By on April 9, 2013

TTAC readers looking for a more pro-GM news source may want to check out Bloomberg for their next dose of pro-GM news. A story on Cadillac’s revived fortunes contains all kinds of enthusiastic copy and positive quotes, but still manages to bury the lede way down at the bottom of the story.

Take this quote for example

“Cadillac’s performance certainly exceeded expectations, and the ATS was the driving factor,” said Jeff Schuster, auto analyst with LMC Automotive in Troy, Michigan. “They have a lot happening with their lineup and the vehicles are hitting with consumers.”

Joel Ewanick himself couldn’t have come up with a better quote to feed to the industry price. The ATS is a nice car by all accounts. First drive impressions were positive, despite one of the buff books binning one into the red Georgia clay. But scroll a little further down past the ongoing textual fellatio and you’ll find the golden nugget.

Cadillac’s pricing problems show up in the incentives it offers. GM’s average incentive spending on the ATS in February was $3,700 per car, compared to $333 in September, when the new model went on sale, according to TrueCar Inc., a Santa Monica, California, researcher that tracks auto sales.

Uh oh. $3,700 just months after their crucial entry-level car was introduced? A nearly tenfold increase in incentive spending in just a few short months? Not good news at all. The incentives do explain why the ATS had a nice bump in sales right around February. It’s unfortunate that GM would have to spend so much per car to move a product as nice as the ATS.

Of course, Bloomberg handily explains away the unpleasant incentive information with this quote

Those discounts should decline as Cadillac’s redesigned models attract new buyers. GM said more than half the ATS buyers are coming from competitors such as BMW, Mercedes and Lexus. GM aims to increase sales of Cadillac in the U.S. by more than 30 percent this year, Bob Ferguson, global head of the brand, told reporters in New York last week. 

A look at incentive programs in the Miami/South Florida region (using ZIP Code 33180) as a sample shows that the ATS offering more aggressive incentive programs than its competitors. BMW is offering 3.1 percent APR financing for the new 3-Series (save for the Hybrid at 1.9 percent) versus 0 percent for the ATS. Audi offers no finance incentives for the A4 at all. While the ATS gets a $299/month lease for 36 months with $2,199 due at signing, a similarly equipped 328i would cost $349/month for 36 months with $3,824 due at signing. An A4 2.0T can be leased for $309/month for the same term with $3,719 due. Mercedes-Benz was not offering 36 month lease deals at the time of writing. Only Lexus came close to matching Cadillac’s offer, with a lease on an IS250 involving $309/month payment for 36 months, with $3,209 due at signing and a credit for the first month’s lease payment – on a model that is due to be replaced any day now, where dealers are desperate to get rid of the stock.

The incentive picture makes the Q1 2013 sales snapshot above even starker. The 3-Series and C-Class are way out in front. The C-Class is leading the segment with 22,912 units sold, with the 3-Series in second place with 20,662 units. Cadillac is in third place, but is beating the A4 by just 45 units as of the end of March (9795 units of the ATS sold versus 9750 A4s). The Lexus trails in fifth place with 5173.

The unfortunate thing here is that the ATS itself isn’t necessarily the reason for its lagging sales and heavy incentive spending. Rather it’s the result of the continued degradation of the Cadillac brand in the eyes of the consumer over the past few decades. I’m far from the only person that believes the ATS to be a superior product to the Mercedes-Benz C-Class, and there are plenty of knowledgeable  respected auto critics who feel that is is just as dynamically competent as the BMW 3-Series. But these two products are crushing the ATS in the sales race, undoubtedly on the strength of their respective brands. The unfortunate relaity is that most consumers don’t care about whether or not their car is The Ultimate Driving Machine; they just want a fancy badge to show off to other people. Until Cadillac’s brand is on par with the Roundel or the Three Pointed Star, this scenario of significant incentive spending and lagging sales will likely continue to play out, no matter how good the product is.

 

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67 Comments on “Bloomberg Buries The Lede: Cadillac Puff Piece Can’t Hide ATS Incentive Spending, Lagging Sales...”


  • avatar
    NormSV650

    Go to Edmunds for a quick look at incentives offered by GM and most of the lineup has $1,000 conquest bonus cash.

    The real question the article doesn’t state is the ATP as the ATS can be optioned upward to over $50,000 quickly.

    • 0 avatar
      hachee

      The ATS isn’t alone here. Just about anything can be optioned up to what seem like crazy numbers really easily. I’d say you can add about 40% to a car’s base price in options today.

    • 0 avatar

      The ATS and the rest of Cadillac’s portfolio is OVERPRICED. Their options pricing is ridiculous. The CUE system should be standard in cars this ridiculously overpriced. For the price of a loaded ATS, I could have a loaded Charger SRT8. That’s ridiculous.

      • 0 avatar
        Kyree S. Williams

        A: Chrysler Group (whether the products were good or bad) have long had great bang-for-your-buck pricing. So you can’t really compare the price of a Chrysler Group product to that of a luxury GM product…especially when the vehicles in question are quite dissimilar.

        B: Cadillac’s cars being overpriced is no different than BMW’s cars being overpriced. And BMW loves to nickel and dime you for the most ridiculous things…which can also be optioned to over $50K in even the lowly 328i trim. iDrive is indeed standard on the 3-Series, but based on CUE’s reviews, you should be happy it isn’t standard on the ATS. As for the rest of the lineup, great deals can be had on the SRX, XTS and even the outgoing CTS. The Escalade is of course overpriced, but that’s been the case since its debut.

  • avatar
    mike978

    I completely agree that it will take years/decades for the brand to improve in perception to allow it to compete. They started on the journey several years ago and it will take time. They just need to plug away at developing great product.

    Do you know what the incentive spending is on the 3 series? That would have been good to compare. Leasing is important but not the only measure of incentives.

    • 0 avatar
      bumpy ii

      The ATS seems to be a good car with an undesirable nameplate. If (Big if) GM didn’t screw up the basics and can keep the refreshes coming, this generation can build a reputation for the name, the next one can build sales volume on that reputation, and the one after that can rake in the price premium. This is how Ford went from zero to hero with the Fusion.

      • 0 avatar
        mike978

        Agreed, and Cadillac have shown they can do it with the CTS which (assuming the 3rd generation is as good as rumored) has improved with each generation.

      • 0 avatar
        thornmark

        Seems Ford will have the same problem with the Fusion – huge incentives for a brand-impaired car. Ford ranks near the bottom in most surveys and the Fusion doesn’t do that great in comparison tests, especially the poorly performing Ecoboosts.

        • 0 avatar
          TrailerTrash

          what are you talking about?
          the Fusion is one of the top selling cars of all cars and second in its class in total.
          And the ecoboost is a top performing engine.
          very confused here….

  • avatar
    Lichtronamo

    I gave the ATS a look at the recent Minneapolis Auto Show. Granted the cars didn’t have their accessory power on so it looked kind of dull inside with lots of plastic surfaces. But overall I didn’t think the quality of the materials or the space measured up to the 3-Series or the A4. I would be interesting to drive them all back-to-back. Also, the ATS vs. the A4 is also a weak showing given that the A4 is near the end of it’s current cycle and will be all new in 2014-2015.

  • avatar
    fredtal

    Cadillac is rebuilding it’s brand. It’s a long term project. I just hope they (GM) has the stamina for it. For now they need to get their cars in the field no matter what it takes.

    • 0 avatar
      mike978

      I agree that they need stamina and it was heartening to read last week that they choose RWD instead of the cheaper FWD platform for this car (and CTS). They have had a consistent design language (whether you love it or not) for 5-10 years too. Time will tell.

  • avatar
    Sammy B

    How much of this is to pump up initial sales numbers. Toyota put huge incentives on the redesign Tundra a few years back to get the magic 100K volume in year one. spending (and sales) have dropped since then.

    While it’s definitely not the model, so to speak, that Cadillac wants to follow, is that perhaps playing a role? I seem to also remember teaser lease specials on the CTS several years back [the big billboards that said \"$299 LEASE!\"....same concept?]

  • avatar
    Durask

    Brand name is everything. IMHO, BMW interior is nothing to write about given the money you pay for it and once again IMHO Audi quality went down last few years except for top models.

    It’ like Gucci bags – you pay for the brand and the prestige. I hope no one would argue that there is nothing objective about Gucci bags to justify $500 price.

  • avatar
    Sundowner

    Audi does offer incentive money in the form of loyalty cash, club discounts of up to 6% off of MSRP (that’s $2400 on a $40k car), and seasonal promotions. I assume the other makers offer similar cash on the hood.

    I have a grudge against GM for a variety of reasons that have led me to send letters to Richard Waggoner threatening to set my K1500 on fire outside the Ren center and dance around it like a pagan while the CD player dies out to Rage Against the Machine at maximim volume.

    Regardless, I think GM is doing the right thing here. You can make the best car in the world, but if you can’t get asses in leather, then there’s no point. Caddy has to take it on the chin for a while until the desired demographic shows up with thick rimmed glasses, vintage leather jackets, and baby seats en masse. That’s not going to happen at the same price point as trendier brands. After that, it’s all gravy, as independant minded trend setting hipsters do what comes naturally: whatever other hipsters do.

    TTAC takes pride in its grudge against GM, which is often deserved at times, but it’s truly myopic and petty at other times and just detracts from the integrity of TTAC’s mission (which is…)

    • 0 avatar
      Yeah_right

      GM has earned every terabyte of hate (or whatever the unit is). They’ve coasted on their glorious history and peddled execrable autos (case-in-point my awful 2006 Pontiac Grand Prix and the plastic, PLASTIC door handles on my neighbor’s Solstice). Inept management and corrupt unions sashayed arm-in-arm into bankruptcy, had the gall to foist their debt onto taxpayers, lied about repaying taxpayers, and then used Howie Long in commercials to mock Honda and Ford.

      I’m glad GM is making a product that is well designed and engineered. I’d hate to see an iconic American brand go belly-up, but any success they enjoy won’t be from my wallet.

  • avatar
    danio3834

    Sales have been steadily ramping up on the ATS MoM. I expect them to continue up as people begin to realize this car exists as their neighbors begin parking them in the driveway.

  • avatar
    miketm

    It’s more than a shiny badge. I’ve owned my BMW for five years. When I bought it, I had confidence it would last for five+ years and would maintain good resale value. (I had a prior 3 series for 8 years and for a great price for it when I sold it. ) so Cadillac has to build up its image in a way that speaks to its long term quality or its not going to be able to price itself competitively against the others. Lexus inherited that reputation from Toyota. But Caddys inheriting GMs rep. So it’s got a long way to go and it will take years.

  • avatar
    sunridge place

    To do a true fair head to head comparison on leases you are missing two things:

    1. Comparable MSRP of the Cadillac/BMW/Mercedes etc
    2. Allowable miles

    The allowable miles all look the same (10k per year) in your examples but the MSRP’s are different.

    Your BMW lease example is based on a vehicle with an MSRP over $40k while the ATS is based on an ATS around $35k making the difference less dramatic.

    BTW…BMW/Mercedes often have $3k+ per unit incentives on a monthly basis.

    http://www.edmunds.com/industry-center/data/true-cost-of-incentives-by-make.html

  • avatar
    gasser

    The $299/month lease on the ATS 2.0T really grabbed my attention. What put me off were reviews of the roughness of the drivetrain (especially the poor shifting of the automatic trans) and NO BACK UP CAMERA!! Even the base Verano for 2013 has a back up camera. With the blind spots of the new styling of GM, I consider a back up camera to be a neccessity. The ATS only has back up with navigation,, which isn’t even available as an option on some of the lower trim levels. I’ll check back in next year, if the Verano turbo (yes, it’s FWD) doesn’t snag me by then.

  • avatar
    hreardon

    Packaging has a lot to do with it. The ATS is a very desirable car. I’ve driven three of them since November and it’s very engaging, communicative and solidly built.

    However, much like the Germans, you start optioning up the car and the price tag goes stratospheric – quick.

    Most of these cars don’t get interesting until you start adding on a few packages, and then that $35,000 base ends up at $44,000 real fast. A base ATS doesn’t do much to excite.

    Another potential issue might be the 2.0 engine. While it has a lot of grunt, it also has a lot of GRUNT. Its terribly unrefined and I agree with many of the reviewers who say to pass go and head to the V6 automatic. Unfortunately, for those of us who like to row our own gears, the 2.0T is the only option at this point.

    Final two gripes: the rear doors are really small (and I’m well under 6′), and the cupholder/armrest is in such an odd location that my elbow continually jams in there making shifting a pain in the rear. But, I’m picking nits. The car is otherwise great.

    • 0 avatar

      The first ATS I drove was a V6 automatic. Lovely drivetrain. But that 2.0T and the 6-speed manual? Forget it. The 2.0T is about as smooth as skateboard grip tape and the 6 speed manual is nothing special. Pass.

      Funny, I don’t remember the Regal GS having such a rough feeling engine.

      • 0 avatar
        Kyree S. Williams

        The Regal GS uses a somewhat-modified version of the older 2.0L turbo’d engine that was in the Chevy Cobalt/HHR SS, Saturn Sky Red Line, Pontiac Solstice GXP and Fisker Karma (for generator duty). IIRC, the highly-praised Verano Turbo shares the current generation of this engine with the Regal GS…and it is unrelated to the new 2.0L turbo in the ATS and Malibu.

        As for the engine in the ATS and Malibu, I found it to be about as rough and unrefined as you did in the ATS, but quite smooth in the Malibu. Maybe it works better in FWD-duty or something. And of course the 2.5L I4 is no prize in any vehicle.

        GM’s ubiquitous 3.6L DI V6 can’t carry the entire ATS marquee, especially since it isn’t available with a manual transmission, so Cadillac had better figure something out about the other two engines…

        • 0 avatar
          DeadWeight

          Derek, the Regal GS is a much better car than the ATS, IMO, and the coarse-by-comparison 4 banger in the Caddy is just one of many reasons as to why.

          It’s hard for me to admit the Regal is a better vehicle all around, particularly since it’s fail wheel drive, but it’s just more refined all around than the ATS and feels more solid, as well.

          As an added bonus, the Regal has gauges worthy of a quality vehicle, unlike the ATS “gauge cluster by Fisher Price.”

  • avatar
    hachee

    Derek, you wrote this piece as if you, or anyone, had the expectation that Cadillac would sell close to as many units as its competitors right off the bat, and are faulting GM for not having done so. This is a new market for Cadillac, not a replacement entry. (I think we all acknowledge that the CTS was not directly competing in this class.) Of course sales are going to be much weaker than the 3 Series and C Class.

    Cadillac needs to get these on the road, although I think large incentives undermines it all. It may accomplish greater sales, but it does look like they’re a bit desperate. I’ve always thought they should have undercut its competitors in price. But some MBA holder at GM still thinks they need to be priced the same in order for people to perceive the cars as being equally as good. This is what they did with the XLR. The cars may be really good now, but the image still has a ways to go, and until it’s really on par with BMW (or BMW sinks a bit, which I can see happening, as Mercedes has), I think they need to undercut the price, or boost the equipment levels, or some combination of both.

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      I don’t think he is admonishing Cadillac for a lack of ATS sales, or at all, really. I think he’s merely stating the fact that it is a bit worrying to see such large discounts have been applied to a brand-new product…particularly since it’s a well-engineered and desirable product that has had a lot of hype, and not something dredged up from the corporate-parts bin.

      • 0 avatar
        sunridge place

        ‘I don’t think he is admonishing Cadillac for a lack of ATS sales’

        Read the headline. ‘Lagging Sales’

        Then he compares a lease payment and downpayment on a $40,800 MSRP BMW versus a $35,700 MSRP ATS and calls them ‘comparatively equipped’ to try and illustrate a point about incentives without acknowledging that BMW/Mercedes etc carry similar behind-the-scenes discounts?

        • 0 avatar
          Kyree S. Williams

          True. He *mentioned* that the ATS has lagging sales. But the point of the article is that the ATS is a victim of Cadillac’s history. Whether or not that’s true is up for debate, but I don’t Mister Kreindler scolding or faulting Cadillac anywhere in this article…

          • 0 avatar
            sunridge place

            I never said Derek ‘scolded’ Cadillac. I’ve enjoyed his recent efforts at more analysis and enjoy reading his articles…I’ll just comment on things the way I see them and Derek has said recently that he appreciates the feedback he gets in the comments. But, he did make several comments about the ATS not doing well in sales which I find a bit short-sighted.

            No one should be declaring the ATS as a ‘victim’ this early on as you just did.

            Nobody in their right mind would have expected the ATS to come close to the 3 Series or C Class within 6 months of the launch.

            He has a clear point where the Cadillac brand stands today and its not rocket science to come up with that–but declaring the ATS some sort of disappointment as it starts to overcome that disadvantage at this point based upon its sales versus brands in much stronger positions is a bit of a stretch.

            Additionally, I realize the numbers aren’t easy to get–but to think BMW/Mercedes/Audi etc don’t have incentive programs/dealer cash etc to help move metal and Cadillac is the only luxury brand resorting to such tactics to barely stay alive is just incorrect.

  • avatar
    tomLU86

    GM should trash CUE. Everyone I’ve asked about it HATES it. CUE is the top dissatisfier–instead of being arrogant and losing sales, the big boys and girls at GM should get rid of this clueLESS CUE crap yesterday. The car is an excellent car, but since it is NOT indisputably the best in class, and Cadillac’s brand equity still suffers from years of mediocrity, the car should’ve been base-priced at $33,900–WITH THE TURBO MOTOR.

    As some one noted, the options can take you to $50k very quickly. $42k for an optioned Malibu-engined (2.5 liter 192 hp is a lil lame, sorry) sport sedan ain’t gonna cut it. But other than the lack of proper seats (n/a in the ‘lesser’ versions–typical GM, want something good, buy a lot of other crap), the base turbo car is arguably more of a sport sedan than a 328i, even if it is a lil slower. The V6 is sweet–but, where’s my clutch pedal? Again, sr. mgt/marketing misCUEs, WTF?

    I really want this car to succeed, for GM’s and America’s reputation, and the CUE and mis-marketing just kill me…….

    I prefer Cadillac succeed on its merits, but having a Cadillac employee write articles for Bloomberg might work in the short run and compensate for the above misCUEs. Or maybe GM gave him a loaner for year, lol

    • 0 avatar
      jmo

      The CUE system worked fine, it’s not as nice as the Chrysler system but its way better than Ford.

    • 0 avatar
      mike978

      You can also though get for $35K the 2 litre turbo with manual transmission and that is easily a match for the 328i (starting over $3K more) in terms of performance.

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      I didn’t get a chance to play with CUE. It probably is better than MyFord Touch…which is a dubious honor. But it is not a good sign when reviewers are saying that Cadillac’s CUE is worse than GM’s own MyLink/IntelliLink, which is of course offered on the more-plebeian Buick, Chevrolet and GMC models.

  • avatar
    Rod Panhard

    I think it’s much simpler than all that. I took my son with me to the NYIAS. He has no interest in cars, even though he is almost 16. His take, “It seems small, especially for a Cadillac. Aren’t they supposed to be big?” He then got into the backseat and accidently bumped his head on the C-pillar. He’s about 5’9″. He then said, “See what I mean?”

    • 0 avatar
      DeadWeight

      The ATS is an overpriced piece of faux-quality, that only gets more insanely overpriced as the options get tacked on, just like the BMW 3 Series, MB C Class, and the vast majority of shiny plastic bejazzled douchemobiles that overpopulate the asphalt storage lots of nearly every “ass-aspirational” dealership from sea to shining sea.

      There really was a time when people sought true distinctiveness, quality and durability and would not accept, let alone pay for, anything less, but those days have passed, and fools and their money, as well as fools with no money but a subprime pulse or barter Mossberg, are easily parted.

      We are living in an overstuffed storage wars world, and an ocean of debt is the short acting crack that incentivizes the mass production of turds.

      What’s next, a 3 cylinder Fusion with fuax-leather and 1 ply-tanium for 30 large?

      • 0 avatar
        jmo

        “quality and durability ”

        If we deal with reality rather than what you wish were true, we’d know that cars have never been of higher quality or more durable.

        • 0 avatar
          DeadWeight

          Cars having quality and durability are the type that were built like tanks and are still driving around the fair streets of America 20 years and many hundreds of thousands of miles since they rolled off the production line.

          They’re the type of vehicles that are more likely to be passed on or gifted to one’s children or other loved ones, because they are of a complete or near irreplaceable nature, and you won’t see Circa-2013 Cadillac ATS’s, BMW 3-Bloats or Mercedes C Class-less’s cruising the streets and roads of America in 2033 due to many reasons, not the least of which will be their inherently disposable nature.

          • 0 avatar
            jmo

            Wishful thinking and a total misremembering of the past and bonus points for being unable to deal with statistical reality.

            http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Survivorship_bias

          • 0 avatar
            CJinSD

            There are very real reasons to be concerned that the latest crop of cars won’t be as durable as the ones they’re replacing. The cars that created your impression of ever-greater quality and durability were produced under a stable set of regulations and market forces. Chasing crazy CAFE numbers is causing the rapid deployment of numerous technologies that are either already-proven detriments to durability or relative unknowns.

          • 0 avatar
            jmo

            CJ,

            I bet you were one of the folks that thought the Prius would be totally unreliable. The fact that it is one of (if not the) most reliable car made, must really bother you.

          • 0 avatar
            CJinSD

            Toyota and Honda are the two best car companies in the world. One of them got the hybrid right. Do you still think you have a point?

      • 0 avatar
        Kyree S. Williams

        Sounds like you’ve got a chip on your shoulder, mate. Would that be the “DeadWeight” that your screen-name refers to?

        • 0 avatar
          DeadWeight

          I don’t know why anyone would assume my coments are born of malice or some other type of anger when I’m merely offering an honest assessment of reality.

          Do you honestly believe there’s a 2013 model year vehicle that will prove to be as durable as a Mercedes-Benz W124?

          • 0 avatar
            Kyree S. Williams

            Well, I certainly didn’t deduce that from phrases like “shiny plastic bejazzled douchemobiles,” “ass-aspirational” and “mass production of turds.” If not angry, your way of speech certainly is…ah…uniquely-descriptive. But that’s just as well; we enjoy that kind of conversation here, haha

          • 0 avatar
            krhodes1

            Having owned a w124, I have every reason to believe my e91 3-series will be MORE durable, and certainly more reliable while requiring FAR less maintenance over the course of its life. I had all the maintenance records for my 300TE from day one until I sold it at ~175k miles – they filled a binder 3″ thick. I never added up the bills, I probably would have had a heart attack.

            A wonderful car, and my friend who bought it loves it too, but by no means cheap to run. The one thing that will certainly outlast us all are those MBTex vinyl seats, but folks around here get their knickers in a twist about plastic seats in a luxury car.

            Let’s take off those rose-colored glasses, shall we?

  • avatar
    86SN2001

    “TTAC readers looking for a more pro-GM news source”

    Hell, just some fair and balanced reporting from TTAC would be nice.

    Does the ATS need a special tow package?

  • avatar
    George B

    I hope GM throws cash on the hood and sells/leases lots of ATSs. Between the cost advantages of the GM parts bin and price depreciation, a used ATS could be a great bargain a couple years from now. Probably more reliable and less expensive to own than a BMW 3 series plus I don’t see Cadillac drivers being likely to abuse their ride.

    • 0 avatar

      I’m in the same boat. Lets see how depreciation+reliability is 5 years/60k-80k on these things.

      If I can get a really nice, reliable six-speed, luxury car for $18-$25k instead of an econobox, that would really move me towards possibly retiring my current (8-yo) car early.

  • avatar
    AFX

    Whoever came up with the idea of dropping a 4-cylinder engine in a Cadillac should be kicked in the nuts. Turbo’d or not, Cadillacs are NOT 4-cylinder cars !. Chevrolets are 4-cylinder cars, maybe a low end Pontiac or Oldsmobile too, but NOT a Cadillac. A Cadillac is supposed to set a high standard above the rest of the run of the mill cars in the corporate lineup, and are supposed to be something aspirational you’d eventually own one day once you’ve “made it”. A 4-cylinder engine is something for the masses, and not something befit of a Cadillac. Once these clowns at GM pull their heads out of their asses and start treating Cadillac like it was something special, then maybe the general public will too.

    If they’re going to drop a 4-cylinder engine in a Cadillac then they might as well just slap a Cimarron badge on the sumbitch and hold the public unveiling at the town dump. Even the rebadged Opel turd of a Catera came with a V-6. I can’t wait to see what they attempt next, maybe a 3-cylinder Sterling engine in the Corvette ?.

    • 0 avatar
      Dan

      +1000.

    • 0 avatar
      sunridge place

      Buy the V6 version then. Geez.

      Its not like Cadillac is in the position to raise their middle finger at the luxury market in the US and say FU we’re gonna give you one choice and one choice only….and if ya don’t like that, we will give you a supercharged V8 for $60k.

      3 Series has 4 cylinders and no one died. I’m sure China is sucking up compact luxury cars with 4 cylinder engines as well.

      I’m guessing you’re one of those people who think Caddy should go back and build large barges with V8 engines so they can get back to the ‘glory days’…whenever those were.

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      Get with the times, mate. Cadillac’s been actively working to change its image for the last ten years, going head to head with the Europeans. That means that when BMW, Mercedes-Benz and even Jaguar drop four-cylinder engines into their cars, Cadillac must follow suit…

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        I disagree its a conscious choice to chase a trend. Just as they could choose to buck the trend and offer a little bit more in the segment.

        • 0 avatar
          sunridge place

          What are they lacking? A V6? Nope. They’ll also have a V-Series soon with a V8 I’m sure….or a hell of a V6.

          Distinctive styling? Style is all opinion for sure, but Cadillac hardly chases the Germans in styling.

          What more should Cadillac offer in the compact luxury segment? Should they design a car in an octagonal shape to stand out? Perhaps a new CTS with a rotating hexagon serving as a solar panel on their roof to buck the trend.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            4 banger Cadillacs are a joke and always will be, just as much as high revving 90 speed BMWs, Benzes, and Jags. You want to beat the competition, point out what they are doing and offer one up, in this case make is a standard V6. Otherwise what’s the point? If I’m going to play brand snob wouldn’t I rather be seen in the trendy foreign car? But if I can have something similar for about the same money and it be a better value, it would be seriously considered.

          • 0 avatar
            sunridge place

            As I said, its not like Cadillac is in a position to give the luxury segment the finger.

            What is so horribly wrong with having a 4 cylinder if it serves some of the market at a price point to be competitive? The 320i undercuts even the base ATS with a 4 cylinder by a couple thousand bucks…how much would it be with a V6 as the standard engine…gotta stay competitive.

            Its not like they don’t have a solid V6 available. Is it really that frickin’ important for the V6 to be ‘standard’ engine. Why the hell should Cadillac shut out a segment and price point just to say ‘STANDARD V6 POWER’

            Next, you’ll tell me they should have the V6 as standard equipment…then beat BMW/Mercedes etc in all other areas AND be at a lower price point–an impossible task if you actually want to make money.

    • 0 avatar
      AFX

      Cadillacs are supposed to be something that is better than the rest, or has more features, or better quality. When they say “Cadillac: Standard Of The World” they mean the rest of the world is supposed to sit up and take notice, and regard Cadillac as THE BEST. They don’t mean “The rest of the world has a 4-cylinder engine in their base model, so what the hell, we’ll throw one in there too”.

      Cadillac is a company that once produced a V-12 model and a SIXTEEN cylinder model !. Turbo four-bangers are for future teenaged hoopty hotrods like the Cobalt SS or the Neon SRT. Ten years from now we’ll be seeing 4-cylinder Turbo ATS’s out cruising the mall with flat black paint, a 2″x4″ mounted on the trunk for a rear wing, a fartcan, and a DC Shoes/Monster energy stickers on the windows. That’s NOT the type of people you want owning a Cadillac. If the trailer trash can’t afford a Cadillac with the base engine being a V-6, then that’s all the better for Cadillac’s image. If you want a turbo 4 go buy a Cobalt instead.

      This whole thing is just a farce to either get cheap people into Cadillacs, or to make the model look good for CAFE. The only way a turbo 4-cylinder engine would be suitable for a base model Cadillac is if said “Offenhauser” somewhere on it. :-)

    • 0 avatar

      My brother has been looking at the ATS as an “upmarket” car purchase (he’s 30 and not a car nut). He only drives auto. The ATS to him looks good and is the only Cadillac in a size he’d actually consider (he thinks the others are all WAY too big).

      YMMV of course. I’ve told him it has 4 cyl but would he remember? Probably not. He honestly doesn’t care. I think most enthusiasts aren’t considering the ATS anyhow so if a buyer isn’t an enthusiast, will they even know if it has 4 cylinders or not, and if they do, does it matter as long as it gives them the performance they want?

  • avatar
    oldyak

    I also feel that a 4 cyl or V-6 Cadillac is a joke!!
    Cant they tool up a 2-2.5 liter V-8???
    God knows Honda has made some really great multi-cyl engines of small displacement.
    This should be a Cadillac trademark!

  • avatar
    doug-g

    The best analogy I can come up with for Cadillac’s current situation would be a woman who is absolutely beautiful and has all the positive attributes society could ask for in a woman. The woman marries and somehow produces a daughter who, as my father would have said, could puke a buzzard off a gut wagon. This woman then marries and has a daughter who is the mirror image of her revered grandmother. How do you tie the granddaughter to the grandmother and get people to forget about the daughter?

  • avatar
    realpower1

    BRAND VALUE is really all that matters here. The utility of the product can be met comfortably in the marketplace for about $20K, so that leaves about $20K of “other” value that the consumer has to justify to make their purchase. Product attributes alone can not, and will not drive Cadillac cars to leadership positions in the marketplace. This is a mature industry with essentially identical technologies driven by the IP of the various component suppliers.

    Decades of brand destruction have simply erased Cadillac and Lincoln from the minds of large percentage of buyers. In the meantime the marketplace has segmented and aligned behind the current incumbents: Simplified I think we can safely say that BMW is performance, Mercedes is Luxury, and Lexus is Luxury for those who don’t trust European Electronics. Unable to find space in this order, Volvo and Jaguar are near death, Infinity has one model arguably a Japanese BMW, Acura is for Honda owners, and that leaves Audi which has had success largely in Asia by positioning itself as an alternative to the MB/BMW incumbancy.

    Sadly, what is left is that Cadillac and BMW are the cars who are biased to American cars. Keeping the hardware competitive only retains this pool of buyers, it is unlikely to win many converts given that $20K of the purchase price has to make a statement about who that buyer is to neighbors and friends? Right now consumers don’t see a compelling reason to switch.

  • avatar
    Junebug

    I think I just figured it out, it’s NOT the car, it’s the image.


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