By on January 21, 2019

Cadillac is at a crossroads. While the brand has enjoyed growth in Asia, domestic volume never fully recovered from the Great Recession. It’s come back a bit, with sales dipping and rising between years, but hasn’t managed to keep pace with the overall market. As of 2018, Cadillac possesses the lowest share of the U.S. market in the brand’s recorded history. Fortunately, the fourth-quarter arrival of the XT4 helped to Cadillac stabilize sales as the year drew to an end.

However, General Motors wants the luxury arm to become a legitimate success and prove the automaker’s effort to develop advanced powertrains and new technologies weren’t in vain. Cadillac is positioned to become manufacturer’s leading electric brand and GM’s newly appointed president, Mark Reuss, has acknowledged this is sort of its last chance at greatness. 

Leading up to the North American International Auto show, Cadillac announced it would be the first company to adopt General Motors’ BEV3 electric platform with a new crossover.

“Cadillac’s EV will hit the heart of the crossover market and meet the needs of customers around the world,” said Cadillac President Steve Carlisle as part of the corporate announcement. “It will represent the height of luxury and innovation while positioning Cadillac as the pinnacle of mobility.”

And it had better, because Reuss appears to see this as win/lose scenario. “We don’t have any chances left with taking Cadillac to a really new place,” he told Reuters from the sidelines of the Detroit auto show last week. “This is pretty much it.”

While it’s not the first time the company has forayed into electrification, BEV3 represents a broader change for GM and might just dictate Cadillac’s future existence. In fact, Reuss’ words kind of make it seem like everything is riding on these new luxury EVs.

“So we really have to hit the ball here,” he continued. “It’s my job to make sure we do.”

From Reuters:

Reuss did not elaborate on what would happen if the multi-year effort to make the Cadillac brand more profitable failed.

But GM has demonstrated repeatedly over the last two years a willingness to exit unprofitable markets and kill weak car lines in North America. In November it put five North American factories, including four in the United States, on notice for closure and cut almost 15,000 jobs.

GM has struggled for years to make Cadillac more competitive. Last spring the automaker replaced veteran auto executive Johan de Nysschen as head of the Cadillac brand. Appointed in 2014, he outlined bold plans to reshape Cadillac’s lineup with a $12 billion product program.

Cadillac has endured a string of failures in North America. Sales haven’t been as strong as GM would like, moving the brand’s HQ to New York turned out to be a terrible mistake, and most of its advertising over the last few years has been poorly received. But it’s taken great strides to fix all of that. The brand is currently in the midst of a plan to shrink its lineup of sedans and inject more popular sport utility vehicles while placing a greater emphasis on hybrid and purely electric vehicles.

By 2021, General Motors plans to introduce a dedicated flexible electric vehicle architecture to spur the development of at least 20 new models in the United States and China. Cadillac should receive the first of these new models, with Reuss claiming at least one of these models will be on sale through the luxury brand by 2022.

He said it was too early to tell how long it would take for Cadillac’s entire lineup to become electrified, but he anticipated a combination of electrified and combustion engine models “for quite a few years” to come.

“All I’m focused on is what we’re doing right now…” he said, “and getting momentum back in Cadillac.”

As much as we’d like to see that, we know the brand’s real priorities lie in China. That’s where GM expects to see the most growth and that will be the market Cadillac caters to above all else.

[Images: General Motors]

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

Recommended

146 Comments on “‘This Is Pretty Much It’: New GM President Acknowledges Cadillac’s Last Chance For Glory...”


  • avatar
    Felix Hoenikker

    So, Johan’s brilliant strategy to sell Cadillacs to SoHo hipsters didn’t work out as planned. Who would have guessed?

  • avatar
    thornmark

    So, Cadillac clearly has a direction – they chase the latest wind.

    Cadillac – more expensive failures to come.

    • 0 avatar
      NormSV650

      So all of those Honda’s rebadged as Acura’s are proditable?

      Cadillac sold 227K to Acura 206K in 2006. In 2018 Acura only sold about 4K than Cadullac, with Buick outselling them both.

      Start the “Acura Deathwatch”!

  • avatar
    Cactuar

    It will be the Cadillac of Teslas.

    • 0 avatar
      raph

      Well if GM would adopt class leading EV tech (electronics, motors and batteries) that wouldn’t be hard to do.

      Only the Tesla sycophants are under the illusion than Teslas are the best built most advanced automotive products coming out of the US.

      GM could crush them in the technology and build department if they wanted to. Unfortuantely “winning hearts and minds” will probably take more money and time than GM is willing to commit or has.

      • 0 avatar
        LectroByte

        >GM could crush them in the technology and build department if they wanted to

        I wish they wanted to do that now with their internal combustion-based products, maybe they’d be selling better. We’ll probably miss Cadillac as much as we do Pontiac and Oldsmobile now. They were legends in their day, but the last 10 or 20 years were pretty lame.

      • 0 avatar
        zerofoo

        So your argument is GM could crush Tesla – if they had the resources and the patience to crush Tesla – but they can’t so they won’t?

        My long term bet – Tesla survives and GM, once more, heads back in to bankruptcy.

        • 0 avatar
          Art Vandelay

          Why would the company that is consistently profitable go bankrupt while the company that is consistently unprofitable survive?

          • 0 avatar
            Lynchenstein

            Amazon was unprofitable for quite a few years. They’re doing alright now.

          • 0 avatar
            Art Vandelay

            Amazon took 14 years and they were the only player in the game. Tesla is not the only player in the game. I’m not saying they will go bankrupt, just saying they have a higher chance of it than GM which at least manages to bumble into profitability more often than not lately. At some point they have to make money. Also, if Cadillac or anyone else actually did go all in and build a real competetior, I think people would start using phrases like “long in the tooth” to describe the S.

            At the end of the day, Tesla has had the market to themselves by in large for a number of years and hasn’t managed to crack the nut. I’m not a hater…I like them, but they have got to make money at some point.

          • 0 avatar
            zerofoo

            Where are GM’s investments in charging infrastructure, battery manufacturing, or autonomous vehicles?

            GM’s generals are fighting the last war while Musk and company are preparing for future wars.

            Musk has said this many times before. Tesla’s main purpose was to encourage the development of electric vehicles. I’ve suspected for a very long time that Musk only intended for Tesla to make actual cars for a short time and then the incumbent manufacturers would take over on volume.

            Those incumbents would, most likely, buy charging time and batteries from Tesla.

            Tesla looks more like an energy company than they do an auto manufacturer.

  • avatar
    White Shadow

    Cadillac’s downfall began when more mainstream automakers decided to market luxury brand versions of their base vehicles. You know, Lexus, Acura, Infiniti. And now we have Genesis. The future looks bleak for Cadillac if they can’t find a way to differentiate themselves. And I don’t think electrification is going to do it for them.

    It’s really very sad…. I’m old enough to remember when buying a Caddy was a cool thing and actually had a little prestige too.

    • 0 avatar
      Lie2me

      I agree, if Cadillac doesn’t start leading instead of following trends it’s pretty much over

    • 0 avatar
      Peter Gazis

      White Shadow

      Acura? Infiniti? Genesis?
      Take the best parts of all 3 and you will have a brand that struggles to compete with Buick.
      Lexus?
      Now the official brand of AARP. Every buyer is over 55. Average transaction price is under 45.

      What else you got?

      • 0 avatar
        jatz

        Yumpin’ Yimminy, Pete! I’ve just realized you’re an actual Cadillac zealot! That’s a rare and wonderful thing.

        I now expect to see an ivory-billed woodpecker before I die.

      • 0 avatar
        Dave M.

        Cadillac meant something to my father’s generation. It’s meant nothing to mine. It’s not even a remote entity to my nephew’s hipster generation (late 20’s, 6 digit income).

        He would consider an F sport though…

        • 0 avatar
          Art Vandelay

          And I would have considered a Mk VIII 20 years ago. Lexus is still Buick/Cadillac/Lincoln circa 1990. Declining sales and a customer base full of oldsters. Official car of the baby boomers.

        • 0 avatar
          jatz

          “Cadillac meant something to my father’s generation. It’s meant nothing to mine.”

          This. My generation was led to attack everything Cadillac represented about capitalism and by the time we realized the hypocrisy of our puppetmasters it was too late; Caddy had cashed-out and died.

        • 0 avatar
          Peter Gazis

          Dave M.

          Don’t mean nothing til you’re signing on the dotted line…..Richard Marx

          The only car that Lexus still sells in volume is the ES geriatric mobile.

        • 0 avatar
          schmitt trigger

          “Cadillac meant something to my father’s generation. It’s meant nothing to mine. It’s not even a remote entity to my nephew’s hipster generation”

          This pretty much sums up Cadillac’s fortunes. Or lack of.

          • 0 avatar
            ToddAtlasF1

            Cadillac was a dead brand walking when Lexus was in the planning stages. The last time Cadillacs were cars of people who weren’t waiting for the little blue pill to be invented was forty years ago. I remember back when Coupe de Villes and Eldorados were the cars that young guys with money drove to impress young women, and Jimmy Carter was in office. The junk they sold in the ’80s killed their aspirational appeal. All they’ve done since is convulse aimlessly.

            Cadillac made no-excuse cars as recently as the mid-’60s. Then they made costed out compromises for fifteen years. Then they made miserable failures for forty years, eventually putting their badges on Suburbans. Buying a Cadillac today is like supporting forth trimester abortion because you liked JFK’s hair.

            “The only car that Lexus still sells in volume is the ES geriatric mobile.”

            By that standard, what decade was it last time Cadillac sold a car in volume? Probably the only thing a Cadillac sedan or coupe has going for it today is novelty.

  • avatar
    jatz

    Cadillac is the Aaron Rodgers of car brands. Once great, but now so much money wasted to resuscitate .

  • avatar
    thornmark

    >>As much as we’d like to see that, we know the brand’s real priorities lie in China. That’s where GM expects to see the most growth and that will be the market Cadillac caters to above all else.<<

    Until the Chinese show them the door.

    see Apple

    • 0 avatar
      Peter Gazis

      thornmark

      The Chinese don’t buy Escalades, Silverados or Denalis. GM will survive without it.

      The Germans end up dropping most of their models without China.

      • 0 avatar
        ajla

        “GM will survive without it.”

        Look at GM’s earning reports. They make about 20% of their income from Chinese operations. China is excellent for volume, but their market regulations still make NA a much more profitable place to sell. Without a major change in how China does business, GM absolutely can not survive on China alone.

        • 0 avatar
          Peter Gazis

          ajla

          Do the Americas not exist on the maps you’re using?

          • 0 avatar
            ajla

            They do exist. In North America they like buying Escalades, Silverados and Deanlis. In South America, GM likes having a net operating loss.

            Your argument that GM doesn’t needs its large BOF vehicles “because China” is not accurate.

          • 0 avatar
            Peter Gazis

            ajla

            South America is coming out of recession.
            In China Cadillac and Chevy are rapidly expanding their dealer networks.

            Not suprisingly GM’s earnings would be light in both places.

    • 0 avatar
      NormSV650

      Even RDX is going to China:

      “Despite the switch to local Chinese production, however, some parts will still have to be imported from the US and, guess what, they too will be subject to that 40 percent tariff. But at the same time, Honda says the new Acura SUV will be about 20 percent cheaper than the current one. That’s all fine and good for China, Chinese workers and consumers, but what about the employees in Ohio? Will the elimination of RDXs built for China hurt overall factory production and potentially lead to a loss of jobs?” Carbuzz

  • avatar
    R Henry

    Sending good money after bad. The brand has but a single product that works, Escalade. Drop the Cadillac moniker, keep the Escalade attractive, sell it at select GMC dealers, and go from there. Cadillac, as a brand, now is simply The Cadillac of Failure.

    • 0 avatar
      Hank

      They already do that. It’s called the Yukon. The Escalade only has more cache with people who think in labels over substance…and they aren’t buying an Escalade at a GMC dealership. Too plebeian for their taste.

    • 0 avatar
      Peter Gazis

      R Henry

      Cadillac sold 154,702 vehicles in the U.S. last year. 117,830 Were not Escalades!

      • 0 avatar
        87 Morgan

        Peter, honest question no snark.

        How many of the 154k were XTS that went straight to livery or the rental counter?

        The escalade along with the XT5, near as I can tell, are the profitable offerings from Cadillac as I see them in the wild driven by what looks like actual retail buying customers.

        I too believe that Cadillac should be folded into a sub brand of GMC/Buick. Their is no need for stand alone Cadillac stores anymore. Depending on your vantage point, GM has done a nice job of requiring GMC dealers to upgrade their facilities. For the most part, they are a nice place to enter and purchase a car. A few outliers are still out there in small town USA who have chosen to not spend the money on the upgrades as they most likely see the writing on the wall which is selling 70k machines in unemployed, meth’d out small town USA is not a viable long term strategy.

  • avatar
    Mr.EpMini9

    If gm wants to compete in the luxury market, it must put Cadillac to rest. Start over with a new brand and build it up.

    • 0 avatar
      WhatsMyNextCar

      Why?

      Your idea suggests there’s no brand equity there, which is wrong. The way I see it, there are a couple of things GM should be doing with Cadillac. For one, emulate the dealership experience offered by brands such as Lexus. Our local Cadillac dealership looks like the former Chevy-Cadillac-Saab dealer it once was. There’s nothing luxurious about it. Passersby see the used lot from the main entrance – new inventory is off to the side and not as prominent. Second, and most importantly, distinguish the Cadillac products from the other GM products. I’d find it hard to spend Escalade money when a Yukon Denali is every bit as nice. The upcoming XT6 (I think that’s the fancy Acadia) is going after the same targets as Buick (with the same powertrain, no less.) Cadillac should be chasing BMW, Audi, or Mercedes for the performance market they occupy. I don’t think GM has the money or the determination to do that.

      • 0 avatar
        Art Vandelay

        Last time I was at a Lexus dealer the service guy tried to explain to me that my LX450s required a 4 wheel alignment in spite of the 2 solid axles that could be aligned with a piece of string. I prorested and he argued that it was not a Land Cruiser with Leather. I ended up asking him to show me on the lift how he intended to do it once it was up on the lift. I then paid for my 2 wheel alignment. But hey, the coffee was good.

        GM can do dealerships. There was a time they had a brand that was at or near the top while selling economy cars. See Saturn.

    • 0 avatar
      darex

      Like, “Saturn”?

  • avatar
    Mike Guyote

    I once was a GM fan, and was even stupid enough to buy the first gen Seville – which was not a bad upgraded Nova. But the Seville had awful reliability just as did EVERY other GM car I owned, save for my ’67 and 2006 Vettes.

    GM? Never ever again.

  • avatar
    R Henry

    How many more “last chances” does Cadillac get? Deserve?

    • 0 avatar
      Middle-Aged (Ex-Miata) Man

      By my count the brand is currently on its third unearned stay of execution.

      If not killed off immediately after the Cimarron came out (and in the midst of the diesel and V8-6-4 debacles) Cadillac probably should’ve been put to rest at least 20 years ago when the first Northstar-equipped Sevilles began lunching on their head gaskets. While today’s Cadillacs are certainly better than those embarrassments, none are worthy of serious consideration by luxury buyers against Mercedes or Lexus.

      • 0 avatar
        carguy67

        Side question: Why is it so hard to make a good head gasket? Northstar Caddys, Subarus and Fiestas seem to have had problems (among others)?

        • 0 avatar
          Weltron

          With the Northstar, it was actually the head studs that would stretch out of the block, and make it look like it was a gasket failure. In reality it wasn’t the gasket.

          Subaru seems to have figured out the head gaskets. Though for a while, they were drinking oil like crazy instead.

          • 0 avatar
            jatz

            “it was actually the head studs that would stretch out of the block”

            That’s the kind of engineery stuff I only see on TTAC. Thanks.

          • 0 avatar
            Hydromatic

            “With the Northstar, it was actually the head studs that would stretch out of the block, and make it look like it was a gasket failure. In reality it wasn’t the gasket.”

            To be more precise, faulty casting processes allowed coolant to seep through to places where the head studs resided. The threads would slowly erode, given the nature of Dex-Cool and GM’s unrealistic 5-year/150,000-mile coolant change interval, allowing the cylinder heads to lift just enough for combustion gases to pop a hole in the head gasket.

            Repair options included the usual Time Serts or a complete rethreading of all 20 head stud holes, followed by a switch to beefier head studs with a coarser thread pitch. Both options were expensive and time consuming enough to make Northstar ownership a lost cause for many.

    • 0 avatar
      ceipower

      Off in the distance I believe I hear a fat lady ready to burst into song.

  • avatar
    thornmark

    btw, Cadillac had an electric vehicle – for about ten minutes.

    another expensive flop

    the Cadillac ELR was sold for two/three years and cancelled w/o notice in 2016 – selling 2,700 units over two model years (2014 and 2016) – which is amazing because it was priced at $75,000.

    that $75,000 Cadillac ELR is worth about $20,000 now – allegedly

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      Cadillac’s “green”/economical history is an absolute sh*tshow of poor engineering, dismal sales, or both. V8-6-4, Olds diesels, 4.1L V6 ‘credit option’, HT4100, Escalade Hybrid, ELR, CT6 PHEV.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      Good guess, the valuation range is 14,7-24,3.

      https://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2019/01/2019-chevrolet-volt-review-an-elegy/#comment-9680150

  • avatar
    mmreeses

    I love new tech. having said that, the problem with EV is that EV is (relatively) affordable only when everyone isn’t driving an EV.

    The metals needed for current and near-term EV batteries is in limited supply. And (open secret) dirty to mine often requiring nice kick-backs to third-world dictators and using exploited labor.

    The sensible solution is hybrid tech. But good luck with that….a CEO would get laughed at by the press for saying the future are hybrids and not some electric flying car fueled by taco farts.

    so once again Caddy will be zigging when it should be zagging. and with no cindy crawford

  • avatar
    thelaine

    The new guy, Electron Man, will make a boatload of money and parachute out of there, just like the guy before him and the guy before him, etc…

    Cadillac will die, and GM will die and be reborn again. In the meantime, the people responsible for the failures will get spectacularly rich. That’s how the game is played. How much did Johan make? How much did he waste?

    Just call on me when it’s time for the next bailout and tell me it’s all about saving jobs.

    What a sweet racket.

  • avatar
    aja8888

    Why is it going to take until 2022 to roll out the first new Cad model? I mean, come on, you have been building cars for over 100 years.

  • avatar

    good luck.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    “Reuss did not elaborate on what would happen if the multi-year effort to make the Cadillac brand more profitable failed.”

    ““This is pretty much it.””

    So this is like the fourth “last time” for Cadillac and its pretty obvious the solution is to always reboot and kick the can when one of the “last time”s invariably fails. Since I know you’re not going to buy 900 some dealers out, just admit you’re Chevillac™ now and its going to be that way from here on out.

    ““So we really have to hit the ball here,” he continued.”

    This marque would have been bankrupt multiple times on its own, it was only deep pockets which kept the game going. It has failed to deliver numerous times what its then loyal customers wanted and continues to do so.

    “Cadillac is positioned to become manufacturer’s leading electric brand”

    Good thing I wasn’t drinking coffee or you would have owed me a keyboard. You can’t figure out the ICE but you’re going to be Tesla now? Forget the fact EVs are NOT profitable, and forget the fact your customers do not want them, realize you are going to make technical and business mistakes with any new technology, so shouldn’t those trials and tribulations not be borne on your supposed luxury customers? Have you become so vain the attitude is just f*** them we’ll make them whole and its all leases anyway? Do you wonder why your marque, no entire company, is a complete joke?

    You have been committing the exact same error as Cadillac in 1981, you are shoving inferior product down your customer’s throats. What happened in 1982? You lost your edge and heaven knows how much on the 4100 in the RWDs. Who gained the edge? Mercedes followed by the Japanese marques, all of whom ate your lunch. What if the 368 had been employed and not the disastrous 4100? What if your sh!tty products were not made of Chineseium or all had carried 3.6s or 5.3s for the past ten years? You kiss the Fed’s ass without realizing they are not your customers and you are not in a position to play to the status quo. So what’s the status quo now? Oh its this Agenda 21 EV future powered by coal. Its not going to work, just as everything else has failed to work. You needed a moonshot in the Twentieth Century.

    • 0 avatar
      bd2

      That’s b/c Reuss is primarily responsible for the failure of Cadillac’s sedan lineup based on the Alpha (and Omega) platform, along w/ the delay in adding crossovers.

    • 0 avatar
      Art Vandelay

      The most complex thing about a Tesla is it’s infotainment suite. There is nothing especially complex about the drivetrain or battery tech. Honda is really the only maker to screw up a battery (Civic hybrid). Even the much maligned Leaf which only does OK manages to have most of them Outlast the car without really trying.

    • 0 avatar
      DweezilSFV

      I can see the ads now “The First Ever Cadillac CT7E….” and “Not Your Father’s Cadillac”.

      Forgot about the delete option V6 Cadillac offered in the early 80s, 28.

      But excellent work

  • avatar
    Trucky McTruckface

    What an idiotic statement for the president of publicly-traded corporation to make. Especially for a product that is far from a guaranteed success. Nothing calms stockholders quite like admitting “we’re out of ideas after this.”

    It really shouldn’t be this hard to build Cadillacs, but GM can’t even get the CUVs right. And I don’t have the words to describe how badly they’ve messed up the sedans despite making some decent progress in the 2000s.

    GM sucks so hard at managing and marketing this brand. I wouldn’t say it’s totally dead in the water despite the decades of cumulative poor decisions, but there’s no hope with the current band of morons in charge.

    • 0 avatar
      xflowgolf

      This was my first thought. Nobody at his level should ever say anything that could even be implied as this… “GM’s newly appointed president, Mark Reuss, has acknowledged this is sort of its last chance at greatness.”

      It may very well be that, but it should never be spoken by someone at his level.

  • avatar
    DC Bruce

    Wow! So the Big Idea is to market electric power as a luxury item because . . . Tesla? Cadillac seems to me, for a long time, to be a “go big or go home” brand . . . and Cadillac has gone small. increasingly, shared powertrains and shared bodies with lesser GM marques has become the rule.

    Apparently, GM wasn’t willing to commit the $$ to develop a unique car, which is what Cadillac was until, the late 1970s.

    The failed move to NYC was typical Cadillac — all about image, with no substance. It’s worth remembering that both Germany and Japan were devastated by Allied bombing in WW2, and Germany had the further experience of being invaded by hostile armies who slogged it out with the Whermacht that was conducting what in American football is called a “goal-line defense.” i’m not seeking sympathy for the citizens of either of those countries; what they unleashed on the world was beyond horrible in scale and barbarousness.

    But barely 10 years after it was over, Mercedes revealed the 300 SL “gullwing,” the most advanced car of its time. Did they expect to sell millions of copies of a 2-seater GT car that was quite expensive? Of course not. But, with that car, they intended to send, and did send, everyone a message: we’re back as the technological leaders of the automotive industry.

    And GM? Crickets.

    • 0 avatar
      gottacook

      Cadillac was hardly “a unique car … until the late 1970s.” It was already losing customers to other GM divisions long before it had to worry about foreign competitors. For example: MSRP for a 1971 Olds Ninety-Eight four-door was $5159 versus $6498 for a 4-door DeVille sedan (with air conditioning optional on both). It was easy to see that the Cadillac didn’t cost anywhere near 26% more to manufacture. Similarly for the Buick Electra versus the DeVille, and all three were on the same body, shared all their glass, etc. The Cadillac had a slightly bigger engine and a slightly longer wheelbase than the other two, but its visible materials were not obviously of higher quality, either inside or out.

  • avatar
    Lightspeed

    I want to like Caddy, really I do. They’ve had some cool stuff that I like the V-series, the wagon, the V-series wagon, the AWD wagon, the ATS, the ATS-V, cool stuff. I go check them out every year at the auto show, then I get in my old Lexus and laugh, “Me, in a Cadlillac?”

  • avatar
    SuperCarEnthusiast

    “placing a greater emphasis on hybrid and purely electric vehicles.”

    Another mistake in the making here! How many cars do you see other then Tesla models?

  • avatar
    ajla

    We’ll see what happens. The EV parts of the Volt and Bolt are well done, but Cadillac has been tripping over its d*ck since before I was born and they aren’t the only luxury brand planning to embrace electrification in the near future.

  • avatar
    James2

    If GM was serious about Cadillac –and they can never be with their short-term mentality– they would go in the opposite direction: build those concept cars AND equip them with V-12s, even V-16s. Design an ornate dashboard made of wood and fitted with analog gauges. Spare no expense on materials. These cars would once again be Cadillacs. IOW, be the exact opposite of Tesla.

    Of course, that’s a pipe dream; as soon as GM announces this plan they will be inundated with criticism that they’re old school, they’re tone deaf, they’re not interested in saving the planet, ad nauseam. And then guys like Reuss will run back to electrifying everything and building half-assed stuff like the XT4/5/6.

  • avatar

    First thing they have to do is a postmortem analysis – what were goals, what went wrong and why, recommendations how to improve or change product, define companies credo (Lincoln’s is American luxury). And they need a true visionary like Steve Jobs. Thinking out of box. Simply changing propulsion system does not answer these questions. And they have to start with flagship like Tesla and Toyota did, traditional names, tour de force, including interior design and quality.

  • avatar
    Michael S6

    Cadillac’s problem is poor product that no glitzy advertising can sell. Over the last decade GM made numerous product decision mistakes such as making it’s sedans (ATS,CTS) smaller and sport oriented while the Germans designed bigger cars with better ride quality, More significantly was the miss of the CUV explosion with the XT4/6 being 5 yrs late to the party. Cadillac does not have the resources to compete against the Germans, Koreans ,or Japanese luxury brands. It uses very similar chasis (Suv only) ,engines, and interiors as it’s other GM stablemates. It’s flagship CT6 only now gets a V8 of it’s own as opposed to the common 2.0 T and 3.6 V6 that every other Gm car and truck has. To add to the misery has been the CUE system and poor reliability.
    By going electric Cadillac has the best chance to clean the slate and start fresh. Hopefully GM will provide them the resources to succeed as GM’s fate will depend on this as well.

  • avatar
    orioncanam

    More words of wisdom from the esteemed TLS ( The Lucky Sperm), Reuss
    Yawn.
    #IusedtoworkforGM

  • avatar
    el scotto

    Mobility??!!! Mobility??? No Sireee, Mr. Reuss. You’re building Cadillacs; not repeat not mobility life-enhancement products. Ya know, luxury vehicles, or something resembling them. GM has the ability to make the best inline six cylinder engine in the world. But they can’t, don’t, won’t; take your pick. GM makes some of the best V-8 engines ever built on this planet. Great big hint: Put them in Cadillac sedans; put your new world-class inline six into a baby Cadillac and get all that German nonsense out of your system. While you’re on a roll let the Corvette guys build a Caddy sedan; look at an A8, S-klasse, or an LS, they get their corporation’s special sauce. Go to Ft. Wayne and grab some Silverado QC guys. A Caddy with a ‘Vette engine and full-size truck reliability? Yes, please. Could this happen? Of course. Will this happen? Not a chance! GM will give us a Chevy with a Caddy badge and a mediocre GM engine and run really bad ads telling us how great it is. No they aren’t luxury cars; luxury cars aren’t sold at deep discount and then have a nearly vertical depreciation curve. It will be a “mobility solution” that will “enhance the quality of your life” or some other marketing tripe. At the Ren Cen it’s always 1964 and next year’s new models will drive those pesky German and Japanese completely away. I feel much better.

  • avatar
    ceipower

    How can Cadillac convince anyone that they are suddenly , now , going to get things right? They cannot. Outside of a handful of die hard fan boys who’s numbers Get smaller every day , there’s really nothing they can do to change people’s minds. It’ll be another 20 years before enough buyers who experienced GM’s finest die off. As long as they are around Cadillac will find it impossible to escape their cars checkered record of failures.

  • avatar
    Jerome10

    The way this guy talks, he could be CEO of Ford.

    I don’t wish failure on any of the American auto companies, but my God, this belief (obsession) with electric cars and autonomous driving might very well be their demise.

    Not saying it doesn’t have a place but to believe that we are all gonna be in EVs in a matter of years and then being driven around in pods shortly thereafter is ludicrous.

    And they’re throwing BILLIONS into this stuff.

    And I worry that the cars that meanwhile sell and pay the bills are being neglected to do it.

    I get the desire to be first. I understand these companies need to invest in R&D. At the same time, it must be tempered with reality. I actually think FCA, of all companies, might actually be the best off after waiting to see how it all shakes out. In the meantime they can get the hybrid tech for cheaper after everyone else has paid the huge R&D costs, bugs are worked out. Mazda is another. Refine the gas engine, pay the bills, and add some electrification after the big boys have spent the ungodly sums of money, absorbed the possible losses, and the market seems to have decided the direction it wants to head.

    What GM, VW, and Ford are doing is, IMHO, betting the farm on very questionable odds.

  • avatar
    bd2

    GM’s (and presumably Cadillac’s) long-term EV strategy is apparently FCEVs.

    GM has partnered w/ Honda on fuel cell tech and is working to develop FCEV vehicles for the DoD.

    Both Hyundai and Toyota see FCEVs as the more viable long-term strategy for “electrification.”

  • avatar
    JoDa

    Cadillac is the Mitsubishi of Luxury autos. Even Lincoln is starting to figure out Luxury.

    I think Melody Lee could find success in marketing handbags, shoes, and non-toxic-masculinity razors to postmodernist city hipster monkey-children. Where is she now?

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      “Cadillac is the Mitsubishi of Luxury autos”

      Very succinct, I like it.

      “hipster monkey-children”

      I am so stealing this one.

    • 0 avatar
      cognoscenti

      “Melody Lee could find success in marketing handbags, shoes, and non-toxic-masculinity razors to postmodernist city hipster monkey-children. Where is she now?”

      Your remark is not far off. Lee went to a NY-based job at beauty/fashion brand Shiseido:
      https://www.mediapost.com/publications/article/328309/former-cadillac-marketer-melody-lee-heads-to-shise.html

  • avatar
    CanadaCraig

    I – for one [?] am very happy to know that the CT6 was spared from the chopping block. I appreciate Cadillac and would hate to see it disappear. In fact – I’d love to see the ‘Big Three’ come back again. Cadillac, Lincoln and Imperial. Those were the cars I dreamed about when growing up. You guys are far too pessimistic. As if being negative is being realistic.

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    I think Cadillac still has a chance. The thing is American cars can only succeed if they are bold. D3 doesn’t have the luxury of conservative incrementalism like the Germans/Japanese. I think back to all the recent domestic hits… ’86 Taurus, ’83 Caravan (and K-Cars), Neon, PT Cruiser, ’91 Explorer, Grand Cherokee, Chrysler LX cars etc… these were bold, well executed veers left. The idea that Cadillac could sell store brand E46s/E39s at full F30/F10 MSRPs was nuts. I said as much the moment the Alpha Caddys were announced.

    But the industry is in flux and that presents opportunity. If GM can weather this upcoming storm I think Cadillac can come out of the other side as a strong new player in an increasingly electrified world. They just need to make bold design and luxury top priorities. I don’t think a luxury car has ever failed for looking too good or being too luxurious. And if you look at luxury cars that languish they lack one or both of those factors.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      Well, “going electric” is fairly bold, and GM can build a damn good electric car. That’s certainly a more interesting direction than to just copy Lincoln and pump out gussied up Chevy/GMC CUVs.

      There’s definitely no other way but up for them.

      • 0 avatar
        sportyaccordy

        I think they should dip their toe into electric, but there’s a lot they can do to improve their existing ICE lineup. Obviously consolidate the sedans, but also spend the money and effort to make their crossovers feel like more than fancy Buicks. They need that “DAYUM” factor.

      • 0 avatar
        R Henry

        TESLA already did “bold” in that space.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    When Daewoos are rebadged as Cadillacs that will be the end for Cadillac. A Chevy Trax or Buick Encore rebadged as a Cadillac. Maybe electric crossovers will be the answer for Cadillac. Seems there are few other options left for Cadillac. My mother had a 72 Sedan Deville which still was desirable but even then you could see the cost cutting and cheapening of the brand. Cadillac was still a desirable brand for the Greatest Generation but it means little to nothing to Baby Boomers and the following generations. No more coffee and latte bars.

  • avatar
    Art Vandelay

    Just build good vehicles and let the chips fall where they may. Lincoln seems to have gotten the memo with their past few product releases. You spent 15 years chasing the Germans. You missed. Now you are going to chase Tesla? Screw that. If I want a Tesla, I’ll buy a Tesla. Trouble is, if I want a Cadillac there has been nobody to sell me one for 20 years.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      I think you have to make a distinction between cars and CUV’s, though.

      Lincoln’s “past few product releases” have all been CUVs, and from what I can tell, no one who buys CUVs gives a flying f**k how good they are. If they did, there’s no way anyone would buy any CUV, much less Lincoln’s warmed-over Edges and Escapes. Ditto for Cadillac and its’ warmed over GMC (the XT5). And instead of buying Lexus RXs, people would come to their senses and burn them.

      It’s like we’ve come to a point where all a manufacturer has to do is drop a CUV on the market and ring the profit bell.

      People who buy cars are different.

      • 0 avatar
        dwford

        I think the last few Lincoln products would be the Navigator, Aviator, and Continental. Even though the Continental hasn’t been a huge success, at least it carries itself like a Lincoln. The MKX and MKC were basically Audi knockoffs

      • 0 avatar
        sportyaccordy

        Being sad that cars don’t sell is no justification for being an a-hole FreedMike… No, people who buy crossovers aren’t complete idiots who know nothing about quality. There are actually people who own cars AND crossovers if you can believe it….

        • 0 avatar
          FreedMike

          True dat, sporty, I might have been a touch indelicate, which is a polite way of saying I was an a-hole. Thanks for calling me out.

          But I’ll stand by what I said about Cadillac and Lincoln CUVs, though. How they sell these to ANYONE is absolutely beyond me. There’s absolutely nothing special about them…nothing at all. The XT4 is unbelievably disappointing. But all this stuff sells, despite better stuff being out there.

          It makes you wonder. Just sayin’.

          • 0 avatar
            sportyaccordy

            Well, we have a 2011 MKX and when the time comes I’ll probably replace it with a newer one. Looking at the rest of the 2 row midsize luxury crossover segment, it kind of became the only choice.

            Lexus/Acura offerings- awful infotainment.
            Infiniti- Pathfinder Landau = CVT, FX = impractical gas guzzler
            Euro offerings- unreliable

            I honestly don’t think there’s anything left. We tried the mainstream offerings and they all felt a little cheap and tired. Somehow the Lincoln felt good. Wifey loves it and it works well for our family.

  • avatar
    Hydromatic

    Once again, Cadillac’s following when it should be leading. The time to go all-in on electric was during Tesla’s Model S launch, back when it could have strangled the brand in its crib. Imagine Caddy leading the way in modern luxury with an established stable of all-electric and hybrid sedans and SUVs.

  • avatar
    Erikstrawn

    Cadillac is dying because they’ve forgotten that long-term reliability is a measurement of luxury, and every other luxury brand (except BMW) has Cadillac beaten in that department. If you buy a new Cadillac you have to plan on replacing it when the warranty runs out, or face expensive problems. If you buy a new Lexus, you expect it to last 200,000 miles. That’s Cadillac’s problem.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    For those who think that the electric direction is a bad move, go check out an XT4, which I did.

    It can’t get much worse. The one I saw was dinky and cheap inside. It had a head-up display, which was nice, but the cowling around it stuck off the dash. I had to push it down into place to get it to stick. I didn’t drive it, but I assume it will drive like every other silly little CUV on the road. And all this for fifty grand. Jesus wept.

    (The irony, of course, is that the stupid thing will sell.)

    Criticize the Alpha sedans all you want – and the criticisms are valid – but the things drove damn well. I bet the XT4 drives like the world’s nicest Encore.

    They have nowhere to go but up, that’s for sure.

    • 0 avatar
      sportyaccordy

      As we see all over the place, how vehicles drive has little to no bearing on how they sell. Which is really no issue. There are probably more driver’s cars (and SUVs) than there have ever been. And they are really good too.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    So the XT4 is a nicer Encore? Time to start the Cadillac death watch. Warmed over Daewoos is another new low. Shades of Cimarron.

  • avatar
    DEVILLE88

    China and EV’s??? can GM be any more stupid than it is and has been in the past??? They have virtually killed Cadillac. The answer being right in their faces. For those who say Cadillac was never a Bentley competitor you’re right1 from the 30″s to the 60’s maybe 70’s Bentley nor Benz nor Rolls could touch Cadillac. BMW was less than a thought. Cadillac was brash and in your face now it’s a sideline almost joke. Most here are correct Caddy needs to go all out luxury and stop racing with the Germans. They proved that they can run and beat the Germans, That’s great………except that no one cares. They want a Cadillac that is the ultimate in American luxury not the ultimate at playing follow the leader. America was never about follow the leader, it was about leading! Cadillacs are my favorite cars and it saddens me to know that i will not only have to refer to my memories of a time when they were great…………..but have to go back in time to drive a great Cadillac!!

    • 0 avatar

      nice read. trouble is buyers don’t want a Cadillac, and why should they?

      aspiration, not desperation. this isn’t hard stuff.

      • 0 avatar
        DEVILLE88

        That’s my point Buickman, i used to aspire and dream of owning one in those days. it helped shape me into making the money needed to buy one, now that i can(for over 20 years)i dont want one(you can make a case for the CT6-sport)as a teen, i dreamt of owning a 1976 Seville now :(, the CT is a step in the right direction but we know GM, they wont go all the way.

    • 0 avatar
      sportyaccordy

      Cadillac can pursue China, EVs AND return to form and place. I think it’s good for them to have forward looking ambitions like EVs, and ultimately they have to pay the bills so China has to be a priority. It is gut wrenching to see what Cadillac has become though.

    • 0 avatar
      Internauta car

      Exactly. GM can not kill cadillac so today the car that should have been the most luxurious in the range, ct6, is below a Mecedes S-Class, that would be normal if it’s Lincoln with Continental, not a CADILLAC !. Look at the power of that name.
       status Cadillac has to spare, it’s more than time for GM to wake up and put it in its proper place at the top of the market. And another thing, it will not be killing cars and replacing that cadillc will get to the top.

  • avatar
    Boxerman

    The XT6 is evrything thats wrong with caddy, and also a sign of what could be right. The basic architecture and ride is excelelnt.

    However its looks are what we expect from chevy, forgetable, the interior still far from audi, and the engines offered(untill the v8) dont belong in a luxury car that has aspirations. The new V8 may be great but its now after the fact. Cue is cheap crap foisted as the future and should have been dropped after 1 year, not regurgitated.

    As long as Gm thinks the luxury consumer is too stupid to noitce they will continue to fail. Well its true escalade buyers are too stupid yto notice, and probably 50% of car buyers are too, the rest most assuredly are not and they are the ones followed.
    Mosty iomportantly, tech or tech promise does nto sell luxury cars no matetr how much digital crap you put in them,Tech is a con.

  • avatar
    dwford

    Cadillac has been trying to become a “modern” car company since the early 90’s with the Seville STS. Each generation has missed the mark and sales kept falling. At what point will they just go back to building Cadillacs?? Lincoln finally figured out that they needed to go back to building Lincolns, instead of Acura/Audi knockoffs. Time for Cadillac to learn the same lesson.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      Here’s the problem with “going back to building Cadillacs” – my family owned three Cadillacs back in the ’70s and early ’80s, when Cadillacs were supposedly still Cadillacs, and two were junk. The stuff they made after that was no great shakes, either.

      The bro-ham era is done, and has been done for a long time now. Anyone who wants one buys something like an Escalade now.

      I think the electric direction makes a ton of sense, personally.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Maybe one day we’ll get a Johan tell all book, but I suspect Cadillac was crushed under its own weight. What is needed is the work of a John DeLorean but instead even when they went outside they landed a bunch of yes men and the only ideas they implemented were minor at best. I don’t know boo about Mr. Carlisle but I suspect he’s another lifer who was put in charge to bring the division back to the mother ship for Chevillaction. If this pig is going to prosper it needs real independence, something I doubt would ever be allowed.

      • 0 avatar
        dwford

        I’m not saying to build 70’s era boats. I’m saying build cars that have the same gravitas and street presence that Cadillacs used to. Right now the Escalade was the only Cadillac that rolls down the street and people say “I want that.” Every Cadillac should inspire that emotion. Right now they are just anonymous appliances.

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          I grew up in the era of Yank Tanks and Land Yachts.

          I miss them. The majestic easy-chair ride cruising on the Interstate. The magnificent image they projected.

          My dad owned an 8-6-4 Sedan de Ville, his lifelong dream of owning once of these majestic road monsters.

          But it was far from trouble free. Kinda ruined that dream for him.

          None of his kids wanted it after he died.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    I have a feeling if Cadillac made a car like Genesis people would buy them. People don’t take Genesis as a serious luxury car because it is made by Hyundai but it is a true luxury car. If Genesis had a Cadillac or Lincoln badge on it people would buy it. Add a 6.2 or other big block V-8 and it would sell. During the 50’s Cadillac was the ultimate luxury car and offered more luxury than a Rolls, Bentley, Mercedes, or Jaguar.

  • avatar
    Higheriq

    So it’s Cadillac’s last chance at glory. I suppose they could always continue on in mediocrity if they fail at glory.

  • avatar
    pb35

    I purchased a new CTS-V 4 months ago. It’s a great car that does it all (except crossover stuff hehe) and I like it a lot. I wish Cadillac would continue making them but we’ll see how the CT5 is. I’ve never been a GM guy but I was a Ford guy in the 90s and I grew up in a Mopar family. After 2 SSs, I didn’t want another Charger and I sure as hell didn’t want a SHO.

    Anyway, the car has been great with 3k on the clock so far. I took it in for it’s first oil change last week and it was a less than premium experience. First, the service advisor checks the oil life and says that it’s still at 54% and he seems stunned that I want to change it. Here’s how our conversation went:

    Cad: “are you sure you want to change it?”

    me: “yes, it’s a new car that has forced induction and runs hot. It’s a good idea.” (not sure why I had to explain this to him).

    Cad: “well we can’t cover it under your maintenance plan since it’s still at 54%. It has to be under 20% to be covered.” (I’ve read about others that have had the first change done for free but whatever. It’s not like it’s a “luxury” car or anything).

    me: “I don’t care. Change it please. How much is it anyway?”

    Cad: “$49.95” (not bad for a synthetic change I say to myself).

    So, they finished it up in less than an hour (cool) and I was called to the cashier. The service advisor is there with her.

    Cad: “I’m sorry sir, I made a mistake. The LT4 actually takes 10 quarts and the oil change is $89.95. I’ll only charge you for materials so it’s the same price I quoted.”

    Me (under my breath): “it should be free…”

    So overall, I’m not complaining about the cost per se but the dude should have known that I pulled up in a V and not a garden variety CTS. It’s not that hard to tell, especially if you work with them every day. We’ll see how it goes next time. It looks like I’ll eventually be doing my own oil changes.

    Good thing I love the car so much.

    • 0 avatar
      dwford

      The entire GM “experience” leaves a lot to be desired. I have been getting hounded by GM Financial “collections” department for local property tax on a Silverado I traded in a year ago. Mind you, they have never sent me a bill for this, just a notice that they paid money. They wanted proof that I no longer owned the vehicle (I traded it in at a Chevy dealer, so they should know already). The today I get a letter about the Silverado that starts out “you only have 12 months left on your lease, it’s time to start thinking about what’s next.” It’s really unbelievable how bad their back end systems are. So having problems at the dealer or with their vehicles is to be expected.

      • 0 avatar
        dwford

        They just called again. 34 day past due on a bill they never sent. When I asked for a bill, the lady asked for my address. I have 2 active car loans with them and they just sent me a letter today…. and she needs my address….

    • 0 avatar
      Hummer

      I have so many depressing GM dealership stories I could make a book.

      Most recently took my Holden badged SS for oil change (dealer package; finished Factory free 2). Service advisor knew what it was; great start. Then he starts talking about its sister car the Caprice, sounding good so far… then he goes on to talk about the Caprice being made in America (and still being produced) and how some SS were made here, and how they were about to introduce a successor to the SS. I had to stop talking.
      I get the car back and the checkout material states they filled my car with 0w-20. Of course being an LS3 it requires 5w-30, a GM service bulletin calls for a change to 0w-40 for LS3 (Given the choice I would take 5w-30). So 0 for 2 on the oil. Did I mention it took 2 hours? When I walked out to see what was taking so long the car was parked in the lot and service advisor stated he was about to get me.

      I haven’t even been able to go to my original dealership they are always booked up and I refuse to make an appointment for something like an oil change. The sister Caddy-GMC-Buick(ex Cadillac-Hummer-SAAB) takes me on the spot.

      • 0 avatar

        They do that all the time (dealerships, and not only GM) because illiterate you know who and you know from where makes oil change. Good mechanic will never do oil change – too expensive. And if you ask adviser why he will say that 0W20 is a seasonal option (cold weather) approved by GM. I would do oil change at independent shop I trust and would bring oil and filter with me.

  • avatar
    Jagboi

    Cadillac needs to do now what Lexus did back in the late 80’s when they were starting with no brand recognition: The need to put serious engineering resources into making the product as perfect as possible.

    With Cadillac’s historical reputation for making junk, the new products need to be much better than anything else in the market and they need to make a commitment to doing that for probably a decade. It takes a long time to overcome a bad reputation and American companies typically don’t have the staying power to see the long term, instead they are looking at next year or next quarter. Lexus was in it for the long game to build their reputation, and Cadillac needs to as well.

    The propulsion system doesn’t matter, that’s just chasing the next trendy thing; instead they need the commitment to build quality, desirable cars for a long period of time – that will make Cadillac’s desirable, not the next whiz bang shiny thing. People need to be able to justify a purchase rationally and emotionally, and rationally few could justify a Cadillac over a Lexus or others in the field now.

  • avatar
    R Henry

    Has anyone mentioned GM CEO Mary Barra in the comments here? Certainly not in the main article. Are we afraid to place blame on the female boss?

    The buck starts and stops in her office, not Carlisle’s, not Ruess’s.

    Mary Barra, like Jim Hackett at Ford, has got to GO! Call Security and escort them out of their buildings!

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    highdesertcat–My mother’s 72 Sedan Deville was different it had the unkillable 472 cubic inch V8 that required little maintenance and ran forever. It was roomy and smooth but it drank gas like a drunken sailor drinks booze. Her last car was a 1984 5th Avenue with the 318 which was a great motor except the electronically controlled 2 barrel carb. Where I could see the cost cutting on the 72 Cadillac was the fake interior wood trim, radio knobs that continually fell off, and lots of plastic in the interior which when you compare it to a 70 and earlier model you could see the GM bean counters cost cutting. The 5th Avenue was actually worse in many ways when it came to the interior in that the door straps continually came loose and the electric windows and locks were troublesome always requiring replacement or repair. The drive trains on both were solid but the interiors were cheapened. When you buy a luxury vehicle it needs to be better all around. When the American brands did away with their reliable V8s in their luxury cars that really hurt them. Those smooth running long lasting V8s were their last ace in the hole. My mother always wanted a luxury car after driving 3 sons around in station wagons and scrimping so that her children grew up not wanting food, clothing, shelter, and an education. Like your father my parents were the Greatest Generation raised in the Depression and use to not having but aspiring for a better future for their children. Cadillac, Lincoln, and Imperial were the aspirational vehicles that one day before they die they wanted to own one. Imperial doesn’t exist, Cadillac has been mismanaged and going in the wrong direction for over 20 years, and Lincoln could be heading in the right direction after years of mismanagement but it might be too late.

    I am now older than my mother when she got her first and only Cadillac even older than she was when she got that 5th Avenue and I never have aspired to those luxury vehicles. I want a comfortable vehicle with heated leather seats but it doesn’t have to have the luxury marque. A Honda, Toyota, Hyundai, or Kia with the the luxury appointments in a form of an All Wheel Drive crossover is all I need or want.

    • 0 avatar
      Jagboi

      “I want a comfortable vehicle with heated leather seats but it doesn’t have to have the luxury marque. A Honda, Toyota, Hyundai, or Kia with the the luxury appointments in a form of an All Wheel Drive crossover is all I need or want.”

      A Kia of today has more luxury features than a 1970 Cadillac, plus a lot more reliable, higher performance and better fuel economy and drivability.

      Why buy a luxury car when you can have all you need in a mainstream car?

      • 0 avatar
        ajla

        “Why buy a luxury car when you can have all you need in a mainstream car?”

        For PHENOMENAL COSMIC POWER with comfort beyond a sporty car. I’ve had a Charger R/T and a Stinger GT and they are both fine. But, they aren’t a S600 or Ghost either.

        Practically by definition, you get a ‘luxury’ car for more than your needs.

        • 0 avatar
          Art Vandelay

          “Practically by definition, you get a ‘luxury’ car for more than your needs”

          And you have hit the nail on the head as to why today’s luxury cars in America are trucks.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      Yeah, Jeff S, there were some people who had excellent ownership experiences with their Caddies.

      My dad bought his from Marvin K. Brown Cadillac in San Diego, CA, and they were an outstanding dealership. Always listened to him and checked the car over, took it for a test drive with him and made note of the issue of the day.

      I don’t know if they still exist today. I was in Europe at that time so much of the stories I either heard second hand from my brothers or from my dad after the fact. I know he was very disappointed.

      There was a time when the Standard of the World was Cadillac. Now it’s Lexus, or Mercedes, or BMW, or Audi, depending on which way a buyer is inclined.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    Jagboi–Precisely. 1970 Cadillacs did not have heated seats, All Wheel Drive, connectivity, air bags, and a few other things. For their time the 1970’s Cadillac were reliable because their drive trains were proven and they were very comfortable but things change especially when you compare vehicles from 40 to 50 years to the present. Growing up in the 60’s thru the 70’s I understand those times and that at that time the Cadillac and Lincoln were the brands that my parents aspired to–they were the best you could get if you exclude the German and British luxury cars. That is why I am not going to be too critical of the vehicles of the 60’s and 70’s because during their time they were among the best that you could get. You can take any basic new vehicle from today such as Ford, GM, Toyota, Honda, Kia, Hyundai and when you compare their features to a 70’s luxury vehicle they are light years ahead. Those old land yachts do have a comfortable ride that are hard to beat.

    There are always things that are better about the past and worse about the past but we all live in the present. I had a loaded 1977 Monte Carlo with electric windows, locks, cruise control, air conditioning, power brakes, power steering, rear window defroster, light under the hood and trunk, AM FM stereo, factory floor mats, swivel bucket seats, and rally wheels as my first new car which I kept for over 18 years. I loved that car and thought I could hardly get any more than that during that time and didn’t anticipate more in the future. Those same options are standard on most of today’s new vehicles. Things have changed and will continue to change.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    “Now it’s Lexus, or Mercedes, or BMW, or Audi, depending on which way a buyer is inclined.” @highdesertcat–

    I think it might be too late for Cadillac, the damage is done and a couple of generations have come to age barely knowing Cadillac. Even one of my older brother’s moved on from Cadillac and Lincoln to Lexus and has no inclination to go back to either. My oldest brother it is Honda only. I have 2 remaining GM made trucks and my wife has a 2013 CRV. I doubt I will ever buy another GM, Ford, or FCA.

    Most of today’s vehicles have features that most of us 20 to 40 years ago would have never dreamed of and what was considered a luxury vehicle in the past is considered not so luxurious today. Additionally when vehicles continued to downsize and the standard V8 became a V6 and then a turbo I4 many migrated to suvs, crossovers, and trucks. LTDs, Grand Marquis, Chrysler New Yorkers, Dodge Monacos, Electra 225s, Olds 98s and 88’s, Caprices, Bonnevilles,Cadillacs, Lincolns, and a host of other land yachts have been replaced by luxury versions of pickups from Ford, GM, FCA, and Toyota. Once people move on its hard to get them back.

    • 0 avatar
      Durask

      In order to attract people they will have to make a car that has an interior which is at least as good as MB/Audi with perfect in car electronics AND sell it cheaper than equivalent MB/Audi/BMW which is essentially impossible.

      Notice that I did not say anything about sporty driving, etc. Average luxury buyer doesn’t really care about it. Heck, BMW 528i was a sad cow and sold quite well.

  • avatar
    Durask

    My father bought the CTS when it first came out, well, maybe a year or two after it came out. And you know what, for 2003 it was a damn good car. There were a few things that could be better but for that time period the design was new, the car drove well. All in all I could easily say “Wow, that is a good effort by GM, now if they keep improving it…”.

    He drove it for 8 years and never had any problems with it. He finally got tired of it after 8 years and wanted something new, went to check out Cadillac and it was very underwhelming. Other luxury brands improved a lot in 8 years, Cadillac has not. It was pretty disappointing actually.

  • avatar
    Durask

    Also ironic how people keep handing over money for german cars which are not particularly reliable, have painful maintenance costs and a lot of them have horrible depreciation. But they have great design and great interiors.

    Compare Cadillac Escalade and Mercedes GLS – GLS is what a Cadillac should have been.


Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Recent Comments

  • redapple: Hatch struts still work? W T Fudge? My sawed off broomstick handle was always in the back.
  • kosmo: “How’s that Ranger Raptor coming, Ford? Oh, it isn’t? I see. Thanks for the mobility scooter,...
  • dividebytube: When I’m down south I’m taken aback by the number of decent looking old trucks and even G...
  • redapple: RED…. Great catch. Love it.
  • teddyc73: What an ugly rear end.

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Staff

  • Contributors

  • Timothy Cain, Canada
  • Matthew Guy, Canada
  • Ronnie Schreiber, United States
  • Bozi Tatarevic, United States
  • Chris Tonn, United States
  • Corey Lewis, United States
  • Mark Baruth, United States
  • Moderators

  • Adam Tonge, United States
  • Corey Lewis, United States