By on September 24, 2014

American Hustle Cadillac Eldorado

Now that Cadillac and 50 of its B&B have packed up and moved out of Detroit for the American hustle of New York, what do those closest to the brand have to say about the move? General Motors product boss Mark Reuss has a couple of cents to spare.

According to Autoblog, Reuss believes the move to New York will help “elevate” Cadillac’s profile onto the radar screens of “some of the people we’d to be on,” particularly those on the coasts who are smitten with BMW, Mercedes and Lexus.

With the premium brand now calling the neighborhood of SoHo home — engineering and design left behind in Detroit — Reuss says brand president Johan de Nysschen and marketing officer Uwe Ellinghaus will be able to better re-examine where Cadillac stands in the luxury game.

Meanwhile, GM CEO Mary Barra had this to say to The Detroit News and other reporters after her appearance on a panel at the annual Clinton Global Initiative in New York:

When you look at how important Cadillac is, we need to have that team dedicated — thinking Cadillac day in and day out. When you think about New York, it’s the perfect place to be. It’s where a lot of luxury is defined. It’s trend-setting — so I think it’s going to be very, very positive.

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101 Comments on “Reuss: Cadillac Move To NYC Will Elevate Brand Profile...”


  • avatar

    Here’s a tip: instead of GM spending half a billion on Chevrolet sponsoring of Manchester United (mind you, Chevrolet will not pursue European sales any more because of Opel)… start sponsoring the U.S. Open, which is after all in NY. If I notice the three-pointed Mercedes star watching the U.S. Open, Americans definitely will.

    • 0 avatar
      bosozoku

      Terrific suggestion! That is exactly the audience they’re trying to reach.

    • 0 avatar
      thornmark

      The guy who inked that uniquely stupid deal, Joel Ewanick, came from Nissan after a month and a half there and GM made him head of global marketing. So it makes sense that the Cadillac wizard came from Infiniti after a few months there.

      Oh, and Ewanick said the deal was a “no brainer”.
      http://adage.com/article/news/joel-ewanick-speaks-departure-gm/244775/

      Literally, that must be true.

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      The Man United deal was intended primarily to appeal to Asians, not to Europeans.

      Most Europeans support a team that isn’t Man U, one which is most likely local to them. (There are even a lot of people in Manchester who support a different team — Man City — instead of Man United.)

      Man United is probably the most valuable and recognized sports franchise in the world. There is no US sport team with this global reach.

      Asians like Man United because they think that it’s cool. Not a bad idea to find a tie-in with that.

      The beef between Akerson and Ewanick must have been over something else, otherwise GM would have nixed the deal. Actions speak louder than words.

  • avatar
    Land Ark

    Finally, a car company understands that the #1 factor in whether or not I buy a new car is where its corporate headquarters are.

    • 0 avatar
      Sceptic

      Best. Comment. Ever.
      Time for another GM Death Watch?

      • 0 avatar
        frozenman

        They shoulda moved to Jersey!

      • 0 avatar
        TorontoSkeptic

        I like it, maybe we can have sub-brand death watches instead now?

        “Cadillac Deathwatch”
        “Buick going Chinese market only watch”
        “GMC irrelevancy watch”

        • 0 avatar
          bosozoku

          At least GMC has relevant products, even if they are exclusively rebadged Chevy trucks. The other two, especially Buick, I have no idea what they’re still around for.

          • 0 avatar
            TorontoSkeptic

            That’s kind of my question… are “exclusively rebadged Chevy trucks” relevant? I don’t know the answer, because I don’t really know anything about trucks.

            As far as I know GMC is a relic of Mercury/Oldsmobile segmentation thinking, where we assume there is a unique demographic profile of someone who wants something better (more expensive) than a Chevy but cheaper/more functional than a Cadillac. So you just fiddle with the trim and badge and seats and voila, it’s a new brand.

          • 0 avatar
            stuki

            GMC vs Chevy can, at least in theory, get around issues of excessive power concentration amongst a Chevy franchise owner…. A long time ago I remember speaking with a Hispanic multi GMC truck buyer, who wowed to never buy Chevy because the local dealer was a “racist.”

          • 0 avatar
            Whatnext

            I expect Buick’s around to appeal to its large base in the world’s biggest vehicle market. Oh wait, you’re looking at the world through Amerocentric eyes weren’t you…

  • avatar
    IHateCars

    Lol…As soon as I saw the pic of the old Eldorado, that Rare Earth song riff started playing in my head.

  • avatar
    Detroit-X

    Continuing evidence that GM is still using extraneous theories to blame/solve their problems on, rather than product performance a result of poor management decisions. Culture changed? I think not.

  • avatar
    Brumus

    OK, I think I get it.

    Every business/product decision Cadillac makes shall be mercilessly slagged on this site, preferably with witty one-liners that fit within Twitter’s character count limit.

  • avatar
    tomLU86

    Why not move to Paris, to enhance Cadillac’s Euro image? After all, Cadillac IS a French word.

    Yes, move the HQ to a city with the lowest percentage of car ownership. Even very many “rich” people don’t have cars in Manhattan.

    Oh, wait–zip-car….Zipillac!

  • avatar
    Detroit-X

    Maybe Cadillac should move their headquarters next door to a Cadillac dealership, with lots of competitors nearby?

  • avatar
    petezeiss

    OMG… painted hubcaps. Beauty!

  • avatar
    rpol35

    Yeah, this is pretty laughable, moving to a SoHo loft according to my local newspaper, a place where a lot of people don’t own cars and probably won’t be in the market anytime soon.

    Lipstick on a pig? Maybe they should have considered Boca Raton or Palm Beach……..

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      I was thinking Newark.

    • 0 avatar
      bunkie

      Sure a lot of people don’t own cars. But an awful lot do and they tend to be luxury vehicles. If you have the money, you are very likely to own and garage a car in the city. The proof? Try finding a monthly spot in a garage, it can be a challenge in many neighborhoods. I’d venture that car ownership is actually higher on a per-square-mile basis than in many suburbs.

      Furthermore, a lot of those people in Boca or Palm Beach are actually dual-domicile types who also live in Manhattan.

      • 0 avatar
        rpol35

        “If you have the money you are very likely to own and garage a car in the city”

        Some how I imagine if this is the case, Cadillac isn’t exactly on the shopping list.

        • 0 avatar
          bunkie

          That is likely true. But that’s separate from the argument that almost no Manhattan residents with means are not car owners.

          Those people aren’t taking the Hampton Jitney out to the Hamptons on weekends, they are driving their Range Rovers.

      • 0 avatar
        bunkie

        One more thing. In the garage where I keep my CTS, it’s definitely one of the less-expensive, older vehicles (it’s a 2010). Almost everything is an E-class or better, 5-series or better, Range Rover or XJ. We also have a couple of Maserati Quattroportes. In short, practical (as opposed to exotic) cars owned by people who have the means and who, most definitely, buy (or lease) cars.

        This is, of course, separate from the question of whether Cadillac can influence those customers. But in my experience, there is no doubt that the customers they want are here in large numbers.

        • 0 avatar
          DeadWeight

          So what?

          Does anyone who is even remotely knowledgeable about the inner workings of the auto industry believe that moving Cadillac HQ & 30 to 120 execs (depending on whom to believe) to SoHo will accomplish anything of even measurable significance in improving Cadillac’s competitiveness?

          It’s a hipster-ish, infantile boondoggle. I can see it now: Late night “working” dinners at RedFarm, to inspire their creativity and help them strategically bond.

          Cadillac has a product problem, to wit, the wrong kind, priced incorrectly, and with an inconsistent dealer network selling them.

          Cadillac would be far wiser right now to focus on (a) getting their product mix correct (this means useable, luxurious backseats in both sedans & CUVs), (b) getting their price structure more efficiently aligned with their existing product (not the future products they hope to sell to customers they can’t obtain – at least not yet, and the big one – (c) at least coming close to Lexus’s level of reliability/durability and ease of owners’ ownership and easy relationships with dealerships; when Cadillac owners don’t have to take their new ATSs & CTSs & WhateverSs back to the dealer 4 to 8 times per year, maybe THEN Cadillac should attempt to price match Lexus, let alone, zeee Germans (if anyone doesn’t believe this is common, you reject current reality). THIS (c) thing is the nut GM is too incompetent to crack – disclaimer alert -*IMHO*).

          This move to SoHo will all look like a silly obsession on GM’s part in retrospect.

          But hey, GM is essentially betting the house on China, anyways, right? (like nearly every other brand in the universe)

          Maybe when this move doesn’t produce fruit they can move Cadillac’s official HQ from SoHo to Shanghai.

          • 0 avatar
            bomberpete

            I don’t always agree with you, DeadWeight, but your comments here are perfect!

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            “Does anyone who is even remotely knowledgeable about the inner workings of the auto industry believe that moving Cadillac HQ & 30 to 120 execs (depending on whom to believe) to SoHo will accomplish anything of even measurable significance in improving Cadillac’s competitiveness?”

            Depends. If they just have dinner parties and bar nights with themselves, it won’t accomplish much. If they actually network and talk with the people around them — many of whom are driven to work in S-Classes and A8s, and who are exactly their target demographic for their brand’s most significant future products — then it could be a big deal.

          • 0 avatar
            DeadWeight

            dal, it’s osmosis, right?

            If a half dozen or so Cadillac suits (or creative biz-casuals) happen to mingle with some Audi A8 and Merc S Class owners/lessees (who are dining in SoHo but live in Westchester), share some drinks, tell swap some stories, Cadillac will solve the equation by osmosis.

            In the meantime, in the distant past, circa-1986, Toyota had actual engineers stripping down/deconstructing actual S Classes (and other models from other marques) in the basement of some gritty industrial/technical building in some unremarkable part of Toyota City, down to the last nuts and bolts, reverse engineering a much better, far more reliable, more durable, less expensive competitor, that Americans positively gravitated towards (despite critics saying a luxury Toyota was laughable), just a few, short years later.

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            I’m sure 5-Series and A6es were deconstructed in Detroit during Alpha’s extended birth. The platform is proof that lessons were learned — a manufacturer notorious for porky cars suddenly built the lightest thing in the class. I’m also sure 7-Series and S-Classes were reduced to parts during the development process for the upcoming flagship. Every maker is doing that with the benchmark competition these days. But that stuff can happen in Detroit, which is where Cadillac’s engineering is staying.

            What will happen in New York, if de Nysschen is guessing right, is a better understanding of how to market to the audience for which those engineers in Detroit are building products. The New Yorkers will figure out what segments to target and how to position the cars. You can’t market to an audience if you’re completely removed from them. And Detroit is very far removed from luxury-car reality. More luxury cars are sold in New York than anywhere else in the US, and figuring out how to target New York luxury-car buyers is essential to marketing success. In New York, managers can talk to, sell to, and even hire such buyers. In Detroit, the buyers might as well be in Nepal.

        • 0 avatar
          ellomdian

          Practical cars. Like Range Rovers that require weekly trips to the dealer because they won’t start when the LCD Dash breaks, or Quattroportes that spend more time at the shop than in the garage.

          Your point is valid, but using the word practical and Maserati made my brain explode :P

  • avatar
    koshchei

    This move is absolute brilliance. Instead of building a better car, moving your executives closer to the Atlantic Ocean is clearly what potential Cadillac buyers expect from a company.

  • avatar
    LeeK

    Tom Peters, the business reporter and author, used to argue vociferously back the 80s that US car company executives needed to move out of the insulated environment of Detroit in order to see how the rest of the US perceives their products. His suggestion was the West Coast, where 7 out of every 8 vehicles is not a GM or Ford.

    New York City may not actually be a bad choice. German and Japanese luxury sales are strong in the NY/NJ metropolitan area and if Cadillac is really going to compete in this segment, then they need to see first hand how high a mountain they have to climb.

  • avatar
    sirwired

    Move your brand HQ where lots of people that might otherwise be Cadillac customers elsewhere routinely Do Not Own Cars, and have no interest in buying one? Brilliant! What better way to take the pulse of potential buyers than setting up shop in a place where few of them exist!

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    Good, they will be closer to all the executive liveries that drive the XTS’ (and eventually the LTS’) fleet sales.

  • avatar
    celebrity208

    Is Cadillac MOVING TO New York City or LEAVING Detroit?

  • avatar
    Fred

    Our bosses left the plants and they seem disconected from what we are actually doing. Personally I can’t be as good an engineer if I’m not close to the product and product is everything.

  • avatar
    danio3834

    If they wanted to be closer to their demographic, they should have moved to Jersey.

    • 0 avatar
      thornmark

      You nailed it.

      People moved into German brands because Cadillacs and their ilk were showy and gauche. Today their signature model – the Escalade – still is. I have no doubt that people who didn’t buy Cadillacs often didn’t because of the people who did.

      Yet, in their heyday, Cadillac was an aspirational product. That cannot be said today and I doubt the exAudi guy can change that – Audi’s success would have occurred with or w/o him. Cadillac’s stigma is in their DNA.

  • avatar
    xflowgolf

    I’m on the fence on this one. On one hand I think it is in fact a good idea to remove the brands top tier from the insular and atypical environment that is Detroit. The entire Cadillac image/experience/direction needs to be crafted with a Global vision, and New York is an international hotspot of business activiity with foreign trade relations/etc. While people in SOHO themselves aren’t car owners, the coasts have not been a strong spot for Cadillac, and will give a better “real” view of how much (or how little) Cadillac has cred amongst execs and professionals who spend time in NYC. Those target clientele are the people who would likely otherwise travel in any luxury brand of their choice (BMW/Benz/etc.).

    The cars themselves, and the engineering capabilities are no longer the problem. The ATS and CTS have garnered critical praise. The new Escalade is decidedly good at being what it aims to be. They need the rest of the package. From top to bottom cohesiveness. The marketing. The dealer experience. The service experience. …and it will be a long long recovery. The cars simply being good enough won’t change it, and the new executive team with their German background understand how things run at the competition.

    If they want to be world class, they need to operate with some immunity to actually be world class. …not just a divisional spin off down the hall in a different cubicle eating lunch with the Buick and Chevy guys.

    That said, I’m not sure how well it can ever work with that much distance between the suits, with all of the Design and Technical prowess still being done in Detroit.

    • 0 avatar
      nickoo

      The cars aren’t good. They are half baked as shown by lower spec engine choices and a gauge cluster that looks like a 1996 camaro in the ats. The a&s theme on the ats is just bad, the xts is ungainly and the impala looks better, the escalade is shunned for the Yukon denali, the crossover is a badge engineer job, the cts is the only decent one among them.

      • 0 avatar
        raresleeper

        What’s that you say, nickoo?

        Like a ’96 Camaro?

        I hear plastics chattering. Does anybody else hear plastic chattering?

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        Ah, yes, let’s hate on the gauge cluster again.

        • 0 avatar
          DeadWeight

          Drive 800 some miles in my shoes in a 2014 ATS, staring at that god awful instrument panel, with the car having all of 6500 miles on the odometer, violently shaking upon startup (really), with broken cruise control, other intermittent non-responsive haptic feedback functions on CUE, with road noise & creaking/squeeking plastic interior materials over concrete roads worse than some $15,000 compacts I’ve driven, and an automatic transmission from hell, Mike.

          Oh, and it had a backseat with no more (and maybe less) real world, useable space for humans than a Chevy Cruze, and an even smaller trunk.

          All of this, in a car that retails for 35k to 50k.

          It’s a sick joke.

          If you like those qualities, or want to excuse them away, in a Cadillac (any Cadillac), go for it.

          I won’t take it personally or take offense.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            DW, I’m not arguing with the experience you had with the ATS YOU drove, but honestly…it’s the first time I’ve ever heard anyone go off on the car like this.

            My impressions of the ATS (without having driven one) are somewhat different. I was able to find one on a lot that was open, and spent quite a bit of time with it. I found absolutely no issues with the fit and finish you had (I’d say it was notably good, as a matter of fact, and that was true of the other Cadillacs on the lot). The used examples didn’t feel much different. Again, when you get on the road, issues often surface that you don’t see when you’re standing still, but for what it’s worth, I didn’t see much of a problem with how this car is put together.

            Yes, CUE sucks. Yes, the 2.5 probably sucks (I haven’t driven one, so I’m withholding judgment). Yes, the back seat is tight. Yes, the gauge cluster could stand some improvement…but I don’t get the unmitigated hate for it that so many people have. Put differently: I can’t think of a competitive car aside from the Mercedes C-Class that have gauge clusters that really appeal to me. I also found the rest of the interior to be very appealing (granted, I wasn’t looking at a base model).

            Again, I get you had a bad experience with the ATS you rented, but then again, I’ve had plenty of bad experiences with rentals in general, including a Focus that felt far inferior to the Focus I owned at the time. It happens.

            Maybe you should take a test drive of a different ATS model? Just sayin’…

          • 0 avatar
            DeadWeight

            I drove a 2.0T, but only on a 15 minute test drive, too.

            I understand your vantage point, though. I just feel that the ATS would have been a competitive Pontiac.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            How did the 2.0T compare?

          • 0 avatar
            DeadWeight

            Mike,

            It noticeably improved performance in terms of acceleration/torque, obviously, and was more refined than the base 2.5 liter.

            With that said, it just didn’t feel refined enough to be in a Cadillac, IMO.

            I am of the opinion Cadillac has squandered a huge opening that BMW & Audi gave them when they left the door open for Cadillac to stick to refined 6 & 8 cylinder motors in all their vehicles.

            This would have helped Cadillac further highlight BMWs decision to downsize to base 4s in their 3 Series, and moreover, driven the point home among the BMW faithful that BMWs inline 6 in the 3 Series was on its hallmark signatures, refined, silky and smoothly powerful.

          • 0 avatar
            Dan

            FreedMike: “… but I don’t get the unmitigated hate for [the ATS] that so many people have. ”

            Because I love what Cadillac used to be, a proud and unapologetic microcosm of the proud and unapologetic America that I loved even more.

            It’s not news that that Cadillac died decades ago. Or that that America did too.

            But I still wish every day that it hadn’t, that it’d come back from the ashes, that they’d pull the curtain off a Sixty Special and America would put its white hat back on again.

            Of course it didn’t, of course they won’t, and seeing the wreath on the latest and greatest anonymous four cylinder wimp of a copycat car that nobody buys crushes that dream with yet another dose of a reality I hate. The latest, greatest, President down-low who can’t even be troubled to put down his coffee cup to salute the guard between golf games. Microcosm again.

            So yes I’ll call it out every time. But not because I hate Cadillac. Far from it.

            Because I want to love Cadillac again.

          • 0 avatar

            @Dan, neither Cadillac or America died neither the basic idea behind. They just changed and moved on as they must. In nature, the absence of movement is death. When you choose not to move, others do, so you don’t actually freeze anything, but rather fall back.

            BTW, unapologetic is not good and doesn’t win you friends. America was never unapologetic like the Europeans were. Being unapologetic just brings on resistance. Much better to work with others, most especially among those who you want to work with as the current difficulties so clearly show.

  • avatar
    love2drive

    Put this on the earlier cadillac to NYC post –
    A piece on Mary Barra just stumbled across – worth a read
    http://www.thegadflyreview.com/?p=267

  • avatar
    bumpy ii

    Since they’re moving to NYC, maybe they could park one of these in the lobby as a reminder of when Cadillac was seen as a desirable car there:

    imcdb.org/i010195.jpg

  • avatar
    dal20402

    This makes sense to me. People who say “New Yorkers don’t own cars” are missing the point. Those in Manhattan who do own cars, and there are lots of them, are wealthy. Many of them own high-end luxury cars, enough that the New York metropolitan area is by far the largest luxury car market in America. (Sports cars do better in LA, but Cadillac isn’t a sports-car brand.) I think it will be good for management to be closer to so much of the demographic they would like to appeal to.

    And of course this also gets the management out of Detroit, which is absolutely the worst place for an American car company to get a good read on either consumer tastes in most of America or what the competition is doing.

    So far, between this move and the resurrected flagship and 3-row crossover, De Nysschen looks like he’s doing the right things.

    • 0 avatar
      bomberpete

      New Yorkers DO own cars. And not just rich people in Manhattan. There are four other boroughs in NYC plus some moderately to very wealthy suburbs on Long Island, north of NYC, Connecticut, NJ, plus the greater metro areas of Boston, Philadelphia, DC/Beltway, Richmond, Pittsburgh, etc.

      If Cadillac’s NYC team makes the effort to “crack the code” in these markets, it’ll be worth it. If they’re just looking to go to fancy restaurants, forget it.

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        Their target audience, especially for future brand-defining cars, is not in the four outer boroughs and not anywhere in Long Island other than the Hamptons. They are looking for people who work in Manhattan south of Central Park. Some of those people live in Manhattan and most of the rest, especially those who are driven, live in Connecticut or (in some cases) in wealthy communities up the Hudson Valley. Few of them live anywhere else.

        • 0 avatar
          bomberpete

          If Cadillac had spent the first 30 years of its existence thinking that small, it would never have survived the Great Depression.

          I’m not saying this is absolutely going to work. Getting out of Detroit may help, or it may fail miserably. But tell me how narrow-casting Cadillac’s audience as provincially as you have is helpful? It’s a big country out there.

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            It’s not about the audience for all of Cadillac. It’s about the audience for the halo products that will, if the strategy is successful, elevate the rest of the Cadillac brand.

            Mercedes gets more mileage out of one picture of Kim Kardashian exiting a G-Class than they get from millions of dollars’ worth of focus groups of ordinary buyers. Cadillac’s target audience here isn’t Kim Kardashian, it’s New York’s wealthy media and fashion types. But the idea is the same: get the folks who drive culture using and liking your brand, and the image among everyone else will follow.

  • avatar
    gasser

    Start by cracking the black car, limousine, market. Every time I am in NYC, I think that the Town Car is still in production.
    P.S. back seat comfort and a big trunk are the secrets to this market. A tiny engine with decent mileage will do fine in that traffic.
    40,000 or so big sedans a year will really help the bottom line.

  • avatar
    raresleeper

    Elevate Cadillac’s profile?

    To whom? To New Yorkers? Lol The place where you get bumped into walking down the street at 3:30 in the morning?

    Are they going to pull off a marketing endeavor similar to that of Chrysler rising from the ashes/ruins of Detroit? ??

    Are they going to construct, or better yet, rehab an Art Deco Skyscraper from the 1930’s and mount a vintage, hazy neon Cadillac Sign on it for all the world to see?

    This is preposterous. And to boot, they’ll spend a metric sh*t ton on real estate payments.

    Hear, hear!! Three cheers for Cadillac!

    Invest more in your R&D, not your location. SMH.

    • 0 avatar
      bomberpete

      You really know how to think small.

      • 0 avatar
        raresleeper

        Thank You, Thank You :)

        The big picture would surely open up to me if I’d drink some of that “visionary” Cadillac Kool-Aid, indeed.

        • 0 avatar
          bomberpete

          I’ll give them a chance. But it’s the product that’ll be the proof, not the cool new offices. This move suggests they’re thinking more about “where would this look cool” than “how do we make our products better?”

          I’m a New Yorker, and I’m disappointed they chose SoHo and not someplace where their personnel could be hands-on with the cars every day. Long Island City and Brooklyn seemed more logical.

          SoHo is closer to a nice executive’s pied-a-tierre, maybe one with a separate car elevator like they’ve been building in Manhattan.

          Call me crazy, but I’d expect car executives to want to make a decent-sized commute, not only in Cadillacs but the competition as well.

  • avatar
    carguy

    You have to hand it to the Cadillac critics at TTAC – they turn up to every single Cadillac post as regular as clockwork.

  • avatar
    Rday

    LOL. Just like the victims of the Titanic who were trying to rearrange the deck chairs as the ship started towards the ocean floor. GM and Cadillac area absolutely clueless on how to run a company, let alone a premium car company. Yes…just grasping for deck chairs they are.

  • avatar
    nickoo

    Out of touch delusions. Its all about product and that’s where Cadillac fails. Porsche is Porsche (highest valued brand in research surveys) because they put out excellent product. Cadillac should do the same. Get worthwhile interiors in all your cars drop base model specials and get a serious attempt at a cross over out asap. KIA k900 is a better luxury car than the xts, which is pretty embarrassing for GM’s top marque.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      “It’s all about product.” LOL. If it were even slightly about product, we wouldn’t have waiting lists at dealers for the crappy Mercedes CLA. It’s about brand. Brand, in turn, is partly about product — but it’s more about the products that celebrities and very wealthy people drive than the volume product. The reason that people love the CLA and don’t really like the ATS — which, for all its flaws, is a much better product than the CLA — is because of the S-Class, G-Class, and GL-Class. If there were a Cadillac with that sort of luxury cred, ATSes would be flying off the shelves too. But even if the Cadillac flagship ends up being All That and more, it will take a decade or two of careful brand management before that happens.

      • 0 avatar
        nickoo

        Consistent product builds brand value. Cadillac only has one appropriate car, the CTS. Everything else needs a lot of work. A&S is a very masculine styling and doesn’t appeal to women like the cla which is horribly styled and so ugly it is almost a joke clearly marketed towards young women who only care about their image, currently the biggest sucker demographic. They are fad psuedo luxury for posuers and customer base will soon move on to the next fad brand when the lease runs out. See Audi A3/A4, 320i, etc.

        • 0 avatar
          dal20402

          This part of the strategy requires a good flagship sedan and a more luxurious Escalade replacement that can attract Range Rover intenders.

          What the ATS actually is matters less than what people think of Cadillac because of high-end products, although Cadillac won’t get away with building something as crappy as a CLA for a very long time.

          • 0 avatar
            DeadWeight

            I’ll just be plain: I absolutely agree that the ATS is a better vehicle (because of its layout, chassis & steering) than the CLA.

            This agreement, despite my miserable courtship with the ATS.

            But this is textbook damning with faint praise, as I’d rather have an Accord, Fusion, or about a dozen other cars, many 1/3 to 1/2 less costly than the CLA, than the CLA.

  • avatar
    raresleeper

    I want a “swanky” Manhattan Penthouse.

    I know! I know!

    We’ll “relocate” Caddy to NY and enjoy the benefits from the Start Up NY’s relocation program.

    Chock it up to brand imaging.

    Victory!!

    All must hail the “new” successful Cadillac. Now bow down.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    Well, I hope everyone feels better after the Daily TTAC Cadillac Two Minutes’ Hate…

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t4zYlOU7Fpk

  • avatar
    waltercat

    I think that XflowGolf and dal20402 have a good handle on this.

    The problem isn’t just that Cadillac build quality isn’t what it should be, or that Cadillac should recreate the last-gen Town Car, or that they should chase Mercedes or Lexus. Doing any of those things – as positive as they may be in the short run – will only yield a me-too product.

    Cadillac, it seems to me, is in the midst of an existential crisis – what does the brand stand for? This goes way beyond – and in fact precedes – a product discussion. It’s hard to know what a “good” or “competitive” product is without knowing what the brand stands for.

    What makes people aspire to a Cadillac – or an iPhone or a Rolex or any other premium brand? If you’re only getting your cues from other luxury car brands, all you’ll do is attempt to recreate someone else’s brand image… and you probably won’t do it as well. What GM seems to have perceived is that its Cadillac division needs a dose of creativity that can be catalyzed by exposure to other industries. And conversely, staying in a company town is way too likely to result in a rehash of the same old, same old.

    Please, don’t think that moving key planning/marketing folks to NYC has anything to do with asking NYC’s “man-on-the-street” what he or she would like to have in next year’s Cadillac. If that were all they were trying to accomplish, there are any number of easier and more accurate ways of capturing that intelligence.

    Instead, if I were GM top management, I’d ask their leadership to understand other brands that are perceived as luxurious, trend-setting, iconoclastic, and distinctive. I’d look long and hard at fashion, jewelry, media, consumer technology, and more. Learn what makes people desire a brand – then you can think product planning, then you can think engineering.

    Will they succeed? IMHO, it’s a long shot because so much damage has been done to a treasured brand; it’s almost like starting over. But I’d give them a better shot with what they’re doing than just hunkering down in Detroit.

    • 0 avatar
      bomberpete

      Amen. And clearly they’re not doing it on the cheap like Ford has with Lincoln. Until I hear about a unique Lincoln design — even with a shared FMC platform like the new Mustang — I’ll continue to believe that the Lincoln Motor Company is only about badge-engineering and not having to buy out dealers.

      • 0 avatar
        Nick_515

        thank you.

        otherwise all this reading of this worthless thread would have been for nothing. i will puke if i hear one more time about the gauge cluster. Or effing phaetons.

  • avatar
    lOmnivore Sobriquet

    “…“elevate” Cadillac’s profile onto the radar screens of “some of the people we’d to be on,” ”

    Ahem… some Ukrainian prostitutes on the back seats ? and, well, some Serbian body-parts in the coffer ?

    I’m hoping for American decency.
    With that Cadillac touch, still, of course…

  • avatar
    stuki

    I have to say, Tesla moving to Nevada and Caddy to New York, may help explain why one of the key honchos has made billions at least partially off of his decision making astuteness…

  • avatar

    When all we hear how companies flee NYC (and NY) for TN and FL, this is an unusual move. Take that, libertarians! Executives are not afraid of taxes!

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