By on October 21, 2014

2015 Cadillac SRXCadillac sales in the United States rose to a six-year high in 2013. Yet in five of 2014’s nine months, sales have declined. Through three-quarters, Cadillac volume is down 4%. Overall new vehicle sales in the U.S. are up by more than 5%.

BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and Lexus sales are up 11%, 8%, and 16%, respectively, in 2014. Audi, up 14%, is routinely outselling Cadillac.

The SRX was a bright spot for Cadillac in the first half of this year, not only because it’s the brand’s best-selling model but because sales had jumped 20% compared with the first half of 2013. After six consecutive monthly increases, however, SRX sales in July slid 7%. August volume fell 37%. September sales dropped 15%.

Total third-quarter SRX sales were down 22%, a loss of nearly 3700 sales.

Meanwhile, September sales of Cadillac cars slid 14%. The new Escalade and Escalade ESV were saviors, rising 120% to 3518 units, 25% of Cadillac’s total September volume. As a result, overall Cadillac volume increased in September. By a single unit.

Had SRX volume not been so stable over the previous four and a half years, this 2014 Q3 result wouldn’t be surprising at all. Between 2010 and 2013, Cadillac averaged 55,565 SRX sales per year in the U.S, never falling below 51,000 units, never rising above 58,000. Year-to-date sales in 2014 are actually up 3%.

But the SRX is no longer the freshest chicken in the fridge. Supply has been increasing: Cadillac dealers had 97 days of inventory at the beginning of October, up from 82 in September and 68 at the beginning of July.

And yet the SRX is still one of America’s favourite premium brand utility vehicles, slotting in behind the Lexus RX, Acura MDX, and BMW X5 in September; the RX and MDX on year-to-date terms.

If Cadillac’s car issues weren’t so troubling – ATS volume is down 20% this year, the CTS is off by 6%, and the XTS by 22% – this recent SRX decline wouldn’t merit more than a paragraph. Instead, because their car sales are so low, Cadillac needs something other than the Escalade to sell well.

Based on a brief but sudden downturn, the second-generation SRX appears as though it is perhaps not consistently capable of being that vehicle, not five years into its term.

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40 Comments on “September 2014 Sales: Now Even The SRX Is Slowing Cadillac Down...”


  • avatar
    DeadWeight

    There’s no other word to describe Cadillac, whether from a branding, marketing, product mix, PRICING, dealership experience, or quality/reliability perspective, than DISASTER.

    Imagine, given the robust sales elsewhere in Cadillac’s cohort group, and assuming that a rising tide should reflexively lift most (nearly all?) boats, what will happen to Cadillac, given how awfully it’s performing, when…yikes..

    ..-the actual overall market cools off, which it will inevitably do.

    And now Cadillac has Johan “[D]on’t f*ck with me, brah” de Nysschen (as threatened from his Facebook page) rearranging the Cadillac Deck Chairs and straining relations (in a very extreme way) with Cadillac Dealers.

    Just roll out the $0 due at signing, fog-a-mirror approved, $259/$339/$349/$399 leases on the ATS/CTS/SRX/XTS and be done with it (at least I see the $259 leases already underway on the ATS, so it’s a start), as advertised by Factory Assembly Robot Fashion Show themed commercials with various Cadillac models parading down the catwalk, flashbulbs from cameras firing away from “the crowd.”

    Maybe the technological tour de force that’s rumored to be the CT6whatever, that will be priced in Mercedes S Class territory, and manage to sell fewer units than the Allante once did, will be the beginning of Cadillac’s we’re-turning-things-around-for-30-years-now successful turnaround plan.

    P.S – maybe the ATS, for example (i.e. I won’t pick on the XTSpala or $60,000 MSRP nearly compact CTS), really would have made a great $27,000 to $33,000 MSRP Pontiac, but a Cadillac, it is not (it performs like Lutz wanted the next G6 to perform and even has Pontiac level build quality/reliability):

    http://www.edmunds.com/cadillac/ats/2013/long-term-road-test/2013-cadillac-ats-would-have-been-better-as-a-pontiac.html

    http://www.autoblog.com/2013/10/29/lutz-says-washington-killed-pontiac-next-g6-was-to-be-ats-serif/

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      You are like the Tom Joad of TTAC Cadillac articles.

      Then I’ll be all around in the dark – I’ll be ever’where—wherever you look. Wherever they’s a crappy GM luxury car, I’ll be there. Wherever they’s a horrible gauge cluster, I’ll be there… I’ll be in the way guys yell when they’re mad at $hitty knockoff German sedans—I’ll be in the way kids laugh at Johan and his naming scheme. An’ when our folk buy something besides a Cadillac, I’ll be there.

    • 0 avatar
      bomberpete

      Unfortunately, you’re about 100% right. How does starving the dealers for the next 5 years on the principal of building brand equity really help?

      Cadillac can learn from Toyota in the Eighties as it readied the Lexus launch:

      – Discount the crap (i.e. Cressida) compared to the Germans
      – Bring on the better stuff
      – Price it low
      – Get positive word of mouth
      – Stoke demand
      – Raise prices

      It’s not rocket science, except to GM.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      My comment was eaten but essentially it seems the Cadillac car models take a 43% hit in two model years and settle in at 49% of original msrp in three model years. Equivalent Mercedes E class takes a 33% hit and then settles in at roughly 55% by year three. I suspect they know this and depending on how well (or badly) their leases are structured they might be taking at nice hit (most leases I used to be familiar with were structured around a 70% residual, not 57%). Cheap leases combined with crappy resale do not bode well.

  • avatar
    Lie2me

    The SRX dates back to the Saturn Vue. It’s time for something new. One good thing about the SRX, 2 years old and they’re a steal

    • 0 avatar
      heavy handle

      When you write that “the SRX dates back to the Saturn Vue,” do you mean that as “the Vue was GM’s first half-decent mid-size FWD-based SUV (other than the Aztek), making the SRX its second cousin twice removed”? That’s true enough, but irrelevant.

      If you are trying to say that the SRX is nothing more than a Vue with leather, then you are mistaken.

      • 0 avatar
        Lie2me

        I’m talking about the Theta platform that the SRX is based on that started with the Saturn Vue in 2002

      • 0 avatar
        Waterview

        I don’t follow that model too closely because it certainly appears to be a Saturn Vue with leather (and a pop up video screen). How is it materially different from a Vue?

        • 0 avatar
          heavy handle

          The SRX sits on a unique expanded theta platform, and it uses much higher quality components underneath. It shares that (dated) creased look with the Vue, but that doesn’t make them the same, it just suggests that they are related.

    • 0 avatar
      TMA1

      “2 years old and they’re a steal”

      That applies to the CTS as well, as long as there’s not a “V” at the end.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Resale is a complicated animal, but suffice to say the perception is Cadillac in MY13 is selling a $25K car for $40K+ while Mercedes sells a $35K car for $50+. The RWD E350 depreciates 33% in the two model year period from 2013 to now (at 34,5 avg), while the CTS depreciates 43% in the same period (at 22,2). If we look at the MY12s now with avg miles (<=40) we see them sitting at 49% of MY12 msrp (at 17,6). The Mercedes do 55.2% for MY12, only a few points better, but which is more prestigious?

        So what is Cadillac's response to its early resale drop? Raise the price of course!

        "General Motors has announced that the all-new 2014 Cadillac CTS sedan will start at $46,025 after a $925 destination charge, which is $6,035 more than the 2013 model."

        http://usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/cars-trucks/best-cars-blog/2013/06/GM_Prices_the_Redesigned_2014_Cadillac_CTS_Sedan_46025/

        Cadillac is building some great used cars, its too bad this is borne on the back of their new car customers.

        MY13 Mercedes E350 RWD (msrp from 51K)

        09/25/14 PALM BCH Regular $34,000 7,290 Avg PLR WHT 6G A Yes
        10/09/14 RIVRSIDE Regular $34,500 9,875 Above BLACK 6G A Yes
        10/02/14 NEVADA Lease $33,500 10,902 Avg DIA SLV 6G A Yes
        10/15/14 SF BAY Lease $34,500 11,157 Above PAL SIL 6G A Yes
        09/25/14 TX HOBBY Regular $37,100 12,963 Above OFF-WHIT 6G A No

        MY12 Mercedes E350 RWD (msrp from 50K)

        09/30/14 RIVRSIDE Regular $29,500 32,413 Above SILVER 6G A No
        09/30/14 RIVRSIDE Lease $24,000 51,233 Avg WHITE 6G A Yes
        09/30/14 ORLANDO Regular $29,000 40,774 Above WHITE 6G A No
        09/30/14 ORLANDO Regular $27,600 40,902 Above BLACK 6G A Yes
        09/30/14 ORLANDO Lease $23,300 53,682 Avg BLACK 6G A Yes

        MY13 Cadillac CTS RWD "Luxury" (msrp from 39K)

        09/23/14 ORLANDO Lease $25,600 2,206 Above SILVER 6G A Yes
        10/20/14 ORLANDO Lease $25,200 12,391 Above WHITE 6G A Yes
        10/07/14 ST LOUIS Lease $22,200 17,376 Avg SILVER 6G A Yes
        10/14/14 ORLANDO Regular $22,200 23,830 Avg BLACK 6G A Yes
        09/25/14 TX HOBBY Lease $20,000 24,481 Below GREY 6G A Yes
        10/16/14 TX HOBBY Lease $20,400 33,198 Avg GRAY 6G A Yes

        MY12 Cadillac CTS RWD "Luxury" (from 36K)

        09/23/14 ORLANDO Lease $20,000 16,759 Above SILVER 6G A Yes
        09/26/14 NEVADA Lease $16,250 37,139 Avg WHITE 6G A Yes
        09/30/14 ORLANDO Regular $19,700 37,793 Above BLACK 6G A Yes
        10/15/14 NJ Lease $17,600 37,811 Avg SILVER 6G P Yes
        10/16/14 TAMPA Regular $17,900 53,169 Avg SILVER 6G A Yes
        10/01/14 SF BAY Lease $14,000 67,442 Below WHITE 6G A Yes

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      And the Lexus RX “relates back” to the Toyota Sienna. Platform sharing is endemic in this segment. It’s a question of how well you do it. For a long time, the SRX did it very well (put one next to its GMC and Chevy platform-mates, and you’d be hard pressed to tell they’re rolling on the same platform). But it’s aging.

  • avatar
    mjz

    Cadillac is concentrating on sedans at a time when the market is demanding C/SUV’s. The SRX is in dire need of a refresh, and they can’t add the sub SRX and above SRX CUV’s fast enough. Until then, sales will continue to lag others in the luxury segment..

    • 0 avatar
      bd2

      This – it’s the same problem VW has in the US market.

      Too much is being made of the 6% drop in CTS sales since the comparison is to the 2G CTS which was a whole price-point/segment down (the current 3G CTS is significantly more expensive).

      While the 3G CTS is not selling as well as Cadillac wants, it still is the THIRD best selling luxury sedan in the midsize segment and along with the XTS, Cadillac sells way more sedans at this price-point than Audi, Lexus or Infiniti.

      The main issue for Cadillac is the lack of CUVs, aside from the aging SRX, in a market where CUVs increasingly take marketshare.

      Cadillac should have added to their CUV lineup first rather than concentrate on adding a flagship sedan (or sedans).

      The other issue concerns the ATS which is class-leading when it comes to having the tightest interior room – which was a boneheaded mistake when it is well known that the American consumer likes their interior space.

  • avatar
    akatsuki

    The CT6 should be canned in favor of the one premium segment nobody is doing – the full size crossover. Take that CT6 platform and jack it up and sell that at s-class prices and you’d have a low volume winner.

  • avatar
    Featherston

    Is CUE the elephant in the room here? I dislike screen-based controls in general but don’t consider them a deal-breaker, if only because it’s getting tougher and tougher to opt out in most segments. CUE, however, would be a deal-breaker for me. Last time I looked at the Caddy website, CUE appeared to be mandatory on many (most?) trim levels of most (all?) of their models.

  • avatar
    bd2

    Too much is being made of the 6% drop in CTS sales as that is in comparison to the prior model which was a whole price-point/segment down.

    While the 3G CTS is not selling as well as Cadillac wants, it still is the 3rd best selling luxury sedan in the midsize segment and along with the XTS, Cadillac sells way more sedans at this price-point than Audi, Lexus or Infiniti.

    The main issue for Cadillac is the lack of CUVs, aside from the aging SRX, in a market where CUVs increasingly make up a significant chunk of the market.

    More so than a flagship sedan (or sedans), Cadillac should have added to their CUV lineup first.

    The other issue is the ATS which is class-leading when it comes to having the tightest interior room – not something one wants when the American consumer likes and wants their space.

  • avatar
    bd2

    The main issue for Cadillac is the lack of CUVs, aside from the aging SRX, in a market where CUVs increasingly make up a significant chunk of the market.

    More so than a flagship sedan (or sedans), Cadillac should have added to their CUV lineup first.

    The other issue is the ATS which is class-leading when it comes to having the tightest interior room – not something one wants when the American consumer likes and wants their space.

  • avatar
    bd2

    Too much is being made of the 6% drop in CTS sales as that is in comparison to the prior model which was a whole price-point/segment down.

    While the 3G CTS is not selling as well as Cadillac wants, it still is the 3rd best selling luxury sedan in the midsize segment and along with the XTS, Cadillac sells way more sedans at this price-point than Audi, Lexus or Infiniti.

    The main issue for Cadillac is the lack of CUVs, aside from the aging SRX, in a market where CUVs increasingly make up a significant chunk of the market.

    More so than a flagship sedan (or sedans), Cadillac should have added to their CUV lineup first.

    The other issue is the ATS which is class-leading when it comes to having the tightest interior room – not something one wants when the American consumer likes and wants their space.

  • avatar
    bd2

    Too much is being made of the 6% drop in CTS sales since the comparison is to the 2G CTS which was a whole price-point/segment down (the current 3G CTS is significantly more expensive).

    While the 3G CTS is not selling as well as Cadillac wants, it still is the THIRD best selling luxury sedan in the midsize segment and along with the XTS, Cadillac sells way more sedans at this price-point than Audi, Lexus or Infiniti.

    The main issue for Cadillac is the lack of CUVs, aside from the aging SRX, in a market where CUVs increasingly take marketshare.

    Cadillac should have added to their CUV lineup first rather than concentrate on adding a flagship sedan (or sedans).

    The other issue concerns the ATS which is class-leading when it comes to having the tightest interior room – which was a boneheaded mistake when it is well known that the American consumer likes their interior space.

  • avatar
    bd2

    Too much is being made of the 6% drop in CTS sales since the comparison is to the 2G CTS which was a whole price-point/segment down (the current 3G CTS is significantly more expensive).

    While the 3G CTS is not selling as well as Cadillac wants, it still is the THIRD best selling luxury sedan in the midsize segment and along with the XTS, Cadillac sells way more sedans at this price-point than Audi, Lexus or Infiniti.

    Aside from the lack of CUVs (aside from the aging SRX), the problem is the ATS which is just way too tight in interior space for the American buyer.

  • avatar
    bd2

    The main issue for Cadillac is the lack of CUVs, aside from the aging SRX, in a market where CUVs increasingly take marketshare.

    Cadillac should have added to their CUV lineup first rather than concentrate on adding a flagship sedan (or sedans).

    The other issue concerns the ATS which is class-leading when it comes to having the tightest interior room – which was a boneheaded mistake when it is well known that the American consumer likes their interior space.

  • avatar
    Secret Hi5

    GM – Too many holes to plug, too few fingers.

    (No, not the title of a piece by Herr B.S.)

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    The spambot strikes again.

  • avatar
    jkross22

    I don’t get the aspirational pricing of Cadillac. Is it an overinflated sense of product quality? Brand arrogance? I don’t understand how they can be so consistently short sighted.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    Not too tough to figure out why SRX sales are off.

    1) The model definitely needs at least a heavy refresh
    2) The Lincoln MKC.

    http://www.goodcarbadcar.net/2014/10/usa-september-2014-luxury-suv-crossover-sales-figures.html

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    Why is it of no surprise to me that the one segment of sales volume for Cadillac is the one where they have their oldest, most in need of an update model? And why do I feel like we will see an Alpha based sports car before we see an Alpha based X3/Q5 etc fighter.

  • avatar
    55_wrench

    I’m totally not surprised at this development.

    I just got a ride in one last week, and although the stitching in the leather was beyond reproach, there are other elements in the design that left me feeling like I was in another Dodge Journey.

    The plasticky matte silver trim around the center stack does not befit the price Cadillac is asking.

    And what’s with the cap over the instrument panel? Buick has one in the Lacrosse and they both look like some sort of a cheap toupee that adds nothing to the esthetics of the interior.

    The V6 ran like a cement mixer.

    Black exterior had lousy gloss and orange peel that hearkened back to a ’70s vintage Granada.

    If this is the best they can do, it’s time for a rethink of what the brand should mean. I was definitely not impressed.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    The SRX looks old and his hideous, with that artificially sporty character line up the side of the car, slashed with a razor. And the derpy headlamps and huge plastic grille do no good deeds either. It’s gross.

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