By on February 25, 2013

Wake up, little Susan, wake up

Uh-oh: Susan Docherty, dispatched from China to Europe to teach the Eurotrash the proper appreciation and respect for Chevrolet and Cadillac, has come up with a strategy that assures the destruction of Cadillac outside of the U.S. Cadillac’s global aspirations hinge on its success in Europe, Docherty told WardsAuto. Again: To be successful in China, Cadillac must first be successful in Europe. No blond jokes please, show some respect.

“If a luxury brand is successful in Europe, whether that brand is Chanel or Prada, or Mercedes or BMW, people in parts of Asia look to see what Europeans validate as true luxury,” Docherty told Wards. “So we have to get Cadillac rocking and rolling in Europe to get it going in China.”

Auto execs in Europe think this is hilarious. Everybody knows that Europe is overflowing with premium brands (the Euros avoid the word luxury, they think it’s gauche). They also know that to establish a new one, you need lots of time and lots of money, both of which GM does not have in abundance. Just ask Infiniti or Lexus how they are doing. Audi took about 30 years and a Ferdinand Piech to become relevant in the field, and it had the heritage that is so important in the EU.

In the parts of Europe that count, Cadillac is associated with Elvis, and it is given as much chance for a return. The European buyer of a premium car is conservative and married tighter to his brand than to his wife.

If Cadillac’s success in China hinges on Europe, then Cadillac is doomed. Last year, Cadillac delivered 2,274 vehicles in Western and Central Europe, “including Russia,” as WardsAuto snidely reports. The Chinese won’t be impressed with Russian tastes and want to know how Cadillac is doing in Paris, Berlin and Rome. There, the brand isn’t even on the radar of the European manufacturers association ACEA. It says that GM imported all of 299 cars from the U.S. to Europe in 2012, across all brands.

What’s less, now may be a very inopportune time to launch any car brand in basket case Europe, especially a luxury brand. Doherty is not concerned: Europe is “still a hell of a big market. I say to my team that ‘14 million people are going to be out there buying a car. We just need to get our fair share.’”

Frau Docherty has another grand idea: She wants to integrate Opel with GM’s other brands in Europe and “eliminate duplicate work in areas such as back-office administrative functions and front-office areas such as aftersales,” as WardsAuto reports. “It’s worth millions,” Docherty said. Good idea, but it does not work that way. One of the secrets of Volkswagen’s very successful brand separation is that the company wittingly has work duplicated across all twelve brands. It costs billions, but it gives them that own true identity.

P.S.: Most of all, the Chinese aren’t stupid. They will tell you: “Cadillac? We’ve been there. Even their taxis are Benzes. That’s why we want Audi and BMW.”

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155 Comments on “Susan Docherty Has a Great Idea How To Kill Cadillac...”


  • avatar
    Onus

    Well we know what is going to happen to opel at this point. Bye bye.

    • 0 avatar
      ranwhenparked

      Some of those ideas make a bit of sense though – she’s taking about almost turning GM Europe into a mirror image of GM North America with Vauxhall, Opel, Chevrolet, and Cadillac as operating divisions within a highly unified, centralized structure.

      Of course, when GM North America was doing really well and commanded 50% of the market was also when each division had it’s own offices and operated autonomously. Centralizing everything just happened to coincide with the beginning of GM’s long, gradual tailspin into bankruptcy, so take from that what you will.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    Killing me softly with his SRX.

  • avatar

    I think for starters she should avoid so many Americanisms in her speech if she wants to impress her Euro cohorts. To clarify, I don’t mind, but the affluent Europeans are taken aback by such folksy speech as “rocking and rolling”, “hell of a market”, “fair share” in my experience.

    Sadly though, I think that the gist of what she said is true for the Brazilian elite, too who follow Europe in such matters.

    • 0 avatar
      Michael500

      I know, her “language” really sticks out here, what part of Dee-troit is she from? Warren? Sterling Heights? Doesn’t sound like Grosse Pointe or Birmingham.
      But, she neglected to mention Cadillac’s superior technology: V-8-6-4, 4.1 “Digital” fuel injection, front-wheel-drive- oh wait this is what killed the brand here. She should talk about the quality, many Cadillac trans-axles last over 65,000 miles before failing.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    Maybe if they wish to move product in Europe, they should build I dunno… Cadillacs again and NOT Opels… at least those offer the customer something much different than the European competition. Do they not realize Europe is overflowing with faux sport type offerings as it is? Why would anyone want what is currently sold as a Cadillac in Europe, the home of BMW, Mercedes, and Audi?

    Think, McFly. Think!

    • 0 avatar

      Hey 28-Cars-Later!

      Upper class Euros tend to be snobbish and love putting down Americas as loud and brash. Though they may secretly admire a traditional Cadillac from afar, they’ never deign to own one. That’d be an admission of no class.

      Sadly, the world we live in doesn’t want what many in the us think a real Cadillac should be.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        You certainly have a more international perspective than I Marcelo, perhaps you are right. I just don’t see how you go into a foreign market with a product very similar to the domestic competition and expect to succeed.

        • 0 avatar

          Are they really that similar? Some points:

          - In Europe, most BMWs, Audis, Merceds sold are the smaller engined cars, but with good tech for refinement. What’s Cadillac’s smallest engine? Is it refined?
          - GM is always looking to partner with Euro makers to get their hands on a good diesel. A good portion of these cars are sold as diesels. That reduces Cadillac’s chances and makes it different.
          - Large numbers of the German cars are sold to companies that lend them to their mid level managers and whatnot. From what we read here, this is much more prevalent in Europe than America. Does Cadillac have people specialized in making these sales?
          - Does Cadillac have a government sales arm? Large numbers of German cars are bought by various levels of governments all across Europe.

          All of these points show the hurdles Cadillac must jump to sell in Europe. Without this kind of action, and discoounting the “cultural” aspects, is it any wonder Cadillac barely exists in Europe (or Brazil for that matter)?

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Excellent points, Marcelo.

          • 0 avatar
            MeaCulpa

            With the current procurement rules, in effect in the whole of the EU, government sales will be a non start. What Cadillac needs (besides better interiors, american interiors photographs well but has always been a let down for me) is the diesel you mentioned, and trying to get some cars sold as taxicabs when that diesel arrives. It’s not seen as a bad thing if your large premium car is used as a Taxi, it’s seen as a sign of durability and provides excellent exposure to potential customers. Taxi sales also provides excellent feedback on the cars, a cabby (or rather 3) might put 20000k on a car in a month, at that rate you find out what grinds gears fast.

          • 0 avatar
            bunkie

            The 3.0 V6 in my CTS is more refined than the turbo 4 (with stop-start) in my sister’s new 328, for a start. The turbo-4 is punchy, but it’s also rough and noisy.

          • 0 avatar

            Why MeaCulpa? Why can’t Cadillac sell to Euro govs? Nationality of origin rules?

          • 0 avatar
            MeaCulpa

            @Marcelo de Vasconcellos

            No, nation of origin is one of the things that procurement are strictly forbidden to use as a deciding factor (except for defense procurement) even if local or national authorities tries to rigs the process favoring the home team. Strictly speaking caddy COULD win a tender, but procurement is pretty much based on the principle that the lowest bidder that fulfills the set requirements win. Those requirements usually includes something about CO2 emissions and fuel consumption (not favoring Cadillac), a luxury car basically can’t win a procurement round (and lacking diesel is a real killer). Now somebody might object that they saw Beemers, Volvos, Mercs and Audis a plenty as cop cars when they visited Europe, and that’s probably true as BMW, Volvo and MB is pretty popular in that role, but they are also all available with police packages that are far from luxurious (in Europe the Mercury Grand Marquis and the Ford crown vic would both merged to one model and you don’t see a lot of mercury cop cars I’d imagine), they all have a pretty decent service network (many police departments let dealers sort the maintenance) and they are tested and have a reputation in that role. Leaving the peelers aside most government sales are small cars for getting about (say golf, focus or auris or something smaller) or maintenance vehicles for work crews (Pickups, Cutaway vans), segments where Cadillac has nothing to offer and would in effect probably end up loosing to Chevrolet or Opel within the family. Sure some sedans get picked up for certain non emergency duties but then it’s usually a stripper Passat.

          • 0 avatar

            Grazie MeaCulpa. So, if they tried they could conceivably do it. Interesting.

          • 0 avatar
            MeaCulpa

            @Marcelo de Vasconcellos

            I honestly think that Chevrolet has a far better chance of scoring government sales. But building a service network and working out good leasing deals should be priority number uno then.

      • 0 avatar
        MeaCulpa

        In my part of the world we usually find the brashness refreshing, the loudness and insistence on fake familiarity is the real deal breaker.

  • avatar
    DeadWeight

    As the relative of two people who own or lease, respectively, a Cadillac SRX and Chevrolet Equinox, and as someone who has driven or been driven in many of the new Cadillacs and Chevrolets, I’ve figured out the secret formula as to how to transform any Chevy into a Cadillac:

    1) Add copious amounts of sound deadening foam.

    2) Add larger motor (OR NOT, as in case of the ATS) that is advertised to possess some cool sounding technologies in the marketing material & glossy dealership brochures.

    3) Add better interior trim with leather standard and “french stitching” on materials covering many hard plastic surfaces.

    4) Crease & crimp the exterior sheet metal in a few spots to comport with the futuristic “art & science” theme.

    5) Debadge and rebadge.

    6) Adjust window sticker MSRP upward by 57%.

    Voila.

    Of course, the same could be said of turning a Ford into a Lincoln, except the Ford is already even closer substantively to the Lincoln from the start, and the Ford actually looks better.

    • 0 avatar
      dts187

      +1 for adding some humor to the truth

      I had the opportunity to drive an SRX that belongs to the wife of a friend within a few weeks of driving an Equinox V6 that belongs to my company’s fleet.

      Aside from the SRX having marginally better seats and garish trim (inside and out) they felt completely interchangeable. Remind me again why I should pay so much more for fake chrome and a terribly cheap looking analog clock?

    • 0 avatar
      APaGttH

      And the Lexus ES is exactly what then…

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        Never closer to a Camry than it is now.

        Thanks for the factual reminder (the ES has really let itself go…I mean Toyota has really let the ES go…).

        • 0 avatar
          redliner

          Current ES rides on a Toyota Avalon platform. This gives it a grater wheelbase and length vs the Camry. Also, unlike in other generations of the ES, the current one shares no exterior panels and has a bespoke interior which shares nothing with the Camry.(excluding minor switches)

          The powertrain is identical, but Toyota’s 3.5l V6 is one of the best engines in it’s class, and not out of place in a Lexus.

          How exactly is that “closer to a Camry” than ever before?

          • 0 avatar
            corntrollio

            The Avalon was once a stretched Camry. Is that no longer the case?

            The Sienna, Highlander, and Lexus RX were also variations on Camry, but I’m not sure if that’s still the case.

          • 0 avatar
            DeadWeight

            It’s still the case.

            The current ES350 is worse than last generation ESs in terms of interior quality, ride quality, NVH and other areas, not unlike how other current generation Lexus’ are worse than their predecessors.

        • 0 avatar
          genuineleather

          “Current ES rides on a Toyota Avalon platform. This gives it a grater wheelbase and length vs the Camry. ”

          This.

          The cost premium over the Avalon is relatively mild, and worth it to many people for the badge, nicer interior, and better dealership experience.

    • 0 avatar
      MeaCulpa

      Don’t forget that the headlights must almost, but not quite, touch the a-pillar. This trend, imported by american companies – unable of building an american looking car without the result becoming ridiculous – from japan is essential to creating the caddy look nowadays.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    “So we have to get Cadillac rocking and rolling in Europe to get it going in China.”

    Riddle me this, is there any data to suggest European and Chinese consumers are in any way alike in their tastes and needs? (no sarcasm intended)

  • avatar
    Domestic Hearse

    Which is why, Susan, Buick does so well in China. European consumers just can’t get enough Regals.

  • avatar

    Susan, Susan, Susan…

    You are missing a growth market that actually has money. Call me, I can help you

  • avatar
    jkross22

    So is that why Buick has had such success in China? It’s well entrenched brand image across old Europe?

    She’s in charge of marketing? Our tax dollars hard at work.

  • avatar
    Rday

    What amazes me is that anyone would really want a new Cadillac. When there are so many other excellent choices. And what is particularly insulting is GM’s ongoing arrogance. They completely fail to recognize that their years of screwing the customer has long term consequences. This Susan seems just like another GM walking/talking robot that just repeats all the old bull shit and never will ‘get it’. GM needs to go away forever.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      Anybody who wants and can afford a luxury car will choose a Mercedes, BMW, Audi or Porsche. Not any Cadillac. This is true in Europe as well as China and the US of A.

      • 0 avatar
        dts187

        There are some people out there who still think the name Cadillac means anything. People my parents’ age (65+) and people who work for GM.

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          That is very true but they don’t make up enough of the buying public to make Cadillac profitable in the US.

          There will always be some people who will give any brand a try, like Suzuki or Mitsubishi, or even Isuzu, but that doesn’t mean that those brands will survive in a market.

          From my own perspective, I’m no spring chicken and my friends are all about my age or older, and NONE of them drive Caddy.

      • 0 avatar
        Luke42

        Out of the that list, I’d take the Caddy because its probably as reliable as a Chevy.

        My Jetta destroyed German Enfineering for me, so expensive German cars strike me as a very big risk in terms of long-term maintenance – and their reputation for expensive repairs seems to be have been earned fair and square. On the other hand, if you pay too much for a Chevy, you have a car that’s as good as Chevy in 6 years when you pay it off. Win.

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          If I could afford any luxury car, the Lexus LS460 would be my choice. I have a friend who traded his E350 4matic for an LS460 and is a happy camper.

          Even though both my mom and my wife are of German descent, I have no loyalty to any German brand anything.

          Then again, I have no brand loyalty at all since I bought a 2012 Grand Cherokee Overland Summit to replace my wife’s Highlander. So far, so good. No problems.

  • avatar
    krhodes1

    Didn’t she have the corner office at Saab for like six months?

    • 0 avatar

      No that was another blond dummy that thought Subarus and 97xs were Saabs future. Shame these “lost ones” dont make it to a milk carton…do they still do that?

      Kinda hard to be “the new standard of the world” selling 2200 cars in EU aint it? The US market and the ROW are just too different and GM will never get anywhere trying to sell their V8s where petrol is $8.

      Check saab.com and see how many countries they used to sell in. Lutz and USGM and US Caddy dealers HATED Saab. How easy would it have been to bring the BLS (knock-off of Saab 93)here years ago? They didnt do it cuz that would have “legitimized” Saab.

      In EU, Opel or Vauxhall(UK) hold/held sway, hence GMs disarray there. So what brand does GM have to go up against the Germans worldwide? Caddy? NO! Buick? Thats a lot of old uncles to forget. Opel? Ruined that as well.

      BTW, Hows that Chinese company that bought the old 93 and 95 tooling doin?

  • avatar
    PetrolHead

    None of you have actually BEEN to China or studied their consumer preferences have you? They can’t get enough European products. BMW, Audi, MB, VW, those are by far the most successful brands in China. Chinese consumers aspire to be something other than Chinese. Europe is associated with being high-end, high-class, and above all, aspirational. Euro luxury brands such as LV, Prada, etc are immensely popular. Susan is absolutely right that being successful in China has a lot to do with success in Europe. However, she’s overlooking the fact that Chinese also love American culture. Media, fashion, pop culture, and cars. Buick is as successful as it is because it, along with VW, was one of the first brands available when China opened its doors in the late 70′s. At a time, an emperor drove a Buick, and combined with limited availability of foreign brands, Buick became beyond popular. Buick has incredible brand equity in China to this day, and it seems like the missed opportunity is to position Cadillac the next step above Buick. Additional success in Europe will only help in that positioning. Stop lambasting Susan for doing her job as a marketer. The plan will probably fail because of the current state of the Euro market and overall sentiment in Europe toward American products, but at least there’s a fundamental understanding of the Chinese consumer.

    • 0 avatar
      corntrollio

      Agree with PetrolHead here — there’s a love of American culture in certain ways too, but Docherty’s not completely wrong on the Europe nexus either. Marcelo has some great ideas for how to get more market share in Europe — the corporate market is more important than the company car market in the US. For Europe, you can’t just make the 328i/335i-fighter and 535i/550i-fighter, because you also need the 316i/316d/318d-fighter and the 523i/520d-fighter.

      Marcelo and Petrolhead seem to be the few people not giving the typical “get off my lawn” comments that we get around Cadillac. It’s not even clear that many of the commenters here have ever been in a Cadillac recently. Furthermore, many of the same people criticizing Docherty are often the ones who think Cadillacs should only be V8-powered landyachts, because, you know, that sells in Europe so well.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        I think there is a middle ground between land yacht of old and the extreme opposite, and they purposely blew past it and here we are. ATS seems to be just what the doctor ordered as an entry level and I hope the sell 100K units, but its entry level. Cadillac should offer models far beyond ATS in power, style, sophistication and allure, and they just don’t.

        Good friend of mine purchased a 2012 CTS Coupe (3.6, AWD) and while I give it an enthusiastic thumbs up on the interior, the outside makes me want to cry its so full of fugly (maybe people like it I dunno). If I am in the 50kish price range I’m buying/leasing the Audi A5 all day long over “CTS Coupe”. You’re not going to out-German the Germans, RenCen… they have the true premium market in Europe and the US. Stick to what you’re good at, I firmly believe people will buy what they are told in marketing and what their friends are buying, build something in-between a land yacht and what you have now and they will come.

        • 0 avatar
          corntrollio

          You mean the discontinued STS(-V)?

          It’s hard to compete against S-class, 7-Series, and A8 because that requires a lot more investment and time than GM is willing to give things. Rightly so because that segment doesn’t even sell that many cars, although many would argue you need the halo car as an aspirational choice.

          It’s slightly less difficult to get “executive car” right. The ATS is a move in the right direction, and hopefully the new CTS will be too.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            “It’s slightly less difficult to get “executive car” right. The ATS is a move in the right direction, and hopefully the new CTS will be too.”

            Agreed, we’ll see what they do.

        • 0 avatar
          oldfatandrich

          If Daimler/BMW have a lock on the premius market in America, doesn’t GM waste its limited resources in attempting to hawk a Cadillac in the $50M-$65M price range ? Who in his right mind buys a fully accoutered ATS at $60M when a similarly priced E-class or 5 series is available down the street ? GM should forget Cadillac and move Buick upmarket to the $40M ish price point. Use the rwd CTS platform and make a Buick what it was fifty years ago: a solid value with upscale fittings and none of the vulgarity of Cadillac. To imagine that Cadillac is capable of competing against Daimler/BMW is the very mid-summer of madness. GM had the opportunity to answer the Benz offerings fifty years ago, but the train has left the station.

          • 0 avatar
            corntrollio

            “Who in his right mind buys a fully accoutered ATS at $60M when a similarly priced”

            No one, but rather because it’s not possible. A fully loaded ATS is $55,000 or so at MSRP. That’s AWD, 3.6 Premium, with everything. Plenty of other people want one closer to the base price of just over $33,000.

            Meanwhile, there definitely are people paying over $50K for a 3-series, C-class, or A4/A5, when they could be getting a 5-, E-, or A6.

        • 0 avatar
          xantia10000

          ATS as “entry-level?” I assume you mean in the US, because in Europe there are two size classes below the ATS/3-Series/A4/C-Class. Audi sells the A1 and A3, Benz the A- and B-Class, and BMW the 1-Series and the entire Mini brand. You stumbled on another important point: Caddys are too big for Europe!

  • avatar
    AMC_CJ

    How do these idiots get these jobs?

    Let’s just talk a bunch of crap that sounds good, and let everybody else figure out how to make it work (and fire them, when it doesn’t).

  • avatar
    highdesertcat

    At this juncture, GM, through Ms Docherty, is grasping at straws for a strategy that will enhance acceptance of the Cadillac brand globally.

    But equating or trying to pass off any Cadillac, or Lincoln for that matter, as equal to or better than a product from Mercedes, BMW, Audi or Porsche, is just an exercise in futility.

    Those are vectors that will never intersect: the public perception that Cadillac, Mercedes, BMW, Audi and Porsche all play in the same ball park.

    No way. GM will lose again with this strategy because Europeans are not attuned to Cadillac, Buick, or Chevrolet. Badge engineering them under the Opel brand name won’t sell either.

    • 0 avatar
      benzaholic

      Are you unaware that Audi is a relatively recent member of that club?

      Changes to consumer acceptance or positioning of a brand can be achieved in the automotive mass market, but it takes time and dedication that GM has rarely if ever shown.

      Start with something, ANYthing, then improve it relentlessly. Worked for Hyundai. Just imagine what might have been if GM had been willing and able to treat Saturn the way that Hyundai treated their cars.

      GM, on the other hand, usually seems unwilling to accept any of their models (especially their lower end ones) as an appropriate starting point in the climb to recognition of quality. They would rather just change the model name and hope that you forget about that Vega or Nova or Chevette or Cavalier or Cobalt.

      Here. Look at this shiny new “first ever” Daewoo Aveo, I mean Chevrolet Cruze.

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        benzaholic, Audi has been around a long time and is very well known in Europe, having incorporated all the best features of the old DKW and NSU architecture. Even the early Audi cars had great engineering and even better assembly.

        I owned a used, nasty-green, FWD Audi w/stick shift, bought from my wife’s grand-uncle, while stationed in Germany with the US military in 1972.

        It was OK to scoot around in that 4-banger but if I wanted to travel in style in those days we took our 1972 Olds Custom Cruiser stationwagon with the 455, and later, the 455 Toronado we loved dearly.

        I did buy a 1972 Mercedes 220D tax-free at Schiphol near Amsterdam with Euro-specs but it was with my mom and dad’s money for when they came over to visit Portugal and Germany for an extended stay with us (2 years during which they traveled Europe but called our government quarters their home base). Had no problem selling the 220D to a GI when they went home to Los Angeles after two years.

        My wife’s German grand-uncle owned a multi-brand car dealership in Heidelberg and also had the contract to manage the Auto Hobby Shop on post. I was with the US Air Force but lived in Patrick Henry Village with the Army people.

        Audi has been a round a long time, but the sudden-unintended-acceleration debacle of the early 80s really put a damper on sales in the good old US of A, to the point that Audi withdrew from America.

        That did not make Audi a bad car but it did reflect on the insufficient user IQ of the American drivers re Audi automatic cars.

        Given a choice of ANY GM car vs a choice of ANY Audi car, I believe that Europeans (and Chinese) would opt for the Audi brand. If Americans don’t even support the legendary Cadillac brand, what makes GM think that foreigners will?

        • 0 avatar
          krhodes1

          Until the late 90′s, Audi was firmly a 2nd tier premium Euro brand, along with Saab and Volvo. All three TRIED very, very, very hard to get up there with BMW and MB, but only Audi succeeded. Saab is dead, and Volvo is shaky. The problem is that the better next step down brands, Ford and VW have completely hammered that middle niche into near non-existence in Europe, and the Japanese have taken it over in the US.

          Cadillac has that same problem – they are not enough better than the cheaper brands, and they aren’t good enough to run with the big boys. The ATS and CTS are pretty good cars, but that is only the entry level of this market. They don’t really have a car as good as a the Volvo S80, never mind a 7-series or an S-class. Or a Jaguar for that matter, though they are sort of off in a niche by themselves, IMHO.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            Yeah, I agree. The ATS and CTS are both excellent cars and I would suggest that they may even be the best vehicles ever marketed by GM.

            I won’t buy one, but then I’m not in the market for one. Were I to buy a luxury anything, it would be a Lexus LS460. To me, that’s the epitome of an affordable luxury car. Although both my mother and my wife are of German descent, I have absolutely no inclination to own any German luxury brands.

            But the ATS and CTS being the best cars ever made by GM doesn’t necessarily translate into sales here and abroad. Whereas Mercedes and BMW are globally recognized as “world-class” brands, Cadillac not so much.

            Other than the POTUS limo, no other head of state is seen in a Cadillac or Lincoln limo these days. At one time, a long, long time ago, they were.

            When the Japanese decided to market their luxury brands like Infiniti, Lexus and Acura, it was widely understood that they were expanding their markets, primarily in the US, and maybe a little in Canada.

            But with Cadillac it is different in that Cadillac is an existing brand, having difficulty being accepted by its own home market (the US) and now reaching out to Europe (and in turn China) to broaden its acceptance base.

            IMO, it is going to be a long hard slog, but when management is as desperate as GM’s management is, they’ll try anything.

            GM has to do something. Standing still is going backwards. They’ve got to take chances. They are vying for much greater markets than North America.

            And, honestly, what has GM got to lose? GM is backed by the full faith and credit of the US Treasury. If I were to gamble with other people’s money, I’d take some brash chances as well.

            They may not work, but “nothing ventured, nothing gained”.

      • 0 avatar
        Steven Lang

        This is excellent. Just about the best comment I have read this year.

        Congrats Benzaholic! You have just earned the unofficial TTAC ‘Comment Of The Week’ award. Please treat yourself to a free visit at a pull-a-part. Where hopefully there will be a mint W124 that suffers from nothing more than a loose negative battery cable.

        All the best!

  • avatar
    ranwhenparked

    Seems legit. Buick has been doing gangbusters in China for over a decade, and none of that would have happened if the brand hadn’t been successfully established in Europe first.

  • avatar
    Waterview

    I wish her and Cadillac the best because I’d love to see the good ‘ole USA begin exporting more cars to Europe. That said, I’m with 28-Cars-Later and Deadweight. Spend a few moments looking at the interior of any Cadillac model and then do the same with an Audi.
    Cadillac has cornered the market on plastic-slab door panels and cheap leather and seems to equate larger, chrome badges with class.

    Cadillac could kick Audi/BMW’s butt in the long-term reliability and expense of ownership departments, but they’ll never get a chance if I can’t get past the wretched design and poor material quality.

    • 0 avatar
      MeaCulpa

      I’m going to give away a marketing tip for free if the colonies want to export it’s vehicles to the civilized world. Get your employees work clothes, look at people in any European manufacturer, they wear a uniform. People working in the asembly line wear clothes specifically engineered and designed for people building things, now look at any (or rather most) plants in the US and besides wearing protective eye wear everywhere (for some reason) it looks like a barbecue at the trailer park. Worn old jeans, american flag bandanna and a tank top made by cutting of the arms of a t-shirt with a picture of an eagle on it.
      One doesn’t want ones car built by the same people that will steal it.

      • 0 avatar
        Summicron

        Nor does one wish snoot from a person who is unaware of the difference between “it’s” and “its”.

        • 0 avatar
          oldfatandrich

          Delicious.

        • 0 avatar
          MeaCulpa

          “It’s” is short for “it is” and “its” indicates “it” possessing something but typos do happen. Could you offer me a grammar lesson in your third language in return…
          It was a snooty comment for comical effect exploiting american preconceptions about Europeans, but primarily, it was a comment on the unprofessional appearance of american labor and the stinginess of corporate america for not providing them with proper equipment and that it reflects poorly on the company and its products. If somebody honestly thinks that I was implying that assembly line workers steel cars, well, then that’s just sad.

          • 0 avatar
            wmba

            Well, you made me laugh out loud, MeaCulpa. Americans always seem prickly to criticism of this sort and focus on the messenger rather than the point being made. Of course it makes no difference how the workers dress, but the rest of the world expects a minimum standard of appearance that shows the worker is actually fully engaged in his or her job. As a mark of respect for the ultimate customer.

            Does anyone know – at Toyota, Honda, Nissan, Hyundai, BMW, VW, and Benz factories in the US, are uniforms supplied and used?

            I see Ms Docherty is dressed for the job as she sees it. I think a better choice would be mountaineering gear for the arduous climb ahead into the clouds of misperception shrouding the peak.

          • 0 avatar
            Summicron

            @MeaCulpa

            You mistakenly used “it’s”, the contraction, in place of “its”, the possessive, to deride us yokels in the “colonies”.

            Not a convincing way of demonstrating your superiority.

          • 0 avatar
            MeaCulpa

            @Summicron Yes I’m aware of that. An U cm laik a zlitly ower cnsytyw blook. How boot that 3d lnguage gramer lasson?

            @mikey
            SORRY, I used ctrl+c recklessly, that wasn’t intended for you in any way.

          • 0 avatar
            mikey

            @ Mea…..I’m the last person on the planet to comment,on anybodys grammer/spelling,etc.

          • 0 avatar
            GiddyHitch

            @wmba

            The Japanese factory uniform tradition started amid the ruins of WWII when many workers did not have clothing befitting their jobs in the factory (meaning that much of it was in tatters). Given the Japanese predilection to shame and a desire for everyone to maintain face, companies began issuing their workers garments in the company livery. The tradition remains strong into the present day and the clothes themselves are high quality.

            German companies have a similar uniform practice on the factory floor, but it is somewhat more lax and I am unsure if it has its roots in the conditions following WWII or just typical German OCD.

      • 0 avatar
        Brian E

        “Worn old jeans, american flag bandanna and a tank top made by cutting of the arms of a t-shirt with a picture of an eagle on it.”

        I’m what you could describe as your fairly typical import buyer, but I think you just sold me on a Cadillac. Here’s a tip: anyone who doesn’t like this image isn’t going to buy an American-made car in the first place.

        • 0 avatar
          MeaCulpa

          So you’ll buy a car because the assembly line workers lacks fashion sense? If that floats your boat go for it! But I think that the conclusion about not buying american if one doesn’t like extrovert american fashion patriotism is wrong, the Arab world seems pretty keen on american iron while not being too (that’s a word I never manage to use correctly) keen on american flags.

          • 0 avatar
            mikey

            FYI… GM will supply coveralls to all,and every worker in all plants. Wearing them is not mandatory in most areas. All paint shop people wear mandatory lint free coveralls.

            Anybody working around unpainted sheet metal must wear Kevlar long sleeves.

            Heres another rule, unwritten,but strictly enforced. Wearing the same clothes everyday, and not practicing personal hygiene, will be dealt with quite harshly.

            I will spare the B&B the details. Suffice to say, there is very few repeat offenders.

          • 0 avatar
            MeaCulpa

            @mikey

            Good to know, maybe they should issue pants and shirts as coveralls can be quite uncomfortable to wear all day long.

            My father was a site manager for some rather large construction projects before he retired, one day a bunch of the carpenters stood outside his office looking quite upset, he invited them in and asked what was up expecting some kind of rebellion, it kinda was.
            It turned out that there was this guy they wanted my father to have a talk with – obviously not present – that smelled pretty foul in the brake- and locker room, but that was just a minor issue, the big deal was that he ate in such a discussing manner that the other builders couldn’t manage to eat their breakfast or lunch at the same time. ¨
            Dad, being the no nonsense guy that he is, thought that they where acting a bit like sissies but asked them if they talked with the guy and said that he hadn’t noticed anything truly peculiar about that guys table manners. The other builders assured him that they had given the guy hints at first and that they eventually had talked with him but to no effect. Dad said that he would see what he could do.
            Still thinking that the complaint was just BS he sat down in the part of the break room (capacity 300) as the guy when it was time for lunch. Sure the guy was pretty loud and smelled but not all that bad, then he opened his lunch box containing some kind of potatoes and a whole grilled chicken, he dug in on some potatoes, it wasn’t pretty but still within what one should be expected to tolerate. Then the guy started in on the chicken, the guy ate the WHOLE thing, chewing straight through the bones while emitting sounds associated with boar rather than man. Dad said it was equally disgusting and fascinating, after lunch they had a talk about the necessities of showering after work, washing ones clothes and proper table manners.

          • 0 avatar
            mikey

            @MeaCulpa…Yup, I can believe it.

          • 0 avatar

            @mikey, meaculpa,

            It’s not just the workers. Once I attended a meeting between some German suits and Fiat guys at the Fiat factory. The day was not that hot by Brazilian standards d 27°C or so) and the Brazilian Fiat people (specially the women) complained that the AC was to cold. It was turned off.

            Promptly the Germans started sweating. One by one they took off their suits’ coats. There was one guy, when he took off his coat, holy moly, the stench! The Germans had been at the factory for 2 or 3 days. The guy must not have bathed in that time. More than quickçy the AC was back on, colder than before. Much to our general relief, the German gentleman put his coat back on.

      • 0 avatar

        Coincidentially, the pictures of SpaceX technicians working on rockets and spacecraft in jeans and T-shirts sent shocks of horror through the ranks of equally snobbish rocket establishment.

        • 0 avatar
          MeaCulpa

          That isn’t strange, they are the budget option, so people expect them to cut corners somewhere;-)

          Yes all american feelings are hurt, I get it, so I changed my mind: What we inferior Europeans especially like about the excellent and world conquering american luxury automobile are that it’s built by salt of the earth guys with impeccable fashion sense. We wish that we could produce all those howling wolf, eagle, moon beam and dream catcher t-shirts that infuse the american worker with superior car building ability. Sadly for us our art is so vastly inferior that it isn’t possible, despite our collective and individual best effort we haven’t even mastered bandanna technology. So please accept my humble apology America (no, not you south america, nor you Canadian or Mexican fake Americans pretending that you’re american, but real Americans, the kind that doesn’t say abooot or speak mexican) as I slowly chant “USA USA USA USA” while looking at that ultimate symbol of american ingenuity, creativity and workmanship to purge myself of my european snootiness.
          http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/d3/Statue_of_Liberty,_NY.jpg

  • avatar
    Conslaw

    She’d have better luck importing televisions with exploding penguins. I read somewhere that they are making them in Myanmar.

  • avatar
    seabrjim

    Someone tell me why GM still has her on the payroll.

  • avatar

    Sigh.

    For Cadillac to be successful in China (or anywhere else), the cars have to be REALLY REALLY GOOD. If they are, the sales and prestige will come as long as the marketing/execution is solid and the automaker is willing to be patient. If they aren’t, the whole thing is hopeless, no matter how good the execution is. Europe, China, Arizona, Antarctica, doesn’t matter. Anywhere you go… it’s the product, stupid.

    The ATS is really pretty damned good. The rest of the lineup has some distance to go, and in the next few years we’ll find out whether GM is really seriously serious about this global Cadillac renaissance thing.

  • avatar
    BTEFan

    I do hope that Cadillac is successful in Europe. Its a different form of luxury. If they can get go after European folks that are bored with the current German offerings, but still want something that provides driver involvement, Cadillac might provide an alternative to Audi/BMW/Mercedes. If Cadillac can capitalize on this, and come in at a lower price with Lexus-like customer service, they could differentiate themselves even further. Europe’s customer service, IMHO, isn’t that great, so that might be a way to hook the snobby European folks
    Here in Vancouver, BC, BMW and Audis are so common that I for one notice when there is a CTS or ATS beside me in traffic.I suspect the same thing might be happening in Western Europe, so being different might be a benefit.

  • avatar
    Cammy Corrigan

    I used to (and still do, to some degree) lament about how few females reach the top echelons of the auto industry. Then, Ms Docherty opens her mouth and a part of me dies.

    In this article, she says some things which make me wonder if she’s actually thinking straight:

    1. “(Europe is) still a hell of a big market. I say to my team that ‘14 million people are going to be out there buying a car.’”. Firstly, I think that figure will drop pretty quickly, pretty soon. But secondly (and more importantly), a good chunk of that 14 million will be buying cars, but those cars will have Dacia and Skoda badges on them. Europe is hurting and is now looking for value in its car purchases. It’s no coincidence that Hyundai and Kia are doing well in a contracting market.

    2. “We just need to get our fair share.’” Fair share? What’s fair about the auto industry? Nobody owes you market share. You’ve got to get out there and give the customer a reason to buy and own your product. This is a telling remark as to how Ms Docherty manages and executes her job. If she’d said “…get our share.” or “…take on the old guard” I would have forgiven her or (in the second alternative) commended her, because at least it would have shown some drive and passion. To say “fair” kind of denotes “we just want a presence in Europe”. Possibly for some marketing exercise? After all, you can’t say “Cadillac. A global luxury brand. (Small print: not including Europe). It just sounds a bit half-baked. I dunno. Maybe I’m being too hard on her…

    Anyway, if Ms Docherty is reading this here’s an insight as to why Cadillac is failing in the UK, at least. A quick check of CadillacEurope.com shows that in the UK there are 3 Cadillac service centres, one in Manchester, one in Exeter and one in Milton Keynes. And of those 3 service centres, only one is an actual dealership (Manchester). There is no presence in London. If you are to be taken seriously as a luxury car brand, have dealership in one of the richest cities in the world. That’s like have a dealership in Kansas City but not Beverly Hills.

    Anyway, rant over. I’m going to watch some football. Maybe watching blokes kicking the hell out of each other will calm me down…

    • 0 avatar

      Hey Cammy! I think Ms. Docherty actually knows very well what she’s doing. She’s playing the corporate game! See my points above, add that your points on the dealerships and yes, there you have your answer. GM does not (at this time) want to have Cadillac in Europe. It’s going through the motions. Ms. Dcocherty, if Cadillac sales move even a hair can claim a great victory. If not, she points out the obvious, stresses how she sacrificed herself for the sake of the company and how her actions show she’s a GM-er through and through, and voilà, she’ll soon be sitting at a corner office on one of the top floors of the RenCen. The corporate rat race at its best (or worst).

    • 0 avatar
      Pig_Iron

      You’re right Cammy. Europeans know the difference between a luxury car that’s designed and built that way, and one that’s a tarted up low line, high volume machine.

    • 0 avatar
      MeaCulpa

      Football might explain why the dealer is located in Manchester, I’d imagine the man u team roster providing the bulk of UK Caddy sales. “Me and Rooney in a Escalade, tv where yo’ head lay” if I’m allowed to paraphrase Nelly.

  • avatar
    Oelmotor

    When we hear Cadillac in Europe, we immediately think about a “Detroit Land Barge” with bench seats that feel like one is sitting on a sofa.

    Cadillac should build another RWD sled using the 3rd generation DeVille as a size guideline. For Europe, equip the behemoth with a big honking Cummins diesel motor or a V8 diesel from any of the German manufacturers.

    Go back to your roots and forget about competing with Daimler and BMW in Europe.

  • avatar
    gslippy

    “14 million people are going to be out there buying a car. We just need to get our fair share.”

    ‘Fair share’ is liberal talk for redefinition of what the current rules already deem is ‘fair’. The implication – by definition – is that Cadillac’s share isn’t fair, and that would be due to some injustice.

    The only injustice will be what this new effort will cost GM’s shareholders when it fails.

  • avatar

    she is useless and a perfect example of what is wrong with General Motors.

    http://generalwatch.com/editorials/editorial.cfm?EdID=330

  • avatar
    Morea

    Every time I hear “fair share” I envision my taxes going up!

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      My daughter who is a teacher saw her taxes go up by $100 each pay period for a total of $2400 loss of her income, per year.

      If hers is the average, and you multiply that $200 a month by the number workers in America paying this average tax increase, the total reflects a staggering amount of money taken out of workers’ pockets otherwise spent on the local economy, like McDonald’s, Taco Bell and Wal-Mart.

      The only people coming out ahead are the 47% not paying any income taxes and those not working, living on welfare and handouts like food stamps.

      America! What a country! You don’t have to work. You get your money for nuttin’ and your foodstamps for free.

      • 0 avatar
        corntrollio

        “My daughter who is a teacher saw her taxes go up by $100 each pay period for a total of $2400 loss of her income, per year.”

        That’s simply not possible for a teacher. The main change that affected someone with a teacher salary (outside of high cost cities) is the loss of the payroll tax cut. All other rates were effectively cut due to inflation. The payroll tax cut that was eliminated was 2% of one’s salary up to the maximum Social Security deduction. For 2012, this was $110,100, and for 2013, this is $113,700.

        $2400/year would imply a salary of $120K if solely due to the payroll tax cut, which is not possible. I doubt your daughter makes that much as a teacher.

        The reality is she probably just got her withholding wrong and will get it back next April.

        “The only people coming out ahead are the 47% not paying any income taxes and those not working, living on welfare and handouts like food stamps.”

        This is inaccurate. I have family members who are teachers in non-high-cost locations, and they don’t make enough and therefore don’t pay federal income tax on their income. Some of them are part of the 47% because they are beginning their career at around $30-35K/year.

        The vast majority of people who don’t pay federal income tax are not welfare recipients, but rather pensioners and working poor. There are of course reports on this available:

        taxvox dot taxpolicycenter dot org/2011/07/27/why-do-people-pay-no-federal-income-tax-2/

        Anyone who says the main people who are in the 47% are welfare recipients probably are a) in the 47% themselves and don’t know it, and b) making a political point not based in fact or logic.

        • 0 avatar
          nickoo

          Thanks bro. There’s nothing I hate more than right wing propaganda to hate on the poor who are largely doing worse than ever in this country. Especially when the wealthy are doing better than ever.

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          corntrollio, what do you mean it’s not possible!? She makes almost $70K a year and it is possible. It’s happening, ever since her second check in January.

          Her brothers, all employed and making over $100K a year lost even more money because of the payroll deductions and increased socsec contributions.

          Nothing right wing about me. I’m an Independent and I don’t have to pay taxes at all because of my age and traceable income.

          You are in denial if you think that these welfare handouts are free. Someone has to pay for them. It’s the taxpayers!

          It’s called the redistribution of America’s wealth from those who work and pay taxes to those who don’t work and don’t pay taxes.

          I paid for what I am entitled to, but there are millions of freeloaders who haven’t done a days work in their life and receive more benefits than what I had to work for.

          The majority rules in America and clearly the majority voted for these never-ending handouts at the expense of the taxpaying public of America.

          But elections do have consequences and some of them could be unintended consequences.

          I don’t begrudge anyone who, like me, has earned their benefits because even they are shortchanged because of the millions of freeloaders sucking at the government teat.

          It is my kids and grand kids that I see working for a living and getting to take home less because of all this welfare extravagance.

          • 0 avatar
            corntrollio

            Do the math. If her brothers make over $100K, and the cap is $113,700, then the most someone could lose due to the payroll tax change is $2274. If your daughter makes $70K, there’s no way she could be losing $2400/year.

            This was a temporary tax cut during recession times and was never even meant to be extended even the first time. I really have no tolerance for people complaining about the loss of a temporary tax cut — it sucks, but get over it. People complain out of one side of their mouth that there’s no such thing as a temporary tax cut and we need to tighten our budget, and yet complain out of the other side of their mouth when they disappear too.

            I also love how you are saying there are a bunch of freeloaders, but you have “earned [your] benefits”, whatever they happen to be. Again, as I pointed out earlier, most people who complain about the 47% are usually in the 47% and just don’t know it. A vast number of them are not on welfare or foodstamps, as you’d know if you followed the link I sent.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            corntrollio, it’s not a matter of doing the math. While you regale us with your hypothetical impossibilities, we are living the stark, practical realities here in the real world.

            I’m telling you again, my daughter lost ~$100 each pay period out of her check, starting with the second pay check in January 2013. That’s the reality!

            You can choose to believe that or not. It doesn’t matter to me because it is a reality for her.

            For us it is a reality as well because she had to move back home to find a support structure to help her through this difficult time.

            She was extremely lucky to be able to find a median-income job in El Paso. It took a lot of pavement pounding.

            Her ex-husband is still looking for a job in LA and is one of the 99′ers after losing his job of 12 years, and he’s not enjoying standing in Obama’s welfare line for a handout and food stamps. But he’s not my concern.

            You’re entitled to your uber-left liberal socialist welfare views but the people who work and pay taxes are seeing a lot more money coming out of their pay check each pay period. Do you know anyone who’s got a job? Ask them!

            The working taxpayers are not their brothers’ keepers, unless they want to make a donation out of the kindness of their hearts. For me, charity starts at home, not with the IRS.

            Morea’s comment about ‘fair share’ was concise and to the point. Every time a liberal uses the words ‘fair share’ it means that they want to take away from the working and give to the non-working and freeloaders. Occupy, anyone?

            Democrats = spend & tax, or in the new vernacular, “invest & raise revenue”. Great ideal, but someone has to pay for it. The freeloaders don’t.

            In America it’s not what you make. In America it’s all about what you get to keep. Well, even Democrats are ‘forgetting’ or ‘failing’ to pay their ‘fair’ taxes, so this is not a partisan thing.

            All you people who voted for these never-ending handouts at someone else’s expense, enjoy it while you can.

            If you have no money now, you’ll have even less of it in the future as the cost of rice & rent keeps climbing.

            America! What a country! You don’t have to work. You get your money for nuttin’ and your foodstamps for free.

          • 0 avatar
            sunridge place

            @controllio

            HDC and numbers don’t always mix well.

            Like some teachers, she might have her pay spread over 9 month school year instead of 12 month calendar year thus confusing him?

            Who knows…but it is true. Someone making $70k will not have $200 a month withheld from her check every month from the rollback temporary tax cut put into place in 2009.

            2% of 70k is $1400 a year…not $2400 a year…which should be about $58 a check or $120 month.

            http://www.sacbee.com/2013/01/14/5112347/many-workers-surprised-by-hike.html

          • 0 avatar
            corntrollio

            “I’m telling you again, my daughter lost ~$100 each pay period out of her check, starting with the second pay check in January 2013. That’s the reality!”

            Again, if you know anything about the tax code changes, this is either a withholding mistake or it’s a 9-month calculation as sunridge said.

            “She was extremely lucky to be able to find a median-income job in El Paso. It took a lot of pavement pounding. ”

            $70K is not a median income job. Median *household* income in the US for 2011 was $50,054 (latest stats available). Does your daughter have above 31 years experience? Because the highest El Paso teacher’s salary (with a doctorate) is $69K:

            www dot episd dot org/_employment/teachers_librarians.php

            HDC, you are definitely a member of the 47% based on what you say, if you operate on government income alone. Many pensioners, college students, and working poor are part of the 47%. There never should have been any shame in it.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            sunridge and corntrollio, it’s not a calculating error on my part, and her pay in CA was for 26 pay periods.

            But, since moving back home, and going to work in the El Paso area conducting classes for teachers of various school districts, that situation has been remedied.

            The only downside is that she travels a lot to various places to conduct these classes for teachers.

            That’s why I have my 15-year old grand daughter living with us. Since I provide 100% of her care, lodging and feeding, do I get to claim her if I file a tax return? Inquiring minds want to know.

            My daughter spent her time teaching elementary, middle, junior high and senior high classes over the past years before being elevated to the position she held in CA and now in El Paso. She doesn’t teach kids any more. Just adult teachers.

            Her qualifications are a Bachelor’s in Education and a Masters in Public Administration.

            The $70K she makes now, on which she has to pay NO income taxes in TX is the starting salary for this position. She was lucky to have been offered this position.

            I don’t know where you guys live, but who can live on $50K per year? $70K is just barely making it for ONE person, and that’s middling it.

            Corntrollio, my official income is indeed derived from my military pension, VA combat disability and social security retirement. That’s public knowledge and a matter of the public record.

            If you have followed any of my comments over the years you would know that I make more money restoring homes for my wife’s dad than I do in government entitlements.

            Both you guys assume way too much. You have no idea what is going on in the REAL world.

            I am not here to educate you, but this time I figured you guys just did not know and took the time to explain it to you.

          • 0 avatar
            sunridge place

            HDC

            This isn’t about your daughter and the way she lives her life..although anyone within a hundred dollars or so a month of going over the edge is probably living above their means.

            You were the one who starting ranting about taxes (on a thread about Cadillac in Europe/China btw) and started giving #’s.

            You all literally took a phrase out of a comment from someone involved in marketing Chevys and Cadillacs in Europe and turned it into a tax rant.

            Susan said FAIR SHARE!!! OMG!!!! SHE’S A TAX AND SPENDER!!!!! LYNCH HER NOW!!!!!

            Someone making $70k did NOT have their tax bracket go up. What happened is that a tax holiday for social security that was put in place in 2009 expired resulting in a 2% increase in Soc Security withholding…or rather, just returning to the tax levels pre-2009.

            You brought up the #’s…not us.

            I have no idea why her $70k a year salary resulted in $200 a month ($2400 a year) missing from her check. Maybe she could go to HR to get an explanation on her withholding? Maybe a marital status changed was part of it? Maybe her insurance costs went up?

            But, its not all a tax increase. Did you read any of the links showing you its 2%? Can you comprehend why your rant about her taxes going up $2400 attracted attention when its clearly a $1400 increase for a $70k salary that re-started in January.

            Without getting political, it is ironic given your ‘damn democrats’ tantrum that the social security taxes are now back to the level that they were in the Bush era after being cut for two years under Obama.

          • 0 avatar
            corntrollio

            “I don’t know where you guys live, but who can live on $50K per year?”

            I’m saying that’s median income in the US. I agree that it’s hard to live on, but that’s median income in the US. Hard to believe, right? Median household income in El Paso is around $40K from a quick internet search.

            “I am not here to educate you, but this time I figured you guys just did not know and took the time to explain it to you.”

            You are describing an impossible scenario, and you appear to have zero knowledge of the tax code, so no, you’re not educating anyone on anything.

            I would say that I’m surprised you can be military-disabled but also be able to restore houses, however, I know how military disability works from family members who work physically intensive jobs despite being officially disabled after military service.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            Yeah, my initial comment was a reply to Morea’s statement about “fair share.’ The unintended consequence was that someone else ran with it and derailed the original thread.

            That was not my intention, and for that I apologize to other readers, if any.

            It did become clear to me in reading your comments to me that you didn’t know that the increase in deductions, and the increase in healthcare premiums actually took a bite out of the paychecks of most working people making more than minimum wage.

            In the case of my daughter, someone I care about, the increased deductions actually totaled more than $125 per pay period including everything.

            Fortunately, that’s behind her. She gets to take home and keep more money now. That’s a good thing.

            As for the other stuff both of you have brought up, this is not the venue to discuss the underground economy or the hoarding of cash and liquid assets by people who want to shelter it from the government’s prying eyes. But it is very common, even in the big cities.

            BTW, I’m not political, having been born a Democrat when my dad was a union man. I became a Republican after I got my first real pay check in 1965 and stayed that way until I became an Independent in 1985 after retiring from the military.

            If you have not seen a reduction in your paycheck starting with the second check in January, then I am truly surprised since the money boards are full of commentary about it.

          • 0 avatar
            sunridge place

            Good grief HDC…you started this by saying:

            ‘My daughter who is a teacher saw her TAXES go up by $100 each pay period for a total of $2400 loss of her income, per year’

            Now you say:

            ‘It did become clear to me in reading your comments to me that you didn’t know that the increase in deductions, and the increase in HEALTHCARE PREMIUMS actually took a bite out of the paychecks of most working people making more than minimum wage.

            In the case of my daughter, someone I care about, the increased deductions actually totaled more than $125 per pay period including everything’

            Good lord…no one said her deductions didn’t increase. It just wasn’t all taxes. I believe her healthcare premiums are being charged by a private healthcare insurance company. Medicare deductions only went up for people making over $200,000 or households over $250,000.

            Thank you FINALLY….you acknowledge that a health care premium increase caused part of the increase in deduction. That’s not a tax….get it?

            See? That was easy (finally)

            Yes, I noticed my paycheck hit. No one EVER denied it…it was the amount that you said was TAXES.

            I was also aware of it before it happened and I’m not having to move home with my mommy and daddy because of $175 or so a month in increased withholdings. Nor do I have to resort to evading taxes as you appear to suggest and have recommended in the past.

          • 0 avatar
            corntrollio

            “It did become clear to me in reading your comments to me that you didn’t know that the increase in deductions, and the increase in healthcare premiums actually took a bite out of the paychecks of most working people making more than minimum wage.”

            Okay, now you shifted to healthcare costs, so I see that you acknowledged that you don’t understand the tax code. I’m not sure why you think you were educating us, when you clearly don’t understand the tax code. Of course, it was always a temporary tax cut, so I wouldn’t set my budget on it. Both sunridge and I have always acknowledged that her payroll tax would go up by $1400/year on a $70K salary, so I’m not sure why you’re harping on this.

            As for healthcare, people blame it on a variety of things, but healthcare premiums always go up in a bad economy because health insurance companies’ investments perform badly in bad economies.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            Maybe I wasn’t clear. Her tax deductions were $100 more every pay period since the second check in January.

            But when you add the additional premium increases for her CA health insurance, she lost $25 more per pay period, for a total of about $125 per pay period.

            And temporary cuts or not, when you lose that much money every pay period, it’s tough.

            $70K/yr may sound like a lot of money to some people, but when you need $80K/yr just to live someplace, $70K means dire poverty.

            But for guys like you who have all the answers, no problem, right? For people living in the real world? Big problem.

            Fortunately all that has been relegated to history now that she works elsewhere. But the increased deductions were instrumental in seeking another job elsewhere.

            Sorry about the delayed response. I was in El Paso, TX, all day today, on business.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            @HDC

            I’m curious, in your neck of the woods is 70K essentially head just above water for a single person?

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            28-Cars-Later, my neck of the woods is South Central New Mexico, about 90 miles north of El Paso, TX.

            You can do alright on $50K/yr in my neck of the woods if you don’t have a mortgage and don’t need a new car whenever your car loan’s paid off.

            Her neck of the woods until just recently was Temecula, CA, where $70K total household income means living in dire poverty in some predominantly black or Mexican low rent neighborhood. The less money you bring home, the lower the class of neighborhood where you will be living.

            Now that she is working throughout the El Paso, TX, county her only expense for now is the long commute. But I’m paying for her gas, and she can always use our 2008 Highlander if her car breaks.

            We’re working on getting her better accommodations in El Paso because for now she is living in her old room at our house, when she’s home and not on the road.

            Her 15 yr old daughter is also living with us now but by later this year, next school year, we hope to have a house for both of them in El Paso, bought and paid for.

            My wife and her dad (both realtors AND brokers) are actively looking for a decent home in a nice neighborhood in El Paso (on the West side) where a single parent can live on $70K gross annual income.

            My wife’s dad is paranoid about the government getting its hands on his money so he has been buying houses for his grand kids and great grand kids, with rights of survivorship, so that they will always have a place to live. I’m working on one for my grandson now, since he will be getting out of the Marine Corps this June, after 4 yrs.

            That’s how come my wife’s dad has so many houses in so many different cities and towns in NM, CO, WY and ID. Most of them, not all, are actually occupied by blood kin or direct descendants of the old man. And he has several rentals as well, mostly to German Air Force officers training in this area. If there is money to be made, this guy will do it!

            The guy is 88 and still has all his faculties. He shows up at the doorsteps of all his daughters about once a month with a paper bag full of stacks of 100-$100 bills that he gives to them for “safe keeping.”

            Well, better my mattress than his. And when he kicks the bucket….. I’ll be more than happy to put one of my checks for the full amount in his casket to be buried with him.

      • 0 avatar
        oldfatandrich

        A majority of the electorate bought Barack’s class warfare message and that majority is getting what it deserves. What a nirvana he has given us: 7.9 % unemployment four years after the Obama “recovery” began and gasoline at $4 per gallon. Let’s finance some more wind turbines and solar panel manufacturers; that is the future ! Soon we shall be reduced to sitting around campfires, our warmth further secured by artisanlly crafted wool blankets made from the coats of sheep fed from ecologically correct pastures unsullied by a Keystone pipline. O tempora ! O mores !

        • 0 avatar
          corntrollio

          If you’re old, fat, and rich, why would you care? Pee on the peasants while you enjoy your “trickle-down” gains.

          Last I checked, gas prices were higher in July 2008 than they are now. It’s funny how people cry “$4 gas!” because oil prices briefly crashed when we were having global demand problems in late 2008.

          • 0 avatar
            oldfatandrich

            Corntrollio, you really ought to hire a new script writer. It is my capital that gives employment to your peasants. Hard for you to swallow, I know. And while you’re reading the resumes of your new writers, are you enjoying the “new normal”? Ain’t it great ?

          • 0 avatar
            corntrollio

            Again, if you’re old, fat, and rich, why would you need to post here about how much you think Obama sucks? It’s a reasonable question.

            It’s a zero-sum game, right? So if peasants are poor, then you are richer. If you fundamentally think that Obama is turning people into peasants in front of our very eyes, I really really don’t understand why you’d be bitching about this.

            I don’t know why you’d make assumptions about what I do or don’t think about peasants or Obama, as I haven’t stated them here. I stick to facts and arguments I can back up. The political nonsense is tiring because very few here can back anything up with facts — see HDC’s tax argument which is not based in the tax code and instead likely his daughter’s inability to properly fill out a W-4.

      • 0 avatar
        bunkie

        Did her taxes go up? Or did the temporary payroll tax cut expire?

        • 0 avatar

          A cut to Social Security from a few yrs ago was repealed.
          The rate went back to what it was a few yrs ago.
          Social security withholdings went up 2% on the first $110,00 of income. For the teacher mentioned,senioritye,xtra degrees would see her salary bump up pretty nicely. If she was rounding off her Social Security increase each paycheck,over a yr,$2400 is pretty close to the $2200 she is paying this yr that she wasn’t paying last yr. And since Social Security is a flat tax w/no deductions it’s truly money lost to the individual.

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          bunkie, it was all of the above. It’s a long story that I don’t want to get into here but she really needs every cent she can lay her hands on, since she is a single parent now, with one kid (my grand daughter that I support).

          The increase in taxes and deductions starting with the second paycheck in January really hit her hard.

      • 0 avatar
        silverkris

        Uh, that 47% percent may not pay FEDERAL income tax, but they pay sales tax(which is regressive in nature), state and other local taxes.

        It is a myth that folks who don’t pay income taxes are getting a free ride.

        If you’re eligible for food stamps and other means tested benefits, it means you’re low income – which is not a great situation to be in – you’re not making a lot and just getting by.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          “it means you’re low income – which is not a great situation to be in – you’re not making a lot and just getting by.”

          Friend I think that’s most people right now “low income” or not.

          • 0 avatar
            mike978

            HDC – some facts. The average household income (so typically more than 1 earner) is around $50K, so $70K is above average and plenty of people “survive” on that or less.
            The payroll tax cut (Obama’s policy back in 2009) expired and Republicans didn`t fight to keep it. They were too busy fighting to minimize tax increase on those over $400,000 (after deductions).
            As for the 47% figure, it is known after your nominee Mitt Romney (you are a Republican even if you call yourself Independent) it is known that most of those are Social Security recipients, who like you have paid into the system and now receive their benefits. Do you really think 47% of the population is living the high live based on 53% (including me) paying? My federal taxes are really not that much in dollar terms (and I earn more than your daughter) to allow someone else to live the high life so do a reality check.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            Mike978, disagree with you. You can’t live on $70K in Temecula, CA. You need at least $80K just to break even. Most households have two earners to get above that $80K.

            Otherwise they have to move to a predominantly black or Mexican low rent district.

            Her ex-husband is one of the 99rs and his welfare check was barely enough to feed himself.

            Too long a story to get into here and not relevant to the thread. Even divorced, they continued living together until I told her to ‘lose him’.

            I didn’t vote for Mitt Romney. I voted for Gary Johnson.

            The reality check for her was to seek another job in another state that did not have a state income tax but paid the same, and provided better health insurance at a lower expense.

            If anyone with a $70K income loses $125 each pay period, it’s going to have an effect, especially in a state where every penny counts.

            I already told you elsewhere I was gone today, in El Paso, on business.

  • avatar
    Halftruth

    Why don’t they introduce an Opel model whose tagline is “Designed by Cadillac” or something? Test the waters that way thru the existing network. Instead of pushing German Engineering, push American.
    It might just work. Call it the ERS or something.. Have Danica Patrick push the car in commercials.. They can show her racing around the Nurburgring and she can end the commercial saying -

    “Now this is a car I might be able to win a race with!”

    • 0 avatar

      Danica Patrick, who’s that? Maybe Alonso or no, since he’s taken by Ferrari, maybe the new German wonder kid (whose name I forgot right now)…:)

      Pretty good idea, but somehow I fail to see how Europeans will be impressed with a NASCAR driver or American car engineering at this point. It’s not what they want. Or, at least, that’s my perspective on them. Don’t worry, it’s their loss really.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      “Instead of pushing German Engineering, push American.”

      *Claps*

  • avatar
    DC Bruce

    These comments by a senior GM official are cringe-inducing. All that was missing was a “whoopee-kaee-yeah!” at the end. Even in a good chunk of America (mostly the coastal regions), Europe is considered a style-setter. So, to say that Chinese consumers see European premium cars as aspirational is hardly a blinding insight. The comments about “fair share” are truly unfortunate, since GM, like the other US domestics have been whining about unfair imports into their home market since when Ms. Docherty was out on the field waving pom-poms for her high school football team.

    It would have been much more reassuring to have heard her say, “when it comes to building a premium brand, there are no shortcuts: what is required is a sustained commitment to excellence that the consumer can see and feel. . . over decades.”

    Remember how Toyota attacked the premium segment (occupied by European cars) in the U.S. It ran TV advertisements showing stainless steel bearings rolling down the car’s body seams, demonstrating their closeness and precision of assembly. It ran commercials with wine goblets stacked in a pyramid on top of the hood of a car with its engine running at maximum RPM . . . to demonstrate the smoothness of the engine. And, of course the car itself displayed a stunningly high level of assembly quality and materials quality, inside and out. And, over time, it also displayed a stunningly high level of reliability.

    Audi has elevated itself into the premium ranks by a similar process. I think it’s fair to say that Audi did this by designing interiors that were unparalleled in style, quality and execution. The other German premium brands have upped their game since then, but there was a time when their interiors were positively pedestrian in comparison.

    Heck, even in 1980 when I was cross shopping an Audi 5000 diesel against a slightly more expensive Mercedes 240D, my wife’s comment about the Benze’s interior was that it was “industrial” and that the “M-B tex” seats were hard and stiff in the cold. (The Audi had cloth seats.)

    With comments like Ms. Docherty’s it’s hard to know whether she really believes these vacuous platitudes, or whether she thinks her audience will believe them, even if she doesn’t. Either way, it’s just bad.

    • 0 avatar
      JSF22

      I could not agree with your post more, and in particular your statement that “when it comes to building a premium brand, there are no shortcuts: what is required is a sustained commitment to excellence that the consumer can see and feel. . . over decades.” You have said more in one sentence than most consultants I have ever listened to managed to say in days.

      I cannot attack Ms. Docherty, because I do not know her personally and because I suspect her myopic view and reliance upon cliches place her among the vast majority of GM executives. I would only add to your exceptional comments:

      1) The excellent product must be accompanied by a sales and service experience which treats premium customers as they expect to be treated, and as they usually are treated by the other luxury brands with which they deal (Four Seasons or Ritz-Carlton, for example). I have only rarely heard of a Cadillac retailer providing this experience. Perhaps the fact Cadillac essentially has no retail network in Europe would give them the chance to build a good one from scratch, which they cannot do in the U.S., but I doubt they plan such an effort.

      2) There may be a few luxury buyers who have the self-confidence or the eccentricity to make an unconventional vehicle purchase decision. But as VW found with the Phaeton (a much better car than any Cadillac ever dreamed of being), both in the U.S. and in Europe, there are very few people, even people of great accomplishment, who are willing to pull up to their favorite hotel, restaurant, or club and have people ask them, “What in the world made you decide to buy THAT?”

      Unless GM has the commitment and resources to upgrade dramatically every car the Cadillac brand sells, and stick with it, as you say, for decades, they have precious little chance in America and none in Europe.

  • avatar
    nickoo

    The problem with Cadillac is that it isn’t truly willing to go upmarket enough to compete with the best of the best. Cadillac needs a halo flagship that out-Lexuses the Lexus LS, and it needs to start over 100 grand and be able to be optioned up to at least double that if they want to be taken seriously as world class luxury. We’re talking long wheel base-RWD, optional humidor, optional separation between driver and rear passengers, self-massaging/reclining seats, all the latest tech, and it needs to be hand finished with the very best of materials and built to last the next 30 years.

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    Cadillacs have the right look, and that’s one thing they got right, along with RWDs. But they need to be all V8s all the time! Especially AWDs. How can anyone put a 202 hp I4 in a 3,500 lbs AWD ATS?

    They don’t have to be huge V8s, but who looks for maximum fuel ecomomy in a $50,000 luxury car? And 27 mpg hwy isn’t all that impressive from a 320 hp V6. Darn Mustang GTs get 26 hwy.. What? Yeah, and they’re heavy like Cadillacs. Plus wheezy 4 cylinder turbos? For the sake of 3 mpg hwy?

    I’m not looking for a race car, but when I hit the gas in a Cadillac, the only thing I think is “cheesy”. Damn 4,000 lbs CTS Performance with a 320 hp V6 and no manual trans option? What have Cadillacs come to? Is it CTS-V or nothing???

    • 0 avatar
      Buckshot

      Cadillac needs some good diesel options to succeed in Europe.
      Look at Audi;
      A 3,0 V6 diesel with 250bhp/405 ft-lb 35mpg, or a 4,2 l V8 diesel with
      346bhp/590 ft-lb 31mpg. That should be enough for everybody.

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        Diesels for European Cadillacs is a great plan, but let’s not force them on the US market. The same goes for cheesy 4 cylinder and V6s in heavy and supposed performance/luxury cars.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        @Buckshot
        I think the US is moving towards diesels and Caddy’s are one of the best vehicles to drop a diesel in for the US market.

        This would encourage the US to look even more closely at this technology and catch up to the rest of the world.

  • avatar
    Good ole dayz

    From the early part of the century through the 1950′s, perhaps even into the early 1960′s, Cadillacs (and to a lesser extent Lincoln’s) actually were something special.

    Since then they’ve been one-half living off their past and one-half parody of their former selves.

    In theory I suppose they could get their mojo back. That would take not only a determination to be class-competitive (an alien concept in Detroit), and not only a determination to be class-leading (Detroit doesn’t even know what that means), but setting an entirely new standards of class (they didn’t teach that in finance class for the executives, and getting stoned at lunch is all the UAW guys care about). So the culture of their MBA / Finance leadership and stoned-out UAW workforce is neither capable of doing that, nor would it permit that to happen even if it were capable.

    • 0 avatar

      wow, that’s harsh. The world isn’t in black and white. Me thinks you’re missing all the gray.

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        Even if your entire experience with GM was based on the way they managed the C6 Corvette during its production life cycle, it would still be hard to avoid the truth of Good ole dayz’ words. When it came out, the reviewers raved, saying all it desperately needed was a complete seating overhaul. Here we are 9 years later. Production is ending or has ended. They built two ultra high performance engines. They developed multiple suspensions including one that could deliver a good ride and get around a race track. They offered exotic braking hardware and track day tires from Michelin. They engineered a light aluminum frame for the high end coupes. They offered a $9,000 leather dash option to make the interior just look old instead of cheap and old. They won the FIA GT3 European Championship with cars that were probably handicapped to the point of being slower than stock. They also won ALMS GT1 championships and their class in the 2011 24 hours of Le Mans. Did they ever fix the seats that were the Achilles heal of the preproduction cars the magazines tested in 2004? Of course not. They said it would have been too expensive. Never mind that there are plenty of sub-$30K enthusiasts cars with better seats than the six figure ZO7 and ZR1 Corvettes have. The problem was known before the Z06′s aluminum chassis was certified, so you’d think they could have combined new seats with the new structure for crash tests. You’d think.

        The C6 had other foibles, like production variations that meant that some cars that reached magazines were praised for their handling while others were panned for being scary at speed. Still, overall it was seats away from being a world class product in many ways. Cars with the base engine routinely returned improbably good gas mileage, better than slower Porsche 911s and Caymans. For a two seater, it was fairly practical with its huge luggage space under a hatchback. The C6′s styling was clean yet had huge presence and looked like a modern Corvette while being shorter and lighter than mainstream 997 Porsches. With its presence on international racing circuits and combination of desirable characteristics, the C6 was a prime opportunity for some halo sales in Europe. It really needed the seats and interior details at least up to those of a Lexus CT200h, but that shouldn’t(big word here) have been a problem. What did GM do? They exported the top model in single digits for 50% more than it cost in the US. They could have tried keep the price difference in line with VAT on Porsches and sold a few hundred 25 mpg base models to people that wanted something rare while getting enthusiasts excited about high value performance from the US, but they decided to amortize certification costs over a handful of cars instead. The Nissan GTR undercut their price by over fifty grand. And what did the few who stepped up to pay 911 Turbo prices for 911 Turbo performance from GM get? An interior better suited to a rental compact was still part of the deal.

        Had GM fixed the seats and interior of the C6 and priced it to have the same relationship to Porsche’s line in Europe that it does in the US, they might have succeeded in making some Europeans curious about what else US GM can do. They completely squandered the opportunity instead.

        • 0 avatar

          Hey CJ! Your example is a good one. I agree, the Corvette is probably the one product that done right, would get Chevy noticed in Europe. It would be an absolute dream in Brazil. But the failure of GM to adapt it to world needs/standards is a reflection on GM’s management. What do the workers have to do with it? So my critique of Mr Good Ole dayz statement is in that vein. GM’s managment foibles and failures are well documented here. I have done articles on them from a Brazilian perspective. Again, what do the worker’s have to with that?

          BTW, UAW intransigence has as much to do with management as the unions. The traditional American adversarial posture to labor relations simply does not work in our times. Here, America could learn something from how the germans and Japanese do it. Heck, others like Marchionne should also take note of that.

          • 0 avatar
            CJinSD

            I’ve got a friend who was an engineer but is now a motivational speaker with some sort of positive energy rhetoric to sell. She’s so damned optimistic, bubbly, and joyous that I feel guilty for talking to her. She used to be a production line engineer at a Ford plant in Michigan, which put her in contact with the UAW. Her positive aura deal won’t let her talk about it any more, but I got her to tell me a bit of her nightmare a few years ago. Nothing you’ve heard is anywhere near as bad as the truth. Maybe you should check out NPR’s radio show about NUMMI. It might give you an idea of what a UAW plant is about, as told by people that went in thinking unions were a good thing.

            Management is not 50% to blame for the UAW’s impact on the car companies. The UAW negotiates the terms to make sure that productivity will suffer and poisonous people will remain on the job and advance just as fast as anyone that doesn’t get poisoned by their attitudes. Management could have said no to UAW work rules, ‘job security,’ and compensation demands any time they wanted to close their doors and stop making cars. What a choice.

          • 0 avatar

            Your talking about an individual case and I’m talling about a priciple. I left my job 2 months ago and I haven1′t got my compensation yet cause the damn union can’t be bothered to set a meeting where for some reason they have to give their blessing to my dismissal (all professionals are forcibly unionized in Brazil, people cannot represent themselves).

            Do I agree with this? Am I benefitted by this? Probably not but thousands of more menial workers are. I can defend myself whereareas they can’t. This state of affairs is the result of much abuse by employers. Today it strains labor relations in Brazil and is one of the root causes of Brazilian inefficiency. But their is a history to it. Like the UAW contracts in US. If relations were better, the collective agreements would be better.

            A French jurist (whose name I forgot) once said: in a relationship between unequals, freedom is slavery and the law is freedom. It’s not absolutely true but there’s agood chunk of truth to it.

          • 0 avatar
            CJinSD

            George Orwell wrote that War is Peace, Freedom is Slavery, and Ignorance is Strength as an illustration of totalitarian mind control. He didn’t mean that any of it was true, just that imprinting the phrases into the psyche of serfs allowed the elite to order the world to serve them alone. That the phrase has somehow been adopted by latter day monsters just shows Orwell’s prescience.

          • 0 avatar
            Good ole dayz

            Marcelo,

            In a recent (fairly widely reported) case UAW workers caught getting stoned at lunch were reinstated by an arbitrator. There are multiple YouTubes of local TV station stories showing UAW workers in bars drinking at lunch, UAW stewards with semi-no show jobs.

            The union mentality promotes slackers and a “not my job” attitude about quality.

            Plus contractual work rule inefficiencies, featherbedding, and legacy costs of pensions, healthcare etc. force the UAW manufacturers to cut quality (e.g., spec-ing lower quality / lower cost components) to help offset the UAW-induced costs.

          • 0 avatar

            Hey Good ole dayz:

            I saw the case. It was reported on here. It was again an individual case. ALl I’m saying is that, if unions and management worked closer together I sincerely believe the problems you describe would diminish. For historical reasons, labor relations in the US have always been pretty bad. Management has a right to make money and workers have a right to pay, rest and protection from abuse. That’s an absolute minimum. If you regulate too much, you strangulate initiative, if you do to little, you stangulate workers. It’s a very difficult balancing act.

            The fact is no one is innocent in this situation. Management has inefficiencies too you know (Mark Fields flying home everyday, incompetent protected annoited whiz kids that happen to be related to someone big (also known as nepotism), greed, insider deals)…

            Inefficiencies are part of the process BTW. Without some inefficiency life is intolerable. Nazism tried it on the right and Stalinist communism tried it on the left. Neither was very good or particulary efficient. Fact is unbridled capitalism leads to management squashing workers, long excessive hours, concentration of income, private monopolies, stock manipulations and crashes, banking fiascos etc., etc. The State does have a role.

            I’m Brazilian. I’ve seen this before.

  • avatar
    oldyak

    Pretty Woman!

  • avatar
    izido

    the key to European market is Germany, for two reasons. Firstly, Germany produces ALL of the European premium offerings (if we talk volume, forget RR or Bentley, and even those are German owned). Secondly, Germany is currently the ONLY market, where people can actually spend money on premium offerings, the rest of European market is down in the proverbial toilet. Good luck convincing Germans to buy ANYTHING else than home-grown brands, but even that is easier than convincing German government or businesses to buy non-German products. Why would they? Bertel is right, hen he implies (between the lines, of course, ever so subtle): Cadillac is toast!

  • avatar
    danio3834

    In my mind, Cadillac lost it’s way when it began attempting to imitate the European sport sedan. As Jack B pointed out in an earlier article, around the 80′s, the perception of luxury got mixed up. It went from “Rich Corinthian Leather” or “Rich Corinthian Sway Bars”.

    It’s great that Cadillac makes some top notch sport sedans today, but where are the real luxury cars? XTS? not quite. The vehicle that best embodies the ostentatious luxury of a true Cadillac is the Escalade. And it’s a truck. Where are the luxury cars!? Build a luxury car, and they will come.

  • avatar
    Spike_in_Brisbane

    I have somehow missed her problem. The Chinese love Buicks so just badge the cadillac models you want to sell there as Buicks. Job done.

    By the way, I have ridden in many Chinese Buicks made by Shanghai GM and I don’t know any details but they seem quieter and more comfortable than the N.A. version. Probably handle squishy but nobody gets to drive fast in Beijing anyway.

  • avatar
    oldowl

    To get back to Ms. Docherty’s original proposition: that to sell Cadillacs in China, GM needs to “…get it rocking and rolling in Europe” is an absurdity for the many reasons cited above. Could Ms. Docherty truly be that out of touch with reality? Did Ward’s misquote or misconstrue what she was saying?

    What would work for Cadillac? Build dealerships according to Feng Shui principles? Give 500 away to executives at Foxconn? Sell them only in Mandarin red? Make them available by raffle only? Or maybe talk to the folks over a Buick and ask a few questions?

  • avatar
    HGC

    I am a Chinese living in China, and here is the suituation, Buick is doing welling with one particular model call the Excelle (only sold in China, with a 1.6-1.5L motor), a Daewoo-GM build locally, always taking the 1-2 spot in annual sales volume (around 300,000 units). It is relatively affordable to buy/own for a foreign (JV) brand. With that aside, let’s look at what really would work for Cadillac.

    Starting next month Cadillac will start making-selling the XTS here in China, next will be the ATS, CTS is still imported. Cadillac is serious in moving some volume in China(making car locally is a start).But the XTS is not going to do well, it is priced higher than a BMW 3 series, however below a the 5. I would rather buy a 3 series. With the “L” it is as big as the XTS.

    While in China Susan most likely just learned/hang-out with the “upper class” people in northern China. Who could actually get a visa to go to europe. But the fact is that GM/Cadillac is really aiming for a market a step below (the upper class only buys BMW,Porsche,Audi,Benz). And these folks have no idea what EU looks like. Though they do know already Cadillac is a notch above Buick.

    Cadillac should give up selling to the upper class, but quickly let the Ciel comes out as an image car. And make a volume car for the working middle class. Use the Buick Verno as a base and give it the “classic formal lines.” 1.6 base, 1.8 mid, 2.0 turbo. 1.6 will be volume leader, most people in China do not care about the motor size and the driving experience (people expect a comfortable ride in a M BMW!!).

    This formula WILL NOT work in the US (Cimarron already failed once before in the US), only in China please.

    With the money made from China, GM should build a Cadillac that is Escalade/De ville(classic)/Fleetwood in nature but in a modern form. So, a Ciel (hard top)in an affordable manner. Runs on V6-V8. Keep the chassis simple, but have to be big. Should have a Cadillac sub-brand just called “De ville”, let ATS, CTS, XTS be regular Cadillacs.

    If “De ville” is build, for ones in a very long time, Cadillac do not need to fight for its character anymore. Let Cadillac be Cadillac and be proud.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    Why doesn’t GM use Holden in Australia to produce its higher quality vehicles? I do think our Ford/GM build quality in Australia is higher than in the Euro/NA.

    Sell them as HSVs. They will sell better in the Eurozone than Chevs. The UK sells HSVs already and they have a good reputation. Especially as competition against the German prestige marques.

  • avatar
    Dimwit

    The only way that Cadillac can win in Europe is divest itself from GM. Otherwise we’ll get the usual shenanigans from the top and another rotation of managers with another 5 year plan. GM couldn’t keep walking in a straight line if its life depended on it.

  • avatar
    prince valiant

    She’s a pretty hot MILF for an auto exec.


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