By on September 27, 2018

Image: Cadillac/YouTube

As you read yesterday, Cadillac’s had its fun in New York City and is returning home to the Detroit metro area. Warren, specifically. It probably wouldn’t be fair to say it was chewed up and spit out like a naive bumpkin who travels to the big city, only to suffer the horrifying aftermath of decadence and experimentation. This isn’t Midnight Cowboy.

Nor can we say, without access to some internal info, that is was raging success. The brand remains a work in progress. There’s vehicles on the way that likely still would have been on the way had former brand president Johan de Nysschen, et al, stayed in Detroit. Does the name “Cadillac” ring with a more appealing timbre among the tony enclaves of coastal America? Doubtful.

Let’s assume for a minute that the Greyhound bus carrying Cadillac just pulled into the station, a cold rain falling over the terminal. How does the brand let its friends know it’s back in town?

We’ve talked about product and naming before. Many of you want to see Cadillac’s alphanumeric monikers fade away like a bad dream, while others wish to see the glory days of lengthy, pillarless brougham barges and deep-pile personal luxury coupes return to the American auto landscape. Oh wait, that’s me. (Hey, there could be an electric motor coupled to that 500 cubic inch big block… and stop/start.)

As we’ve covered that ground, and because Caddy’s product pipeline — at least for the near term — appears set in stone, we’re left with marketing as a method of telegraphing Caddy’s Midwestern return. Suffice it to say there’s been marketing misfires in the past.

What would you like to see? Fewer Escalades piloted by lone overachievers prowling the perpetually shaded streets of Manhattan? Perhaps something cerebral and avante garde, a la Lincoln?

Marketing comes down to a message. A tagline, or a description of an ideal, backed up by imagery, that stirs desire in the viewer’s psyche. Cadillac’s recent ads (peruse them here) leave this viewer feeling cold. Maybe it’s the narrator, whose voice conjures up images of a 31-year-old Northeastern-educated Millennial who thinks present-day late night hosts have never been funnier. Frankly, he reminds me of Colin Yost from SNL, a man whose face couldn’t be more punchable.

There’s something weirdly sterile about these ads. And grating, too, despite all vehicle marketing being, in some form or another, braggadocious.

Well, B&B, you’ve just been promoted to head of marketing, and the company you’ve hired is prepared to follow your orders down to the letter. Your aim: to make viewers feel Cadillac. All of it. The past, the future, and the now. What do these viewers need to see and feel in order to not change the channel?

[Image: Cadillac/YouTube]

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97 Comments on “QOTD: How Does a Detroit-bound Cadillac Reclaim Its Marketing Mojo?...”


  • avatar
    87 Morgan

    I am fairly certain I do not have the skill set to come up with the tag line. I do think that GM should not entrust this with their usual marketing firm, who blow by the way. GM has always had the worst TV spots, sans the ‘Like a Rock’ decade. Those, and the post 9/11 see America in your Chevrolet I thought resonated. This current line up of stooges looking at their own cars/trucks is pitiful.
    Now back to the task at hand: stop trying to be German. Cadillac is and has always been unabashedly American. Some people, believe it or not and based not the # Escalade sales, like that. It does not have to be in your face southern red neck stupid ‘Merican, it can/could be tastefully done.

    Personally, I would buy a CT6 over a BMW. I like to drive American cars. I am fairly certain there are as many out there who think this way, as those that *have* to have German for snob appeal reasons. Go back to the pursuit of pure luxury barges, with a performance option and for once relentlessly pursue a reasonably defect free product.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    Whatever they do should be unique to Cadillac.

    Newsflash, nobody wants to buy an American Copy of a BMW or an Audi or an MB – they’ll just go buy the real thing.

    Look at the brands best sellers right now. XT5, XTS, and Escalade – none of those are “Euro Fighters” but they are what people are walking into Cadillac dealerships and buying.

    I’d buy a CPO XTS but only for the fact that it is a big dang sedan, a decent eater of highway miles, and can be had for a low price. I could give two $hits about the badge on the grille.

    They may have been on the right path when they did that ad with the handsome older gentlemen driving an DTS and with a little swagger in the ad. Too bad the product wasn’t better at that time.

    • 0 avatar
      PrincipalDan

      https://youtu.be/DoQXao7Zjpg

      There’s the commecial I was looking for: “Welcome to the World of Gentlemen” which I think the commercial works better for the CT6 or Escalade than it does for the DTS (or even the XTS).

  • avatar
    IBx1

    Step 1) Put the wreath back on the logo.

    Step 2) Study Lincoln; stop building cars that drive like Pontiacs and start building Cadillacs.

    Step 3) Study Lincoln; stop designing Chevy interiors and start designing Cadillac interiors.

    Step 4) Throw out everything related to the Escala(not de) and its me-too horizontal light housings.

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    Marketing is irrelevant without product. Cadillac needs product. Not sure how they are doing in China, but if their current lineup of bland sedans and crossovers work there, sell those there.

    If Cadillac wants to matter in the US again they have to make cars Americans want. Escalade is a clear example, though I feel like the Denali sub brand is encroaching on that marque. XT4 and XT5 are probably OK but they both need ~10-15% price cuts. Whole sedan lineup needs to be blown up and started from scratch. Forget about “fighting the Germans”. At least the Germans in 1995. Germans today are focusing on luxury and tech. Caddy sedan needs to do the same (as they did in their prime!) as well as STYLE. Ancient Chrysler 300 keeps selling because in spite of all its issues it looks good and does everything an American sedan is supposed to (go fast, sound good, accommodate fat Americans comfortably, deliver on value). I’m not convinced that Caddy sedans need V8s to sell… but if they do make one they should hedge with a hybrid and full on EV. And again, MAKE IT LOOK GOOD. Deliver on the promises made by your concepts.

    • 0 avatar
      Sub-600

      ‘“Marketing is irrelevant without product.”
      What?, lol. That’s the whole idea of marketing. Good grief. Good products sell themselves. Marketing is there to move junk.

      • 0 avatar
        stuki

        There’s (supposed to be) more to marketing than advertising….

      • 0 avatar
        APaGttH

        There are plenty of good products that died because they were poorly marketed. We’ve seen interesting cars die because of poor marketing execution.

        Merkur – horribly marketed, was it sporty, was it luxury, was it???
        Chevy SS – what marketing
        Scion FR-S – overly hyped by marketing, over promised, didn’t deliver
        Gen I Honda Insight – what marketing – and the Prius became the leader

        Four right off the top of my head.

        • 0 avatar
          JimZ

          “Merkur – horribly marketed, was it sporty, was it luxury, was it???”

          I think the biggest mistake was the Merkur brand itself. Should have just sold them as Mercurys. Or even Fords.

          “Chevy SS – what marketing”

          I don’t think they wanted to. I’d be surprised if GM made any money on them.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          The original Insight was only sold as a two door hatch whereas the Prius was a sedan.

          • 0 avatar
            George B

            A former coworker used to commute using a first generation Honda Insight. When massive layoffs were rumored for the next day, he asked if he needed to come to work in a larger car. He never got an answer. When he did let go, he left large numbers of books of component data behind where they sat. No room to put them in the Insight and he wasn’t highly motivated to help clean out his cubicle.

    • 0 avatar
      Peter Gazis

      68,000 XT5s sold last year, and U.S. sales were up 7% in the first half of this year.
      WHY THE HELL WOULD CADILLAC CUT THE PRICE!

  • avatar
    Sub-600

    Go back to half-hour infomercials like they used to run for the Northstar System. If they could move those sleds they could sell snow tires in Vegas. Plenty of D-list celebs are available, I think they used an old MTV “Veejay” for the Northstar.

    • 0 avatar
      Peter Gazis

      Sub-600

      No one is going to sit and watch 1/2 hour comercials.

    • 0 avatar
      Luke42

      My generation (at least the people I know) don’t subscribe to cable TV.

      Gigabit Internet service, yes.

      Flipping through the channels and watching infomercials when we could be poking at our phones? Not so much.

      My friends and I are not exactly “kids today”, either. There have been of 40th birthdays among my parenting-friends.

      If you want to reach successful 40-somethings in this day and age, I wouldn’t recommend TV at all. You need a product as interesting as Tesla.

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        When visiting Littleton near Denver, CO, I used the Fiber Optics system that the homeowner subscribed to.

        Fantastic! Everything bundled together, all at gigabit speeds.

        Just like poking at your phone, but with a 65″ screen.

        But I would never be a candidate to buy Tesla, or EV-anything. Gasoline is abundantly available and doesn’t cause range anxiety in the Great Southwest.

        • 0 avatar
          Luke42

          Broadcast/Cable TV just isn’t very interesting, though, and it doesn’t respect our time.

          Who’s going to pay to watch commercials? Not me! Especially if it’s on someone else’s schedule! Compared to what I’m used to, that would be a ridiculous value proposition. My phone treats me much better than that.

          The only time I watch an informercial is when I search for one on YouTube.

          This is a fundamental change to the American media and cultural landscape, and it’s easy to miss if you still have cable.

          It has big implications for marketing upscale cars, of course, and those who have a steady business selling to older consumers (Cadillac) are going to be the last to adapt.

          P.S. My kids think commercials are something that happens on hotel-room TV. And they’ve never experienced TV that won’t pause for them to have a snack or go potty. They probably won’t ever really experience the cable TV universe that my generation grew up with and discarded.

      • 0 avatar
        Art Vandelay

        40 somethings are in full nostalgia mode right now. Dust off the STS design, give it a real motor, and have Dave Grohl sign the dash. Thats how you’d reach the 40 somethings.

  • avatar
    65corvair

    They lost their way in the late ’70’s and never got it back. Drop all the cars, and just do huge SUV’s. No entry level cheap products. Make something bigger than the Escalade. Perhaps a midsize SUV for the smallest one. That said, it’s too late for Caddy to be a meaningful brand.

  • avatar
    Lie2me

    Design a matching purse and pumps… Oh wait, scratch that, they already tried that

    Hmmm, they made some impressive concept cars, they might try going with one of those as a flagship

    Tagline: “We’re BAAAACK, again”

    • 0 avatar
      Luke42

      Cadillac needs to benchmark Tesla, not BMW.

      They tried benchmarking BMW. Some of their cars even beat BMW in important ways. Nobody cared, because BMW isn’t about the cars anymore — they’re Birkin bags for men.

      Cadillac has been a tarnished brand since I was a kid. Working with that has got to be harder than starting a new brand from scratch.

      Tesla, on the other hand, is actually about the cars. It’s possible to compete here — it just takes management willing to take some risks and make some big investments.

      • 0 avatar
        Art Vandelay

        No. Tesla interiors suck and are only acceptable because of the other attributes the car brings to the table. Cadillac is already adept at putting interiors in cars not fitting the asking price and they don’t bring the other stuff to the table that makes a Tesla worth it.

        Cadillac needs to build cars for people who want to shut the door with a solid thud and forget about the outside world.

  • avatar
    Matt Foley

    Reliability.

    Lexus succeeded because everyone knows a Lexus is nicer than a Toyota and just as reliable.

    Cadillac is nicer than a Buick or a Chevy, but not as reliable.

    In the 80s, you could buy a Park Avenue with a rock-solid 307 V8 or a Sedan de Ville with the coolant-spewing HT4100.

    In the 90s and 00s, you could buy a Park Avenue or Lucerne with a rock-solid supercharged 3800, or a de Ville or DTS with the head-gasket-munching Northstar.

    Cadillac’s powertrains are reliable now because they’re shared with the rest of GM, but their electronics are suspect (Google “ATS center stack problems”).

    Now Cadillac is about to introduce a proprietary DOHC V8 again. It damn well better be as reliable as a Chevy LS V8.

    • 0 avatar
      sportyaccordy

      Very interesting take.

    • 0 avatar
      PrincipalDan

      @Matt – excellent points, although you couldn’t get a Lucerne with a supercharged 3800, toward the end of production you could get one with a 3900 V6 that made 240 hp or a Northstar at 275 hp. I know which one I’d rather have (and more to your point) the Lucerne and the DTS were built on the same platform.

  • avatar
    Sub-600

    Cadillac: Quantity is Job One

    • 0 avatar
      PrincipalDan

      Bingo! Cadillac’s problem since the late 70s.

      In the 50s and 60s GM purposefully constrained Cadillac production so that it would not meet demand. Cadillacs sold at MSRP and used ones commanded high resale values.

      In the late 70s they rampped up production and chased volume at all costs.

      As far as brand cachet and all that other bull$hit – chasing volume did more harm to brand equity than even the quality issues.

      • 0 avatar
        Lie2me

        The thing is that GM knows how to build a high quality car, but time and time again they choose not to

        • 0 avatar
          PrincipalDan

          Remember that Lutz taught us that the difference between a “meh” interior and a “WOW” interior could be as little as $150 in overall material costs (with inflation that’s like more like $200 now.)

          GM has consistently demonstrated the ability to be penny wise and pound foolish whether it was mechanically or aesthetically.

          • 0 avatar
            APaGttH

            Remember that Lutz taught us that the difference between a “meh” interior and a “WOW” interior could be as little as $150 in overall material costs (with inflation that’s like more like $200 now.)

            GM has consistently demonstrated the ability to be penny wise and pound foolish whether it was mechanically or aesthetically.

            1000% agree here. I remember when I owned my G8 I thought to myself many times, “had they spent $500 more on the interior materials I’d likely have happily paid another $1.5K to $2.0K and had something on the inside that was closer to near luxury.”

            I think the mistake GM makes over and over again is, “this is so much better than the previous generation,” which is consistently true, but it still lags behind the competition. The way off this treadmill is to do a double jump – and reach parity – or a triple jump and move ahead.

            I don’t think anyone would argue, back to the G8, that the interior was a huge step up from the Grand Prix/Bonneville it replaced – but it still lagged behind others in the class.

            GM is still on this treadmill today.

      • 0 avatar
        Featherston

        @ Sub-600 & PrincipalDan – +2, although I think the volume-chasing may’ve started 5-10 years earlier. But your point is spot on.

        I’d have to re-read it, but an AteUpWithMotor article mentions a Cadillac sales manager who’d come over from Chevy and set about cashing in on the brand equity that had taken decades to build. Volume went up; prestige and quality went down.

        A brand’s prestige can be raised. I’d cite Audi, Hyundai, and Kia as three examples. But it’s no easy feat, and I’m not sure we’ve ever seen a US brand do it. Americans, especially American business leaders, are profoundly focused on the short term, which runs counter to a long-term strategy to elevate a brand.

        • 0 avatar
          James2

          “Americans, especially American business leaders, are profoundly focused on the short term, which runs counter to a long-term strategy to elevate a brand.”

          That’s because Wall St. forces them to show a profit every 3 months vs. 3 years later. And, as Ford knows, even when you show a (big) profit Wall St. treats your stock as toilet paper.

          • 0 avatar
            Featherston

            Yep.

            I’m in an unrelated industry, but my publicly traded employer has become a nightmarish place to work (50% of my team has resigned within the past 18 months) for pretty much that reason. We’ve been “do less with mored” into the ground.

            On the bright side, our incompetent CEO and divisional president have gotten very wealthy. /sarcasm

          • 0 avatar
            raph

            Indeed, the fate of every publicly traded company. Ours is starting to mature and Wall Street is starting to sink its fangs in.

            All the young bucks that are climbing the ladder and entering the ranks of company officers want the same big payouts the founders have had with company stock.

            I’m glad I’ve got about 15 years left. I saw the company start to head down that path about 4 or 5 years ago and it predictably things are changing in favor of the analysts in spite of the company heads just a decade ago claiming; “we want a company that lasts more than 100 years”.

            Hopefully I hit my retirement benchmarks and can convert over to something more stable and live somewhat happily ever after.

          • 0 avatar
            Featherston

            Nice to hear an empathetic voice, Raph.

            And I’m just noticing my unintentional but telling typo “less with mored” – side effect of a not overly atypical 9 AM to 1 AM workday the night before.

  • avatar
    Tj21

    No marketing can help Cadillac. Cadillac needs to help itself. Better interiors, nvh, reliability and must be cheaper than the competition. Stay out of GMs part bins special, Cadillac Needs to go the route of Lincoln and do something different.

    Even then, general motors has to produce a superb vehicle at a loss for awhile, brand recognition takes time, and general motors nickles and dimes every product to absolute ruin.

  • avatar
    cdnsfan27

    Bring back the ad company that brought us the pretty redheaded TV doctor and the tagline “When you turn your car on, does it return the favor”, remember it to this day:)

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    Nothing can “fix” this.

  • avatar
    TimK

    Tried to distance themselves from the folks who proudly bought a “Cadillac car”. Turned their backs on 70 years of brand loyalty. Built gnomish vehicles with a new design language and were dumb enough to brag about it.

    Yeah, it would take an army of MBAs to predict the results.

  • avatar

    Why should Cadillac study Lincoln? Cadillac’s outsells Lincoln by better than a 2 to 1 margin. Cadillac’s global sales were over 300,000 last year.

    • 0 avatar
      Tj21

      I was stating that the new navigator is leaps and bounds better than the escalade specifically. Not so much the brand as a whole currently. Should have clarified.

      • 0 avatar
        APaGttH

        There is nothing wrong with the current Escalade. The sales numbers and profit margins speak for themselves. When a forumula works you don’t change it, and the Escalade works. I wouldn’t buy one — but again — sales figures don’t lie.

  • avatar
    gtem

    Make a mini-escalade, on whatever lame crossover platform but make it nice and blocky and long/tall with tall upright taillights, big grille, and make sure to adequately power it (ie no 2.5NA, preferably 275+ hp with 6cyl options, plumb in some burbly v8 sounds into the interior). Stick that and some Escalades as the main character cars in some cool mob/crime drama series that everyone watches. Don’t market it to effete latte-sippers with beards.

  • avatar
    NutellaBC

    Nowaday American luxury equates Tesla, not Cadillac. No one with a sense of style wants to be seen in a Cadillac. Their design language is a convoluted mess.

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    Cadillac needs to stop chasing Eurosnob sales. They’re gonna buy German no matter what.

    Normal V8s should be the base engine across all of its lines of cars, except V-series. “Quality” means different things to different people, but when someone mentions Cadillac, “cheesy” shouldn’t come to mind.

  • avatar
    aajax

    Go for quality. It’s not easy when you make so few vehicles, but it has to be done.

  • avatar
    crtfour

    As mentioned above, for starters stop trying to be European and build a luxobarge or two that is actually a car. Given that baby boomers are retirement age, it seems like they would want a something like this. My dad who is 67 would buy a current version of the Town Car or Fleetwood in a heartbeat if available. Retirement age folks that don’t want Kia Soul’s are out there.

    Second, advertise the heck out of them. GM has got to have the dumbest commercials bar none from the “real people” to “that’s not a buick”…..I don’t even know what Cadillac’s tag line is. The one with the women waiting in the Cadillac for the rain to stop is so lame….what does it highlight? A cool infotainment system? How is this different from any other car out there.

  • avatar
    redapple

    Dang. No DW explosion yet.

  • avatar
    KevinB

    Cadillac needs to go back to the concept of American Luxury. Their cars need to be quiet, comfortable, and elegant like they were in their heyday. However, they don’t need to be bloated, ponderous barges. Once Cadillac does this, they can add modern-era capabilities like being able to handle, accelerate, and brake in a competent manner without trying to be BMW or M-B.

    Back in the seventies I rode in Cadillacs that would cruise at 80 mph in serene quiet and without drama. Push this to 100 mph and I would be one happy spud.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      Kevin,
      So Caddy needs to build to European quality?

      • 0 avatar
        KevinB

        Good catch! I may get pilloried for saying this, but current American quality should suffice since American cars are built far better today. Regarding European quality, an American car should be driven with confidence after the warranty expires and not require a four-figure bill every time it is put in the shop.

  • avatar
    turbo_awd

    1) His name is Colin Jost, not Yost. If you’re going to insult a man, at least spell his name correctly.
    2) Better yet, spell his name “Ajit Pie”, pronounced A-Shit Pie, if you want to talk about punchable faces. No one else is even close.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    “Ask the man who owns one.” This is the slogan that Packard used for years. Unfortunately you might not want to ask a Cadillac owner. Good slogan though, simple and to the point.

  • avatar
    chaparral

    Really simple – Cadillacs have trouble selling because people have been burned by them. Their good reputation of old was built on longevity.

    15/250 warranty bumper-to-bumper. It’ll take two model cycles to learn their customers’ duty cycles well enough to not lose their shirts on it.

    The sedans need to stay autocross-firm, the SUVs need to be boulevardier-soft. Anyone who wants a big soft sedan buys it with a high seating position and all-wheel-drive.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    933 dealers vs “bespoke”.

    Volume has won, and Chevillac is reborn.

  • avatar
    SixspeedSi

    I’m in the stop pretending to be a German brand boat. No one cares about how good the ATS XT4, whatever is on the Nurburgring/backroads. Time and time again we see that people buy Cadillac’s for American Luxury.

    I do think they need to step up on their interiors in this regard. MB & BMW are seriously focusing on interior details and it shows. They feel like an occasion. This is what Cadillac needs, but with an American touch. (I know many point out Lincoln’s sales numbers, but I think the Navigator is a great example of this. An excellent interior that is distinctively American). The new XT4’s interior is fine but just feels more upgraded Equinox than a “Caddy”.

    I don’t know the exact taglines or pitch, but Cadillac’s marketing needs to be about American Luxury. Not to get political, but clearly a lot of the US has tons of American pride. Make the campaign about being a proud US luxury manufacturer. Who the hell knows if that will work, but it’s better than pretending people “Dare Greatly” and driving an SRX around NYC.

    • 0 avatar
      NewQ

      The quality of the product is paramount.

      Cadillac doesn’t necessarily NEED to go directly head-to-head with BMW or Mercedes, but they have to understand BMW and Mercedes sweat the details. On the interiors in particular (though I would argue, aside from the 7-Series, BMW’s interiors are just now getting up to top of class), Cadillac seems to cheap out with parts-bin materials, and lower-quality trim.

      However, the performance side of the house is more of a showcase of how good the engineers are, and serve as bragging right for the brand, and anyone who owns one of their products. In terms of real-world vehicles, you can build a quiet comfortable cruiser, but it better be absolutely top notch, I mean S-Class, 7-Series, LS500, or A8-level. Otherwise you’re just an old DTS.

      The only car like that commanding as much awe and respect as a McLaren or a Ferrari, is a Rolls-Royce Phantom. And look at the extremes of luxury and quality they had to go to in order to get there.

  • avatar
    volvo

    As others have said the current problem cannot be fixed by marketing but only by providing a conservatively styled reliable product backed up by an standard extended warranty.

    For many reasons in the late 1960s to mid 1970s Cadillac lost the demographics their brand previously appealed to as those buyers moved to european luxury brands. Cadillac has never recovered from that. Emerging markets probably represent the best hope for the brand.

  • avatar
    readallover

    The good news: People WANT to like Cadillac
    The Bad News: GM has spent decades pissing them off.
    1) Get rid of Alpha Numeric names, you are not BMW or M-B
    2) Stop jacking up your prices because that is what the Germans charge for their car in that category, you are not BMW or M-B
    3) Stop making your $90,000 car look like your $40,000 car, you are not BMW or M-B
    4) Stop designing gorgeous, aspirational concept cars – and then not build any of them.
    5) Stop doing GM things like having a f`ed up system like CUE and blame the customer when they do not like it.
    6) Stop trying to be what you are not. Be unapologetically Cadillac.

  • avatar
    Kendahl

    Do what Audi did. Build good cars and have the guts to stick it out until the world recognizes you’ve changed.

  • avatar
    stuki

    America being America, and not Germany, focus on a luxurious ride when traversing potholes and bomb craters. The Germans can’t do that, because they need to be engineered for sharp handling at 155mph on smooth Autobahns. Which is rather irrelevant in the US.

    So, pile money into Raptor grade suspensions, but tuned for performance and a luxurious ride on poor roads, rather than for offroad use. If that requires sedans to get a bit taller, like a Phantom, that’s just a benefit in contemporary America.

  • avatar
    Weltron

    Like others here have said before, Cadillac needs to stop being the American version of a BMW/Mercedes/Audi. It has been well established already that people who want those cars are not usually going to cross shop them with a Cadillac. They are usually buying them because of the badge. Cadillac needs to go back to being unashamed American luxury. It’s no surprise that the Escalade is their best seller. To me, it’s because it’s closest thing they currently have to a “traditional” American luxury car. Work on the interiors, and give a proper replacement for the DTS/Deville. Yes, the XTS is a nice car, but it is no DTS. Also, just get rid of all the letters and numbers, give the cars some actual names.

    • 0 avatar
      NewQ

      The Escalade is a cartoon of a car that Cadillac keeps around because it sells well, but doesn’t reflect who they want to be.

      Unfortunately a “proper” replacement for the DTS/Deville would be nothing like a DTS/Deville. It would be RWD, be comfortable and isolated, without being floaty and bargy, and it would have a very expensive, lavish, tasteful interior, NOT something gaudy or ersatz with fake chrome or wood. Every touch point, including the bottoms of the doors, and the underside of the dash, and the bottoms of the B-pillars would be leather or alcantara.

      In short, it would be like an S/7/A8/LS. Or, if you really want to shoot for the moon, bring it up to Flying Spur or Ghost standards (Mulsanne and Phantom are still out of reach). The DTS was an old-man-mobile. Yes it was big, yes it was comfortable. But the build quality wasn’t that good, the ride and driving characteristics were sloppy, and the materials were fake and cheap.

      I would be all for Cadillac building a world-beating luxo-cruise missile, but that market is owned by the S and the 7. Even Porsche, Audi, and Lexus struggle to get traction there, and their offerings are WAY beyond anything Cadillac has come out with in the past 30 years.

  • avatar
    Dilrod

    The Standard of the World. This Time We Really Mean it. Seriously, Give Us A Chance.

  • avatar
    Nick_515

    Rename the company GGM.

  • avatar
    Trend-Shifter

    As mentioned before, Cadillac is not in a position for premium pricing relative to its German competitors at this time. So how does Cadillac (and maybe all GM) undercut the competition while maintaining margins?

    Why not consider cutting the advertising budget to ZERO and use those funds to lower the price. Value and quality have a very loud voice. Word gets around the web on its own without trying to craft the message using advertising dollars.
    I am not saying to cut product planning and development, just advertising dollars in every form while lowering product pricing accordingly.

  • avatar
    George B

    The only Cadillac marketing theme that makes sense to me is one that connects the current Escalade and CT6 to the large Cadillacs from before the Malaise Era. They can authentically market those models as big comfortable cars for a road trip to Las Vegas both in the Rat Pack era and today. I don’t think Cadillac can ever return to being a real luxury brand people aspire to own to signal success, but they can be a fun Vegas-style fake luxury brand.

    • 0 avatar
      NewQ

      That’s a sad thought. I hope it’s not true, but it might be.

      I am what some would consider a high net worth individual, but I also believe in America and want to root for my “team”. But not blindly. That’s why I want to see Cadillac fight Mercedes, and maybe even Rolls-Royce and Bentley, head-on and win. I think they have the ability and the smarts to do it, and they’ve done it before.

      Unfortunately, it seems like one step forward two steps back recently.

      Your analogy of fun fake luxury, or “blue collar” luxury as some would say, is sadly more and more salient as time goes on.

      I hope they can return to the glory days, but maybe it truly is too far gone.

    • 0 avatar
      Tosh

      “Ask the guy who rents one.”

  • avatar
    NG5

    For marketing mojo just make nicer-looking Cadillac versions of the Corvette and Camaro and have them do V8 burnouts up to an opera house.

    • 0 avatar
      Tosh

      Hmm, a nicer version of a Corvette you say? Ooh, maybe even a convertible? Well, how about a nicer version of the Volt to start off with? To be followed by a nicer version of the Cruze…

  • avatar
    TMA1

    Cadillac needs to break its association with hooptiefied vehicles. Track down every Cadillac older than 10 years that’s still on the road, and remove it. The point is to remove any vehicle with fading paint and 22-inch wheels that are worth more than the vehicle itself.

    It’s cash-for-Cadillacs. Offer owners of old Cadillacs a discount on new GM vehicles. For the 3rd/4th owner of a 20 year old Cadillac, that means 20% off a new Chevy. Maybe they’ll actually jump at the chance to get out of a dying Northstar for something that will stay on the road for several years. A nice, 10 year old CTS? That’s 10% off a new Cadillac, or 20% off a new Buick.

    Suddenly, new Cadillac owners look like money, and not like posers. That’s all luxury car shoppers are after anyway.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    Much better idea than the coffee espresso and latte shop. “Cash for Clunky Caddies” has a nice ring to it. The dealers could promote this with monster trucks running over the old hooptie Caddies. Haul the flattened carcasses off to the scrap yards to be recycled.

  • avatar
    riggodeezil

    Here ya go. Me and Don Draper are now gonna kick it with some Old Fashions.

    “Make America Great Again…Buy a Cadillac”

    “Let your ride pimp you…get a Cadillac”

    “Sure it’s High Maintenance but so are super-model girlfriends. Show the hotties that you are Committed. Buy Cadillac.”

    “Reliability? Dependability? Durability? Are you some feeble-minded Follower that HAS to be somewhere on-time, every time? Be a Leader. Buy a Cadillac…and get there whenever you damn well please (or not at all)”

    “Your grandma used to say ‘That boy has more money than he has common sense’. Show grandma how right she is…Buy Cadillac.”

    “Studies have shown that 9 out of 10 men who buy a Cadillac have larger-than-average penises.” (Natch, followed by some tiny print that basically says “but, not really”)

    “Cadillac. The Chinese dig it and they will be your Daddy soon. Make your Daddy proud.”

    “German luxury? Japanese reliability? They’ve got universal healthcare over there so they are used to nice things that well well. You are an American. Buy Cadillac. It’s the Urgent Care Center of automobiles.”

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    @TMA1–The more I think about your idea the more I like it but it should be 20% off on your final purchase price and not MSRP for a 20 year old and 10% off your final purchase price for a 10 year old. Maybe add 25% for those 25 years and older. I wouldn’t mind that deal on my 20 year old S-10 if I could get a 2019 Colorado for an additional 20% off.

  • avatar
    Art Vandelay

    Could you argue, that since most regular folks don’t really care about handling and ring times and that trying to out BMW BMW is a fools errand unless you are in it for the really long game because of branding, that maybe it is time to begin building cars that prioritize isolating the driver from the world around them and priortize comfort over skidpad and 0-60 times? Hit em’ where they aint.

    I would argue that the world is ready for a modern “Brougham”

  • avatar
    volvo

    Unfortunately Art Cadillac would be trying to out the Avalon which also would be a really long game

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