Community Question: Is Cadillac Heading In The Right Direction?51
The Cadillac brand had quite the weekend regarding its future. First, there was a report stating slowed investment was to cut into future product plans and slow development.
Shortly following said report, Cadillac President Johan de Nysschen came forth to set the record straight. He even provided a basic outline of what is coming from the brand, which still includes a flagship vehicle of sorts (though, it won’t be a four-door sedan).
So, after digesting all of this information, we’re here to ask if you feel Cadillac is heading in the right direction. This follows a recent Twitter poll at Motor Authority, which you can view right here.
To be fair, the era of de Nysschen really only began about a week ago after the unveiling of the Cadillac Escala concept vehicle. Until then, we have not seen a concept or all-new product come to fruition under the former Audi and Infiniti executive. But the roadmap de Nysschen provided can give us some insight, and it should help paint a clearer picture for fans and critics alike.
Let’s also keep in mind Cadillac’s marketing and advertising efforts, as Chief Marketing Officer, Uwe Ellinghaus, begins to take “Dare Greatly” and really hone its message. The end goal is to make Cadillac an aspiration once again.
Now, we turn it to you. Keeping product, marketing messages and more in mind, is the brand heading in the right direction? Or should it turn back and start from scratch. Talk to us in the comment section below, too.
- Sweepstakes Of The Month: Win a 2023 Corvette Z06 Convertible. Details here.
Absolutely on the right track in all aspects of current business plan.
Products; planning at least 2 more crossovers (1 just below Escalade and 1 below XT5). Also a flagship that is needed as their halo vehicle plus a vehicle below the ATS.
Project Pinnacle is also a good step forward in revamping its dealer network. Streamling inventory costs while incentivising for increased sales.
JdN’s plan to increase profit per unit instead of all out volume is supported by the board and ensures long term profitability for the brand.
Full steam ahead. Cadillac needs the time to bring their plan to fruition to see if it successful.
As long as GM does not come in and muck up the plans of Cadillac management.
A division can not thrive serving two masters. The in house party should be given their space and time.
This way if they make it they get the credit and if they fail we will know why.
Just look to Pontiac and what happens when GM tries to overrule division management.
Sorry Cadillac is a division of GM and GM is not a division or subsidiary of Cadillac!
Scott, what’s your over/under on GM mgt resisting not sticking their fingers in the pie?
Me. I’d guess around 60/40 (40 being the chances of Cadillac being left to take care of business).
Mgt impatience. Shareholder impatience. And dealer council impatience.
(I say this without any inside knowledge or transparency – maybe they’re ok). My spider sense tells me the natives are beginning to get restless.
I think Cadillac is headed in the right direction Barra seems to be an outstanding leader for GM overall and knows that Caddy needs its space and time for the reform the board wants to see. JdN understands where Cadillac’s faults lie and is resolving them. The cars from previous management (ATS, CTS, CT6, XT5) are a major improvement from previous generations or in the case of the ATS & CT6, were good starting out. JdN will now take them to the next level in terms of refinement.
DeNyscchen wants to do things right; now it needs to let GM policy make it, and Cadillac will be a very respected brand
First high-volume cars, sub XT5 , CT3 / 4 and XTS, then later think about will do Flagship and all new ( wait ) non truck platform Escalade.
GM has many examples of how things are not done well and eventually disappear (Saturn, Pontiac …..).
Now if they want to Cadillac will work out well, leaving to allow time and be patient, things are going forward
No. Cadillac should be trying to out-do Rolls Royce. Buick should be taking on the Germans.
No way. If you think that Cadillac does not have any cache with the American public then Buick has even less.
GM would have an even bigger hill to climb trying to make Buick a luxury brand and Cadillac a ultra-luxury brand.
It seems as though JdN is more concerned with product items than QUALITY and COMPETITIVENESS. We have 2 – 2013 ATS and 2016 ESCALADE Platinum. Switched from BMW, but going back when these are used up. Pricing was not competitve, but i didn’t care, i tried to return to Cad, but quality missing. surface looks good, but after using for a short time, or a few years, not good.
Gotta remember that Neither of your Cadillacs came under JDN, from here on is when we will see the results of his hands.
I can buy that the cars weren’t designed under JDN but were produced under him in plants that will probably produce future Cadillacs. Totally agree that quality needs to be a higher priority. Only then will you get customers to come on board and stay.
As this gentlemen, I had a 2014 ATS Premium–list of almost $55k that was borderline junk quality wise. Almost had me walk from Cadillac when I replaced! Can’t ignore vehicle quality even if they weren’t products of your regime.
I think Cadillac is heading in the right direction in terms of products without a doubt. They are some of the best Cadillacs of any recent era and I am happy to see the upcoming products and new models.
My biggest problem of Cadillac now is its marketing. And not just me, I saw a recent write up on the CT6 on the Washington Post on how clueless it is. Even Bob Lutz says its not the message Cadillac needs right now. The marketing team is after a demographic that dose not exist and certain executives are too hard headed to understand it. They are going for gen x and even worse millennials. I don’t know how many of you have ever interacted with a millennial, but you are lucky if they even care about cars let alone expensive luxury cars. They are more interested in thier video games and iPads. Cadillac thinks its fine to leave its prestigious upscale image in the rearview mirror for a more down to earth image that cannot play into the hand of a luxury car maker like Cadillac. Its a polar opposite to connect the newer Cadillacs to the young generations.
Uwe in all his brilliant marketing wisdom says that he wants to go for the young generation because they are neither for nor against Cadillac.. Which means that the baby boomers are already a lost cause in his eyes.. Well here is a news flash: the baby boomers are STILL the majority of the people that can afford these cars and they have kids and grand kids that will see what great cars Cadillacs are. So when the Milleneals get to a point in thier life that they want a nice luxurious car, they will look at Cadillac. You don’t go for a generation right off the bat that can’t afford these sorta cars or are even interested in them.
It’s just demographics; baby boomers are fading out and millennials will quickly become the luxury mainstay, plus it’s easier to shape new customers than to change a hostile mindset. Ewe is correct in the long run.
would like to add, that my millennial kids see the issues with my Cadillacs and they are turned off. As there are so many other competing brands why should they even look at a cadillac when the quality is so poor? They are used to BMWs now as i passed them down as I turned to cadillac. ATS and Escalade. When i don’t repeat starting nexte year, why would they ever want one.
And let me add that you are exactly what I am talking about. So lets evaluate what you just said(my millennial kids see all the problems I have with my Cadillacs). So while thats not the image Cadillac wants, the point is that YOU are the one that has the car and for the long forseeble future will be the one buying cars.
Now I don’t know what Cadillac your driving and if its some old Cadillac from late to early 2000s , then your situation is a bit different since Cadillacs recent products are leaps and bounds from the old days.
With all that being said, you might be the example of someone that has had issues with Cadillacs, but if we turned your situation around and you loved your car, your kids would be seeing a great experience and some day want a Cadillac.
2013 ATS Premium
2016 Escalade ESV Platinum
Poor quality??? Sure cowboy, whatever you say.. Go back to German you Nazi.
“Original Dan” is right, it’s idiotic for Cadillac to write off baby boomers as a lost cause, and instead try to go after people in their 20’s and 30’s who can’t afford the cars (unless they work for a Silicon Valley start-up that just went public, and then they want a Tesla anyway). Sure maybe baby boomers went for BMWs, etc. but tastes change as you age. It’s not as if baby boomers are unaware of what Cadillac used to be. I’m slightly younger than the baby boomers, and I still know what Cadillac once meant, so surely they do too. It’s not as if these people who went to Woodstock crammed in some old Chevy Nova and danced half-naked in the mud and sun would do it again today, while in their 60’s (agewise). They just might be willing to give up their hard-riding, snow-challenged, high-maintenance Euro-cars, as they age (and gain a little wisdom along the way).
The problem is that Cadillac doesn’t bother to sell baby boomers on the benefits of the classic Cadillac ride/comfort/room/style/power, now that they are in their peak wealth and luxury-seeking years. Uwe is a German in his mid-40’s, nothing wrong with that, but that’s not the background that is going to understand Americans in general, Cadillac history, or the baby boomers specifically. Huge, huge mistake IMO. And the profit/loss statement shows that I’m (probably) right.
I agree 100%. I miss the old Cadillac, especially the sharp lines, the V8 engine and the quality. If they were to make something like the XLR or the first gen SRX with modern technology, I would buy it tomorrow.
Overall yes. More crossovers and include IRS with Escalade.
Also provide ATS V with CTS V gauge cluste.
And keep price reasonable while improving quality.
Honestly, I see the company is making some wise decisions, but I’m not yet confident in saying they’re headed in the right direction. Cadillac knows what the brand needs to make a profit, and that’s the addition of more CUVs and SUVs. They’re also preparing to enhance their design language, upgrade the heavily-criticized CUE system, and is already utilizing lightweight materials to reduce vehicle mass; all of which are signs that Cadillac is headed in the right direction!
However, my concerns lay with when and how they’ll execute these products and market them! The issue lays with Chevrolet, Buick and GMC utilizing some of the core features of these future Cadillacs at a cheaper price. Take the XT5 for example. It’s a great FWD-based SUV, debuting much of what we’re seeing in the new GMC Acadia, and will see in the upcoming Buick Enclave and Chevrolet Traverse! It still wreaks of badge-engineering! I hope to see Cadillac expound upon their newfound engineering feats and combine them with top-of-the-line luxury and practicality! Now we know they can’t totally avoid some form of parts sharing, but if Cadillac can push the envelope in engineering and design, then they can surely produce a desirable product that can win over some real buyers! Look at Audi, people rarely get feelings of driving a Volkswagen when behind the wheel of an Audi! It’s all about how they engineer the product!
For the time being, we can only wait and see what comes out of Cadillac in the years to come….
Tight line to walk! Let’s keep in mind that the higher quantity of a specific part GM buys the cheaper it should be. Bottom line is higher profit for GM.
Sharing technologies and certain components is not badge engineering to me. Keep it mind that the profit of GM is the overriding factor in these discussions. The tail(Cadillac) does not wag the dog (GM)!
They don’t have the same core features, only the same platform C1XX (chi). That’s it. They look, drive, feel, the engine, 8 speed transmission, hand crafted materials, are light years apart. Just because it shares the same platform doesn’t mean it drives and feels the same.
I am not sure right now , we are going to have to see in the not to distant future what JDN’s vision is . Cadillac needs to repair their image , and to do that they can’t forget the heritage of the brand . And that means producing cars that people yearn for like in the design of their models . The Escala was built by letting the designers come up with where they wanted to see the future of Cadillac cars . Elegant lines and even different types of materials used inside the car .
Cadillac will need a vehicle or two that will help them gain momentum and market share , but the rest of the line-up should be vehicles that not everyone can afford . Take the Baby Boomers that is a huge market with more cash than the Gen, X and Millenials . Buying a Cadillac for them is almost like a trophy that shows the neighbors I worked my whole life and now want to reward myself . Driving the family around in it and if the car is done right the young er people will want the same thing . But not waiting till they retire they will want their version earlier in life .
Cadillac right now is treading water and lets hope JDN as the captain will steer the division in the right direction .
For the most part:
– Engineering? They’re doing a bang-up job. Cadillac needs to ignore nostalgic commentators that say they should abandon performance and go back to making soft, cushy cars. Should Cadillac interiors be better appointed? Yes. Should they be more roomy? Absolutely. Should Cadillac dump all their world-beaters and go back to building 80s and 90s era FWD snooze-barges? Hell no.
– Product Planning? For the most part. It depends on how Cadillac does their CUVs. If Cadillac at least builds a trio of GLC, GLE, and GLS fighters into their CUV lineup, I can forgive the FWD Lexus/Acura fighters. But if Cadillac’s full CUV lineup targets Acura/Volvo/Lincoln, that’s going to be a problem in the long run.
– Design? They’ve been doing great under the Art and Science styling renaissance. Even the Escala is growing on me, but I fear Cadillac feels obligated to fix something that wasn’t broken. My overall verdict depends on how Cadillac treats the production execution. If they retain stacked production headlamps, I’ll approve, but if the vertical LEDs start playing second fiddle to horizontal headlights, I’ll be worried. Same thing for the roof line. I’d have a problem with Cadillac taking the Audi-Tesla route.
– Marketing? No. In fact, I believe the path Cadillac is heading down marketing-wise is causing Cadillac to evaluate areas they’re already doing a great job in and fix areas that aren’t broken, while ignoring areas that need to be addressed. I’m worried that Cadillac will second-guess the strategy put forth for the past 15 years and undo the progress they’ve made. All because the marketing strategy hasn’t been successful conveying meaningful information to the consumers as to why they should get one. Hipsters walking slowly down a Manhattan street that 90% millennials can’t afford to sleep on isn’t going to cut it.
I don’t like the sloping coupe like roofline but it looks like every dam automaker is doing it…..that’s is why I don’t buy new cars…..they are ether boring or just not my tast.
Yep, nothing like headroom-robbing, low-visibility “coupe-like sedans” for added cool-factor. Bad for tall front-seat passengers (especially those like myself who enjoy sunroofs), and woe to the back seat passengers over 6′ tall. It seems strange that as Americans get older (average age), the taste pushed on the consumer is increasingly immature, even at Cadillac.
It’s enough for some of us to boycott buying new cars. Hopefully some day, someone will see a vast underserved market and decide to offer us what we actually want. On the other hand, those idiots will probably say “they aren’t buying our new cars, therefore they will never buy any new cars, so forget about them”.
Vehicle portfolio is excellent. ATS is in need of an update interior wise, but all vehicles including the XTS overall are so nice, great to drive and serve their intended demographic and purpose. So in that regard, yes they are moving in the right direction. It for me has been the advertising. Cadillac/GM markets the brand as if it’s a Kia or maybe worse. Advertising is where they need to be more like the Germans if they want to appeal to the luxury audience.
Not fully sure yet since we really do not have the full details yet.
The one thing for sure is where they have been is not going to save them so they must continue to work and improve and that is what I expect in all areas.
Cadillac is not going to live or die on a flag ship or mid engine car. Cadillac needs to get their line up in order and get the details right on a couple sedans and a few SUV models. Once they have done that they will be in good shape and with the SUV money may be able to be self funding for their projects as JDN has stated he would like to become.
If they pay their own way there is much they can do with out going to GM for more money.
While the cars they have are good and some of the best they have had they still have work to do and it will take time to earn the public trust after decades on spitting on them.
The past with the Caprice based Fleetwoods, 8-6-4 and Catera are not washed away with only a couple models and a couple years.
If you are Hyundai people will take a chance on your cheap ass cars but in this segment and price point few will take that chance. Just look at how long Infinitie has struggled in the shadows with half ass cars and nothing special to offer.
Great comments Scott3. And don’t forget the bad taste left by the Cadillac Cimarron, which was a rebadged Chevy Cavalier (Chevy’s cheapest car at that time). At least Caddy has resisted the urge to turn the Spark into a Cadillac.
As I’ve said elsewhere, I wish Cadillac would embrace being THE luxury American brand, instead of trying to be a budget version of the German cars. And that’s even more true now that Hyundai is trying for the “even more budget German wannabe” segment. But the Euro-wannabe strategy never made sense to me (or appealed to me), not for Cadillac.
Regarding Cadillac going to GM for more money, supposedly GM pledged $12 billion for Cadillac (that’s a hefty chunk of change, in more than one sense). But now it looks like they are backing away from that (per the GM Authority article on which we are commenting), so who knows. It’s hard to implement a vision without the financial resources backing you.
Mercedes works very well, with CUV`s SUV`s and sedans and sports cars, and are still seen as genuine Mercedes.
BMW and Audi are on the same road, Lexus and Infiniti vasn out there too.
Cadillac is where buyers want cars is not bad for his image, on the contrary; It is very good and tell buyers that Cadillac also know go where luxury buyers are.
With the soul of Cadillac, the Cadillac style, with quality Cadillac, go where those buyers.
2 CUV`s, the ATS and CTS with improved interiors and new designs CUE’s, an SUV below the escalade, a car below ATS and sales will reach twice now, and can make the Flagship beautiful super luxury sports car with plenty of power engine and daring, filled with technology.
And ths is what he wants JDN
I do think that they need something below the Escalade, but I also think that they would do good with a convertible model that is below the ATS. The main think that Cadillac is missing is QUALITY and DESIGN. They look like a Mercedes, but are built like a Nissan.
Cadillac needs a high end convertible. to be in the high end market.
Sadly a high end convertible won’t sell in enough volume to justify existence. A flagship cannot be a money pit.
Low volume does not always equal money pit. If done right and using and existing platform while sprinkling in some exclusive features it could do well enough sales wise to justify it’s existence while building the brand.
If they do a good enough job with SUVs CUVs and cars then let them move on to the fringe products like convertibles. Money can be better spent on a model that will sell in much higher quantities with higher profit for GM.
There was hope earlier this year that an Eldorado would be released as a 2017 model, convertible only. Which seems appropriate, since the original Eldorado (1953 model) was a convertible only (coupes followed later). And the first Cadillac ever made, the 1903 model year Runabout (aka Model A), was an open air car.
The concept photos and drawings who the new (if it ever happens) Eldorado as a 4 seater, with small suicide doors to assist the entry/exit of the rear passengers, making it essentially a 4 door convertible. I like the idea of Cadillac making a 4 passenger convertible; they haven’t had one of those since the Eldorado nameplate was retired in 2002. There was an XLR convertible (produced in very small numbers) until 2009, but that was a two-seater based on the Corvette Stingray, meant to compete with the Mercedes SL (bad idea, Cadillac should go its own way instead of me-tooing the Germans). The XLR was too much a sports car, yet not enough of a one for those who wanted a real Stingray. A 4 seat cruiser seems more “Cadillac-y” to me, rather than a 2 seat sports roadster.
You can see pics of the concept Eldorado convertible all over the internet, it looks pretty good even if it’s not exactly how I would make it. It definitely looks like a modern Cadillac, as well as giving a nod to past Eldorados. Maybe it will be here as a 2018 model?
I can’t find any such picture of this ‘Cadillac Eldorado concertible concept’. The closest hit for convertible concepts from Cadillac is the Ciel from 2011.
If you’re thinking of the ‘Cadillac Glamour concept’ from 2013 (as seen here: http://gmauthority.com/blog/2012/08/cadillac-glamour-concept-renderings-emerge/ ), then you are mistaken. This was never a concept by Cadillac or GM, and for all appearances, would seem to be independent design work done outside GM. There no press release, no physical model made any appearances at any auto show. It was never an official concept, and was always CG render from a student.
Graw, yes it was the Ciel and Elmiraj, which appeared as concept cars in 2011 and 2013. The Ciel specifically was shown as a convertible at Pebble Beach, and the Elmiraj was an updated Ciel (though not displayed as a convertible). GM is normally tight-lipped about actual production cars, but there was some hope on auto blogs that a convertible Eldorado would be released as a version of the Ciel/Elmiraj.
I agree on needing a convertible. It’s not likely to be a big profit source, but Cadillac has almost always had cool convertibles and it would hopefully help the image (unless very badly executed, like the Cimarron sedan), as well as giving customers another reason to go to Cadillac dealers in the summer and mild climate months.
There was talk of a convertible to use the old “Eldorado” name for a convertible as early as 2016, but that hasn’t happened yet. You can see concept photos of this on the internet – it appears that It was intended as a retractable hard-top, a very good idea for a Caddy convertible IMO. Also was thought to have a V8 twin-turbo engine (wow!). I’m not a fan of the ultra-low-profile tires shown in the mock-ups I saw, but that’s generally par for concept cars these days.
If they do a convertible, I’d like to see it as a cruiser though, not a sports convertible. GM already has the Corvette Stingray convertible and the Camaro. I could see them making an ATS coupe into a convertible, not a bad idea if not my personal choice (also the ATS and Camaro share GM’s “Alpha” platform, so a lot of the convertible conversion has already been done via Camaro).
If they wanted a softer-riding and FWD convertible (my preference), and went the cheap route – they could do it with a reworked Buick Cicada, I mean Cascada. Though this would require a lot of work to make it truly Caddy-like. They’d definitely have to lengthen it, stiffen the body, and upgrade the power IMO. As well as giving it a more luxurious and high tech interior, plus a more edgy Cadillac sheet metal. But it can be done. Regardless of how they get there, how long has it been since Cadillac offered a convertible? That’s just sad, given the history here.
Cadillac does not need a convertible for a flagship! It would be nothing but a money loser. Let’s spend that money on making its mainline vehicles top notch!
If Cadillac builds great quality vehicles consistently that will be the image they need!
Martin, why does the convertible have to be a flagship? It can just be a product offering, to fill out the Cadillac line, bring in warm-weather traffic, and add (bring back) some brand appeal.
Please try this – go to youtube (or wherever else you can find it) and locate the Cadillac tv commercial “Roll” from 2007, the full one-minute long version. Watch it (with the sound on, the Iggy Pop/Teddy Bears song “Punkrocker”) and then tell me that Cadillac can truly be Cadillac without offering a convertible. Because it can’t be, IMO.
Drew last statistics I could find were two years old but world wide production convertibles represented .7%–minuscule!
Sadly it is not 2007, but 2016 cheap gas and SUVs and CUVs are where it is! Not saying convertible should never be considered but it would be nothing but a distraction now.
Martin, apparently you didn’t watch that “Roll” commercial – your loss, I think you would have liked it even if you feel a new convertible is not needed. Yes it’s not 2007, but that commercial covered numerous Cadillac models since their inception, nearly 100 years of history. I’m not saying a convertible would be a huge seller, but there would be sales and simply offering it would add to the attraction of Cadillac.
Your 0.7% figure may be valid, but convertible sales are down in part because almost no one offers them, except as “sports cars” or the econobox-derived Miata. You can’t buy what isn’t offered. In recent years, the “cruiser” type of convertibles have been discontinued, such as the Chrysler 200 (convertible version), VW Eos, and further back the Toyota Solara. I just checked CarMax and 1.5% of their current offerings are convertibles, which suggests a bigger potential market (ultimately) than what you are seeing now.
At some point there will be a demand to replace some of these aging convertibles, and while the Buick Cascada is a semi-serious (imported design) nice try, it’s not quite there and would take some tinkering to make it Cadillac-worthy. A long car with a real back seat is a must, and the Cascada is apparently severely underpowered. But it can be done (or an ATS coupe conversion, or something else). Bottom line, if Cadillac could simply break even on a new convertible it is worth doing IMO, but I suspect they could do even better than that. Just don’t make it like everyone else’s convertible and slap a Cadillac badge on it, make it a real Cadillac. I’d rather see this imitate Boss Hogg’s Cadillac (modernized of course) than the current Mercedes convertible. And the Cadillac guys must be thinking along similar lines, because they did talk about bringing one of these to market as an “Eldorado” (though that never happened, or didn’t happen yet).
I see that there was a discussion on the GM Authority forum back in July 2015, a topic regarding the concept of a Cadillac convertible (“Where are the Cadillac convertibles?” by Chris Ecclestone); seems we held many of the same views then, as now.
flagship wise…..it will either be a real sedan or CUV/SUV or nothing.
I’m a Cadillac owner and huge fan of the brand, but I honestly don’t know…and here’s why:
ATS: Great effort in the 3-series class. I’d give the ATS-V an A+ effort for being a legit M3 competitor. However, not sure the regular ATS is winning too many BMW 3-series customers. It’s entering it’s 5th year and the styling/interior and usable space are now lagging the competition. ATS-V came a few years too late into the life cycle to spark more interest. This car desperately needs a competitive refresh.
CTS: The CTS would have been a huge winner if Cadillac just held the line on pricing with the gen 2 CTS. It is superior to a lot of the competition, but the world was not ready for MB E-class/BMW5/Audi A6 pricing. CTS-V is an awesome car but still a mostly hidden (albeit expensive) true performance monster. My only gripe is that as a V2 owner w/manual, I have no direct replacement for my current car.
CT6: Feels like they priced this sedan right, but it is in a limited volume segment that’s pretty crowded by BMW, Mercedes, Jaguar, Audi, Lexus, etc. It’s going to take a heck of a marketing effort to get recognition in this class where brand snobbery rules, but hopeful Caddy can pull this off and not turn into a VW Phaeton…
ELR: Something has to be said about one of the sexier 2-doors Cadillac has produced that just fell flat on it’s face. It needed rear-drive or AWD and more power to differentiate from the Volt. It had zero appeal to the luxury/performance Tesla driver and only proved a slinky, expensive econocar has no market. What a waste of a nice design.
XT5: This one irks me a bit because I am in the market for a small SUV and can’t even begin to consider the XT5 against the likes of a Porsche Macan, Audi Q5, Jaguar F-pace or BMW X3. Unless there’s something more sporting in the pipeline, the XT5 just seems like a relatively bland step-down for those who can’t get into an Escalade. Sorry to disparage…I know some people would counter that the sporty SUVs I mentioned are a waste of money.
Escalade: This is Caddy’s bread and butter and a runaway hit. They’ve done a great job with this car and know their market very well. ‘Nuff said.
XTS: Still needed as a natural step up for Cadillac buyers of the last 20 years and for livery purposes. It’s smart business to keep this model alive and continue to nurture the legacy customer base.
Concepts are all great, but I’m still feeling a little high and dry from prior concepts…
So I see a big SUV win, competitive but struggling sedan efforts, not sure if marketing is helping – I vote wait and see. Curious if others agree…
It’s really too early to say if the new Cadillac team of Johan de Nysschen and Uwe Ellinghaus are going in the right direction. Personally I’m skeptical that a South African and a German can understand what the Cadillac brand means to Americans. Ellinghaus has said some smart things, such as that Cadillac should not be trying to “out-German the Germans”, and de Nysschen at least revealed recently that Cadillac will refresh – not kill – the highly profitable and segment-serving XTS (even though the Euro-wannabe crowd wants to kill it). But despite what they’ve said, I have yet to see any way in which they are making and marketing Cadillacs as an American car, rather than a wannabe-German car at a lower price tag. That’s an overserved segment already, and getting even more overserved as brands such as Hyundai try to offer German-like cars at reduced prices. If the badge-conscious will only buy German cars, and the budget-conscious will buy Hyundais, then where does that leave Cadillac, if it continues to be a follower of Germans rather than a leader of Americans?
Personally I don’t like German cars (regardless of price), and I know a lot of people who don’t like them either. That’s not a knock against German people, I am of German ancestry myself. But I feel that German cars are over-engineered – leading to frequent breakdowns and trips to the dealer. Worse, I hate the German/Euro ride, which favors feel-the-road “athleticism” at the expense of a comfortable ride. Sorry, I don’t want to feel every pebble in the road, when I think “luxury” I think of a smooth, supple ride, not a “sporty” one that lets me dart in and out of traffic like a maniac, or take hairpin turns at excessive rates of speed without body lean.
Cadillac used to have the smoothest, most comfortable ride in the industry (sometimes challenged but usually not matched or topped by Lincoln), known as the “Cadillac ride”. The new guys – prior to JdN and Ellinghaus mind you – have killed the Cadillac ride for all but the XTS, in favor of Euro-harshness and snow-disaster RWD. The newer Cadillac rides are even harsher than some of the Germans (take that, you Teutons). I was severely disappointed when I found (from personal experience) that the SRX had a significantly harsher ride than the Jeep Grand Cherokee – are you kidding me? Talk about taking your cars in the wrong direction.
Now of course some will say that the traditional supple Cadillac ride is not wanted by anyone under 60. Ok, for one thing there are a lot of drivers over 60 (and I’m not one of them, I just appreciate a comfortable ride as well as Cadillac’s history), and on average they have a lot more money than the under 60 crowd. But on the other hand, no one, and certainly not Cadillac, is trying to sell a comfortable ride and AMERICAN Cadillac tradition to younger people. As Steve Jobs has pointed out: you can’t expect the market to tell you what they want, you have to tell them what they should want. You have to SELL it. Cadillac chickened out and became a follower, not the leader they once were. Traditional American values of a roomy, comfortable-riding, fully powered car have been all but abandoned. Can the new leadership bring this back? I hope so, and I think it would substantially increase profit as well, to dominate an underserved market rather than be a wannabe in an already well-served one. But I have low expectations for a South African and German to understand an American icon, no offense intended to the people of those countries.
i agree to an extent. But Cadillac is getting back to the basics with the CT6. It’s plush and incredibly comfortable and is already turning BMW owners away from leasing the 7 series. I have seen it first hand. Have faith.