Cadillac President Confirms Halo Vehicle Is Coming63
Fresh off of a report claiming Cadillac has given the green light for Escala concept production, the brand’s president, Johan de Nysschen, again confirmed a halo vehicle is forthcoming, according to a Wards Auto report on Tuesday.
Speaking at the 2018 Automotive Forum, which runs in conjunction with the 2018 New York International Auto Show, de Nysschen said the Cadillac halo vehicle will “stun the world” when it does arrive.
“Things are about to get very interesting at Cadillac,” he said, before hinting at the halo vehicle itself. “The world does not need another large-box conventional sedan.”
Cadillac has already confirmed it will launch a new vehicle every six months through 2021, and previous reports peg the Escala to arrive enter production in December 2021. The car will reportedly wear the “Escala” name and not an alphanumeric nameplate.
Should the information prove true, the Escala will be built at the Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant. Ahead of the halo vehicle, Cadillac will introduce an ATS and CTS replacement, likely called the CT3 and CT5, another larger crossover and a next-generation Escalade.
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So they build the TTV8 LTA at Bowling Green…
Scott3! It’s the new mid-engine Caddy!
At this point it could be something totally different. It may not even have a gas engine.
Based on the comments JDN has stated before. He would like a C8 version for Cadillac but it could not happen before 2025. His words not my speculation.
JDN also has stated while he likes the idea of a Mid Engine car for fun he has also tossed out a 5 door sedan idea and this quote.
“On the other hand, if we think about what could be a true halo car for Cadillac besides that, you could go in a completely different direction. Considering particularly our heritage, I could also imagine a very luxurious, very indulgent, very sophisticated four-door convertible being a good play that draws on our heritage.”
The door is open to many things here.
Could he be thinking an updated Ciel. Four Door convertable with sucecide doors.
JDN Backs Scott3 all the way – from Auto Bloge just minutes ago:
“Cadillac president Johan de Nysschen bluntly shot down rumors his brand’s powerful twin-turbo V8 is also headed for the Chevy Corvette. Speaking Wednesday at the New York Auto Show, he said: “Just quit the speculation it’s headed for Corvette. It’s not.”
But wait! He’s not saying the LTA isn’t headed for a mid-engined car…
It is expected Chevy will have their own TT DOHC engine at some point. They will have to do it just for the emissions alone.
It is assumed to be larger displacement and may be a cheaper to build model as it would need to be in the trucks too.
But much of that is assumed. I just never expected the Cadillac V8 to be in anything but a Cadillac. Just like the 3.0 TT turbo it is all Cadillac’s engine.
If you want people to pay more for the top end models you have to give them more than just Chevy parts.
The XT4 you can get away with that at $40K but not for a car creeping up on six figures.
I expect Cadillac will get their own 4 at some point but that is not a priority as a V8 or V6 is.
It take billions and time to fix the damage Cadillac has to overcome.
How can you call them Chevy parts if they first come out on a Cadillac first? I think GM pays a penalty for doing the same thing that other manufactures do and that is they share parts from the luxury division down to the cheaper brands.
Other car companies get a pass GM doesn’t which is wrong! I fault the media for that! They are not pointing it out when other manufactures do it just GM.
All-electric AWD Escala? I mean what could possibly stun the world these days aside from a flying car?
Maybe Johan plans to reveal an all-electric AWD Escala WITH tasers attached to the car (operated by a hidden push-button inside). That way he will stun the world, or at least a few pedestrians.
Cadillac is still pushing cars in this CUV/SUV landscape out there. you gotta appreciate it.
A roadster type car or a possibly a 2 + 2 seater like the Camaro?
This is more of what they need to do first. Keep it affordable and make it right. You have to earn the right to sell a $200K sports car before you drop another XLR on the market again and fail again. Cadillac is up to strike two on sports cars and they do not need a third failure.
An Escala Open touring car would do something no one else offers and really would fit the heritage of the past glory years of Cadillac.
Cadillac has never done a successful Sports car. Never! But how many open touring cars have they done over the years that built them into the true standard of the world?
Scott you are right.
the XLR and Allante are the 2?
Please fill me in on Opening Tourer. is that a convertible sedan?
It seems like that would be a solid move.
Well we have the statement from JDM he would like to do a halo car that fit the Cadillac heritage like a 4 door touring car design. We also have the Ciel Show car as evidence they have considered this at some level. We finally have a large sedan that is likely to be a 5 door hatch that could support a open touring 4 door.
Keep in mind a touring car with open top and 4 doors is not a large box conventional sedan and if done properly would stun the world as who else is making one? Bentley No , Roll’s, No Benz No, BMW No.
You have a choice here as you can either lead or follow. Doing such a car is a sign of leadership. It also would sell better than another high price sedan or another converted Corvette.
Just a guess based on some bread crumbs left by Cadillac over the last 5 years.
Will see just where this goes.
Lincoln is going to do some suicide door but they will not call them that on a future model.
Yes the Allante and XLR both were failures. They are cheap to find and really hold little desire in the collector markets. Not as bad as the Chrysler Maserati but not exactly an L88 like investment.
I would have no issue with a sports car or even two for Cadillac but they would need to be more affordable and more regular production to hold much value of a few hundred high end halo cars.
Take the Alpha or C7 and make it a Cadillac once Chevy moves on to the C8. Open roadster like the other luxury makers offer.
Yes a convertible sedan.
Google Cadillac Ciel. It will give you an idea of what they may be thinking in prototype form.
I would expect if that is what they chose to do they would take an Escala and remove the roof or even a whole new car.
Doing a large convertible right like that would not be easy or cheap but it could be done and forsure would be a halo car.
I really think it would play well with their image and be more in their field of play. Cadillac was never a sports car company and to do a high end car based on a Corvette would again be a very big risk that would be limited on return.
Imagine the celebrity involvement in open touring cars. Also since no one else has them.
The Heritage of the old V16 Touring cars is right up there with Duesenberg, Packard and Rolls Royce. Those cars were some of the grandest ever made in America if not the world. If you want to restore the image you must go to what you were known for not what you were not known for.
Like I said they still can do some sports cars but do them cheaper and make them roadster touring cars. Once the C7 Vette is out of production modify it to fit the Cadillac needs. It is still a viable well refined platform and could take on a second life as a touring roadster with a trunk at Cadillac, Or use the Alpha.
I like the idea of complimenting and leveraging Cadillac’s heritage to make a large four-door convertible. Take the Escala and Ciel, and make something beautiful. Stay heavy on the Escala design, but give it the suicide doors from the Ciel. It would be a huge winner and be like nothing else on the market.
CT8. That’s gonna be a 4 door cabrio.
CT7 2-door coupe…
JdN sure talks a good game; his marketing background is paying off, at least when it comes to marketing himself. Of course he contradicts himself all the time, but if you only listen to his latest hype (and forget that he said something different in the recent past), you might fall for it.
JdN didn’t want to sell cheap Cadillacs (“right driveways”), now he sells cheap Cadillacs like the XT4 (and plans to go even smaller/cheaper, such as a sub-ATS). He was saving the XTS, then he kills it anyway (despite strong sales). He wasn’t going to have autonomous driving, now he’ll have it on the top 2019 CT6. He was going to make a car to compete with every German “segment”, then he decided to do “tweeners”. He wasn’t going to make the Escala, now he’s making it.
And so much for his new naming system, with his CT(number) and XT(number) now giving way to a real name like “Escala”. I’m so glad that Barra thinks this guy is a genius who totally understands what Cadillac means to Americans and where it should go from here.
It’s a reto 2006 DTS, 275hp Northstar, vinal roof, Leakey head gaskets n all. A world shocker!!!!
Guestt, hate on the DTS if you wish, as if that has anything to do with the disappointing XT4, which was supposed to be JdN’s “proof” of execution. The DTS was a great product for its time, and I’ll take my 2011 DTS (which does NOT have a vinyl roof or leaky head gaskets) over a brand new XT4, assuming I could not sell the XT4 and had to actually drive it daily. BTW, the DTS did not have head-gasket problems, you must be thinking of the DeVille. But I’m sure you’ll keep saying so in the future anyway, as if designing a smooth comfortable riding Cadillac is going to lead to leaky head gaskets, so why bother.
The first year DTS did have some reports of transmission problems, but by 2007 was ultra-smooth and trouble free, a perfect mate for the Northstar V8 (which was in every DTS, even the base model). Also the 295 lb-ft of torque at 4400 rpm was strong and plenty for the DTS (more torque and more HP than the RWD Lincoln Town Car of the same era), yet is virtually absent of torque steer (you’d have to floor it from a dead stop to notice any at all).
The DTS was not meant to be a street racer, just a smooth comfortable ride. And it succeeded in that. Would the lack of extreme sport handling give the DTS a great track time on the Nurburgring Nordschleife? No, but so what? It was never meant for the people who hadn’t matured beyond “Hot Wheels”, “Speed Racer”, and “Fast n Furious”. But the question here should be – how well does the XT4 succeed as a Cadillac?
Could Cadillac do better than the DTS, in terms of a smooth comfortable full-sized luxury sedan – even more modern in terms of look and luxury? Of course. But they haven’t really tried to improve on the DTS since they dropped it after 2011, and it was already long in the tooth by then (not greatly different from the previous DeVille). The DTS sold over 58k units in the US in its first full calendar year of production, and over 51k units the year after that, despite a relatively high price at the time. JdN will never come close to that with any sedan with the same pricing (adjusted for inflation).
The DTS is the kind of car Cadillac should NOT be making.
Don’t get me wrong, I love a big smooth prestigious sedan, but the DTS was very bad at playing that game. It was low-quality and under-powered. Plastics galore, dated design, front wheel drive, etc. Some people hold on to this illusion that the DTS was somehow on the same level as an S-Class or 7-Series, but that’s just not true.
You could try to excuse its front wheel drive architecture, low power, and poor handling as not necessary in that segment, yet the S and 7 (and others) are just as comfortable as the DTS and they STILL do all of the other stuff well. No excuses. And that doesn’t even begin to touch on the GM-parts bin inferior quality and design.
The DTS was cheaper; sure, okay fine. But that just means it’s lower priced according to its lower quality. A flagship is not a value proposition or a “bargain”.
I’d love to see Cadillac come out head-to-head against the S and 7, but only if they can win. No more “good enough”. I think one of Johann’s best moves was downplaying the CT6 in the lineup. You know Cadillac originally showed this to him when he arrived and proudly proclaimed it was their new full-size flagship, and Johann looked at them and said “you’re kidding, right? Have you ever seen an S-Class? You think a 7-Series has cheap plastic like this? No, drop the price, and just call it a larger model; this is not flagship material”.
Johann has also had to deal with products already in the pipeline, including the CT6, XT5, and XT4. He did what he could to make them as good as possible, but the CT5 should be his first clean-sheet design and will be the true test of whether he can walk the walk. I think a lot of his seeming waffling over the past few years has also been due to him being put in the difficult position of projecting optimism and support of Cadillac’s existing product plan, while scrambling to massively upgrade and change it behind the scenes.
I get where he’s coming from though. Much as I would love to see a stunning fullsize sedan, I get that market is both crowded and dying. A Bentley Continental competitor or some kind of up-rated Mercedes CLS would also be great. I just hope Cadillac understands what they’re going up against; so far, they’ve been calling home runs and hitting doubles.
A brief public service announcement:
When interacting with Drew, you’re talking to someone…
1. Who has a grand total of zero professional experience in the automotive industry, and
2. Who has not driven any modern Cadillac models, or those from any other luxury brand
What kind of conversation do you expect to have with someone with those fine and highly-informed qualities?
He intentionally disparages anything hapenning at Cadillac that is not the equivalent of making another DTS, which he believes to be the pinnacle of everything automotive. He also believes that cars like the Cadillac DTS is what most luxury car buyers want, despite him not having spent ANY amount of time interacting with today’s luxury car buyers or working on, marketing, or otherwise developing products for that audience. Despite that small detail, he is convinced that his out-of-touch point of view is correct and that any other point of view is completely incorrect.
His “understanding” of the automotive luxury landscape is stuck in the 1990s, when Cadillacs were plush sofas on wheels that had a foot worth of vertical suspension travel when being driven over a speed bump or whose noses dove 35 degrees when the car’s brakes were being applied. Coincidentally, that’s also when Cadillac’s previously-established leadership position in the luxury automotive sector began eroding rapidly, as buyers started to favor European sport-luxury vehicles.
He will defend his position until he’s blue in the face, while not considering, even slightly, the possibility of his position being totally and entirely wrong. But hey… that’ what we have comments for, right?
Drew – I write this with love and sarcasm. Not hate.
Here it is simpler this way.
Don’t argue with Idiots!
“The DTS was cheaper; sure, okay fine. But that just means it’s lower priced according to its lower quality. A flagship is not a value proposition or a “bargain”.”
I would like 100 million copies of this statement issued immediately to the public tomorrow. This cannot be repeated enough times.
1. JdN never denied the possibility of production Escala and never said that Escala would be produced as is.
2. JdN never talked about XTS saving, only about refresh.
3.When he talked about cheap Cadillac’s, he kept in mind the weakest trims and A1/B-class competitor.
In reply to Drew:
One must see the whole picture before oozing falsehoods… or, in your case, spinning the entire scenario upside down. Luckily, there are those who won’t let you do so without calling you out.
1. There won’t be a sub-ATS Cadillac. No one ever said that there will be.
I welcome you to understand the automotive luxury segments and buyer profiles – something you clearly have a great disdain for, as per your previous comments… and then use some critical thinking to see what Cadillac will do. But since I’m such a nice guy, I’ll save you the trouble and just tell you: we’ll see a sedan called the CT3 or CT4 that will be the size of the ATS take on the European B-segment models, including the A3/S3, 1/2 series, and A-Class.
2. Are you really so naive that you take everything said by any executive as fact?
If so, you shouldn’t… because comments from execs aren’t intended only for the media or industry watchers. Other uses for comments include misleading the competition, spiking interest, etc.
Here’s one example: Steve Jobs told everyone that video on an iPod is not something Apple is remotely interested in doing. 12 months later, Apple introduced an iPod with video playback capabilities.
Additionally, plans, strategies and product programs do not exist in a vacuum… they change with new developments, budgets, performance/metrics, etc. The Escala is one such example, where they needed to build a business case for it to bring it to production. This should not be that difficult to comprehend. It also should not be very difficult to comprehend the following…
– The XTS was always going to go away… it was just a matter of when. JdN never said it wasn’t going to go away or that he was saving it…
– JdN never said he “wasn’t going to make autonomous driving”… he simply said that the driving experience will remain core to Cadillac.
– There will not be a “sub ATS model”. See point 1 above.
– Cadillac is not competing with every German segment… tweeners has been the strategy since 2015/2016.
– JdN’s comment about there being no cheap Cadillacs was meant as an indicator that that they won’t compete with the likes of the A1/A2.
3. What gives you the impression that the XT4 is a “cheap” vehicle?
It’s entering the fastest-growing luxury auto segment. Are all the other vehicles in that space “cheap” too, according to your world view?
4. An alpha-numeric nomenclature was not JDN’s idea. Neither was Cadillac’s move to New York. These things were already well underway before he even interviewed for the job.
5. … “who totally understands what Cadillac means to Americans and where it should go from here.”
Is that a hint of xenophobia?
Let’s see here… according to you, one must be “an American” to be able to understand and successfully commercialize a product in America and beyond, right? By that logic, a person who is not “American” can never successfully market a product that has some kind of distant American origins.
In the case of Cadillac, it started out in America a hundred years ago when people were still riding horses, became successful under the leadership of business people from all over the globe, and then almost failed because it stopped making relevant products in the 80 and 90s MOSTLY UNDER THE LEADERSHIP of American execs.
Yup, American executives like Tom Murphy, Roger Smith, and Robert Stempel drove Cadillac into the ground, enabling it to reach its lowest point in the early 2000s before Bob Lutz wrangled the reigns to Cadillac and started to turn it around. Bob Lutz had to have been American, right?
The irony continues: a South African-born executive is now resuscitating Cadillac, a brand that was destroyed by American executives who supposedly “understood” it, according to your insular theory or jingoistic roots. Did you hear that most of Cadillac’s sales today are outside of America?
The origin of an executive is meaningless in today’s global world. What’s needed is intellect, skill, experience, and good people.
Look, I get it – you don’t like Cadillac’s direction because you are in love with cars that are the equivalent of sofas on wheels – just like your beloved DTS. But that’s no reason to continually bash someone and something you don’t even understand.
Based on how you turn completely normal and logical scenarios upside down, I wonder if your work involves spinning political news at a news outlet of some sort.
Alex Luft, what I don’t like about JdN is that he’s taken an iconic American brand which had distinct and beloved core values (beloved at least to Americans), and he’s decided to pretend it’s his personal brand to work as if it had no history. Furthermore, his “vision” isn’t anything new in the automobile world. His idea at Infiniti was to make them the BMW of Japan. Now that he’s at Cadillac, he wants to make it the BMW of the USA. Newsflash to Johan – BMW already sells cars in the USA, build something else. How about building something that actually reflects Cadillac’s own history? Oh that’s right, JdN has no grasp of the concept that Cadillac has a successful history.
Also, jdN not only lacks vision and lacks an appreciation of Cadillac’s history, he seems to lack the ability to execute as well. He’s basically sold himself like a head football coach who plans to run the same plays as other teams, but he’ll out-execute them. Except he hasn’t done execution well, at all. The CT6 arrived with an underpowered and unrefined base engine. The ATS and CTS are sold with base version vinyl seats and halogen headlamps. And the car that was supposed to be his first real crack at execution, the XT4, is underwhelming on many levels (I already wrote my critique of what I can see thus far, on another topic here). The bottom line is that no one who appreciates Cadillac core values would make a car with such poor luxury execution as the XT4, let alone they likely wouldn’t make one that small. JdN seems to have no core values as well as weak execution, and the proof is the XT4.
I am not Xenophobic. As I’ve pointed out, South African Elon Musk has done a nice job of overseeing a new brand, built and sold in the USA. But Musk is not trying to run Cadillac, not trying to ignore Cadillac values and trying to remake it into a BMW wannabe. Musk was also smart enough to offer something new, not just me-too. Musk also has done a better job of executing on his own vision(s).
JdN is a marketing guy, not an engineer, not a designer, and yes not an American who grew up understanding and appreciating Cadillac. As I’ve said, JdN is really good at marketing – himself. He’s really good at pretending he’s got a map of the future, and saying that his Cadillacs will “stun the world”, just not yet. He reminds me a lot of Melody Lee, the woman who managed to get some wonderful luxury perks for herself in New York City, but in terms of delivering results for Cadillac it was always “wait 10 to 15 years, don’t expect to see results until then” (or something like that).
If you’ve ever seen a performance of “The Music Man”, it’s a good example of how someone can make big promises, take the money, and then run before people realize you can’t deliver on those promises. Is JdN another “Harold Hill”? We won’t really know for a while, but meantime he’ll be collecting the big bucks. I’m sure he’s glad to have your undying love for him no matter what he does, defending him against every criticism in print. I have to wonder though, at what point do you stop knee-jerk defending him, and start to take a cold hard look at what he’s actually accomplished?
I like to give people the benefit of the doubt, but I’m also a “trust but verify” type of guy. I’ve seen plenty of charlatans, and I’ve learned the hard way to be skeptical. Everything I’ve seen from JdN tells me that he’s on the wrong track as far as Cadillac goes, and the XT4 is the latest proof. If I offer a different viewpoint than others here, be glad that it provides a little contrast to the endless cheerleading. JdN’s job is clearly in no danger whatsoever, so he can continue the destruction of the last vestiges of Cadillac, including even the distinctive taillights. What surprises me is that there are so many people cheering him on. Why would anyone even care about Cadillac, if they just want it him to erase Cadillac history and make it just another imitation of BMW?
Cadillac’s origin as American is irrelevant today. Maybe it mattered 100 years ago, but not today.
The same goes for Lexus’ origin as Japanese, Mercedes-Benz’ origin as German or the origin of Apple, Microsoft, Amazon or Hewlett Packard as American.
All of these now are global companies making product for world markets. In fact, Cadillac’s biggest opportunities today and in the future are outside the USA (and outside of China). Sure, the division will continue growing sales in both of those markets… but the biggest opportunities are all of the other markets in which Cadillac currently is either non-existent or weak, such as Europe, Russia, South and Central, America, Australia, New Zealand, South Korea, Japan and the Middle East.
I think everyone should be allowed to express their opinion without being personally disparaged. They all come from different points but free and open and honest discussion only occurs when everyone feels comfortable doing that.
Ci2Eye, I completely agree with you, all views should be considered and appreciated. That makes for a much better website, and more informed discussion, than a “cheerleaders only” one. Unfortunately your view is not acceptable in an insular culture that just wants to praise everything done by JdN, and which has absolute certainty that he’s going to lead Cadillac to the promised land.
Why they put such blind faith in this guy, I have no idea. But there are people here who will defend him as a mother hen defending her chicks, and they’ll attack (and deliberately distort the views of) anyone who does not bow down at the altar of JdN.
It almost sounds like you’re about to explain how to run such a website?! I’m all ears!
Back to the topic at hand: everyone has a point of view and that’s all great and dandy and fine and fantastic. And Ci2eye – everyone can and does express their opinions here. Checkmarks all over that one.
But here’s the crux of the matter: some points of view – like those expressed by Drew on the topic of Cadillac and luxury automobiles – are simply off point and don’t correlate to today’s reality… and they have been proven as such by GM Authority readers, members and patrons from all walks of life, most of whom are infinitely more qualified to speak on the topic than Drew is based on their professional experience.
So instead of considering those points of view (as Drew himself suggest doing above), he simply brushes them off as irrelevant or simply ignores them altogether, while presenting highly subjective opinions with very close to zero objective subject matter. In fact, he very often brushes off one’s professional knowledge and experience about the topic of Cadillac and luxury automobiles as irrelevant, immaterial, inconsequential, insignificant and not at all important. And that’s exactly why you see the negative comments lobbed in his direction here… they are a product of his own making.
On a related note, GM Authority is not a “cheerleader site”… never has been and never will be. A quick gander at the GM Authority Opinion Desk section should demonstrate this verity. Here’s a link for your convenience:
Alex Luft, if your “professional” opinion is all that matters, then why do you even have a section for comments on this website? So ok, you had a job at GM for a while, and your dad owned some Lexus dealerships. That’s great. I happen to have experience in engineering and business, but even more importantly I have a lot of experience with a lot of cars, over a much longer period of time than you’ve had.
Yet I do feel that all opinions are valid, anyone who has driven or even just ridden in a car can have a valid opinion of what they like or what they don’t like. What percentage of automobile customers are actually “auto professionals”? If auto professionals only talked with other auto professionals, they wouldn’t know what the general public wanted.
You mentioned Steve Jobs recently. That’s a good example of someone who could look beyond the computer “experts” in order to reach the everyday user. When Jobs was first involved with personal computers, only the hard-core hobbyists had them. And most of them liked it that way, they had disdain for anyone who couldn’t build their own computer but just wanted to use one. Jobs knew that the market for people who wanted to use a computer but didn’t want to build one, was massively larger than the number of people who were willing and able to build the computer themselves. And all of Jobs’ products were directed at making the experience user-friendly, which is why he was so successful.
So ok, you can call yourself a “professional”. But that doesn’t mean that your opinions are facts, when it comes to consumer preference. I’ve actually read all of your responses to me, now and in the past. But you seem to assume that just because I haven’t accepted your opinions as infallible facts, I must not have read (or understood) them at all. Frankly that’s the height of arrogance if you think that all you have to do is put out your opinion, claim to be a “professional”, and then everyone should immediately change their own opinions to match yours.
I realize that you’ve tried to “educate” me with your opinions, and I’ve considered them each time. For example, you made a good point that RWD platforms enable the super-performance cars to be sold. I happen to think that better overall profits could be made via FWD, especially in a market already laden with RWD from competitors, but you are right about the super-performance, you can’t do it on FWD. And there is a market for those, however small it might be.
I hope in the future that people may freely contribute opinions without being attacked personally, for views that differ from their own. To say that someone “brings on” attacks just because they don’t accept the “official” orthodoxy, sounds like something from medieval times.
Alex Luft, Cadillac’s origin as a US company may not matter to you (as someone who has lived much of your life outside the USA), but the appeal of Cadillac to Americans goes beyond the US origin. Cadillac is an iconic brand to Americans, for good reason. It means something to a lot of Americans, even if its history means nothing to you or to JdN.
Sure Cadillac will have opportunities to sell outside of the USA, but the US market is still by far the most important one, thus it is foolish to ignore the way Americans view Cadillac and try to pretend it has no history. By history, I don’t mean the Henry Leland story, I mean what Cadillac has meant to Americans for many decades. “The Cadillac of X” meant a top-of-the-line product, with all the bells and whistles. That phrase came from Cadillac cars themselves being so good and so appealing to Americans. Obviously it doesn’t mean the same thing in Russia or in Germany.
While you deride Cadillac’s glory years as “sofas on wheels” – there will always be space in the market for roomy comfortable riding cars with the latest electronics, which is what Cadillac was all about, plus of course the bold angular styling and trademark tailfins/taillights. Not everyone wants to weave in and out of traffic at high speed like a maniac, even if you enjoy that yourself. And there are plenty of cars that allow you to do this already, so why are you cheering while JdN kills off an American icon?
Cadillac has been trying to remake itself as a German wannabe for over 35 years now, and every time they do it, they hurt their image and become less profitable. The Cimarron, the Catera, the V8-6-4 engine, now the X4 and other small Cadillacs in name only.
As I’ve pointed out, Cadillac was so good that they became synonymous with “the best”. They kept their core values and continued to lead and improve, as technology improved and allowed them to make better and better cars, to their own standards.
But now JdN offers cheap decontended cars under the Cadillac name, which have no business being called Cadillacs. There’s no standard anymore when you can offer a cheap base version. Cadillac should not have base versions of anything. You get a Cadillac and that’s it. I don’t care that other brands offer foot-in-the-door base versions and small models. Let Chevrolet do that. A lot of people aren’t seeing much difference between the XT4 and a Chevrolet. That’s not what made this brand great, and not what will make it a meaningful brand around the world. But JdN is clearly unable to think past his “if the Germans do it, we should do it” mentality.
Again I do wonder why someone who cares nothing about Cadillac’s history and classic core values would even have any interest in writing about Cadillac today. Is there some sort of payback from GM if their decisions are cheered on and defended on these message boards, or is this an open discussion? Meanwhile, Cadillac sales and profits continue to decline, even as JdN is cheered on for destroying the brand.
I’ve always found it interesting that the one Cadillac that sells well and makes big money is the Escalade which is essentially a throwback to the 1970s. It’s a big, flashy, comfortable, smooth riding BOF vehicle with V-8 power. It proves that Americans still love large, luxobarges.
I own and drive a BMW. I think I’ve said that before and contrary to what some say they are not “hard riding” or cramped and uncomfortable. In fact, I personally love the balance of handling and comfort BMW achieves. They are masters at chassis development. Having said that, honestly they aren’t for everyone. In fact many of their current owners would be happier with something else, something less intense. I think BMW created a specific product for a specific group of car enthusiast buyers and gained great success with what might be called “the cool kids” or young male car lovers. After that, everyone else wanted to look cool so the herd followed and soon thereafter everybody wanted a BMW. In the BMW community we call those folks posers. They have no idea why they want a BMW. They don’t know why 50:50 weight distribution is important and would never enjoy rowing through gears. They just like the image, the perceived status conferred upon them by that whirling propeller out front and the association it gives them with other people they envy (myself excluded).
I think that’s what carmakers fail to realize; BMW sells cars on image more than attributes. Sure the cars are still dynamically excellent (though perhaps not as good as they once were) but that isn’t why the masses now want one. So outdoing BMW on a track with an autobahn tested Cadillac isn’t necessarily going to beat BMW in the sales race because that alluring image will be missing.
I think Cadillac would be better off rebuilding their own image around virtues classically associated with their brand and as Escalade proves, there is still a market for big, smooth, and comfortable in the US. I think China would equally embrace those virtues too and if they do that, I suspect many people would actually prefer that type of car over what Munich is offering. Cadillac will never win against BMW by trying to be them but they just might if they become an alternative offering something different with perfect execution.
Ci2Eye, excellent post. I wish Mary Barra would read it. I completely agree that BMW and its imitators are sold more to project an “image” than on an actual desire by the owner to drive the car to its capabilities. It’s a lot like a city guy wearing cowboy boots; he just thinks he looks cool and wants to usurp some of the macho image from real cowboys, even though he doesn’t ride a horse and doesn’t own any cattle.
It is certainly telling that the Escalade is a big success for Cadillac, yet is also the vehicle which is most representative of the classic core Cadillac values. It’s also one that Uwe seemed to dislike, as he said that the Escalade did not represent the future of the brand. I wonder at what point Johan tries to kill off the Escalade or change it into a massive SUV race-car (if that’s even possible).
If Cadillac is ever going to return to its roots and offer product that appeals to a large swath of Americans, rather than just the posers, it will need some strong marketing and advertising. Cadillac seems to have never understood the real reason BMW sells beyond the small group of hard core that they used to have, even though you as a “real” BMW owner do understand it. Clearly trying to match BMW for their steering and handling hasn’t worked, as much of the public still wants the image of the BMW, not the actual driving dynamics.
If Cadillac ever returned to “The Cadillac Ride” that made it famous, they’ll have to embrace it, not run away from it, not act like they are embarrassed by it. Who cares if the professional auto press trashes them for it. Cadillac could feature young people enjoying the smooth “hovercraft” glide, the magic carpet ride. I’ve often said that they should get someone like Clay Matthews III, the well-known rugged football player, to drive a nice plush Cadillac. With the idea that he doesn’t need any more jolts when he’s not playing football. That way, the public can embrace the smooth ride most of them prefer anyway, all while feeling they too are macho like Clay Matthews III. Of course if they buy it to pretend to be Clay Matthews, then they’ll just be posers of a different kind, but who cares as long as it’s a sale and the customer is happy with the results.
I would very much appreciate it if you would not mention Steve in the same post with anyone at modern or new Cadillac.
Thank you for any consideration you can offer a person currently suffering a modern Cadillac.
I’ve come to the conclusion that the best thing to do is not to pay any attention to anything this guy says. He’s the latest in a long line of GM execs who make big promises and deliver not very much. Words like “Pinnacle of Premium” and “Dare Greatly” are easy to say but tough to live up to. I think sometimes these GM execs have intended to stun but then GM is ruled by bean counters so the “stunning” stuff always gets canceled or watered-down to the point of losing it stunningness.
Were not talking about these 1910’s or 1920’s anymore. There a few people who who post on here are stuck in the pass, and seems what to stay there, from car’s to name’s of car’s to stay in these pass.
Shooting brake for the maharajahs and upper crust.
First:: XT4,XT5,XT6(,XT7,XT8)- RWD/AWD Crossover’s.Next gen crossover’s :: XT4/XT5/XT6-RWD/AWD. CT6,CT5,CT4,CT3 RWD/AWD, Next Gen Alpha chassis/Omega chassis. CT7 coupe (Next gen omega chassis), Escala Five-Door Lift Back (Next gen omega chassis) 11 model’s form 2018 thru 2021. Cadillac supercar/halo car- All electric plug-in drivetrain, flat-batteries chassis design (Four-Door-Touring/convertible-Low-Roof). It’s not going to be a mid-engine and it’s not going to be a four door sedan. Remember these was a low-roof car picture that was shown, when gm announce these electric car’s, 20 and more by 2023, that was Cadillac model.
Is a Chevy or Buick sedan part of the Alpha/Omega program Speedy?
They need a car to compete toe to toe with the Mercedes S class and BMW 7 series along with a high performance version comparable to the BMW M and AMG. Read this months Car & Driver comparison. The CTS-V did not do too well vs either the BMW or Mercedes.
I would love an S/7/8/LS competitor, but that market is crowded and dying. A Bentley Continental competitor would be another good option, or some kind of equally high-end 4-door coupe. I don’t think something like that exists. The models from Mercedes and BMW are a cut below Bentley et. al.
Cadillac gets performance and chassis, now it needs to learn that if I drop $100,000 on a vehicle, I don’t want the same plastics and parts as a Chevy Trax. Other companies are successful because they understand a car in this segment is a total package, from powertrain and design, to wiper stalks and espresso bars in the dealership.
That being said, I do like the new wiper stalks in Cadillac’s recent vehicles. Those window switches and various lower-left-of-the-steering-wheel buttons need a lot of work though…
There are a few ways to interpret this:
1. The Escala will be the S/7/8/LS competitor in a sportback shape, satisfying JdN’s statement of the world not needing another large-box sedan.
2. The Escala will be a totally “out there” vehicle like a four-door convertible, as suggested by those above.
As for the wiper stalks: I actually find those to be one of the least satisfying part of new Cadillac models, but I like the window switchgear in the XT5, which is the same in the XT4. The seat memory buttons, however, need work.
The wiper and turn signal stalks feel delicate and refined, but they are just teetering on the edge of flimsy, I’ll admit that.
The door switches are alright, I guess. But they’re plastic with some fake chrome to try and make them look better.
I’m used to metal buttons, and I think that’s the direction Cadillac has to go to make their interiors feel really high-end. Or maybe glass would work too.
Now that we are finally getting better interiors they will improve year over year. Refinement will improve the things that don’t work now vs. the entre package needing replace like before.
Agreed. Now that the baseline is in place, GM’s continuous improvement process should help.
But there are some things that will need to be re-thought and re-packaged, such as:
– Memory seat controls
– Wiper stalks
– Light switches/controls
– Cargo area details like the handle used to lift up the trunk floor cover to access the spare wheel (cheap plastic on Caddies, metal-coated from the Germans) and redesigning cargo net solutions for sedans (the Germans also have this down to a science, but Cadillac can improve)
All things that can be changed in a year.
But again the Germans are how much more?
To get to a lower price some compromise is in the offing at this level. But as the better the other models are less room for compromises.
No excuse once you get over $50 k.
At this low level they all have compromise. But it comes down to how well you hide it too keep up the appeal.
Agreed, they can change them in an MCE or even mid-year… if they wanted to, but I don’t think that they will. Hence, it’s a bit disheartening to see an all-new vehicle like the XT4 get some of these cheaper components while others at the same price point get more.
Now, the cost is obviously a concern – as you mentioned, but these touch points are vital to make a great firsts impression and subsequently earn mindshare and purchase consideration in these segments.
Plus, the cost of the items I’m referring to is insignificant if they’re part of the initial product program. If it needs to cost a $150 more per unit, that should be baked into it from get-go. By my estimates, the items I mentioned won’t even be that much. To that end, they saved a bunch by reusing E2 for the XT4 and C1 for the XT5… so their margins should be quite healthy on those units so as to allow these kinds of things.
The benchmark should be Mercedes – from the tiny A/GLA all the way to the S/GLS. They handle the touch points extremely well, from the ones that are used/seen/touched daily to the ones that are used infrequently, but still make you appreciate the car, thereby affirming your decision to buy “The Best or Nothing”. Buick should be more concerned about hiding the shortcuts… Cadillac should be all about not.
No price is insignificant. What you add on place takes from others.
Also at this price point small things can be overlooked like a tire cover handle. Exspecially when most of these buyers are moving up from much worse sins.
For a first model from the new Cadillac in an entry level class at this price point if that is your worst complaints I can live with it for now.
Now if they cheap out on a $50k plus CT5 that would be harder to overlook.
Expect a few small areas of want in the CT3 too as it will be priced much like this model.
Just think back to the areas of lackin the DTS and first gen CTS. even then it was a jump up from the previous models and light years from the 80’s down sized Deville.
Not perfect but getting damn closer.
I would have liked a Cadillac specific engine here to. But at this price at this time in the rebuild I would rather have the money go to more important things.
We will get there.
Spare wheel, a fond memory.
The world? No. You can’t stun markets you completely disregard and continually withdraw from, i.e. Europe.
Europe is coming. Not immediately… but in the medium term future.
That’s a joke, surely. The “push” was supposed to be in 2008, then in 2020, and now it’s been pushed back again to 2025. Their minuscule dealership network is getting even thinner, they don’t attend European auto shows.
No, Cadillac is not coming to Europe.
I am still waiting to be stunned by the XT4….
This is the exact problem Cadillac has! People will never be happy or satisfied with what Cadillac does! They could build a Bentley and people like yourself would not be impressed!
Brian, no matter what JdN does, you are going to cheer it and act like he hit a home run. You are the one who said there would be one great product after another under JdN, and Cadillac will take the lead in luxury cars. This is no Bentley, nor is it a Cadillac. JdN struck out. And he probably doesn’t even understand baseball.
Might as well change Cadillac’s name too while you’re at it. It’s too French and not American enough to be of value in your eyes; founder of Detroit notwithstanding.
Yes i will! And what are going to do when Cadillac sales start rising? Make more excusses as to why the numbers are aren’t good enough?
What happens when Cadillac outsales Benz and BMW? Will the excuse be that they are cheaper cars?
He’s going to turn Cadillac around! Now let me ask you, did Cadillac turn a profit last year, last quarter? If so then what is your definition of having a successful car company?
Its impressive to me if Cadillac can make a profit while having sales numbers near the bottom!
Brian, it’s Cadillac that must impress the customer not the other way around.
They didnt build a Bentley. I am a Caddy fan…for over 50 years. But no one is going to convince me that with all of the pre intro hype that the XT4 had that this was a great intro. This comes off a a non-attractive car. They could have done much better.
This is a nice vehicle but they intro’d it like an ugly prom date.
A Cadillac halo car has to be a sports car, a modern interpretation of the Allante or an update production version of the Cien concept car are possiblies; then again, Cadillac can go wild and try building their own Ferrari Portofino with a modified LTA Twin-Turbo 4.2L V8 being the engine (higher boost and larger turbochargers).
IMO, the CT7 is not Cadillac’s halo car but a flagship. Since this is going to be a Lux 5 vehicle, it will more than likely be a large lwb 5 door hatchback.
For as the halo vehicle is concerned, we have no idea what it could be, but the CT7 needs to come out first before there is a halo vehicle underway.
Cadillac could break the rules from the Escala concept and name this halo product, whatever it may be, Escala when it debuts post ’22. So nothing is set in stone as of yet.
Also, the CT7 is not going to be a coupe as the market is very limited for that type of car. See S Class coupe as an example; you don’t see many on the road. Also, the CT7 is a Lux 5 vehicle while the CT6 is a Lux 4 vehicle. If there is a coupe, Cadillac will give it to CT6 and just call it CT6 like ATS for example.