By on April 30, 2015

2015 Cadillac ATS

The Cadillac ATS’s launch in the fourth-quarter of 2012 was the most important for the Cadillac brand since whatever Cadillac’s previous most important launch was.

But very early on, Cadillac simply wasn’t selling as many as they wanted to. Sales weren’t terribly low – Cadillac averaged 3,200 U.S. ATS sales in calendar year 2013, but incentivization kicked in early. After peaking at 3,887 units in December 2013, sales have decreased on a year-over-year basis in 14 of 15 months, including in each of the last eleven months.

Only a two-unit, 0.07% uptick in April 2014 interrupted what would otherwise be a streak of decreases stretching back to the beginning of last year.

So here’s the question: with April sales results set to be released tomorrow, will the Cadillac ATS’s sales stats display a full year of year-over-year monthly declines?

Here’s what needs to happen for Cadillac to avoid that outcome: Cadillac sold 2737 ATS sedans in April 2014 and therefore needs to top that figure in April 2015.

Cadillac has only topped that figure once since last April, and only barely, with 2,804 August sales.

Moreover, sales in March totalled just 2,039 units, and the market for new vehicles is likely to be somewhat smaller in April than it was in March.

The ATS’s year-over-year declines have been particularly harsh of late: 34% in November, 37% in December, 8% in January, 16% in February, and 32% in March. Year-to-date, ATS sales are down 20%, a loss of 1,494 units. Joining the ATS in the Cadillac slowdown is the CTS, sales of which tumbled 39.5% in the first-quarter.

U.S. best-selling premium cars 2015 Q1

Granted, the U.S. passenger car market isn’t in rude health. Sales of cars are slightly south of flat over the last three months and expanded less than 2% in 2014, a year in which the overall industry made 6% gains. ATS sales fell 22% in 2014, the nameplate’s second full year.

Yet despite negative growth in the car market, BMW car volume is up 28% (3-Series/4-Series sales are up 27%); car sales at Mercedes-Benz are up 2% (C-Class sales are up 23%). Acura, Audi, Infiniti, and Lexus have posted 6%, 8%, 10%, and 4% improvements, respectively.

Coupes and V models will expand the appeal of the ATS range, but they don’t cure the ATS’s key faults. The small rear seat and CUE system continue.

Timothy Cain is the founder of GoodCarBadCar.net, which obsesses over the free and frequent publication of U.S. and Canadian auto sales figures. Follow on Twitter @goodcarbadcar.

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168 Comments on “Cadillac ATS Sales Down, Down, Down, Down Some More?...”


  • avatar
    John R

    deadweight in 3, 2, 1…

    • 0 avatar

      Deadweight isn’t the only one here who can point out Cadillac’s stupidity.

      I LOVE NEWS LIKE THIS.

      Cadillac’s interiors are better than ever, but they’re still cheap where they shouldn’t be. The seats aren’t as good as they are in the C-class $53,000 with 4-matic.

      Then there’s the whole name-badge thing. “Cadillac” just doesn’t get people to want to buy as much as BMW or Mercedes or Audi does.

      The simple fact of the matter is, THE MASSES ARE NOT DRIVING ENTHUSIASTS.

      They aren’t “corner carving”.
      They are SITTING IN TRAFFIC.

      They aren’t measuring 0 -60, quarter miles or braking distance.

      They simple want something that takes off with between .80 and 1G of acceleration and has brakes powerful enough to stop “on a dime”.

      Cadillac is chasing German driving dynamics and the Germans are turning out “the Mercedes CLA/ CLA AMG” – a substandard driving experience more people are willing to pay for.

      NO I haven’t done any surveys…but the ATS I have tested and the backseat just isn’t as spacious as the base BMW 3 – which is obviously gonna be a major competitor. The CLA seemed to offer more as well.

      C.U.E. is not as good an interface as BMW’s new iDrive. I doubt that the interface is the major selling point, so if we just look at interior space and practicality, the BMW3 would still be a better choice.

      • 0 avatar
        psarhjinian

        There’s nothing really wrong with the ATS, but Lexus does a smart thing by splitting their entry-level sales between the IS and ES (the CT doesn’t really count).

        Cadillac could probably use a softer, bigger car to get ES/CLA/C-Class buyers and in turn allow the ATS to be a little more focused.

        • 0 avatar
          sportyaccordy

          IIRC the ES definitely outsells all other Lexus sedans… maybe combined?

          A Cadillac ES with PHEV powetrains and A&S concept grade styling would have Cadillac in a much better position.

          Keep in mind, ATPs on the ATS/CTS are really bad. GM might be losing money on most of the ones they sell.

          • 0 avatar
            psarhjinian

            The IS actually sells better than people give it credit for; it’s about 50-70% of the ES’ volume for a given month.

            What the ES/IS split does, though, is it allows Lexus to focus better and avoid the “Be a better 3-Series while also being a better cruiser” trap that seems to nail every other luxury marque. If anything, I think Lexus could sharpen up the IS a little more.

            Cadillac could do the same, but it would require taking the XTS downmarket, which they painted themselves into a corner about already. It’d also require them to “do something” about the overlap between Cadillac and Buick.

          • 0 avatar
            redav

            The prior IS was also one of the prettiest cars on the road. The new one, just no.

            (I also think Lexus just suicide bombed the RX. The new one is one an incoherent interpretation of wadded up trash.)

          • 0 avatar
            Featherston

            @ redav, strongly agree regarding both the IS and the RX. The fact that the press and the public largely either ignored the XE20 IS or criticized it as bland speaks volumes about the hoi polloi’s lack of taste.

            It’ll be interesting to read reviews of the ’16 RX, since the press almost always reflexively praise a new design at the expense of its predecessor. The AL10 RX is no beauty, but at least it’s a relatively clean if pudgy evolution of XU30. Or it was pre-spindle grille and LEDs.

      • 0 avatar
        redav

        When I was car shopping, I cut the ATS off my list specifically because of how uncomfortable it was inside. The backseat seemed useless, and even the front seats felt cramped.

        There’s no way in hell I’m buying a Cadillac that isn’t comfortable in every seat.

      • 0 avatar
        mcs

        >>> They simple want something that takes off with between .80 and 1G of acceleration and has brakes powerful enough to stop “on a dime”. <<<<

        Acceleration of .8 and 1.0G is something like a 0-60 time of between 2.75 and 3.4 seconds according to my rough calculations. So, a stock hellcat isn't fast enough for the "MASSES"? I'd say .08 and .1 is probably closer to reality based on my personal experience in traffic at lights in 50-55 speed zones.

      • 0 avatar

        Ding! Ding! Ding! We have a winner, folks!

        See, we’re way past “peak sports sedan,” which is where BMW made its brand. BMW hasn’t made a peak sports sedan in over a decade. They are in the business of leasing rolling audio/visual entertainment saloons to aspiring middle managers, devaluating the asset and making a profit on the post-lease sell (and all the service that poor owner must put up with).

        Cadillac can’t succeed trying to win a game their competitors are no longer playing…and their unique, and somewhat brutish design language doesn’t really help capture the hearts of corporate climbers who want to emulate the boss.

    • 0 avatar
      RobertRyan

      It does not look good for the long term viability of Cadillac, maybe merged with Buick? Anyway what is wrong with the ATS. Poor quality, Poor performance dynamics what ?

  • avatar
    Timothy

    If you were cross shopping the ATS against the A4, 3/4series, C-Class, etc you’d take a look at the ATS parts-bin special interior, turn around, and walk briskly out the door. It’s fugly.

    • 0 avatar

      That’s exactly what I did a year ago, when I went to the auto show to pre-screen performance sedans. I wanted to like the ATS, since I knew it had great handling and thought it looked great on the outside. But the interior was cramped, and one look at that crap instrument panel and I was gone. Bought a competitor instead.

  • avatar
    ccd1

    Don’t understand why a car this size is not a hatchback. Increases versatility so much

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      Good point.

    • 0 avatar
      seth1065

      hatch backs do not sell would be the reply you would get from most people and they are right.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      Well, of course a small sport sedan hatchback would sell here. That’s why BMW still sells them here. Whoops…

      • 0 avatar
        Richard Chen

        I might have seen the 3 series Grand Turismo once. Or was that the 5 series?

      • 0 avatar
        heavy handle

        They do sell them in the US. They give them a small lift and call them X1, X3, X5, X6. They also sell a bunch through Mini.

        Of course, what Cadillac really needs is a smaller SUV. Their two bigger SUVs are the only things moving off the dealers’ lots. Let’s hope for their sake that the SRX replacement isn’t a GMC badge swap.

        • 0 avatar

          I point out the obligatory ‘ A BMW in Germany is a five door one series, with 1.6 or 2.0 diesel with a manual. It sells there for about 30k, so it is only cheap by comparison to our costs, not theirs. I saw not one two door coupe….thousands of five doors.

          Muricans don’t do hatchbacks, unless you think a *UV is a car. Then we go all day every day. We then stare at the Crosstour funny. I had two SAAB 9 cars, so I know the love of hatch.

          What strikes me here is the CLA number. Look at the content of each car-assembly costs. The CLA is cheapest to make hands down, yet they are selling massive numbers. First the F30, now this….

    • 0 avatar
      DrSandman

      You know we need a hatchback. I know we need a hatchback. Everyone knows it. Sush — we just can’t call it that!

      How about a “liftback”? How about a trunk that you can fit something larger than a briefcase in? Based on target market demographics of the ‘Slade, how about just simply calling it the Caddy with the Big-Booty? I’d buy a Caddy with a gorgeous, huffalump big bootylicious trunk that can carry some junk! (edit truck==trunk)

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    Everyone drives at $19,9 for this brand new 2015 Pontiac ATS!

    • 0 avatar
      PrincipalDan

      When even my wife (born 1983) who has never lived during the time of Cadillacs glory days, who grew up in family with Chevys, Pontiacs, Fords, even a Datsun or two, who does not have a concept of what a Mercedes or a BMW should be, looks at an ATS and says: “That car is too small to be a real Cadillac.”

      Well let’s just say it isn’t only the enthusiasts on this site who think Cadillac ought to have presence and prestige – not “Wana-be BMW”.

      • 0 avatar
        redav

        I agree. No matter how much they want it, Cadillac will never have success being the American BMW.

        • 0 avatar
          Dan

          The ironic part is that at the same time that GM is half-assedly aping the BMWs of 15 years ago that even BMW can’t sell anymore, BMW is making a mint selling Cadillacs.

          The X5, X6, 5, 6, 7 are better Cadillacs than Cadillac has had in 40 years.

          • 0 avatar
            hachee

            THIS. This is exactly right. Remember, the BMWs that we enthusiasts love so much sold in smaller numbers. The market is smaller. And this is what Cadillac is chasing.

            Now BMW makes the best Cadillacs ever. When I see an older lady in a 5 Series, I think she would have been driving a Cadillac if this was 30 years ago. And when I see a 50 year old guy in a 6 Series, I know he would have been driving an Eldorado.

          • 0 avatar

            Heck yeah.
            I was in the local BMW disneyland today. Fun Fact. A new key with remote transmitter is $300, all in. D’Oh !

            Back to the point. Saw a 53K sport package 3. Sat in a lovely 428i with M sport. 60 k ? Wow.

            Mom has a current 5. It is the biggest car I’ve ever driven….the only car that approaches it is my Grandfather’s Chrysler New Yorker. It is fast, it ain’t sport. NY to LA, sure. Backroads ? Only on the way to the Inn. Mom and friend are prime classic Caddy customers…successful and older. They cross shopped E class and Jag and that was it.

            Yup, the current 3 has just won a clutch and front struts….

    • 0 avatar
      MrGreenMan

      That’s the vibe I got when I ventured to test drive such a celebrity of a new coupe! Would that I could have cruised the riviera if it had just sparked the allure.

  • avatar
    Pch101

    The compete-with-BMW strategy is too little too late and ill advised at this stage.

    But if that is going to remain the plan, then they should give these things away with a special leasing program in order to gain share for its own sake. I’m not being facetious when I say that it could include a two-for-one discount program — persuade couples to lease two of them at the same time, and spend the next 2-3 years providing them with the best possible customer experience in the hopes that they gush about it to their friends and business acquaintances.

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      I’d need it to be a 2 for 1 CTS. With an ATS, I would have to chop off my child’s legs for her to sit behind me, in her front facing car seat.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        Perhaps GM could offer free amputations in order to ease you into the deal.

        • 0 avatar
          bball40dtw

          Can they cut CUE out of the dashboard too?

          I’m was almost offended when a Cadillac salesman tried to sell me the ATS as a family freindly vehicle. I had an umbrella stroller (small fold up stroller) and a medium sized cooler in my car. They would not fit in the trunk of the ATS.

          • 0 avatar
            DrSandman

            Is it really that bad bball40? I’m 6’4″-ish with really, really lanky proportions. My oldest girl is going to wind up being 6’2″ or so when she finishes her growth spurt in a few years. So…. she won’t fit, huh?

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            I am 6’4″. When I put the driver’s seat to a spot that is comfortable for me, the seat back basically touches the rear seat. If you put a front facing car seat behind me, the child would have to not have legs that extended past the edge of the car seat. Rear facing car seats are a no go as well. The back of the car seat would prevent me from being able to get in the car.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      OK, then what should the plan have been?

      • 0 avatar
        bball40dtw

        Price both the ATS and CTS lower.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        I would have turned Opel into the global luxury car brand, as it has something in common with the successful luxury car brands — it’s German, too. Expecting a tarnished American Yank tank badge to appeal to the world is not realistic at this stage. (The makeover of Opel would not be easy, but reinventing Cadillac will be even more difficult.)

        Cadillac should have been turned into an SUV-only badge, a sort of brash version of Range Rover. There is more of a chance of achieving global credibility with that than with the passenger cars.

        Sell those two brands via the same channel, along with the Corvette (that would be separately branded from Chevrolet.)

      • 0 avatar
        sportyaccordy

        PHEV Imaj/Elmiraj based on the Epsilon II platform.

        Escalade launched as a separate brand, aping Range Rover (and entering segments of growth above industry averages).

        Reskin of Sigma CTS with new all turbo engine lineup.

        Keep $1B cash for ignition death payouts.

        Etc etc… Alpha platform and ATS/CTS are prob at the bottom of the list of ways GM could have best invested the $1B spent to develop Alpha platform and whatever else they spent to develop the ATS/CTS. They will never get a return on their investment.

      • 0 avatar

        Cadillac targeted the wrong “Germans”.
        Since Cadillac is having to use generic GM chassis,they shouldn’t be targeting BMW,they should be going after Mercedes Benz as “The American Luxury” brand.
        Quality check the heck out of the production line,fine tune for a luxurious ride and use top line materials throughout the car.
        Sell for the soft ride,luxurious seating,quality craftmanship and ramp up dealer service/support.
        Me,I’d go w/a coupe,a sedan and a freakin’ land-yacht sedan along w/small,medium and large SUVs.

    • 0 avatar
      redav

      In c 2008, Hyundai did a buy a Sonata(?) and get an Accent for $1.

      They could try that–buy a CTS (or maybe a CT6) and get an ATS lease for $1.

    • 0 avatar
      Richard Chen

      Or, get onto this list, probably with a hefty down payment:
      http://www.edmunds.com/car-leasing/monthly-199-lease-deals.html

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      That’s actually not a bad idea. Luring customers in this segment is about more than just the cars, they need the opportunity to service the customer if you know what I mean.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        It would be an expensive idea. I doubt that GM would be willing to sustain the cost, particularly over a prolonged period.

        • 0 avatar
          danio3834

          At the very least they need to break the brand away from the GM mainstream and give Cadillac customers a special kind of fellatiation that they can get with the other premium brands. Some of that actual cost can be carried by the dealer, in addition to GM increasing support on the back end.

          • 0 avatar

            BMW-Ikea seating area, popular sodas, coffee with real milk. Large bottled water. Sometimes finger food in one dealer.
            Audi-smaller Ikea area, one shot coffee with fake creamers, bottled water (small ones)
            Acura-tiny bagels and muffins. Fresh Coffee machine and real milk. Ok seating area.
            VW-dentist style waiting room. Meh coffee, fake creamer only. No food. (go to Audi side) I can see how Phaeton guy might have been unhappy, silly as it is….

            Or, as I tell my kids, the coffee isn’t free, it’s included….

    • 0 avatar
      Smythe

      I mean, the lease deal was a big part of why I leased an ATS in November. I think it was like $3100 manufacturer rebate, $1500 conquest cash, a decent (though not German-caliber) residual, and the bank covered like 85% of my sales tax. Ended up with the equivalent of about $8500 total off MSRP, with $0 down and a reasonable monthly lease for 3 years. A comparable 3 series wasn’t even close.

      I may be the only one saying it, but it’s a nice car. Maybe my 30-something peers don’t know what it is, but what do I ultimately care about image? It certainly stands out in our downtown parking garage. I don’t use it as an Uber, so what do I care about back seat legroom? It looks great, is really fun to drive, is a lot better inside than people give it credit for, and it costs less than it should (with free maintenance to boot). Given the imminent resale value, am I glad I leased it? Of course. Hell, that’s why I leased instead of buying. But I’m a happy new Cadillac ATS owner. There are literally dozens of us!

  • avatar
    seth1065

    well lets see caddy could fix the issues in a later version make the car what people want and by that time the name is shot but you would get a great used car , is that not The GM way, hard to believe this car can not outsell some of it rivals, hell the MKZ kills it.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    Here’s how you do clickbait:

    1) Story about Cadillac ATS, guaranteed draw on this site
    2) Posit whether the sales stats, which come out tomorrow, will show another decline
    3) Run a story tomorrow with the actual results

    Clicks generated. Win.

    • 0 avatar
      sportyaccordy

      I know it brings you physical pain to hear this, but Caddy’s strategy is just not working. If you don’t want to read/talk about it, I am pretty sure nobody is forcing you too.

      This Alpha platform/JdN debacle is worthy of B school case studies and is worth talking about. Dont let your fanboiism keep you from seenig that. Nobody wants WannaBMWs… even BMW is moving away from this dynamics stuff.

      “Theyre not “corner carving”.
      They’re SITTING IN TRAFFIC.”

      • 0 avatar
        PonchoIndian

        They only people defending BMW for getting soft is the BMW fanboys.

        At this point the whole ATS and Cadillac bashing is getting old and tired (and unimaginative). It does appear that they have screwed up, this happens, even to the less criticized brands out there.

        I’d be far more interested to find out why Lexus is only selling about 100 more GS’s each month. Why is the A4 (available in a wagon and with a diesel option) only selling about 400 copies more than the ATS per month?

        • 0 avatar
          sportyaccordy

          I think the story is interesting. Its a real case study in how a good car can fail.

          GS/A4 stories are easy. ES has pretty much caught up to the GS in luxury and day to day performance, with a roomier interior and a steep discount. Done. A4 is like 8 years old, and nobody in the US buys diesels or wagons. Done.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            “GS/A4 stories are easy. ES has pretty much caught up to the GS in luxury and day to day performance, with a roomier interior and a steep discount. Done.”

            You mean, the ES that’s down 11% for the year and 22% for April?

            That “traditional luxury,” tho…

        • 0 avatar
          hachee

          As for the A4, I’d say the fact that it’s in its 7 year of its cycle, sales are holding up pretty well. And this fact hardly ever seems to come up (maybe it’s less relevant than I think?): doesn’t Cadillac have a lot more dealers than Audi? Obviously more cars sold per dealer is better for the dealer and for the manufacturer.

          • 0 avatar
            heavy handle

            The new A4 will be announced in a few weeks. Audi’s business is mostly leasing (aka residuals), so it would make sense if they were holding back A4 allocations.

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        Yeah, BMW’s making softer cars, but if they all drove like Avalons, would they succeed?

        Say “yes” with a straight face. And then I’ll know you have no idea what you’re talking about.

  • avatar

    The ATS is a victim of Cadillac “arrogance”, its a phenomenal car, perhaps a touch small but a great car. Sadly the pricing is not reflective of the market position of the Cadillac brand.

    Its as if Cadillac refuses to find the market sweet spot for its brand (how much is the market prepared to pay for a Cadillac that is as good as the Teutonic competitors).

    • 0 avatar
      bomberpete

      How the hell Cadillac didn’t follow the original Lexus strategy and price the CTS some 30% lower than E/5-series/A6 is beyond me.

      If they had chased Lexus instead of the Germans, it might not have come to this. After all, wasn’t the original LS 400 the Cadillac that GM couldn’t make when Roger Smith was running GM (into the ground)?

      There is still hope for CTS with fire-sale pricing. The ATS is a loser. It has a “kick me” sign on its back and is done for.
      Johan’s arrogant public utterances are making matters worse.

      Who is really gonna pay sticker for any V model now? I’d love to see the “business case.”

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        Discount MSRPs tarnish the brand. If the goal is to create cachet value, then that’s the wrong way to do it.

        The workaround to that is subsidized leasing. BMW has done a brilliant job of combining leasing with a strong CPO program that pushes volume while maintaining residuals. Instead of copying the cars, GM should copy BMW’s financial services business.

        • 0 avatar
          bomberpete

          Excellent point. Watch any luxury car ad. It isn’t,t about the car. It’s the deal that matters.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            I wouldn’t go that far — the cars do matter. But the deal has to be structured so that those who have above-average incomes but little cash can get into it.

            The Germans are quite experienced with this in their home market — the company car market props up their business. If they hadn’t adapted those lessons to the US, then Lexus would have cleaned their clocks.

          • 0 avatar
            bomberpete

            Excellent point. Watch any luxury car ad. It isn’t about the car. It’s the deal that matters.

            I still favor discounting to move the crap that is Sitting in lots and stressing out dealers.

            Besides, hasn’t the Cadillac brand been tarnished since at least 1980, when the 1st failing 8-6-4 engines hit the service department?

        • 0 avatar
          bomberpete

          I remember the first super deals that BMW and Mercedes were offering around 1991-94. Lexus was really creaming them.

          Then came the decontenting in the product.

        • 0 avatar
          DeadWeight

          Alas, another Cadillac dilemma; they can’t get the ATS, CTS or XTS to compete on leasing with BMW, since these 3 vehicles’ residuals are so utterly horrid.

          And this problem is compounded by the fact that with now massive incentives (relative as a % to MSRP) being offered on the ATS, CTS and XTS, earlier buyers are livid as they understandably feel as if they “overpaid” for their vehicles, see their resale values destroyed, many of whom vow to never buy another Cadillac (or even GM product – this is very discernable as to buyers of the 3rd gen CTS, which saw its sticker price increased dramatically compared to the prior gen, and which Cadillac/Dealership incentives reach as high as $17,500 off sticker, and even more for leftover V-Sport models).

          Johan de Nysschen alleged he was going to hold the line on incentives, yet given that dealers are Cadillac’s customers, and that they literally couldn’t move ATSs or CTSs, they insisted on heavy program incentives and won (Johan never had to deal with 933 Audi or Infinity dealers nursed on and used to heavy manufacturer incentives nearly to the degree GM dealers are – yet was he naive enough to really believe he could change this?).

          Catch 22s all over the place for Cadillac, as they’ve trapped themselves in their own failing narrative.

        • 0 avatar
          sportyaccordy

          Heres the thing though. U cant just create cachet value out of thin air. And if u are going to sell a 3 series fighter for 3 series money without 3 series cachet, it simply has to be a much better all around car, which the ATS isn’t. The ATS beats the 3 in things the market no longer cares about.

          Following BMW’s finance plan wouldn’t work well either… Caddy would need BMW’s strong residuals, which it never had.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            BMW residuals are strong because of its CPO program. Subsidize the leases, then control the lease return inventory so that it stays in the BMW dealer network and can be redelivered at a premium.

            The Cadillac brand itself is toxic in this context. But if GM is going to insist on reinventing it, then it will need to fight for every driveway and create word of mouth. That would entail losing considerable amounts of money during the interim while the tastemakers change their loyalties (assuming that is possible.)

          • 0 avatar
            hachee

            The only thing is, the cars have to be desirable as CPO cars 3 years down the road. You need people to want them.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            One of the points of an aggressive leasing program is to win over hearts and minds, which increases demand, which increases residuals.

      • 0 avatar

        Base BMW/MB = loaded Inf/Lex
        Caddy could have done this….decently loaded cars at the lower price point. They would think they lose cachet, but the sales would improve.

        One of the interesting things with Caddy is that the option packages make it almost impossible to compare cars. They do rely on pricing by obsfucation. BMW is $ plus $$ options equals XX. Caddy has contrasting options and packages. Acura is almost funny with base/tech/sport/full hoohaa.

        You can’t command price unless you have the most desirable product out there.

        • 0 avatar
          Pch101

          The point is that the MSRP is there to provide credibility and to help to boost residuals.

          The way to actually move the cars is through subsidized leases with relatively low monthly charges that bear little resemblance to the sticker on the window. This is what BMW does, and it is an effective strategy.

    • 0 avatar
      bomberpete

      Exactly. they say the Germans are arrogant yet they’re profitable.

  • avatar
    jhott997

    If only there was a wagon, manual, diesel version of the ATS.
    Maybe the ATS-V will give the ATS model the sales boost it needs?

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    The situation is even more dire when you factor in days of inventory (damn near 7 months vs an industry average of 2 months) and transaction prices (below invoice on average).

    The unthusiast MKZ (thats Fusion XLE) sells in about the same numbers at the same average price, but at a healthy margin for Ford. Has a real back seat too. What did GM get for its money?

    Truthfully, even with the new Camaro, there was no business case for the Alpha platform. Caddy grossly overestimated its brand power and the value of dynamics in the marketplace.

    Like BTSR said…

    “They aren’t “corner carving”.
    They are SITTING IN TRAFFIC.”

    • 0 avatar
      davefromcalgary

      This is pretty accurate.

      My lemon-y problems aside, the Verano T is a great car because its extremely quiet, comfortable and effortless to drive, and eats up the highway miles very well. ONly once in 13 months did I think to myself “boy this car could handle a bit better” and that was going Calgary to Jasper through the mountains (5 hour drive on twisty two-lane).

      As quite a few have mentioned, Buick makes batter Cadillacs than Cadillac.

  • avatar
    DeadWeight

    {GM Planning Session Regarding Design & Engineering of Future ATS – Code Name 3-series-slaya’- Circa 2010.}

    Design/Engineering staff members have been seated. Meeting commenced.

    Team Member 1 – “Whew. We’re alive still. Okay, as you are aware, this has to conquest sales from the liked of BMW’s 3 series, so with that in mind, let us focus on what we can change in design phase, now, to ensure it succeeds in that role. Suggestions?”

    Team Member 7 – “It’s motor is too large. Let’s go with a base 4, and an optional 6, just like the 3.”

    Team Member 4 – “He’s right. Gotta be a 4 banger.”

    Team Member 9 – “Really? Can we at least make it FI? Mike?”

    Team Member 1 – “Yeah. We need to do that if we’re going 4 cylinder…”

    Team Member 7 – “Fine. I’m just staying on message…”

    Team Member 1 – “What about back seat. This has come up.”

    Team Member 4 – “The 3 is tight back there. I could barely fit a child safety seat in rear of the passenger seat, and my wife is only 5’3″.”

    Team Member 3 – “Yep. We need a super tight rear seat. This is taking on the best of the Germans after all. Rear seat room should be like, totally an afterthought.”

    Team Member 1 – “So, rear seat passengers really need to suffer for the handling and 3-ness of it all?”

    Team Member 5 – “Yeah! We’re not playin’ around. Make it really, really cramped!”

    Team Member 3 – “Exactly. Shows we’re very serious about performance, damn1t!.”

    Team Member 1 – “Okay.” {Jots down notes for design changes}

    Team Member 1 – “Now, trunk.”

    Team Member 4 – “Smaller than 3. For weight/performance’s sake.”

    Team Member 3 – “Agreed.”

    Team Member 5 – “Yep.”

    Team Member 1 – “Smaller? Okay.” {Jots down notes for design changes}

    Team Member 1 – “Cue. Changes?”

    -Silence-

    Team Member 1 – {Muttering and jots down notes} “Keep…Cue…same.”

    Team Member 1 – “Suspension?”

    Team Members 3, 4, 5 and 9 in unison – “Really harsh!”

    Team Member 1 – {Muttering and writing} “Harsher.. than…3.”

    Team Member 1 – “Okay. Gauges are an issue as depicted. Bean counters say too costly. Parts bin it?”

    Team Member 3 – “Parts bin it! Tight rear! Punishing ride! 4 banger! Tiny trunk! Even more so than 3 Series! Priorities!”

    Team Member 1 – “Agreed?”

    Chorus of “Agreed!”

    Team Member 1 – “Okay. Big one. Price? Suggestions? I’ll open with it’s as good as a 3 Series, am I right?”

    Team Member 5 – “As good as? As good as?”

    Team Member 3 – “Back seat, better! Ride, better! Trunk, better! It even has a 4 cylinder base motor, like the 3!!!”

    Team Member 7 – “Gotta be priced like a 3.”

    Team Members 3 & 5 in unison – “Damn straight!”

    Team Member 1 – {Jots notes} That’s it for now, but we’ll be on continuation as we work with accounting, who will probably gut a lot of what we do anyways.”

    {Laughter erupts.}

    Team Member 1 – “Thanks, guys. Let’s adjourn until next month or whenever.”

  • avatar
    VenomV12

    The ATS makes sense as a coupe and nothing else.

  • avatar
    ltcmgm78

    Our local dealer in O’Fallon, IL posted an online ad that said they had 2013 ATSs that had been through “the recall” and were available for sale. I was not aware of any “recall” but it sure would not have given me any confidence to lay down that much money for a new one. I bring my SAAB convertible there for service but just have a hard time paying that much jack for something that to me doesn’t even look like a Cadillac. On the other hand, if the price were low enough, I would consider the ELS. It is a very attractive car regardless of the drive train.

  • avatar
    John Franklin Mason

    Situation is such Cadillac is jinxed. Mercedes, BMW and Audi began as pedigree brands while Cadillac began as a Ford with innovation and earn it’s degree as the “Standard of the World” with style.

    After having gotten the designs developed in General Motors secret “Project 77” program at a steal and after those designs ran their course Cadillac lost it’s groove as the “Standard of the World” Cadillac has been a social climber every since abandoning American artistry for the pretense of European aristocracy.

  • avatar
    bkrell

    I live in a pretty upscale gated community and the only Cadillacs I ever see my neighbors drive are CTS-Vs and Escalades. I like the ATS, though. I can’t wait to see what the ATS-V will do.

  • avatar
    theoldguard

    I drove a friend’s ATS and loved it. I thought it was the best handling car I had ever driven. That includes 2 BMW’s and a Mercedes. No, the interior is not space age Jetsons, but the car drives very well. Some have alleged on this forum that ATS is such a piece of junk that it can be had for 10K off sticker. If I can get an ATS for 23K, it’s a deal. Also, how much do age and racial angles work against Cadillac and Lincoln?

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      I think that the ATS is a great car, dynamically. However, it has way too many real world shortcomings for me to buy it. I am it’s target buyer too.

      I find that it would be easier to daily drive a Mustang or Camaro.

      • 0 avatar
        PonchoIndian

        bball
        I think we both are/aren’t the target..You aren’t a DINK though (I am for now) so you’re less of a target other than age/income.

        • 0 avatar
          bball40dtw

          Probably. I’d consider a CTS. The lease deals are pretty good.

          • 0 avatar
            jkross22

            bball,

            The lease deals are good on CTS’? It’s $570/mo. plus tax for an ‘ultra low mile’ lease – 30k for life of lease.

            Doesn’t sound too good to me.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            I live in Detroit. The Cadillac dealership by where I work has 2015 2.0T AWD CTSs for $299/mo with $1500 down. It’s ultra low mile (1000 mile/month) lease.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            @bball

            Still way too much, I say either do n.m.d or $199-229/mo to move that junk. At the *very* least, don’t be stingy with lease mileage terms, offer double the competition. Low miles on these things isn’t going to matter as they don’t fly off the shelves.

    • 0 avatar
      PonchoIndian

      theoldguard

      The ATS has exactly the same TTAC disease that the Malibu does. It is actually a pretty decent ride (depending on one’s taste) and actually gets decent reviews from the “other” auto journalistic sources, but it is the current punching bag for a whole slew of people who would publicly never set foot in a Cadillac even if it was declared better than the best out there.

      No it doesn’t get advertised (advertising is a major issue for GM in general), and it a lot smaller than anyone has ever seen from Caddy (we’ll pretend the J-body was never badged as such).

      To each their own. I’ve never driven one but would really like to try out a ATS-V.

      • 0 avatar
        bball40dtw

        See, I think the ATS is actually a good driver in 2.0T and 3.6L form. I don’t have issues with the ride or engines. On the other hand, I don’t really like the Malibu. It’s not a bad car, it’s just pedestrian. I’m sure it will be a good used buy though.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          You must have missed yesterday’s diatribe on the 2.0T.

          https://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/04/rental-review-2015-chevrolet-malibu-lt/#comment-5553714

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            I read it. I’m just saying I don’t have an issue with the engine as far as driving it goes. Reliability, I dunno. I haven’t pondered ownership of a 2.0T ATS long enough, I guess.

            I’d perfer a 3.6L CTS, but it’s $55K to get into a base one. I’d rather have an MKS Ecoboost for less. I’d buy neither new though. If I’m dropping $55K on a new car, it’s going to be a Mustang GT Premium with enough left over for the Ford Racing/Rousch Racing supercharger kit. Dealer installed and warranty friendly.

      • 0 avatar
        TMA1

        I wish there had been no advertising. I had to watch this ATS ad about 100 times ever Sunday during football season:

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SSdJCt2vACQ

        I doubt they gave up on it, but I don’t watch much else on broadcast TV.

  • avatar
    theoldguard

    I would want a BMW again—if they made entry-level in-line 6’s. If everything made now has inline-4, they all start to blend together. I wish I could buy new 1987 BMW 325is.

    • 0 avatar
      sportyaccordy

      The 325iS was not the entry level model. Only time BMW offered 6 bangers as base was was the E46 and E90 (OK a pretty long time).

      If you adjust for inflation though, the 335i is much cheaper than the 325i ever was, and that’s not even counting the improved quality etc.

    • 0 avatar
      Zykotec

      Up to and including the E34-body even the 5-series had a 4 banger entry level model, though maybe not in the US. The last 518 could do a blistering 14 sec. 0-60 sprint, and could (in typical german tradition) be had, in sedan or touring form, with more or less every normal BMW option except (luckily) an automatic .

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al From 'Murica

      Wouldn’t the entry level 3 series in 87 be a 318i complete t=with the inline 4? I had a 92 318I wagon (the last of the E30…the wagon hung on to the platform for an extra year). It was a Euro spec car and honestly I wouldn’t knock the 4. Driving it at the Amalfi Coast is probably the best automotive memory I have. I must resist the urge to import one lest it taint those memories.

    • 0 avatar

      I want a fresh e46. The only thing I’d do different is to get seat heaters and the ski pass through (winter package)

  • avatar
    Zackman

    Bring back the De Ville – a nice, big Cadillac – which will sell, as long as it isn’t cheap and has a proper V8. Cadillacs are supposed to be large, powerful, luxurious & comfortable cars. The current crop of Caddys isn’t even close.

    I can dream, can’t I?

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      They are going too except its going to cost $90,000 and suck.

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        CT6 announcements/unveil baffles me.

        A 2.0T base motor?

        Allegedly priced (base) around 70k?

        Some fetish-desire in getting roughly 30% of the material in the chassis to be aluminum, another 10% alternative lightweight materials (Layered balsa? Carbon fiber?) and in what appears to be a difficult bonding process?

        Why such expense and risky measures for what should be a low volume, 4 door, “luxury” sedan? Why not go simple, cost effective, reliable and proven on such a car?

        Will it ride like a Cadillac should (absolutely plush) or try and copy BMW’s 7 Series (which doesn’t sell in anything remotely approaching serious volume and has poor ride quality for an executive saloon, IMO)?

        Very messy.

    • 0 avatar
      ponchoman49

      +1

    • 0 avatar
      sportyaccordy

      I think they could do this, but in order to sell it would need to be a heavily isolated 4 banger PHEV. People don’t care about cylinder count, they just want to be able to cruise at 80-90 MPH and merge onto the highway w/no drama. A ~400HP PHEV uber Impala would do that and probably get like 30MPG for 50K, which is the realistic limit for what a Cadillac can sell en masse these days w/o an Escalade badge.

      • 0 avatar

        In other words, Cadillac should sell for Buick money.

        That’s gonna be a problem if the name of the game is building brand cache. They’re better off going the German Subsidized Lease route.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          But then they are the imitation German brand, if both are lease queen brands and cost about the same which am I choosing: the original or the imposter?

        • 0 avatar
          sportyaccordy

          A fully loaded Regal GS is like $43K. If Caddy delivers on style, quality and content they have room to play above Buick. Plus Buick is weak on hybrids whereas Caddy has much more room to leverage and build its brand image around it.

          Caddy will never be able to build the brand cachet necessary to sell $100K sedans or $60K store brand 335is. And they don’t have the residuals to do the subsidized lease route. Their best bet is to go the Lincoln route, with more style. Epsilon II platform is excellent. Spray it down with noise isolation material, load it up full with tech/leather/soft touch plastics, make it look like one of their concepts that end in “j” and price it starting at $45 or so K. Maybe throw in a long wheelbase version. They could consolidate all 3 of their sedans into one line, sell a ton of them, and make minimal investment/development. Lincoln is pushing out more MKZs than Caddy is pushing out ATSs or CTSs more profitably….

          • 0 avatar
            PonchoIndian

            “Caddy will never be able to build the brand cachet necessary to sell $100K sedans or $60K store brand 335is.”

            Huh? I’ll try to be nice, but that is probably the most short sighted comment I’ve seen.

            Will they be able to in the next 5 years…maybe not… But I’d like to see the crystal ball you’re using and the crack you’re smoking to make such a broad statement like that. The same thing was said about Audi at one time too…Not even going to mention all the other brands that has been said about and it has turned around.

          • 0 avatar
            sportyaccordy

            There are just too many things stacked against Caddy becoming a German fighter. Audi for example came into the segment when the only other options were the 3 series and the C class- neither of which had AWD, which was a huge selling point for Audi. And even now, the A6 and even more so the A8 are hardly blazing the sales charts. Interest in large sedans at all price points has been waning… big SUVs just make more sense for more people, which is why the Escalade reigns surpeme.

            Plus GM has demonstrated time and time again that they just don’t understand the luxury market. The Escalade and 1st/2nd gen CTSs are as close as they’ve come; and rather than build on the momentum of the previous CTS they needlessly hail maryed the Alpha platform into a heavily covered segment, when they could have just ran it up the middle with a reskinned Sigma CTS.

            You are talking about 5, 10, 20 years…. how many years of hemorraghing cash and perpetually misunderstanding the luxury market will Cadillac squander before it realizes its true place in the luxury pecking order + the actual desires of luxury CUSTOMERS (not internet dynamics enthusiasts with empty pockets) and capitalizes on it?

          • 0 avatar
            PonchoIndian

            Who said German fighter?

            When Audi was down in the dumps people were saying the same thing…and they still sold plenty of FWD models then. Now that everyone has AWD it isn’t as much of a selling feature but it is still part of who they are (like Subaru ugg).

            Lets stay on point here, one second your saying Caddy will never have the chops to compete..on the other hand you’re saying the whole segment is going down the tubes anyway.

            I’m not sure what you mean “time and time again” in not understanding the luxury market..but I’m sure I don’t want to get into it either.

            The Alpha platform is excellent and will eventually pay off once it gets spread around a little more. Had they just reskinned or done the other things you suggested you would have been on here bitching about how they don’t invest enough in new chassis and are generations behind because they’re only reskinning their product.

          • 0 avatar
            jkross22

            “Caddy will never be able to build the brand cachet necessary to sell $100K sedans or $60K store brand 335is.”

            I thought the same thing about Hyundai in 1991 never being able to compete with Honda, Toyota and Nissan.

          • 0 avatar
            sportyaccordy

            “Who said German fighter?”

            Johan de Nysschen, Cadillac’s president.

            And yes, Cadillac will never have the chops to compete, AND they are focusing on segments that are either at full saturation (3/5 series) or dying a slow death (7 series… fun fact, Escalade outsells the S class in the US).

            The Alpha platform is indeed excellent; unfortunately people buy cars, not platforms. Platform doesn’t matter when attempts to change volume or HVAC settings result in fist banging and screaming, or a back seat is less than comfy for someone who will be using it often. No need to wait for word to spread- everyone knows the Alpha is a great platform. It just doesnt underpin great cars. People would rather buy MKZs and overpriced 3s instead, because the 99.999999% of the time they aren’t exploiting the potential of their car’s chassis they are enjoying cars that are much easier to live with in the daily drive.

            “They’re not corner carving.
            They’re SITTING IN TRAFFIC.”

          • 0 avatar
            PonchoIndian

            “And yes, Cadillac will never have the chops to compete, AND they are focusing on segments that are either at full saturation (3/5 series) or dying a slow death (7 series… fun fact, Escalade outsells the S class in the US).”

            Haha, this was fun until you became Carnac and got arrogant enough to think you can make such predictions of the future. You really should be CEO of a major company with such self assurance and knowledge of the unpredictable.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al From 'Murica

        I don’t know. I think if I were paying 70k for a GM product I would expect the company’s best engine and that has 8 cylinders.

    • 0 avatar
      Drzhivago138

      You want a large, powerful, luxurious and comfortable Caddy with a V8? How ’bout the Escalade?

  • avatar

    If the only thing GM did was change the ATS’s instrument cluster into something with a bit more class, that’d make me happy. Otherwise, I’m gonna go out on a limb and say Caddy should keep on doing what it’s doing right now. With the sedans, I mean.

    On the other hand, Caddy should get a clue and copy Land Rover’s Range Rover lineup. Can you imagine what people would pay for a baby Escalade Sport?

  • avatar
    jmiller417

    I think the main problem is the badge. When I bought my ATS, most comments from friends were about how Cadillac is an old man’s car, even though mine is a 2.0t manual. No amount of my explaining how fun it is to drive puts them off that notion. If GM still owned Saab and sold it as that, everyone would say it’s the greatest Saab ever, at least if they could get over the RWD setup.

    The interior uses pretty high-quality materials, and the design is no worse than the 3-series, IMO. (The new C’s interior is a class above, even if it is maybe a little too steampunk for my tastes.) OK, CUE isn’t great (so I’ve heard, mine mercifully lacks it), but I don’t think the back seat is such a big deal in this segment. I’ve sat back there to test it out, and it’s not noticeably worse than my parents’ last-gen C-Class. (For the record, I’m only 5’9″ or so.) The back seat’s size can be a problem versus expectations for a Cadillac, but it’s hardly small enough to be that big an issue versus other cars in the segment. And that gets back to the brand image.

    This is my first GM in 25 years, so I don’t necessarily associate the gauges with GM’s cheaper models. They don’t have a wow factor, to be sure, but they don’t come across as excessively cheap versus my old 128i (designed before BMW started luxing up its interiors, I know). I would agree, though, that there should be more differentiation from other GM cars.

    In any case, I should be thankful for whatever is causing the sluggish sales. I picked up mine for a steal!

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    There were so many ways to have better spent the $1B (plus!!!!) GM spent on the Alpha platform. Yes, a lighter CTS and Camaro would be nice, but quite frankly all of the CTS/Camaro competitors are pretty heavy and nobody buying the cars cares. The ATS/CTS are great cars but the money they spent developing the chassis was wasted as it seems to have been spent at the expense of other more important things. Here are some ways I think GM could have better spent that money:

    – Add a Volt style PHEV powetrain to the Epsilon II platform and make the new CTS that
    – Reskin the Sigma CTS and develop new + better turbo engines and ditch the 3.6 for a 3.0TT
    – Break out Escalade as its own brand a la Range Rover, dump the SRX and make Escalade Evoques and RR Sports, again based on existing (Epsilon II and Sigma) platforms
    – Put that $1B in the market
    – Sit on the $1B in cash

    Etc etc

    As much as I love them another sports sedan is the last thing the market needed, let alone 2, for BMW prices without BMW cachet and ease of use

    • 0 avatar
      Krivka

      I like the idea, but think the new platform was needed. Caddy does need to get a new personality though.The current styling is nice, but not THAT nice. I am happy they are going off on their own re: engines, but hope they keep the NorthStar guy away from the R&D team. Start-stop would be a nice standard feature on all their cars. I love the ATS, but after renting one for a few weeks in CA and loving almost everything about it, I wouldn’t buy one because of CUE. I know it is not a good reason, but I could not take it.

      • 0 avatar
        sportyaccordy

        CUE is a more than legit reason… what % of the time will changing HVAC or radio settings be more important than at the limit dynamics? Probably all of the time.

        I know it looks old these days but I do really prefer a good old double DIN radio. Aftermarket + phone companies have done a much better job at infotainment integration than any car manufacturer. Just get an in dash with screen mirroring, and boom… your head unit becomes a much safer extension of your phone. It’s a real no brainer.

        • 0 avatar

          My 2014 Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen had a double-DIN head unit. I believe it was the Volkswagen RCD-510 unit. The 2015 Golf SportWagen that replaced it has its screen and switches in the center stack, while the actual unit is in the glove box, so no more double-DIN.

          Looking at certain other manufacturers (Subaru, Scion), my guess is that they still use double-DIN units.

          • 0 avatar
            sportyaccordy

            A lot of dashes have integrated units that can be popped out. My Civic has provisions for a double DIN unit.

            Problem is with cars from makers like BMW and Mazda who integrate everything. You are pretty much stuck with what they give you, which sucks if they get it wrong.

  • avatar
    Chan

    Nobody wants a small Caddy that costs as much as a BMW, even if it drives like a BMW.

    Add to that the Binge Product Renamer (aka De Nysschen) whose ultimate goal seems to be to confuse all the customers with letters and numbers.

  • avatar
    hachee

    The beginning of the turnaround was the original Escalade, which I admit I thought would flop. But it was big and bold, and sold to people who wanted this, and it was a success. Then came the 2004 CTS. It may have been flawed, but it was bold, and it was bigger than a 3 but priced like it. IIRC, it sold well enough, met expectations, considering it was really a new entry. Then came the STS, which was nice, but really a watered down CTS, and it didn’t sell too well. Then came the 2nd gen CTS, which was again bold, and polarizing (I personally loved it), and it sold well, as did the next generations of Escalades (big and bold and in your face).

    Then someone wanted Cadillac to play with the big boys, and smoothed out the styling, and watered it down. And priced the CTS and ATS way too high.

    I’m thinking there’s a pattern here. The bold, in your face cars sold well. I think what’s holding the CTS and ATS back now is the styling. They’re nice looking, but not bold and brash like the last CTS or Escalades. So now, with higher prices, there’s nothing which stands out about them, so no compelling reason to choose one over their competitors. Not enough people seem to care about superlative driving characteristics.

    And I don’t see this changing with the CT6. It looks nice, sure, and the interior looks very nice, but it needed to stand out, like an Escalade (for better or worse) or and Elmiraj (for better).

    • 0 avatar
      sportyaccordy

      The whole luxury segment is starved for style. The German offerings look downright boring, and the Japanese entries are similarly boring or downright ugly. As the Chrysler 300 showed, Americans will forego a LOT for a luxury car that oozes with style and distinctiveness. If GM can deliver on the promises of style made by their “ends in j” concepts they could sell rebadged Malibus for $40-50K… which would net a ton more profit than these heavily incentivized E46 fighters.

      • 0 avatar
        hachee

        That’s right, which is exactly why Cadillac should be doing what worked for them in the past. For the life of me I can’t figure it out. Are they designing the current cars for the Chinese market? In the US, at least, as long as Cadillacs look merely “nice”, there’s no good reason to buy one over the default choices. Cadillac will never beat the Germans at this game as long as they’re only selling a similar product. It’s got to stand out.

    • 0 avatar
      Hummer

      Bingo, the market for boring cars is well cornered, in both the economy and luxury classes, without brand cache you cannot access the meat of these buyers.
      Want to build the brand cache to get there? Cheap and better, or make something that doesn’t blend into the back ground. No one notices a CRV or a 3-series, how do you miss a Mini Cooper or a International MXT?

      The CT6 is being well positioned to follow the ATSs path, with boring styling and a base engine that belongs in a Chevy sonic, you have to be a diehard to not wonder WTF is happening.

      • 0 avatar
        RobertRyan

        Cadillac is light years away from the cars,that used to take US Presidents around in the 1930’s . ” Standard of the World” is right, it shows how far it is from meeting a reasonable standard for a so called luxury car

  • avatar
    theoldguard

    The American brands, Jeep’s Wrangler being the exception, have lost their “magic.” I am old enough to remember when they had it. GTO, Roadrunner, SS 396 were magic. What none of us knew is that most of them were just like our grandmother’s Tempest, Satellite, and Malibu with addition of dual exhaust and 4bbl carb. I have a lot of loyalty to those brands. That is not rational, I know. But how many of us would have bought the cars we did if we had made entirely rational decisions?

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al From 'Murica

      I think anyone who cares enough to post in these forums has some emotion tied up in their automotive purchase or we’d all be buying Carollas and posting in the Consumer Reports forum. Every time I roll up the windows in my Frontier I think of my Grandfather’s old 78 GMC truck for example. Not exactly an E30 BMW, but I still love it.

  • avatar
    Big Al From 'Murica

    Wow…I need an Avatar.

  • avatar
    runs_on_h8raide

    Cadillac is no longer an aspirational brand. It’s way down on the list in that market. No one aspires to a Cadillac anymore…maybe 40-50 years ago, but no more. MB, BMW, Audi, Lexus are all aspirational luxury brands for the masses.

    The Art & Science design was and still is terrible. Great…the car does well on the ‘Ring, but it looks terrible…inside and out. And it doesn’t matter which Cadillac it is…their competitors all look better…especially the Germans.

    To make matters worse for Cadillac, their pricing strategy is bonkers! I’m in agreement with the camp here that they should be at least 20-30% cheaper vs. the competition. They have nothing to lose really. Get some market penetration going, because right now, with the pricing strategy they have, they’ll continue to fail, along with the current styling. I believe it gets worse from here, before it gets better…if it gets better at all.

    • 0 avatar
      runs_on_h8raide

      It occurred to me that GM should shelve the Cadillac name. A relaunch under a different name should be discussed. The name Cadillac is no longer an asset, imo.

      • 0 avatar
        Spartan

        The Escalade disagrees with you.

        Cadillac needs to launch an Escalade Sport and do what Land Rover did to re-engergize the Range Rover lineup. That alone would jumpstart things at Cadillac.

        People aren’t buying cars like they used to. However, people love CUVs and SUVs with high driving positions. Cadillac needs more CUVs and SUVs time now.

  • avatar
    Counterpoint

    Why does the ATS have so little interior space? As a point of comparison the Subaru WRX is the same exterior size and same size engine but provides much more interior volume including a usable back seat. Obviously the WRX isn’t a direct competitor but it does show what’s possible with competent designers.

    • 0 avatar
      jmiller417

      For the record, the rear legroom in the ATS is 35.5″ and in the WRX 35.4″. The front of the WRX does have 43.3″ vs 42.5″, but that’s not the alleged issue.

      Also, the numbers are 35.1″ and 42″, respectively, for the 3-series.

      • 0 avatar
        wmba

        And yet in real life the backseat of the WRX is enormous compared to the ATS. Have sat in both and there is no comparison whatsoever.

        I have both brochures in front of me. Actual printed Canadian ones.

        The WRX rear legroom at 35.4 inches (900mm) is quoted as the minimum with front seat all the way back.

        The ATS is quoted as 33.5 inches or 851 mm, a full two inches less, but no mention of whether this is the minimum available.

        So, I’d suggest you actually quote the correct numbers without slanting it in Cadillac’s favor.

        • 0 avatar
          jmiller417

          Yes, misread the chart on my iPad. It is indeed smaller. But I will still say that it doesn’t seem that bad when I sit back there.

          • 0 avatar
            jmiller417

            I will also note that my parents’ 2014 C-Class (last-gen, yes) is 33.4″ in the rear,, which helps explain why I don’t think it’s so bad. The new C is practically a limo by comparison at 35.2″.

  • avatar
    skeeter44

    Cadillac has been resting on their laurels for a long, long time. Their new cars are good but they have not put the sweat into the market they need to. Make a car substantively better than a BMWe39; sell it for 10K less than its competitors; finish in the top 1 or 2 in the JD power IQS for several years in a row – then maybe they will reinvigorate the brand. Until that happens they are just a second tier choice in crowded field; shrinking as consumer buying power steadily declines.

  • avatar

    Great cars, horrible marketing and no one held accountable. Fire Steve Hill immediately.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      Buickman you have a greater grasp on marketing than I or most folks, but if you’ve been following ATS and our comments part of the issue is its not a great car.

      • 0 avatar
        jmiller417

        The ATS is great if it lines up with your priorities, but the greatness does seem to be in places the market doesn’t care that much about anymore. For me, it works perfectly. I love to drive it, and it’s actually the largest and most practical passenger car I’ve owned since my ’04 Accord coupe.

        It’s essentially a four-door coupe (at least as much so as the 4-series Gran Coupe), so maybe they should market it that way. Offering the ATS-L wouldn’t hurt, either.

  • avatar
    Richard Chen

    ATS April 2015: 2,119 (-22.6% vs. 2014), and barely better than the prior 2 months.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    And, to follow up on my earlier clickbait comment, sales are indeed down (that took a huge amount of moxie to predict), so coming soon…another “ATS sales are down” post with 150 comments.

    Well played, TTAC.

  • avatar
    dagr382

    ATS sales down down down down, US trade deficit up up up up….. :+D

  • avatar
    atlguy00

    I was one of the first suckers to own an ATS. I’ve never regretted buying a car so much in my life. I’ve owned 5 Cadillacs, and still own and love my DTS. But I also like small and sporty cars, so when Cadillac introduced the ATS I traded in my Mazda MX-5 Miata. I didn’t care about the cramped back seat as I’ll never use it. I liked the style and performance. Then, I slowly discovered its abysmal engineering and build quality. Mine was towed in with 49 miles on it. The shifter cable came off and the car was stuck in neutral. Ok. I forgave them. Then, the heater started acting up. The actuator doors never would fully closed and tapped incessantly. Cadillac didn’t have a fix. Next, the seats were uncomfortable. It takes living with the car to realize you have butt cramps in 45 mins of traffic. They had hardly any padding. But wait! Not only that but the seats cushions actually would shift and move during cornering! They would move about an inch at a time! Both front seats Again, no fix. That was very scary to not be planted firmly when driving a 45k sports car. Then, when summer came the air conditioner molded. I’m not kidding. And don’t get me started about CUE. It’s maddening. I hated that car. I sold it with only 5,000 miles on it. I’ll never buy another Cadillac.


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