Cadillac's Peffer Resigns Amid Falling Sales
Sales of Cadillac’s lineup have fallen as of late in comparison to last year’s figures, prompting the brand’s U.S. vice president of sales and service, Bill Peffer, to resign his post.
The Detroit News reports Peffer handed the reins over to interim vice president Kurt McNeil last Tuesday. McNeil is General Motors’ vice president of U.S. sales operations, and held Peffer’s post once before, from 2011 through 2012.
Peffer was hired last autumn by GM from Nissan, where he served as the latter’s CEO for the brand’s operations in Australia, replacing the previous brand’s VP, Chase Hawkins, for “violating a company policy.” Hawkins was VP for one year prior to his firing.
Sales in the United States are down 2.3 percent year-over-year from January through May of this year, the XTS and ATS leading the way with 20 percent less sales in the same period compared to what they were in 2013. Though GM leadership are hoping for double-digit growth in 2014, Peter Nagel of IHS claims Cadillac will only gain 5 percent in U.S. sales this year, far from the 22 percent experienced the previous year.
I won't be crying any tears for Bill, he's incompetent at best, and a complete ass. Speaking from first-hand experience. I guess they can be thankful that they've gotten rid of him before he could completely screw the division.
Just spent some time in a Cadillac dealership. Wife was looking for a car and was pretty much set on a Mercedes GL450, after trying and eliminating Lexus GX (smaller and less versatile inside, engine feels weak despite on-paper horsepower, a few other things) and Lexus LX - overpriced for what you get, dated design, may be extremely capable offroad but we don't care (our opinions, obviously). Tried Cadillac Escalade - sure, has plenty of hand-stitched leather but overall lacking in refinement in all areas except the CUE system. Regardless of whatever super duper suspension it has, it has huge rims and the ride was harsh and very truck like. The six speed gearbox in the escalade is nowhere as smooth as the Mercedes gearbox. I was quite disappointed actually because I expected some super-duper plush luxury and got your usual truck with some nice trimmings. I rented a Tahoe last year (previous gen) and IMHO the Tahoe with smaller wheels and bigger tires had a nicer ride. Great example of what's wrong with GM design. Both GL450 and Escalade have power folding second row seats. The difference is - in the Mercedes the driver/passenger seat would automatically move forward if there is not enough space for the second row seat to fold. In the Escalade the second row seat gets stuck until you manually move the front seat forward. I was looking at it and thinking "yeah, this is classic GM for you". For the kind of money that GM is charging for the Escalade you expect a much higher level of refinement. If there are people buying the Escalade, good for GM, I guess, but as a luxury car to me it's not even close to the GL450 or the diesel GL (or to my Q7 TDI for that matter). I still like the Tahoe and IMHO if you want a huge truck based SUV this is a much better value than the Escalade.
My exposure to Caddy is via the dealer, like the rest of us...inconsistent at best. Caddy pricing and selection is very confusing. The multiple trim and option levels appear to exist to destroy any notions of cross shopping as you won't ever find the same car twice. I'm all for being able to buy what you want, but as most folks go "off the lot", this does not help. Pricing is nosebleed. Did they hire BMW marketers to set them ? You can only do that when your car is the top of every comparison test for ten years running.... Oh, and I liked the ATS. Why they copied the BMW back seat too small (for 'Muricans) was confusing. Even BMW found a few inches between e46 and e90. Car and chassis, though, very nice. Shame it is sold by Caddy dealers.
I really hope TTAC has it on solid authority that he "resigned", as in, shitcanned for poor performance, and not just left that hellhole to do better things with his life. Dismal product + really bad safety news about the company cannot make good sales. Oh sure, let's fire Someone!