By on September 9, 2010

When you start a new job, it’s considered important to make a good impression. How does the saying go? “Start as you mean to go on”. Well, Dan Akerson, I suspect, tried to heed that advice and ended up putting his foot in it. The Associated Press reports that Dan Akerson, CEO of Government (soon to be “General” again) Motors, presented a webcast to GM employees. The usual CEO rhetoric came out. “GM needs to keep competitors on their heels rather than responding to what they do” said one GM worker, who asked not to be identified as the broadcast was not available to the public; despite being owned by them. “Attack mode” was another phrase used. But then Mr Akerson said that GM’s Cadillac brand has to make cars that are better than BMW’s. Now I thought this was quite a harmless statement to make. The CEO set a (quite high) benchmark to beat. Sounds reasonable, right? Not according to some.

The comment drew the ire of USA Today. As the article said, “How sad if he really said that. He’s echoing the out-of-date bias of many car shoppers. Cadillac, data show, already is better than BMW.” Blimey! Calm down, lads! The article then goes on to quote J.D Power and Associates’ Initial Quality Study (IQS) and Vehicle Dependability Study (VDS). In those studies, Cadillac ranks higher than BMW nearly every year. USA Today then starts ranting about how even “bad” GM (their word, not mine) beat BMW.

“In IQS scores back to 2005, Cadillac finished as high as third of some three dozen brands surveyed, and no worse than 13th (except for 25th in 2007). BMW, meantime, ranked 3rd back in 2005, but since then no better than 16th of about three dozen brands. (The exact number surveyed varies by one or two each year.)”

On the VDS, they mentioned that Cadillac, apart from years 2005 and 2007, beat BMW. Then things started getting hot under the bonnet.

“Sure, but BMW will blow the doors off Cadillac, right? Apparently not. In a “run what ya brung” challenge race last October, Caddy’s CTS-V took first, second and third. The highest-finishing BMW was an M3 in fourth. BMW declined at the time to send a factory-backed car and driver because it was a GM-sponsored event rather than a neutral competitive setting. Still the showdown was open to all production-stock (unmodified) cars, so, theoretically at least, it was a fair fight.”

Now whilst these are all valid points, there’s one point which USA Today doesn’t mention. In August 2010, The US public bought 12,689 Cadillacs. In comparison, 19,450 BMW’s were purchased. So, even with those points which USA Today raised, the US public isn’t buying it, literally. But, I think that USA Today was extremely harsh. I don’t think Dan Akerson meant anything by that comment (if he did say it, GM won’t confirm it). I like bashing a GM CEO as much as the next person, but give him a chance!

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68 Comments on “Akerson: BMW Better Than Cadillac...”


  • avatar
    Sundowner

    BMW is a better car than Caddy in terms of brand perception, hands down. BMW is usually considered more of a driver’s car, too. If the GM crew wants to seriously play in BMW’s back yard, they need more stick shifts and less chrome. Way too much tinsel on those cars.

    • 0 avatar
      jemmer1

      Until GM Stops trying to build BMW’s, or Mercedes, or whatever the target of the week is, They will rate as 2nd class citizens in my book.  Try and find your own way in the market.  American Luxury, Start with that.  You’ll never out German the Germans, because while you are matching their current efforts, they are improving

  • avatar
    polska

    I have an ’88 Bmw that still drives excellent. That’s a long time to build a solid rep. If GM wants to remain a player, they have to look past the quarter results and all the other short-term b.s.
    Still, I bet if you compare the avg. worker in a BMW plant vs. a GM plant, you’re going to find a significant difference in the amount of pride in the workplace. That’s a huge advantage. Google workplace reviews for the two comapnies and you can see a trend.

  • avatar
    slance66

    Perception is everything.  I’ve been searching for a car for months, and in theory, a CTS, AWD with DI is possibly the best car for my requirements.  But I won’t even get a test drive, b/c my wife still views Cadillac as an old person’s car or drug dealer car and refuses to be seen in one.  The 328xi is out too, thanks to BMW’s German stubbornness with respect to RFTs and cupholders, so I’m in Mercedes, Acura, Lexus land.
    Cadillac is suffering today from the decisions of the 70′s-90′s.  Buick has a better shot at revising it’s image.  Cadillacs still suffer from excessive angularity…which reminds me too much of the 80′s luxo-barges.  They need some curves and smoother lines.
     

    • 0 avatar
      ott

      …like every other carmaker out there? Personally, I love what Cadillac has had the balls to do, inject a bit of personality into their vehicles while also staying true to their roots. Now that doesn’t mean everyone will like the current styling, but one thing you can’t say is that they blend into traffic.

    • 0 avatar

      “But I won’t even get a test drive, b/c my wife still views Cadillac as an old person’s car or drug dealer car and refuses to be seen in one… Cadillac is suffering today from the decisions of the 70′s-90′s.  Buick has a better shot at revising it’s image.”
      Exactly. Personally, I’d throw every other GM brand into the same bucket as well.
      Cadillac may still need a decade of solid engineering, design and manufacturing execution and strong brand building investments to gain consideration. It’s possible – look at Hyundai – but will take incredible reserves of commitment.
      I agree Buick’s got a better shot for getting there quicker than Cadillac, not for design reasons but because it’s a less aspirational brand that competes closer to the vast mid-market where high build quality, reliability, comfort, reasonable style, and price can make you competitive. Buick’s quality record is finally being complemented with new, more inspired product designs that appeal to people not on Medicare. Just like Hyundai, that’s going to appeal to people in the non-prestige market.
      But competing directly with BMW, Mercedes and Lexus as a premium brand — for Cadillac — is a totally different ballgame. It’s so much harder because for these buyers, you’re not just buying a car, you’re buying a brand and making statement with your purchase. It’s joining a club. Brand building here takes immense time. It’s not just flipping the switch on performance, luxury, style and quality.

  • avatar
    Mirko Reinhardt

    In August 2010, The US public bought 12,689 Cadillacs. In comparison, 19,450 BMW’s were purchased.
    Yeah, the US public. Now compare world-wide BMW sales to world-wide Cadillac sales for really amusing numbers…

    • 0 avatar
      SVX pearlie

      Last month…

      Chrysler sold more vehicles than Caddy, and I don’t think that anybody would say that they make a better car than Caddy.

      Dodge sold more vehicles than Caddy and BMW combined, and again, I doubt people consider Dodge to be better than Caddy or BMW.

      Porsche sells less than either brand, so they’re not as good?

      Vehicle sales don’t mean much in terms of which is better.

    • 0 avatar
      Mirko Reinhardt

      @SVX Pearlie
      Dodge sold more vehicles than Caddy and BMW combined, and again, I doubt people consider Dodge to be better than Caddy or BMW.
      No they didn’t. BMW Group sold 103,239 vehicles world-wide in August. The Chrysler group sold 99,611 in the US in August (There is no newer number for outside-the US sales in August, the newest number is from April: 12,009 vehicles)
      There is no definitive number how many of the Chrysler Group vehicles were Dodges, but if it’s less than about 90%, Dodge sold less vehicles than BMW. Simple as that.

      So… Chrysler is about as big as BMW, sales-wise, give or take 10%. Who do you think makes more profit per vehicle?

  • avatar
    ash78

    There are plenty of newer cars that can go head-to-head with Bimmer, depending on who you ask. But a lot of it comes down to subjectivity (not just 0-60 and slalom times). Bottom line is that Caddy is a very small player compared to BMW’s worldwide presence and legacy/heritage spanning many decades–whereas Caddy is still in the midst of a self-reinvention.

    I think Akerson’s statement was perfectly fair to make, and shows some damned perspective for once. That’s something I think Mulally brought to Ford and hopefully Akerson will push at GM.

  • avatar
    Dr Strangelove

    Well how many times have we read “this car is better – will be better – is as good as – should be as good as a BMW” from all kinds of PR departments. However, I have yet to see someone saying “this car is as good as a Cadillac”. BMW is everybody’s benchmark.

    • 0 avatar
      ash78

      Not in the modern era, anyway.

      However, to be called “The Cadillac of ____” used to be a big compliment. It’s been decades, though.

      Not long ago, I read a cynical satire piece that said “Cadillac again trying to become the Cadillac of cars”

    • 0 avatar
      GarbageMotorsCo.

      Too bad the “Cadillac of cars also consists of curb feelers, wire wheels and fake carriage roofs. FWD snoozemobiles for the retirees who have more money than the typical Buick fogey. And a staff of sleazy pimps (who could probably knock you off if they didn’t like you) masking their stale cigar smell with cheap cologne.

      Then there’s the “Baller” crowd who are buying the latest and greatest “Blinged out” schoolbus which does nothing to improve the image.

      There was a time when there was a sense of pride owning a Caddy. Too bad the 60′s and 70′s are over.

  • avatar

    I’ll have whatever he’s smoking. That must be some good sh!t.

    Let’s keep our sights realistic, Mr. Akerson. I think the automotive world would be floored if Government Motors brought out a product approaching Hyundai’s current levels of quality.

    • 0 avatar
      mikey

      Park a six year old, rust country Hyundai  with 80k, beside any six year old domestic with 80K.

       Then we can compare quality.
      .

    • 0 avatar

      mikey, mikey… notice I said “current” Hyundai quality, not six years ago.

      That said, a coworker has an absolutely pristine 2003 Kia Optima with 175K on the clock… but of course that is the exception, not the norm. Ditto with any Impala of similar vintage and mileage.

    • 0 avatar
      moedaman

      Hey mikey, at least Hyundai understood that they had a problem and did something about it and then offered a warranty to show people they meant it. They didn’t insult customers by crying about a perception problem.

  • avatar
    Contrarian

    GM is making siome progress, but BMW’s biggest design advantages come from the demographics and driving talents and expectations in their home market.

    Plus, JD Power tends to focus more on "initial quality" which does not address durability so much.

  • avatar
    jmo

    The key to success for GM isn’t to make cars that are just as good – they need to make cars that are better.

  • avatar
    Educator(of teachers)Dan

    As I’ve said before, the last Cadillac I wanted to buy new had “Fleetwood” writen on it.  Caddy should not be chasing BMW, since Buick apparently wants to be Lexus then Caddy better aspire to be Rolls or Bentley or heck, at least Mercedes Benz.

    • 0 avatar

      Considering that Cadillac had models that competed with Rolls-Royce and Duesenberg back in the 30′s…I’d say that’s a laudable aspiration. At least one model or one series that can go toe-to-toe with the world’s finest luxury marques. From there the cachet trickles down thru the rest of GM. That’s what made GM the world’s mightiest industrial corporation way back when.
      When you watch It’s A Wonderful Life this Christmas, note the scene where Sam Wainwright’s chauffeur pulls up to Mancini’s new house as the Baileys are pronouncing their blessing on it. That’s a ’34-’35 Cadillac limo. Or if you’ve ever seen The Beatles Anthology and catch the footage of the Fab Four being whisked from the airport to the hotel to the concert…whether in Australia, the Philippines or Tokyo…they were transported via Cadillac.
      Yes…even in Tokyo.
      Until Cadillac has that kind of mystique again, they’ll have some catching up to do. They’re off to a good start with the new CTS…but it’s only a start.

      • 0 avatar
        rowdoo

        I Love how caddy enthusiasts say back in the 30′s, 40′s caddy was supreme. That may be true but almost a century later and the Caddy/Gm starts to realize they need to catch up . Unfortunately the world and many car manufacturers are indeed a century ahead.

  • avatar
    Revver

    As jalopnik is reporting Mr. Ak is bringing a decidedly “stir the pot” mentality to the company. Not that the pot doesn’t need to be stirred, but this is gonna be interesting.

  • avatar
    jimboy

    And why is that? Because auto journalists have beaten us over the head for twenty years about ‘crappy’ American cars. The publics perception of automobiles is largely shaped by what they read,(or hear)in the media. Instead of fair and objective reporting, we get ‘so-called’ journalists with a personal axe to grind. I am so sick of hearing about these ‘wonderful’ toyotas, bmws, mercedes, etc…that are in reality overpriced, compromised, and horrifically expensive to maintain and repair. Yet the poseurs and wannabees continue to flock to these brands like sheep to the slaughter. Cammy, I don’t know where you live, but it sounds like Europe to me. The driving and road conditions in N.A. are completely different here and so are American driving requirements. Thats why we have cars like Cadillac, Chrysler and Lincoln. They work for us, maybe not for Europeans, but really, who cares? Its not like they will ever be a large market for American cars. And before you haters start, I have driven and (owned) both bmw, mercedes, no toyota, but nissan and honda, so its not like I haven’t tried imports either. I keep coming back to American cars because they are the best overall for the lifestyle we have.(price, value for money, utility, user friendly)

    • 0 avatar
      MikeAR

      You are absolutely right. I have had BMWs and I wold never own one again. They are over-complicated, overengineered and not worth the premium price. In truth GM makes better cars now but the legacy of the last 30 years and the bankruptcy and government takeover is killing them to many Americans.

    • 0 avatar
      mikey

      Well Said jimboy

    • 0 avatar
      Revver

      “The publics perception of automobiles is largely shaped by what they read,(or hear)in the media.”

      I would really have to disagree. Surely, only a very small percentage of the American populations goes anywhere near the automotive press. Have you seen the circulation numbers?

      The vast perentage of the population gets its auto info from experience, family and friends, and neighbors.

      Cadillac’s sordid reputation has been a combination of self-induced tackiness, and lousy engineering/build quality.

      Don’t get me wrong. I’m a fan of several of their models. But the (perception) road downhill goes much faster than the road back up.

    • 0 avatar
      Hiro

      +1 Revver
      In Hyundai’s case, the road back up has been good. They’ve been received by the general public with high acclaim (sales numbers tell the story). Their rising reputation allowed Hyundai to reduce the amount of incentives/rebates and low financing offered resulting in higher residual values.  Interesting how Hyundai’s sales figures have been a knockout success even with the previously low residual values.  Over 3% increase in residuals in just a year (topping Detroit’s levels yet falling shy of Japan’s top brands)
      This is why I buy Asian and European cars even if I find an American car suiting my tastes.  Imports’ perceived higher quality & value make it that much easier to sell my car in a few years time without losing as much as I would had I purchased American (except maybe Ford what with their rising reputation as of late). Deep-seated nationalistic pride can only do so much to drive domestic car sales, especially when keeping as many dollars in your wallet is at stake.

    • 0 avatar
      moedaman

      My crappy perception of GM vehicles has more to do with the all the problems I’ve had with my 2001 Chevy Malibu and my wife’s 2006 Buick Terraza. Not with what any journalist has written. Both were bought new and are well maintained. The Buick was in the garage (again) and my wife rented a 2009 Camry. She really didn’t want to part with it.

      As far as BMW’s being over-rated. Well I’ve felt that european cars have had a very poor quality/price ratio for years. After my last VW, I won’t be buying german again.

    • 0 avatar
      aspade

      “The publics perception of automobiles is largely shaped by what they read,(or hear)in the media.”
      It wasn’t the media that took two decades after the oil crisis to build a car that wasn’t laugh-out-loud bad.
      It wasn’t the media that decided they’d keep sales up by dumping stripped 15 year old platforms on the rental lots.
      Putting your name on garbage has consequences.  Garbage Motors has nobody to blame but themselves.

  • avatar
    PeriSoft

    Maximum Attack!

  • avatar
    NJ Pilot

    Quality scores are like an “A” for effort. What Mr. Akerson is likely trying to address is the market’s perception (prejudice) that BMW is better than Cadillac (evidence: higher residual values for BMW).  Addressing a prejudice like this, where your brand is not even on the radar of qualified buyers, is a tough row to hoe.

  • avatar
    bunkie

    By this measure, shouldn’t *every* car company aspire to be BMW?
     
    Personally, I find this mentality really annoying. If I wanted a BMW, I would have bought one. As I’ve said many times before, I really like American cars. Cadillac should strive to make the best Cadillacs it possibly can. Let BMW make the best BMWs.
     
    Caddy’s too angular? Too much chrome? That’s okay. Not everyone shares that opinion. And that’s how it should be. I lust after a CTS-V, the finest Caddilac of the modern era and an undisputable performance bargain. I drive a Northstar STS, a car that I really enjoy for a lot of reasons. I can think of a few ways it could be improved, but I never let that get in the way of my driving or ownership pleasure.

    • 0 avatar
      dswilly

      Cadillac should strive to make the best Cadillac it possibly can. Let BMW make the best BMW’s.
      - Excellent point.
      This is in some ways the root of the problem. When your “brand” is trying to build a car that’s better than a BMW and all BMW worries about is building a better BMW. You have a problem.

  • avatar
    psarhjinian

    This is far.  Cadillac has one very good car: the CTS.  They need at least three very good cars, and the STS, DTS and upcoming XTS certainly don’t cut it as 5- or 7-Series competitors, and they need that in order to be taken seriously in this market.  Lexus did this right, and Nissan and Cadillac did it wrong: you don’t build a luxury marque from the bottom up, no matter how good your base is.
     
    That they’re going to re-cast the CTS as a 5-Series competitor (and replace it with the ATS) isn’t a bad idea, but it also means that the CTS is going to come off as the bargain alternative to the 5-Series for some time, as will the A-Series be to the 3.  Cadillac shouldn’t be a bargain brand.
     
    The XTS, of course, is going to have real trouble getting mentioned in the same breath as the 7/S/LS: luxury buyers will care that it shares it’s bones with a Malibu.  That’s the big problem.   Think about the 760Li.  Now think about a stretched, all-dressed all-wheel-drive Malibu without a V8.  See the problem?
     
    Akerson is right.

    • 0 avatar
      George B

      I agree that Cadillac needs at least three good cars, but disagree that they need to match up with the BMW 3, 5, and 7 series.  The 3 series is too small for the US market unless you happen to have BMW’s sport sedan reputation and history.  Cadillac and Infiniti are correct to start with intermediate instead of compact.  Cadillac also needs a competitive bigger car.  Not sure if the CTS RWD platform can stretch to a larger size, but it would be less likely to be laughed at than the current big FWD Cadillac.  For best Cadillac ROI, I’d make the 3rd Cadillac be the best damn CUV they can dream up.  A CUV big enough to pull a boat, but small enough to fit in a diagonal parking spot.
       
      Didn’t Lexus start at the bottom with a rebadged Toyota?  Quickly moved up with the LS, but they’ve always sold a Camry based ES or equivalent too.

    • 0 avatar
      GarbageMotorsCo.

      Didn’t Lexus start at the bottom with a rebadged Toyota?  Quickly moved up with the LS, but they’ve always sold a Camry based ES or equivalent too.

      Toyota was expanding on an already solid reputation with cars like the Camry and Cressida so bringing in a new marque with more features, more sound proffing, luxurious ride and amazing quality was natural. Plus, Lexus actually went after the Mercedes of the world by matching them feature for feature, while undercutting them in price and blowing them away in long term reliability.

      Cadillac building off a rental car Chevy, Buick or GMC or tapping into Opel like they’ve been doing for the past 30 years hasn’t and will continue to fail as the the base vehicle isn’t very good, reliable or of good quality to begin with.

      And stuffing big honkin, raunchy, V8 engines as refined as the ones in my Chevy pickup into a V-series isn’t going to do much to win over the German or Japanese luxury shoppers.

  • avatar

    Forget about sales, while valid, let’s talk margin.  Most Cadillac ads push the great deal you can get on a new Caddy at the end of the spot. Cadillacs have been sold on “the deal” for years now.
    BMW?  Not a chance.  GM wishes they could get BMW margins on their top drawer brand. Akerson knows what’s up.

    • 0 avatar
      toxicroach

      It’s the same pro-GM hysteria that convinced people GM would never go bankrupt.  Hearing the CEO imply that it’s actually GM’s fault for failing, and not a bunch of ignorant jerks being fooled by advertising into buying foreign brands, that threatens their belief that GM is the victim of circumstance in all this.  Hence the hyperbolic reaction to a statement that is really pretty uncontroversial.  It threatens the underpinning of their whole belief system regarding GM.

    • 0 avatar
      Truckducken

      +1 toxicroach. Nailed it.

    • 0 avatar

      Whoa, did you hit the nail on the head toxicroach. And even with taxpayer cash propping up the company, the grand hallucination at the RenCen continues.

      The fact that certain people on this forum (ex-union types, certain GM-employed talking heads) actually seem to believe GM makes world-class vehicles is absolutely laughable. PR spin is one thing; a whirlpool of fantasy and illusion is something far more troubling, and I just don’t understand that level of self-delusion.

      Then again, I don’t understand how people could drink the Kool-Aid at Jonestown, either…

    • 0 avatar
      nutbags

      Sajeev – living in the northeast where BMW’s are all over the place, they are running ads with lease deals.  Apparently their sales are down in this area.  The owner (not a car guy) of the company I work for has a 2008 BMW 5-series and he calls it his $50,000 Accord after he drove my 2006 Accord V6 with 6sp.  And don’t get him started on the repair and maintenance costs.
       

  • avatar
    jj99

    That is the right attitude. 

    The cadillac needs to be a better vehicle than BMW at a lower price.

    Likewise, the chevy needs to be a better vehicle than Toyota/Honda at a lower price.

    This means they must exhibit reliability and driveability better than BMW, Toyota, and Honda in Consumer Reports.  The stats must prove themselves in the critical 5 to 10 year range.

    If they achieve this, they will be king.

    Hopefully, they avoid the Ford approach where JD Powers short term studies bought and paid for by Detroit are shoved in our face, and Consumer Reports data is smeared.

    • 0 avatar
      geeber

      Ford hasn’t smeared Consumer Reports survey results, nor does it need to. For the past four years, the magazine has noted the steadily improving reliability results posted by Ford products. Ford can’t use those results in its advertising, because the magazine forbids ANY company from using its test or reliability survey results in advertising or brochures.

    • 0 avatar
      jj99

      geeber, better recheck your data.

      Here is what consumer reports said, quote:

      “Toyota and Honda still come out well on the overall results–Asian carmakers in general do, in fact, taking 36 of the 48 top spots, with Toyota leading at 18, Honda with eight, Nissan at four, and Hyundai/Kia and Subaru with three top spots each.”

      It is clear Toyota and Honda have more top spots than Ford.  Can you guess how many top spots Ford has?

      Then, in the April edition of Consumer Reports, it states Toyota and Honda are clear leaders in 5 to 10 year old reliability.  Ford is back in the pack. 

      Ford reliability is fiction.  It is just average.

    • 0 avatar
      jj99

      geeber, better recheck your data.
      Here is what consumer reports said, quote:

      “Toyota and Honda still come out well on the overall results–Asian carmakers in general do, in fact, taking 36 of the 48 top spots, with Toyota leading at 18, Honda with eight, Nissan at four, and Hyundai/Kia and Subaru with three top spots each.”

      It is clear Toyota and Honda have more top spots than Ford.  Can you guess how many top spots Ford has?

      Then, in the April edition of Consumer Reports, it states Toyota and Honda are clear leaders in 5 to 10 year old reliability.  Ford is back in the pack. 

      Ford reliability is fiction.  It is just average.

  • avatar
    mcs

    A friend of mine is not happy with Cadillac quality or the dealership experience. He has cracked leather on a CTS with only 28k on the clock. He tells me the dealer fights him on every single warranty claim including the seats.

    I’ve taken three BMW’a past 100k miles and never had problems with warranty claims – including a couple of incidents where they decided to cover the part on a car with 110k miles. My maintenance and repair costs on the three BMWs in total were less than half of what we spent on a single Mazda MPV. I use independent mechanics and buy parts from independents like Bavarian Autosports to keep the costs down.

    The complexity doesn’t bother me. I have a technology background and can diagnose the car easier than older cars. There’s a lot of data you can get from the car if you know what you’re doing that makes finding a problem so much easier. Besides, pretty much everything else is of equal complexity these days.
     
     

  • avatar
    Steven02

    Since when did IQS and VDS define who makes the better car?
    Buick has been on top of the list a few times.  Are they better than BMW or MB?  How about Toyotas?  Are they better than BMW or MB?  The logic for saying Caddy is better than BMW is flawed.  Caddy’s are nice.  BMW’s are nicer.

    • 0 avatar
      Russycle

      Yeah, they lost me at JD Power.  I understand the need for metrics, but to consider those authoritative while ignoring little things like sales numbers, well, that’s why they’re USA Today.

    • 0 avatar
      Silvy_nonsense

      From a quality and reliability perspective, Cadillac really shouldn’t aspire to be like BMW because Cadillac is already there and “there” is the bottom of the heap.

      USA Today’s freak out seems especially insane if you look at Cadillac’s Consumer Reports’ reliability ratings – Cadillac’s reliability is terrible. I don’t know the methodology used at the other ratings services, but CR justs asks people “What year/make/model do you own?” and has them note problems. Unfortunately for Cadillac, the CTS and STS are noted as two of the -least- reliable upscale/luxury cars along with the BMW 535, according to problems reported by owners.

      Cadillac (and BMW) have some great products from both a performance and style perspective but I’m not interested in spending beaucoup bucks on a car that is at the bottom of the reliability rankings. I’ve made that mistake before and will never make it again. I wish Cadillac would get its act together on reliability because I want one, but won’t buy one, due to poor reliability.

  • avatar
    SupaMan

    I agree that Cadillac needs a full-line strategy along the lines of the BMW 3, 5 and 7 models. Why? Look at the other marques:
     
    Audi – A4, A6, A8 (along with blur the lines A3, A5, A7)
    Mercedes – C Class, E Class, S Class
    Lexus – IS, GS, LS
     
    Sure, Lexus started at the top and worked its way down to have a competitor that neatly matches up to almost every mass market German luxury car and in doing so, they’ve gained credibility.
    Cadillac doesn’t have that luxury (so to speak) but they do have a very capable car in the form of the CTS and they’d be wise to exploit the platform’s strengths. Infiniti has just about done the same with its FM platform and produced the G and M sedans (I still think they’ll do a new Q flagship in the near future).
    Bottom line, if Cadillac wants to compete with the heavy hitting luxury brands it needs to have cars/vehicles that are BETTER than they are and Akerson made a point in using that remark.
    The upcoming ATS will compete with the 3 Series (and by extension the C Class etc) on even terms while the CTS is free to pursue the bigger 5 Series. The XTS, I’d suppose, is to replace the DTS for the ‘elder’ among us who want nothing to do with Cadillac’s newfound fire. If they can stretch the CTS big enough to support a 7 Series-sized fighter with comparable road manners and its own identity, then Cadillac would have done it’s job.
     

  • avatar
    oboylepr

    “Park a six year old, rust country Hyundai  with 80k, beside any six year old domestic with 80K. Then we can compare quality.”
     
    Don’t be too quick to throw down these kinds of asinine chalenges, the results may not, no make that, will not go as you think. I have a 22 year old Civic that is still in original condition that has panel gaps better than some of the POS camaros I see on Oshawa area roads. My wife owns a 6 year old Hyundai that was abused from the day see bought it (I swear she must plough fields with it!) and there is not a trace of rust on it. Her friend’s 2004 Impala has cost her $5k in repairs since see got it new and is rusting out all over. Believe what you want, but proving it is something else.

    • 0 avatar

      +1.

    • 0 avatar
      Steven02

      2 cars don’t mean anything.  I had a 2002 formula firebird that only had 1 problem, it was a catalytic converter that was replaced under warranty.  Doesn’t mean that my experience is typical.  Honestly, most repair cost in a high dollar range like that are likely due to poor maintenance.  If you don’t change the oil regularly, or perhaps the transmission fluid when you should, you are going to have problems.

  • avatar
    slance66

    Do the A8, 7 series and S class sell in volumes sufficient to warrant the investment by GM?  Right now the CTS is not as big as a 5 series.  It’s doing double duty going up against the 3 and 5, C and E, A4 and A6.  They need another car, but I’d go smaller and bump the CTS a little in size.
    Nobody buys a 3 series because the 7 series is so nice.  Creating a great large car would perpetuate the old-fart Caddy image.  They need a smaller car that every 16 to 28 year old wants to drive.  BMW’s image is great because every kid wants a 3 series, not because their parents want 5 and 7 series.  Mercedes suffers like Caddy, which is why they so needed to nail the C-class (and did, except for the price).  Once you lock in the young, then you can up-sell the overpriced big stuff to them later.

  • avatar
    ajla

    -Build A Northstar V8 replacement
    -Kill the XTS
    -Kill the 3.0L
    -Offer the CTS with the LS4 and MagneRide

  • avatar

    @toxicroach: Exactly.
     
    And when are people going to stop rewriting the damn CTS-V Challenge and give Michael Cooper credit? He won the challenge by beating Lutz in a 556hp CTS-V with his 420hp M3!
     
    I mean, did Lutz step outside of his own ego-Hindenburg for 2 seconds and congratulate the kid?
    -Maybe there should’ve been a trophy and $50k prize; perhaps that goods-exchange would’ve made the point more notable.

    • 0 avatar
      Steven02

      It wasn’t rewritten.  The rules were not to be Lutz, but beat the car.  Several people beat Lutz, did they all win?  Fastest times on the course that day were in the CTS-V.  That isn’t rewriting history.

    • 0 avatar

      @Steven02: Wrong. The rules were that non-pros would have to beat Lutz’s time in the Caddy, pros would have to beat Heinricy/GM’s ringers times in the caddy.
       
      It was not, strictly-speaking, car vs. car.

    • 0 avatar
      Jack Baruth

      Gentlemen, there’s a reason that BMW didn’t trumpet that result more, and that is because any photos of said M3 taken on the day showed the sidewalls more or less inside the fenders. Csaba’s “verification” took place at the open bar.

    • 0 avatar
      Steven02

      So, you are saying that the M3 wasn’t stock?

  • avatar
    Wagen

    I think Cadillac’s problem is partially one of image.  It has not gotten rid of the image from an era when luxury and sport were on opposite ends of the spectrum . . . an era where people didn’t really care to have connolly leather seats in their Camaro or Corvette, nor did people particularly care about the skidpad performance of their Fleetwood Brougham.  Then, US car buyers woke up to the fact that you can have them both together as BMW has demonstrated so well over the years.  Now, Cadillac’s products are finally improving and moving in the direction of what people want but the image is still disconnected.  Something is just out of sync when you have a CTS-V that can hold its own with M3s but then you see Cadillac written in script on the chrome grille next to the crest emblem that just screams grey-hair sports coat country club.

  • avatar
    BMWfan

    The American car companies have dug themselves a very deep hole with their sins of the past. It will take them quite a while to climb back out, regardless of the quality of the cars. Everyone I know has been screwed by an American car company or dealer at one time or another. With the foreign manufacturers you at least have a chance of getting them to resolve your issue. Most people I know are not willing to give the domestic manufacturers another chance, even though they might now be building a better product. A car cost too much to take that kind of chance, especially with the economy the way it is now.

  • avatar
    pleiter

    Cimarron.

  • avatar
    loverofcars1969

    Damn I purchased the CTV V because I love the performance and looks of the car. Who knew GM made that car because as a Black American I would fall for it.


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