By on November 23, 2009

The search for Eldorado?

I was wandering the GM Heritage Center with Jaguar designer Ian Callum (yes, a write-up of that interview is coming), when a Cadillac PR man took me aside and offered to have me flown down to Los Angeles to “check out” this new CTS Coupe. My initial reaction was surprise that the offer was made at all. My second was to explain that I couldn’t possibly accept airfare. TTAC has a strict disclosure policy, and our Best and Brightest would doubtless take a dim view of any coverage made possible by an OEM picking up an airfare tab. Especially if I actually like the car, I explained, such a disclosure would create understandable skepticism. Paying TTAC’s way will always be self-defeating. Still, I thought, LA isn’t that far. I remained tempted to make the trip on the TTAC tab, right up to the point where I realized that by “check out,” Cadillac did not mean “drive.” An invite arrived, clarifying that this was an “opportunity to see the car before the LA Show and to visit with Bryan Nesbitt, general manager of Cadillac and Clay Dean, director of design for Cadillac.” No thanks. I saw the CTS Coupe before the LA Auto Show… in a Cadillac advertisement. Thanks for the invitation, Cadillac… but TTAC needs to drive something to drag itself away from the keyboard.

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15 Comments on “What’s Wrong With This Picture: Re-Coupe-ing The Investment Edition...”

  • avatar
    Mirko Reinhardt

    It’s a Cadillac CTS with the butt of a 2002-2007 Nissan Primera. And that sold so bad that Nissan just gave up on mid-size cars in Europe after it.

  • avatar

    I think you’d be better served finding using a network person you trust in LA to talk to Nesbitt and Dean on your behalf.  Even if you see no value here, you’re also squandering an opportunity to learn more about the car.  Maybe it’s not worth your time to foot air fare to go look at a show car early ask questions, but some people are really passionate about the industry wouldn’t pass up the opportunity if air fare were not a consideration.

    • 0 avatar

      You’re kidding, right?  ‘Ask questions’ typically means getting more spin than actual facts on the car, and since facts on the car will be readily available soon anyway, what’s the point.
      To Ed’s point, if they offered a test drive, that’s a different story.  GM sees this as simply another source of viral marketing, one well worth the cost of airfare.

    • 0 avatar
      John Horner

      Holydonut makes a lot of sense here. One big advantage of the TTAC model is that the worker bees are geographically dispersed and work for peanuts. Who knows, something interesting might be learned visiting Cadillac’s yak attack. If nothing else, TTAC would be likely to give a more interesting take on the event than the usual suspects are likely to report.

  • avatar

    I actually find those photo op. articles unreadable when the magazines do them. Besides, what are you going to learn about the car that we don’t know already? It’s not like you’d show up to find a rotary engine under the hood. 

    Also, I might be alone on this, but I couldn’t care less if you took airfare. The problem arises when the disclosure is swept under the rug, or when the business model begins to revolve around these trips (the magazine problem), and you need to toady up to keep getting them.

  • avatar
    John Horner

    Personally I don’t see any problem with accepting mfg. airfare and/or accommodations in order to attend press events. Full disclosure of what the mfg. paid for should be more than enough to put any ethical concerns to rest IMO.

  • avatar

       +1 on not giving a rats a$$ on the airfare thing.  Just disclose it.  We know that you’ll speak the truth. 
        Furthermore, why not go down there and perhaps, develop a rapport with them?  It could lead to future early info and test-drives of Cadillac products. 

  • avatar
    bumpy ii

    Bah. All you folks thinking it’s okay to go in the tank for GM’s PR efforts need to watch The Velvet Alley.

  • avatar

    @ jkross22
    The irony talking about more spin than facts is funny coming from a reader of TTAC.

  • avatar

    Am I the only one who thinks the CTS coupe looks like a VW Corrado with vertical head and tail lamps and a blingy grille?

    • 0 avatar

      I think it looks more Pontiac G6 GT coupe all Caddied-up with their design language.  The overall appearance of both the CTS coupe and the G6GT are more cab-forward than I remember the Corrado (my “obtainable” dream car when I was about 10).  Also the Corrado appeared to be a hatchback; these others just look like fastback/mailslot versions of a normal sedan.

  • avatar

    TTAC’s Alex Dykes will be in town covering the LA Auto Show for us anyway, and I’ve forwarded Cadillac’s invitation on to him. I simply can’t justify flying myself down to LA for a non-driving press event, given TTAC’s limited budget.
    As for the airfare issue, I would accept it (with full disclosure, of course) if it meant a driving experience to report on. Accepting a handout in order to report on a conversation about styling (especially when it’s an existing design minus two doors) simply wouldn’t improve TTAC’s credibility… and credibility is all we have.

  • avatar

    I agree with you Ed. I’d accept if there was a driving portion involved. It gives me something both tangible and intagible to report on and, as always, the truth would revealed. But since this is just another version of the CTS (a good car notwithstanding) I’ll pass.

  • avatar

    It needs to be named CTC, Eldorado II Junior, or Corrado-Big-Butt.

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