By on August 6, 2013

Cadillac_ATS_in_Red_at_NAIAS_2012

Back in April, we reported on relatively high incentives for the Cadillac ATS, which were discovered in the midst of some fact-checking on a blatant puff piece on the brand by Bloomberg. Months later, none other than Automotive News has caught on, with their own story about the baby Cadillac’s high pricing and the resulting incentives being offered.


To avoid the inevitable fan boy cries of “bias”, here’s the take directly from Automotive News

When General Motors launched the Cadillac ATS nearly a year ago, executives sent a bold message by pricing the newcomer in the same territory as BMW’s 3 series, long the compact-luxury segment’s top seller.

But at the dealership, the ATS hasn’t commanded 3-series prices, research data show. Through the first six months of the year, the average transaction price on the ATS was $39,459, vs. $44,764 for the 3 series, according to Edmunds.com. The ATS had heavier incentives, too: $4,088 per unit, vs. $3,555 for the 3 series.

One explanation seems to stem from Cadillac’s distribution strategy, which, we learned, involved sending units to key markets in wealthy ZIP codes where Cadillac is looking for growth. But these locales (places like Miami, wealthy areas of California etc) tend to favor import luxury brands rather than Cadillac, and sales are, according to our source, not meeting internal projections. This explains inventory levels, which have been consistently above 100 days of supply since we last checked in (there’s currently a 122 day supply of ATS’ right now).

Given the multi-decade timeline it takes to rebuild a brand, it will take Cadillac some time to pull themselves up, and good product is the first step of a long journey. However, these are the facts – there are significant rebates and inventory levels are high on a car that had outsized expectations. And it took months for mainstream outlets to notice what we did.

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75 Comments on “Incentives, Inventories Still High For Cadillac ATS...”


  • avatar

    It’s too small and the Cadillac name doesn’t command the attention the 3-series does.

    Unless you purchase the sport package, this car isn’t the driver’s car they paint it out to be. Many people are buying them because they need a car right now, they would buy a CTS, but the current CTS’ interior isn’t as exciting as the redesigned interiors on the ATS and XTS and the 2014 CTS won’t be in dealerships for a while.

    A BMW3 is all about name recognition regardless which trim you buy. It’s a BMW. I’ve seen people break their backs trying to afford to buy and maintain a BMW, but they are strictly aversed to American cars and would buy a used BMW before a brand new American car.

    Imagine how our conversations go when their engines give out or they face $10,000 transmission/electrical problems while my HEMI’s go long and strong. Asking me for a ride to the mechanic LOL.

    • 0 avatar

      …in fact, yesterday I made this video of a tuner I know rebuilding a BMW 3 while I was street racing a supercharged Camaro:
      youtube.com/watch?v=H3dkjzQmvjM

    • 0 avatar
      Quentin

      What is amusing to me is that the 5.7L Hemi in the Challenger has quite a history of broken timing chains. 39 failures listed on one thread with all of them under 100k miles (mostly between 40k and 80k).

      I only ever thought to google it because I had a coworker with a broken timing chain on her “long and strong” Hemi.

      • 0 avatar
        danio3834

        40 failures our of millions produced? That’s almost six sigma. Not bad. Probably about as widespread a problem as the cams breaking on the 5.7L Tundra engine.

        • 0 avatar
          mkirk

          I know a dude this happened to around 50k. I am sure there were more than 39 as this was a single Internet thread but still, not a huge issue. Then again, it isn’t like Escapes were catching on fire left and right but in reading this forum you would have thought they were bursting in to flames on the assembly line.

          • 0 avatar
            danio3834

            My point was that we’re talking about anecdotal evidence. By measurable accepted quality standards derived from real data, the Hemi is quite a good engine.

        • 0 avatar
          Quentin

          Actually, if you sum up all of the R/T and SRTs sold with the 5.7L, it comes to less than 80k units (data per wiki) rather than millions. Those 39 failures are only those reported by people on the forums. That isn’t 100% of the failures, and unlike the Tundra, the failures run across 3 or 4 model years instead of 20 odd pieces in the first model year (my googling shows that the last time people talked about the camshaft failures was in 2007).

          • 0 avatar
            danio3834

            “it comes to less than 80k units (data per wiki) rather than millions.”

            Did you deliberately omit the million or so trucks sold with the same timing setup, or was that by accident?

            Again, by actual data points, the Hemi is a quality engine.

          • 0 avatar
            Quentin

            I was talking about Challengers from the get-go. The failures were Challengers so I looked up the Challenger production numbers. I haven’t searched for failure data on the other products, so it really isn’t honest to use 39/1,000,000 as your failure rate. Timing chains being a problem in 5.7L Challengers is a factual statement. There is some condition in those vehicles that make the Hemi problematic at relatively low mileage.

            I was basically trolling bigtrucksafespeeder and his blanket, irrefutable statements. He has a 6.1L anyway.

          • 0 avatar
            billfrombuckhead

            The HEMI has earned a well earned reputation for durability. It’s one of the reasons that RAM has intimidated TRDyota into just basically raising the white flag and quitting the fullsize truck market. Ram even beat TRDyota trucks in the latest JD Power 3 year survey for reliabilty.

            Ram, Canada’s longest lasting truck in gas and diesel.

            How about the big sales month Grand Cherokee had in Australia? Lot of Toyota butthurt there!

          • 0 avatar
            3Deuce27

            What ‘Hemi’… ?

            You all know it isn’t really a true hemi, don’t you?

            It is marketing hype. BS that sells.

      • 0 avatar

        QUENTIN

        I put 65,000 miles on my 6.1-l SRT8.

        I had to replace tires constanly cause I have a fetish for superchargers and rabbit-starts off every street light.

        The only repairs I needed to make were oxygen sensors at 50,000 and front-end damage due to my wicked cornering and ridiculously irresponsible driving.

        That car was bulletproof.

        • 0 avatar
          mkirk

          I have a 30-06 that says it isn’t bulletproof.

          • 0 avatar

            I’ll raise your 30-06 with my FN FAL .308.

          • 0 avatar
            CelticPete

            Hemi’s are pretty reliable. I think CR rated them as buy – the Challenger that is.

            It’s a little big for my taste – but still a great car. I will have to check out the refresh in 015 when they bring the 8 speed and new interior in. Supposedly its going to lose a little weight too – like 150lbs.

            I love an option for an aluminum block – that would save like another 200 or so.

    • 0 avatar

      More from the Automotive News article that TTAC conveniently chose to forget…

      “For example, in addition to the 328 sedan, BMW’s 3-series lineup includes pricier variants, such as a coupe, convertible and the M3 performance model. The ATS lineup consists of only the sedan, although a coupe and a high-performance V-series model are expected next year.”

      Basically, ATP’s will be lower because the ATS doesn’t have any real high end models yet…

      And…

      “ATS pricing is more competitive with other top luxury compacts. Through June, the sedan was within about $1,000 of Mercedes-Benz’s C-class sedan, and it topped the Audi A4′s average transaction price by about $2,000.”

      Blowing away the A4 is not bad…

      • 0 avatar
        SayMyName

        Settle down. The market is speaking, and ATSs are gathering dust right now. I’m sure GM would rather sell 1,000 ATSs at slight discounts than just a handful at $2000 above an Audi.

        It would do well for you and your fellow GM managers to listen to what customers are trying to tell you with their pocketbooks. The ATS appears to be a fine car – it lacks some polish compared with its best competitors, but not egregiously so – but the majority of customers are clearly telling you that , for the same money, it is not perceived to be close to the same league yet as an A4 or 3-Series. You can thank decades of subpar offerings from a “premium” brand for that.

        Give it time. In lieu of an established reputation, you have to sell on price. Put a competitive (read, cheaper) sticker price on it and, if the car is well-received, wait for the market to justify higher premiums. If Hyundai can do it, so should GM.

    • 0 avatar
      twotone

      “…they are strictly aversed to American cars and would buy a used BMW before a brand new American car.”

      That has been me for the last 30 years. I might consider an ATS when it becomes an under $10k used car in five years. Assuming that its long-term reliability statistics look good.

      • 0 avatar
        BuzzDog

        And therein lies the rub, and something I’m surprised has not been mentioned in 57 comments: Depreciation.

        In my opinion, a reason the ATS has trouble competing with the German marques is simple. Purchase price is in the same neighborhood, and total cost of ownership is yet to be known, so let’s assume it’s comparable…so far, a wash.

        But a buyer in this class is often buying status, which means trading relatively often. At this point in time, it’s easy to find a buyer for a used 3-series or C-class; lots of young buyers want to believe they’re driving a BMW or Benz for the price of a new Accord (they forget maintenance costs, of course). A used Cadillac? Not unsellable, but not as attractive as a used car, at least not in today’s market. It may change in the coming years, but it’s a crapshoot.

        As a nearly 50-year-old who buys cars in this price range and keeps them for 7 to 10 years, I’d probably pass on all of them, but definitely so for the ATS. Perhaps an outmoded perception on my part, but a mature, well-dressed guy tooling around in an older Benz looks classic and old money; it’s tough to say the same for the Cadillac.

        • 0 avatar
          ajla

          “but a mature, well-dressed guy tooling around in an older Benz looks classic and old money”

          A perfect 420SEL maybe, but does a W203 or W202 really impress anyone?

          I think even most W219s and W220s reek of BHPH social desperation these days.

          • 0 avatar
            BuzzDog

            Again, it’s just my opinion, so take it for what it’s worth…but in the older gentleman scenario, it’s not so much about “impressing anyone.” It’s more about the appearance that one has made a considered decision (which may or may not make actual financial sense) to continue to drive a well-maintained older Benz that one purchased new, or nearly new. Long-term Benz ownership once carried some fiscally conservative prestige; at least since the 1950s, long-term Cadillac ownership looks like you couldn’t afford to trade.

            You are correct about more recent Benzes. They’re not built as solidly as they once were, and chock-full of infotainment electronics that will become obselete, so the “old school” thinking of mine and others is getting shaky. Personally, I wish they’d go back to not chasing the latest trend, and building them like they’re carved from a single billet of metal.

            Still, I maintain that more buyers see a BMW or Benz as a more attractive used car than a compact Cadillac.

  • avatar
    Hummer

    The ATS is nice, but GM really needs not worry about challenging rival companies at this point, just make the better car and eventually it will catch on, however being able to price up such a small car to 52k, is rediculous in itself, BMW can get away with that because of their following and history, their known for quality 4 and 6 cyclinders.
    At that price it makes more sense for GM to simply out power them and drop in a simple V8, something that GM is well versed in.

    • 0 avatar
      mkirk

      GM can’t help itself. Every car they build is the next greatest car ever built. You are correct. They need to let the cars do the talking rather than the PR hacks.

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        I’m shocked that the average transaction price is as high as it is for the ATS (assuming the media is remotely accurate in reporting/verifying that figure).

        I expect the average transaction price to be significantly lower within a year and for the $0 down sign & drive, $289/month lease specials to be heavily advertised around November, when the ATS metal is stacked & racked on dealer lots DEEP.

        I also can’t help but notice that Caddy is moving a lot of CTS and SRX metal, relatively speaking, using very aggressive leasing tactics, as well as the shake up and departures of quite a few senior executives across GM divisions, including Cadillac, lately.

        p.s. – I don’t want the Ford fan boys to think I only rag on egoburst Ford models (I loathe many brands, including the new, chub-rub BMW and Toyolobotomized Subaru), so I wanted to run salt in Cadillac’s wounds and say the asses on both the XTS & CTS coupe are hideous, and this is all the more obvious when stuck behind either of them in traffic.

    • 0 avatar
      Chicago Dude

      “At that price it makes more sense for GM to simply out power them and drop in a simple V8, something that GM is well versed in.”

      If their goal is to sell even fewer cars, then yes, a V8 is just what the ATS needs. Out in the real world, people pay for their own fuel.

      • 0 avatar
        danio3834

        Depending on the configuration, a V8 wouln’t have much if any fuel economy penalties over some of the current engines. Some owners would be willing to pay a price premium and even take a fuel economy hit to have the extra power of the V8. Simply adding it to the option sheet wouldn’t result in less sales, if at anything, would result in more. The question is whether there are enough takers to justify the engineering investment.

        • 0 avatar
          Hummer

          I can’t see how a V8 would cost very much to add, a small block is not very big, both in size nor weight, trans back would very possibly stay the same as in the 3.6 option.

      • 0 avatar
        Hummer

        Lets see a 6.2 in the new vette can get around 26mpg, I’m pretty sure a 5.3 in the ATS could get around that as well, if not better.

        Why you believe V8s would get terrible mpg in a small car, I’m at a loss, but such is not so.

        GM will never beat BMW by playing by their rules, they must set their own standards and over deliver on everything, I mean honestly a lowcost V8 option would give the car a lot more credentials regardless if it was the top selling choice.

        • 0 avatar
          CJinSD

          I read an article in which Corvette C7 engineers said they went with the 6.2 liter to improve mileage on the EPA test, since it could operate as a V4 a greater percentage of the time than V8s with smaller displacements. Considering that a V8 ATS would weigh even more than the new GT Corvette, they’d probably want to stay with the 6.2 liter.

          • 0 avatar
            doctor olds

            @CJinSD- The ATS turbo is just 75 pounds heavier than the C7. Expect the 6.2L in another brand’s ATS architecture variants. Pity there won’t be a Pontiac as originally planned.

            Expect a twin turbo 3.6L in the ATS-V.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      The traditionalists with this kind of cash to spend should get the SS. The ATS is for social climbers and Mr./Mrs.Euro folks.

      • 0 avatar
        doctor olds

        Agreed. SS is much roomier. Performance variants will be far superior, though and that will be attractive to some of the same buyers.

        How about an LT1 Chevy variant? Whatever replaces SS will be an ATS derivative, engineering and developed in Michigan, built in Lansing! ATS is particularly exciting in its use of GM’s manufacturing technology developmental capability that enables it to be lighter than BMW and cheaper to built at the same time. Dump CAFE and we might have 380HP 5.3L Malibus that give the Germans a run at $19,995. They’d still get 30+ mpg. Another dream.

  • avatar
    Freddy M

    I’m far from being a GM guy. In fact, GM products usually rank near the bottom of my wish list (not that I see them as inferior, I just don’t prefer them). But I always did have a weird affinity for Cadillac and such news disappoints me on their behalf.

    Although, I absolutely agree that Cadillac’s mission to break into the luxury elite won’t happen overnight, and I really hope that these current setbacks won’t detract GM brass from the overall long term goal, which is what is needed to ultimately succeed.

  • avatar
    Lie2me

    Pricing the ATS the same as the “3″ series was not the best strategy. I think pricing it at 3-5K below would have attracted the first time “3″ buyer who may have thought the BMW’s price just beyond his reach. The ATS thus would provide a car of similar performance at an easier price point and perhaps a new long time customer for Cadillac

    • 0 avatar
      Land Ark

      I agree. It would seem that GM missed an apportunity to be the Hyundai of luxury cars. Price the cars right and people get curious, if the quality is there and people feel like they are getting a bargain then they will buy. As your reputation gains momentum, the price can go up.
      By pricing them the same as the benchmark you are making a statement that you better be able to back up – which is to actually be better than the benchmark, because with both being equal, most people will stick with the benchmark. I don’t think the ATS is that car.

      • 0 avatar
        cognoscenti

        +1. As a former owner of many BMWs but a fan of the ATS, this statement is spot on. If the ATS is the new E46 3-Series, then price it so the person who aspires to a F30 3-Series can be hooked into the greatly improved Cadillac product – then keep ‘em hooked with continued good product!

    • 0 avatar
      mkirk

      They have been doing this for years. Problem was of course the car’s were overpriced still for what they were. The cars are better now but people have memories.

    • 0 avatar
      thornmark

      Isn’t that what Lexus did w/ the LS? Seems like the proper strategy.

      The 3 series must have some aggressive lease deals out there. In SW CT it seems they are the most popular car extant, from high schoolers to grannies. Little wonder they are diluting the characteristics that once defined BMW. I guess the One series is for their devotees rather than the dilettantes.

  • avatar
    pbxtech

    It takes a long time to rebuild trust.

  • avatar
    danio3834

    I’d look hard at an ATS if I hadn’t already gotten a Charger. Sorry Caddy, the siren song of the Hemi was too great.

  • avatar
    mkirk

    Not sure it is relevant. Do a lot of 3 series buyers “I want an athletic, smallish RWD sedan…let me see what is available and compare?” Then they head to the BMW dealer after cross shopping? I think the answer is probably not. I think the average 3 buyer says “I want a BMW” and buys it because it is the cheapest one in the showroom (Perhaps the 1 is a little less, but not much and the 3 is a more usable size).

    GM would be wise to under promise and over deliver on the Cadillac line for 10-15 years and then buyers will start to notice. This is a market that takes some time to cultivate. BTW, anyone notice the incentives on the 3 were in the ballpark with the Cadillac? There was a time when BMW’s got sticker plus. How the mighty have fallen.

    • 0 avatar
      CelticPete

      I think people do cross shop – but only if they were open to an american make in the first place. The issue is when it comes to high speed – fun to drive and somewhat comfortable cars.. The Germans have a well earned reputation..

      Reputation interestingly drives so many car purchases. Plenty of people don’t even test drive cars – nevermind cross shop. I don’t really care for the Cadillac’s design style, personally. But the car itself is pretty nice.

      I do think it something to keep your eye on for a future used purchase. I say this because I personally think it would be cheaper to repair an ATS then a used 328..

      Generally speaking in the ‘home’ country the domestic make is cheaper. In Germany – Volkswagen are considered reliable and durable so I am told. I imagine they have great parts availaibiity there..

  • avatar
    mike978

    A fair article, but did anyone seriously think it would compete with the 3 straight out the gate?

    I note the following from the rest of the quoted article :

    “Cadillac spokesman David Caldwell says the ATS is achieving the goal of bringing new, younger consumers to Cadillac. He says 74 percent of ATS buyers are new to the brand and 20 percent of buyers are under age 35.

    ATS pricing is more competitive with other top luxury compacts. Through June, the sedan was within about $1,000 of Mercedes-Benz’s C-class sedan, and it topped the Audi A4′s average transaction price by about $2,000.

    The pace of ATS sales — Cadillac sold 22,088 units this year through July — has been on target with analysts’ estimates.”

    So it is meeting sales expectations, competes on price with Audi and MB and is bringing new customers to the brand. Not bad for a new entrant.

  • avatar
    Land Ark

    My dad was an American car buyer. He had an ’88 Vette, briefly had a foray with a ’90 Jag XJ6, then a ’93 Bonneville SSEi, ’96 Seville STS, 2001 STS and after the second STS was having the same common problems as the first (I forget what it was – but it always seemed to have warning lights on) he decided to see what all the fuss about the BMWs was about. He leased a 2006 BMW 328xi and has done nothing but tell me what a fantastic car it is, the best handling car he’s ever driven. The only complaint he had was that he wishes he had gone with the 335 for the additional power.
    It’s had some problems, but he liked it so much he bought it off lease and it has well over 100k on it.
    So when the time finally comes to replace it, will he cross shop the ATS? Flatly – no.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    The better question is it ATS failing to meet internal projections in those regions or does Cadillac at large fail to meet those projections?

  • avatar
    hreardon

    I shopped ATSes a few months ago. I drove a well equipped 3.6, which had a superb chassis and decent (but somewhat coarse) engine, and a 2.0T + 6MT, which handled great – but was very coarse for the price.

    My takeaway after both of these cars is that the ATS is very nice, but there are a few deal breakers for me:
    1. Coarseness of the 2.0T
    2. Cramped interior
    3. CUE. I loathe it.

    From a dynamics and chassis standpoint the car is brilliant. Really, really good. But as usual, it’s the details where I am let down.

    Cadillac made a big mistake pricing in Benz-BMW territory where even Audi cannot command the same pricing power just yet. It will take Cadillac another ten years before they can price competitively – in the meantime they need to keep churning out good product and just keep making it better.

    I imagine that the midcycle refresh of the ATS could really blow people away if they fix the small things.

  • avatar
    tikki50

    The biggest issue I have with GM cars and the ATS included is that lately the trim levels are junk. You have to jump really high to get just about anything good. The 3 series a mid grade trim is pretty nice. GM needs to do a much better job on the lower trim levels. Come on add some damn fog lamps bits to the trim, Im not paying for a F_ing sticker on the back! The Impala is horrible looking until to reach the LTZ package, imagine that.

  • avatar
    thegamper

    One would think solving the inventory problem would help transaction prices. I think $40k for the ATS is a pretty solid victory. The ATS is most likely profitable at that price point and the volume Cadillac is doing in the ATS is serving a purpose for the brand. 75% of buyers are new to the brand. That may be worth the $4000 price difference between the ATS and 3 series. I will be getting a new car in the next six months and the ATS is one of two cars I am considering. I will be pleased if I can get a great price. I drove a 2.0T with 6MT and liked it quite a bit. I dont find the interior to be all that cramped. At 6 feet tall, I can sit comfortably in the back seat. A few more inches of head room would be nice though. A trunk that fit more than one golf bag would be nice as well. My main complaint is the option bundling. I would basically have to pay an additional $5-7k in options if I were hell bent on getting fog lamps. Just stupid. But overall, I think this car is a solid value.

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      Its a very good car. If I didn’t have children I would buy one.

    • 0 avatar
      mike978

      Agreed, they need to polish this car over the next few model years. If they are serious about doing well in the luxury segment (and cars in general) then their willingness to improve the car every model year is necessary and will give us a good indication of whether this is the
      “new GM” or the same old.

      Having >100 days supply though is a bad sign regardless of transaction price.

  • avatar
    bball40dtw

    So the real transaction price is about $35K after rebates?

  • avatar
    tomLU86

    This is not rocket science. The sr mgrs at GM are simply a little deluded and have big egos, or are swinging for the fences to get their big bonuses (boni?).

    The car should not have a 2.5 liter, sub 200-hp four cylinder as a base engine. The base engine should have been the turbo 4, and it should have been priced like the 2.5 liter. The 3.6 V6 should have been priced like the Turbo 4.

    Baiting people into showrooms with “under $34,000 MSRP” for not bad, but certainly NOT luxury class 4-cylinder, and having them discover that a turbo 4 is running around $40k with options is not the way to pry customers from BMW or even Audi.

    Which is too bad, because the car, at least in “Sport Trim” (another option) does ride and handle better than the 3-series or any other competitors.

    Great car (not exceptional, but great) marred by poor market strategy by people who live in the delusion that everything GM is the best and don’t realize GM must still pay penance for the Cimarrons, Azteks, and Ions of thw world–as unfair as that is.

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      People lease luxury cars for the most part. As long as they have a better monthly payment than the competitors, people won’t care about MSRP.

      I may not like the 2.5L either, but Mercedes and BMW have comparably powered engines in the C-Class and 3-series. However, they have enough brand equity that people lease the cheapest german sedan they can and not care.

      I think Jack had a suggestion that the ATS have only a V8 option for the same price. That’s a policy that I can get behind.

  • avatar
    th009

    $500 really isn’t that big a difference in the incentive levels. Maybe there is some additional dealer discounting for the ATS — but I would bet that a big part of the difference in the transaction price is due to the extensive (and expensive!) options list on the 3-series.

  • avatar
    FractureCritical

    I think people just aren’t optioning out the ATS like they are the BMW. You basically have to pony up almost $3k to get optional equipment on a 3 series that otherwise comes standard on a 4 banger Corolla. I admit I didn’t directly compare the content of the two car’s option sheets, but generally speaking, few companies are as mercenary about options as the Germans.

    Also, and I doubt it was intentional, but pricing the ATS in the same set as the 3 series and then backing-off with incentives offers a perceived ‘deal value’ to potential customers.

  • avatar
    Richard

    Here’s the answer. 2014 IS250 F Sport AWD Navigation loaded,$459/36mo. $985 due @ inception plus tax & tags.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    I would be curious to know what the #1 car is being traded in on the ATS. American brand, German brand? People ditching Mercedes C-class hoping the Caddy will be more reliable? Former 3-series owners who want to give GM a try? Lincoln customers who desperately want RWD?

    The answer to that would be very telling for Cadillacs future.

  • avatar
    redliner

    Part of the reason the A4, 3 series and C-class do so well is that they are mini-me versions of the flagship sedan. People like that their A4 looks like an A6 which looks like an A8. Cadillac has no real flagship. (or they have 2, depending on how you look at it) so the ATS has no real counterpart on the other side of the spectrum. It’s all alone, and people like to follow the herd.

  • avatar
    carguy

    The way to break into any segment is to offer better value than the competition and the current pricing strategy of the ATS simply doesn’t do that.

    To make progress they need to rethink their engine pricing strategy. The NA 2.5 is a waste of time and the 2.0T is simply too coarse to be in anything that approaches $40K. The 3.6 is great but who is going to pay $50K for an engine that is the entry level motivation in a $21K Camaro?

    They should drop the 2.5, make the 2.0T the entry level rental fodder and focus on getting a well equipped 3.6 out the door for around $40K or less.

    • 0 avatar
      hreardon

      Bingo, carguy. If you are going to enter an entrenched segment you need to bring something to the table better than marketing that says “hey, we ran the Nurburgring in xxx minutes”.

      Cadillac has a lot of really, really good stuff in the ATS but they haven’t fully developed the value proposition. For decades Audi was a ‘value’ compared to BMW and Benz – it’s only very, very recently that they’ve started to earn pricing power that brings Audi closer to BMW and Benz transaction prices. And even at that Audi’s still cannot command the same pricing power. For Cadillac to think it can do this overnight is a fools dream. It will take them another ten years or better of solid product sold at a good value proposition.

      Lexus used the same approach when first launched in the US. They were always considered a very good value and that helped them build their brand awareness and eventually command higher transaction prices. This takes decades!

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    Pretty much echoing what people have said here. GM needs to lower the price a bit and add in a dash of refinement if they want to chase BMW.

    But it’s worth noting that the ATS may well be the first 3-series wannabe with a better-sorted chassis than the 3. That’s no small feat.

  • avatar
    TMA1

    I read elsewhere today that Infiniti is pricing the 2014 G37 (to sit next to the Q50 in dealer showrooms) starting at $33,455, and that’s with a 300+hp V6. That’s a $4,000 price drop off the ’13 model, and priced only $400 more than the Caddy with the 2.5.

    If you’re willing to live with a “course” powerplant (something the VQ in the Infiniti is infamous for), wouldn’t you like some power to go along with that as well?

    In the past two weeks, I’ve seen a $3,000 price drop on the 370z, $4,000 on the G37, and $5,000 on the Volt. Only goes to show how overpriced these low-volume cars (including the ATS) really are.

    • 0 avatar
      CelticPete

      The G37 seems more fun to drive then the new Q50. But it not only has the coarse engine – but it has a seriously outdated interior (hence the new car). It also has alot of road and wind noise according to the guys at Fast Lane Car.

      So for a young guy looking for a slightly more luxurious Z car. Nice deal… For the older couple looking for a nice riding but fast enough sporty cruiser.. They probably want to look elsewhere at this point.

      I’d also point out the G37 new bargain models lack a few go fast options the young guys would like.. I forget what the changes are off-hand. I think no brembo brakes and LSD..but could be wrong.

      • 0 avatar
        TMA1

        I’m only trying to compare the G37 to the Cadillac you’d get for the same price. They might both be strippers, but you won’t see a V6 in the Cadillac for less than $42,000. The 2.0T starts at $36,000. And those are just the base “luxury” trims. I doubt you’ll be able to get brembo brakes or LSD until you upgrade to the “performance” or “premium” trim levels for several more thousand dollars.

        Apples to apples, a $33,000 G37 with 300+hp seems like a much funner proposition than a $33,000 ATS with a NA 4 cyl. Every review of the 4-powered ATS that I’ve read criticizes the engines, and that goes for both the 2.5 and the 2.0T.

        I mean, I would take the V6 ATS over the G37 if they were the same price, but the Infiniti just seems like such a performance bargain over the 2.5 ATS.

        • 0 avatar

          You are WAY off on your prices. The G37 STARTS at $37K and if you want any kind of fun (Sport 6MT) you are at $42K – check it out yourself…

          http://www.infinitiusa.com/buildyourinfiniti/retailerLocator/results

          And the $42K for the ATS is the “Performance Trim”, not the base.

          Also calling BS on your so called bad reviews of the 2.0T. At 270hp (highest SAE hp/liter of any engine), it is far from under achieving.

          • 0 avatar
            TMA1

            Did you read what I wrote? It was just announced that the 2014 model would start $33K. Not the 2013 model. This is to make room for the Q50 in the lineup, which starts below the 2013 G37 prices. It was reported on another site.

            I did make one mistake though – the G37 price is dropping $4800, not $4000.

            The base ATS 3.6 in “luxury” trim starts at $42,020. I’m looking right at Cadillac’s website.

            Apples-to-apples, V6-stripper-to-V6-stripper, the ATS costs $8,500 more.

            Just looking at the Cadillac website again, in the configurator, the base 2.5 starts at $33,990 (not sure why the front page says it starts at $33,065 – destination?), 2.0T at $35,795, and 3.6 at $42,020.

            Sad thing about that 2.0T, that is the “standard” trim. You have to add another $4500 before you can start adding options.

  • avatar
    el scotto

    Why don’t they put the Camaro’s V-8 in the ATS? Lots and lots of aftermarket parts. Bun warmers and headers? I’ll take mine in candy apple red.

  • avatar
    cartunez

    Fully optioned out @40K and make the warranty 5yr bumper to bumper unlimited mileage plus 10 yr 150K power train they would sell them all day long.

  • avatar
    3Deuce27

    When it comes to a luxury brand vehicle, most, beyond middle age want a comfortable vehicle that is easy to get in and out. And while the ATS is a comfortable car, it size is such that it doesn’t cover that segment of buyers, well.

    As for the younger demographic with the means to buy a car in this segment, I bet a lot of them are waiting for a coupe, especially those young or older who want a sporty car that also has the look of a sporty car.

    As for myself, being of a seriously advanced age, I’m waiting for a coupe, an ATS-V coupe. I haven’t much use for 4-drs. unless they have a long roof, and that isn’t available with an ATS, either.

    I think the ATS will do well, especially if Cadillac gets behind it with a racing program like they did with the CTS-V. The old slogan… Win on weekends sell on Monday’, still applies.

  • avatar
    VenomV12

    If you think the ATS has problems wait until the new CTS goes on sale. The ATS backseat is horrible, too small and the price it too high and that is all I will say about the car. It does drive and handle well and the brakes are very good.

    I saw the new CTS on the road today and I will tell you, all those awesome photos of it that Cadillac has, it does not look like this in real life. The back is downright bland and the front it way too busy and large. It is an explosion of LED and the light line is way too long. It comes from the top of the hood and goes straight down all the way to the bottom of the bumper and it is too much. The XTS pulled off its design way better than the new CTS. With the massive jump in price and the look not being that great, GM is going to get killed on the new CTS. It is weird because it is a brand new, not available for sale car, yet it blends right into traffic and gets little attention.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      “The XTS pulled off its design way better than the new CTS.”

      Wow that’s just sad if this is truly the case with CTS. If the XTS is pulling itself off better than the rest of the lineup, then its time for a Cadillac deathwatch.

      • 0 avatar
        VenomV12

        It was truly underwhelming. It was silver and in front of me and the first giveaway that it was the new CTS was the 2.0T badge. Then it had some integrated tailpipes that looked okay. The back though looks kind of fat and the taillights not good. Look at the back of the upcoming S Class and it is similar looking to me. Then when I got in front of it the mouth looks too big, like it belongs on something that would be in the S Class/7 Series range and it is wide at the very bottom. But that long continuous LED strip of lights is way too much, way over the top. Looks like some sort of Tron car or something.

        I was excited about this car from the photos they showed, but in real life it was pretty underwhelming until it overwhelms you at the front. It was like the front and the back of the car were designed by two different people. If you are driving a BMW or Audi or Jaguar, I don’t think this car will steal you away. Cadillac has way too many cars that are bottled up in the same price range too, it does not make sense.


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