is all in how you look at it.
Build it and market it right and it matters little as you will set the standard.
CT6 is perfectly fine. I hope people are smarter than that and buy a car based on its merits and not its numerical name. Sweet baby Jesus!
This new naming scheme is pathetic.
This is stupidity! A simple reproach of those who hoped that the flagship Cadillac had a “real” name… I’m quite sure that if Cadillac had chosen CT7 or CT8, those same people were also complaining but with phrases like: “A copy of BMW”, “A copy of Audi”.
The point here is to organize the nomenclature was a necessity for Cadillac for two reasons: expansion of the portfolio and the official beginning of his journey as a global luxury brand. You really believe that the reason that major global luxury brands use alphanumeric nomenclature is “lack of creativity”, “Copy”, “German Thought”? If so, let me tell you you’re wrong!
It is a basic principle of marketing, which is used to focus attention on a brand name and not in the individual names of their products. The new Cadillac marketing strategy for the long term is to raise the brand image, restore the shine that was many years ago; for customers to feel completely proud to say “I have a Cadillac,” not “I have a CT#”.
This approach also avoids a lot of translation problems, pronunciation, perception and meaning of “real” names in the different languages and customs; ensuring that their products can be sold anywhere in the world with exactly the same name.
If the LTS is CT6, & CTS CT5, ATS CT4 & a small RWD hatch CT3 leaving CT2 for a two seat RWD roadster this would be how I see it.
I agree, this whole number thing is dumb (unless of coarse you’re Boeing where numbers are very cool) Just give it a Caddy name & some catchy letters & be done with it, I own a CTS-V you gotta love the V!! Try Eldorado V for instance or Fleetwood V… you catch my drift.
They’re not going to call it Fleetwood, and they NEVER WILL. People say I’m stuck in the past and even I know that would be a stupid move. Shut up
Although I agree the alphanumeric scheme here doesn’t make sense to me, I also disagree that we should go back to Eldorado, etc.
If we’re going to try to differentiate Cadillac from the Europeans, then we shouldn’t use names that evoke foreign languages (Seville, Eldorado, Sedan Deville, etc.)
And I wonder what benefit there is to lose the Escalade name for something like (presumably) CX6?
I hate this naming system as much s the current scheme. In it’s defense, two even more premium models are supposedly coming.
CT (Cadillac Cadillac Touring 6) is redundant. It isn’t capable of selling the dream that is luxury.
Also, I understand the use of alpha numerical names in a global market but this new plan makes the old system even more silly. CTS was Cadillac Touring Sedan. What was ATS, maybe Anyone’s Touring Sedan (I’m joking, but trying to make a point)?
Maybe pure numbers would have been better. A Cadillac 3000 for ATS and so on. Regardless, I hate it.
The CT in CT6 doesn’t stand for anything. You’re trying too hard to look for a definition in something that isn’t there. Its pointless and a waste of energy.
You need to stop thinking that car names exists to satisfy the vague wisps of how you think the past was, and you concentrate your attention on the product. The CT6 will sell itself on it’s skillful execution, and won’t be bogged down by people frittering away their time trying to make the name fit into their heads.
According to an article on THIS site, CT stands four Cadillac Touring for the new naming scheme.
I’m not thinking hard, just reading GM Authority 🙂
Even if it does, what difference does it make? Names don’t matter if the product is great, and romanticizing the past matters only to those who hold that life in the past was better than it is today.
Luxury is about the future. Here’s a brand new car in a segment Cadillac hasn’t had a place in over 20 years, and people want to saddle it down right out of the gate with a with a name that evokes impressions of substandard trash that was sold 30 years ago. It’s like dead-heading a flower before it blooms for the puerile satisfaction of a few, who undoubtedly will lament that the CT6 will be “too expensive for a Cadillac”.
Yeah, goodbye ‘Traditional’ buyers and Donk-riders. None of those groups ever had the means to get the finer things in life, nor understood the importance of continually improving luxury products.
You’ve even repeatedly pitch Latin names, as if it would make or break Cadillac. Latin is a dead language, it doesn’t lend itself to easy translation, and the influence of the Latin language has about as much a connection to American identity as a broom has to eye surgery.
Oh, I’ve never suggested historically Cadillac names; they leave a bad taste in the mouth of older shoppers, are meaningless to younger buyers.
I do think naming matters, as it solidifies the image created with solid engineering and beautiful design.
I suggested Latin mainly because GM favors such a scheme for the naming of platforms. Also, a goodly segment of luxury shoppers are well educated and thus acquainted with Latin.
Lastly, it would serve European sales well. Lancia has always used Latin naming and it worked well until Sergio’s failed 2008 relaunch.
The “C” in CTS doesn’t stand for “Cadillac” it stands for “Catera” the car the CTS was the successor to. One can be forgiven for forgetting it existed, it was a pretty forgettable car, but it was the first of the modern Cadillacs, in that it was designed to be seen parked outside an office building rather than a retirement home.
The Mach 1 is the worlds greatest car. Especially when Driver X gets behind the wheel.
I think too many of you guy get too worked up over the names. While names are cool it is the car and the actual product that make the difference between a win or lose in the market. Often the better the car the better the name is seen.
BMW M3 means little on paper but the car was a legend to many because of what it did not what it was called. If Cadillac builds a great car it will make what ever they call it cool.
It is the car that makes the name not the name that makes the car.
As you have seen in the 80’s even legendary names like Eldorado or Seville could not save some really trashy cars with even worse 8 6 4 engines. If you look back it is truly amazing Cadillac survived that to be where they are now let alone where they are going.
Well, I can’t disagree that. I think we all acknowledge the fact that the product is what’s utimately going to matter most; and that in turn will add credibility to the name. I’m just annoyed by the people who act like it’s a sin for Cadillac to revive classic names. While I believe the new nomenclature makes better sense than the current naming scheme, it still doesn’t negate the fact that it’s simply uncreative, and it’s initially being accepted as such because the change is too sudden first of all, and it does little to properly define the product; there’s just no initial draw to the naming. Again, this will change as the brand develops the necessary cache and recognition.
It’s a possibility this new nomenclature will indeed be the start of new and more exciting change happening with the Cadillac brand if product is right.
But it’s not necessarily about nostalgia, it’s more about creativity and distinction. A meaningful name can carry an interesting story and better define what the product represents. Which is why I prefer names like Fleetwood, DeVille, Ciel, Elmiraj; and in some cases, alphanumeric sub-names can work. Even with the new naming scheme I’m still very much interested what’s to come out of the Cadillac brand. Boring, “coded”, uncreative names and all.
It is not a sin to use old names and at some point I can see them coming back if the time and model are right.
But here is the catch 22. While you remember the great cars that used these names you are in the minority. While they conger up good memories names like Fleetwood etc bring up memeoried of cars many would like to forget. Also if you are trying to sell a new image an old name puts you back a step with the non believers in your product and they are the ones you have to sell.
The new names I give you would be nice as I really like Elmirage. But todays marketing as a whole is getting away from names in many products for many reasons legitimate or not.
Anyways no matter what they call it they need to market it better. I just saw a commercial for the E series Benz selling technology, safety and sex appeal while I saw Cadillac had Waldo walking around in a bad shirt with a ATS behind him.
I did not that he new Benz in the final shot has a CTS like profile.
I agree. Again, most people pretty much acknowledge that the classic Cadillac names of yore were associated with a stained and forgettable past, and most would be OK with keeping those names in the past, for the most part. What I meant by telling a story was not necessarily conjuring up past memories of cruising in my daddy’s Fleetwood or anything like that, but rather presenting the product with a name that defines it; why it would be called such, and what the inspiration, motivation and ambition behind such a vehicle is. I still don’t see the value in this current alphanumeric nomenclature adopted by the mass luxury car market, besides easier global recognition. I know this is what the competition is doing and they’re finding success. But still, I don’t think it’d be too difficult to reintroduce the Cadillac brand products under some of the classic names. You hit the nail on the head when you mentioned marketing. Marketing the product is key. We see Cadillac emerging on the world stage as a legitimate, high profile luxury auto brand with new and exciting technology. Its American origin is going to have to play a significant part in selling to the masses. If Cadillac can properly build and market what we all hope looks to be a concept vehicle brought to production, it’ll work; regardless of a classic name or a modern, contemporary alphanumeric code. I too would love to see the Elmiraj and Ciel names applied to the newest Cadillacs, as they are new and have garnered much critical acclaim and can equally, if not better, reintroduce the brand than “CT#”. But as you mentioned in a previous post: if it looks good, people will see it. If it is built to the market’s expectations, people will want it. And if it drives well, people will want to drive it.
The problem anymore is that names do not define the product as so much the product defines the name anymore.
I get what you are saying but to be honest if you look at the car market anymore names mean little unless it is a iconic vehicle like a Corvette.
I think in the end you will find name, numbers or letters it matters little in this market. The romantic age of the car is over and people are just fine with a letter number name as long as the car is worth a damn.
Also you have to factor in the future too. With the coming regulations and other major changes to come companies will have to make changes to their line ups more often and many will be radical. A name is harder to change in the market as it places an expectation on a vehicle if it is a name you have created an image around. I see with the coming changed much easier than a name when the times comes.
Also when you have a number car you can really express how much a car has changed just in identification alone. A new name number can show a new car with out even saying a word about the car. In the high end premium segment production lives today are shorter than ever and you are always wanting to show you have the latest and greatest product on the market.
Like the I phone the name I phone 5 or I phone 6 tells the tale. Premium cars are like I phones as often people who buy these want the latest and greatest.
I have looked a this from many angles and while I would like a name I can not see any reason a car would sell better with it or with out it. I do see where it gives a company leverage to deal with future changes and cost savings and time involved with registering a name.
First of all, this post IS STUPID! But it was meant to be in the sense that it draws attention to the upcoming vehicle.
Yes, Cadillac does have plans for at least two other, above the CT6, vehicles. There will be a Coupe around 2017, but it will have different nomenclature. All are based on the Omega platform
There will be at least two high end “sports / halo” vehicles. One, a 2 seat convertible based on Corvette architecture (think luxury variant of the ZO6 convertible), and the other ,…a mid engined (think Zora +) AWD, Hybrid (front wheels electrically powered) exotic (close to $200,000) . This is the only other Cadillac that will have a name other than the Escalade —–It will be the Cien. These vehicles will debut around 2019….
There will be two, all new, CUV’s, one below the SRX, (which will be redesigned in2016) and one above the SRX, but below the Escalade (which, itself, will be re-engineered in late 2017, look for Escalade V Sport). These CUV’s will debut in 2018.
Look for…..2015…new CTS-V, may be called CT4-V, the ATS-V, could receive new nomenclature to CT2-V, XTS freshen (new paint offering, deleted Blue-Sapphire Metallic, 4G LTE, some interior enhancements, including new color offering, and exterior enhancements, some additional technologies / features, and, possibly new nomenclature, CT5…the XTS will receive a redesign in 2017, look for RWD Omega platform ), and, of course, the CT6, to arrive in the 4th quarter of 2015.
2017….XTS (CT5) Redesdign…RWD platform, V-8 offering (Cadillac is currently working on two, new V8’s, exclusive to Cadillac…think XC2…formerly XLR, CT6, CT7, CT8, and CT9, Cien, and possibly one new CUV and the ……Escalade re-engineering this year. The ATS will receive a redesign becoming the CT2, with new sheet metal, the spectacular Alpha platform will remain. The ELR will be freshened. This vehicle will receive the Voltec 2 powertrain at some point, doubling the range on electric, look for ELR V-Sport, no word yet as to any nomenclature change.
2019-2020…..several vehicles are planned, no definitive word yet but look for the 2 seaters…
The situation at Caddy it’s almost as bad as the false start reactionary planning seen over at Alfa Romano.
Cadillac was the uber-brand of 2013, due to it’s above average growth. Now that prices have been increased, everyone is in a panic due to a very normal, to be expected sales drop.
Memo to GM: Full the holes in your line up, become a complete brand, offer incentives when need be as you continue brand building.
Thank GOD we live in a country where we enjoy freedom of speech . Having said that , calling Cadillacs new flagship the CT6 is the dumbest thing that has come out of GM since the Pontiac Aztek ! Not only is this a halo car for Cadillac but it is also a reflection on the best thing that GM can build . Why do we have to follow Audi or Mercedes or BMW in the numbers name ? Can’t the engineers or whoever is responsible for choosing vehicle names do better than this !? Now the LTS name sounds better to me . If this is the best they can do ( trying to copy others # game ) , then I am wondering if the CT6 is going to go into the history books as the worst attempt GM has ever made in trying to be a S-class killer .