Cadillac RIP

Frank Williams
by Frank Williams
cadillac rip

Big Cadillacs are an endangered species. Unnamed "people familiar with the situation" told Bloomberg that Caddy is adding more versions of the CTS and smaller SUVs while putting the replacements for updating the DTS and STS on hold. The Hamtramck, Michigan plant where the DTS is built alongside with the Buick Lucerne is scheduled to switch over to produce the Volt in 2010. What happens to the biggest of Cadillac's cars after that is pretty much up in the air. The future of the STS, which is built in the same plant as the CTS, is equally uncertain. While some industry experts say "it's the absolute right thing to do right now" because of declining sales of the big cars and stricter CAFE standards, they're missing an important point completely: when the DTS goes, Cadillac's last ties with its past also go – remember, DTS originally stood for "Deville Touring Sedan." It will mark the final step in taking Cadillac totally downmarket and mainstreaming a brand that once had a proud luxury heritage. Lincoln's done it and now Cadillac is doing it. Sad. Truly sad.

Join the conversation
4 of 78 comments
  • Billc83 Billc83 on Aug 12, 2008

    Sorry, I'm a little late to the party here. Frankly, I don't think Cadillac has been the same since the 80's. I can argue against the multiple debacles during that period, including the V 8-6-4 engine, Caddies fitted with horrid diesel engines, and the subsequent downsizing and switch to FWD in 1984. Let’s not even begin to talk about the Cadillac Cimarron, a car that, much like Packard’s 120 (“Junior Packard”) produced during the Great Depression, single-handedly left the brand’s credibility in shambles. Though Cadillac has made great strides to regain a foothold in the luxury market, even I, an admitted fan of the “Crest and Wreath,” would agree they haven’t quite reached the top of the summit. I agree with many of the posters who say Cadillac needs a flagship model, and I am an advocate of putting the Sixteen concept into production yesterday. Also, the badge-engineered Saab 9-3 Cadillac BLS is slated to come to the states (I believe in 2010), despite near non-existent sales across the pond. Cadillac simply cannot afford to do this. Another badge-engineered model, especially one priced lower than the current CTS, would be suicide (lest we forget the aforementioned Cimarron and Opel-based Catera). The current CTS is a righteous vehicle; I had the chance to drive one and thought it extremely capable. I don’t think the death of the DTS should merit a tombstone for the brand, as long as it is replaced by something good, fast. If a flagship Sixteen were being produced, this could serve as the 7-Series/S-Class/LS fighter, the replacement DTS/STS as the 5-Series/E-Class bogie, while the CTS continues against the 3-Series/C-Class segment. One of Cadillac’s many problems is that the DeVille/DTS (or is that Seville/STS?) has been the flagship Caddy since the death of the Fleetwood, leaving the upper-end luxury sedan game open for BMW, Mercedes, and Lexus to play. By the way, this is my first post at TTAC, so don’t massacre my arguments too hard. Looking forward to being part of the community.

  • Doctorv8 Doctorv8 on Aug 12, 2008
    I know a few people who have Corvettes. They’re good cars, but driven remotely hard their mileage doesn’t quite live up to EPA standards. And what car does? The EPA standard loop, though revised for 2008, is not meant to be a performance oriented drive. My Vettes have actually delivered 30+ mpg on the highway, which is even higher than EPA ratings, and I'm not obeying the speed limit, either. As the saying goes.....YMMV!

  • Davey49 Davey49 on Aug 12, 2008

    I believe that Cadillacs should be big. The longest and widest vehicles made/sold in the US. I'd rather not see a 3-series fighter from Cadillac as that could be handled by Saturn or Pontiac.

  • USluxuryman USluxuryman on Aug 13, 2008

    Please don't turn your back on or abandon your Customers, GM! I hope like hell that GM doesn't kill the replacement for the STS/DTS models! I own a 2006 DTS, and I love it! GM has gold in their hands, if the make some decent decisions, like they have recently with Cadillac! The BMW is small,hard-riding,over-priced, and over-rated! The Mercedes is small for the money,over-priced, and unreliable mechanically! I am 53 yrs. old, don't consider myself old,or a Senior Citizen (although there is not a damn thing wrong with being one!), or old-fashioned or stuck in the past because I didn't buy a Japanese or German Luxury Sedan instead of a Cadillac DTS! When I go around curves, my suspension tightens up fine, and I didn't have to pay $70,000 plus another $3,000--$5,000 for a Sport Package to get it either! I am just as proud of my buying decision as a person with a Lexus that has trouble finding the right gear with their new 8-speed Tranny! Check the Sept. issue of Motor Trend! GM needs a Flagship, and this should be the competitor to the 'Benzes/BMW/Lexus/AUDI models! It doesn't need to cost $100,000, but needs to exude Luxury,Power,Elegance, Status,Technology,Craftsmanship,and updated ATHLETICISM! A Lexus may be a quiet,refined Appliance, but it has no Soul or character except being TECHNICALLY POLISHED! At least a Mercedes or BMW or Cadillac has a distinct character and soul for you to experience and enjoy as you drive! You Domestic-haters try to criticize Caddy and Lincolns as being to soft,floaty, or isolated from the road? What the hell do you think a Lexus is? I hope GM is not stupid enough to kill these cars, you need to look around and see how many foreign cars that are still Front-Wheel Drive! I know that they were gonna go RWD on the replacement, and they need it LIKE YESTERDAY! GM is capable of building great Cars, but must be given an open-minded chance, despite the Idiots that hate everything GM and the rest of the Big Three make, even if they HAVEN'T DRIVEN THEM! This is a Halo Car, even though they have sold Big Numbers of the Deville/DHS/DTS models over the years! Reviewers have biases, just like customers have preferences, although many potential customers have been unfairly and/or inaccurately misled by the Auto press on issues of quality, reliability, and durability! BMW just announced a recall on their 200,000 of their 3-Series and 5-Series Sedans due to the right front Air Bag not deploying! It happens to everybody from time to time! I do think that Japanese and European Manufacturers have much more long-term vision in running their companies. There are not so richly rewarded when they are not doing well as a company either! GM can and does build, some Great cars! Of course they have made some mistakes over the years, but this is the same company that makes the Corvette and CTS and Malibu! The effect of buying foreign cars over many fine Domestic Cars, is devastating to our economy, and flies in the face of some solid logic and facts. GM has many old Chevys,Pontiacs, and Buicks running the street these days(many with carburetors) as a testament to their durability! GM needs a flagship to show the World that they can compete with anyone! GM you need this vehicle, and you need a HOME RUN!