By on February 25, 2019

For a brand that probably once caught the eye of Woodrow Wilson, there’s a late adolescent feeling to Cadillac’s current existence that belies its century-long history. Having run away from mom and dad to find itself among the towers of Manhattan, General Motors’ luxury division is heading home for a rest — newly matured, a new mentor in tow, and packing a couple of extra crossovers.

Completing the makeover, Cadillac tossed its “Dare Greatly” tagline in the trash, debuting new messaging during its Oscar night ad campaign. But does the new campaign “Rise Above” the criticisms flung at its predecessor?

Judging by the various Rise Above spots aired by Cadillac last night, the brand sells not a single car model. It makes sense to put your newest and least-doomed products out there for public viewing; after all, there’s still no official plan for the CT6 sedan after January, 2020.

Viewers instead got an eyeful of Escalade, XT5, new XT4, and upcoming XT6 — models that will carry the brand into its utility vehicle-laden future.

“Rise Above” might not be the new “Dare Greatly.” While the tagline accompanied last night’s ads, the brand still hasn’t decided what to move forward with. One that’s for sure is that Dare Greatly’s days are over. The former tagline was the brainchild of former brand marketing director Melody Lee, who left Cadillac last summer. Dare Greatly ads put a young, diverse, urban face on the brand, and Rise Above follows pretty much the same trail.

In case you were unaware, the two women serve as the human embodiment of the Cadillac brand. Yes, Caddy has what it takes to take the podium and accept the best-of award; it has the brawn and tenacity to fight back and win after finding itself against the ropes, etc, etc. A Twitter hashtag — #KeepRising — aims to keep the campaign going online.

“After some careful thought and consideration, we felt it was best to take our name back and be unapologetically Cadillac again,” Cadillac chief marketing officer Deborah Wahl told Ad Age. “In our newest brand campaign, ‘Rise,’ we have decided to allow the Cadillac name and our crest speak for themselves and continue to tell the story of our reinvention. And it begins with our growing SUV portfolio.”

Indeed, there’s more Cadillac to be seen in the new spots. Dare Greatly garnered a fair share of critics who complained that the ads were too high-minded, too cerebral, and didn’t feature enough of the vehicles Cadillac actually hoped to sell. A shot, here and there, of an XT5 blasting through desert scrub or an Escalade pulling a tight right-hander goes a long way.

Whether or not Rise Above delivers remains to be seen. With the XT4 now on board to help offset sinking passenger car sales, and the XT6 on the way, the brand has a good chance of turning around 2018’s less than stellar showing.

[Image: General Motors]

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126 Comments on “Cadillac No Longer Daring Greatly...”


  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    #FallBelow is more accurate.

    • 0 avatar
      Lie2me

      “Get by” or “Phone it in” would be good tag lines as well

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        “As good as our accountants/brand managers will allow us to be.”

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Cadillac: its a thing that goes places.

        • 0 avatar
          Hummer

          Cadillac: It comes with 4 tires

          • 0 avatar
            DeadWeight

            The XT5 is okay, while the XT4 and XT6 are drastically overpriced, rebadged Chevrolets having 0 luxury qualities and al, the typical GM negatives (garbage assembly, unreliable, sh!tty a$$ motors, flex & bend chassis’, horrific exterior and exterior design along with cheap a$$ interior quality and materials, and will have horrific resale value and have to be serviced at rat & tat Cadillac dealerships -‘save oneself the trouble and just go to Chevrolet Dealer – or wait for hybrid Chevrillac dealerships).

            Here’s what I said and that which I predicted would replace the utter failures that are now the ATS, 3rd gen CTS, CT6, and (now defunct) ELR:

            “XT1 – Rebadged Chevy Spark-based CUV (this can actually be seen in the Cadillac Urban Luxury concept)

            XT2 – Rebadged Chevy Sonic-based CUV

            XT3 – Rebadged Chevy Cruze-based CUV

            XT4 – Rebadged Chevy Malibu-based CUV

            XT5 – *exists*

            XT6 – Rebadged Chevy Impala-based CUV

            Escalade – *exists* – badly outdated, with its 3 advantages of a great V8 in the 6.2, a great sound, and a bold, unabashed presence being outweighed by 1) a abysmal ride quality, 2) abysmal interior space relative to overall exterior dimensions, 3) abysmal reliability (it’s a Guangzhou Motors product, after all), 4) CUE, 5) it’s a blinged out Tahoe/Suburban selling for 35k to 20k more.

            XT7 – Coming with length in 2020, using the same platform/chassis and powertrain from a Chevy, no doubt…

            And there’s your future Cadillac lineup, that ROGER SMITH FROM THE GRAVE WOULD BE EXTREMELY PROUD OF!, brought to market with pleather trim, CUE and the storied Cadillac emblem, now monochromatized and devoid of wreath, to distinguish CADILLAC (“standard of the world”) from its less “prestigious”Guangzhou Motors siblings…./SARC

            WHAT’S OLD IS NEW AGAIN…GENERAL MOTORS AND CADILLAC ALA ROGER SMITH STYLE!”

            GENERAL MOTORS GENIUS, SINCE THE 1970s (GM went from 50% market share in the late 1960s to 15% today).

            BRILLIANT EXECS, MANAGEMENT AND LEADERSHIP! REALLY BANG UP JOB!

            GUANGZHOU-GUADALAJARA MOTORS (GGM) LLC.

            Cadillac’s total and complete failure, and reversion to the Cadillac of Roger Smith v2.0, is a tragedy worthy of Greek Literature.”

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Did I just read Deadweight saying something was Okay?

    • 0 avatar
      Lie2me

      “Cadillac, it’s a really nice Chevy”

    • 0 avatar
      JoDa

      Cadillac: Just a Chevrolet with a $15K “Rise Above”.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    The volume Cadillacs are going to be FWD/AWD unit body crossovers (just like Lincoln) and the one product closest to what used to be the virtues of the brand will be a BOF SUV (again just like Lincoln).

    Just commenting…

    I have gone from wanting a Cadillac (in my teen years – the 90s, but that was based on the attitude of my elders who could remember cars like the 60s Deville and Eldorado) to rooting for Cadillac’s comeback to not giving a dang.

    Cadillac only stays on my radar to pick one up cheap gently used.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      Anything’s possible Dan, I suspect Chevillac should still be avoided used though.

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        How about an Impala Premiere (so I can get heated/cooled seats and heated wheel) with a personalized plate that says “JRCADDY”?

        https://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2010/01/curbside-classic-the-best-big-car-of-its-time-1970-chevrolet-impala/

        Shades of the 1970 Impala v Deville when the argument was that the Impala was a better “VALUE”.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          I would excercise due dillegence since on these hallowed pages I have read both good and bad about the E-XXX et al Impala.

          • 0 avatar
            PrincipalDan

            Or buy from a dealer with a proven track record of comping repairs out of warranty. (Which I have a relationship with a dealer like that.)

            I also would challenge anyone to go to any model specific forum and not find weird-a$$ issues that seem like things that shouldn’t happen in the modern age or issues you’ve never heard of before from some brand with a public reputation of stellar reliability.

            As I’ve said before – it’s not necessarily the issues that matter, it’s how you get treated after you have an issue that matters.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Interesting tidbit of I/O psychology: Old GM did a study on warranty work and found customer loyalty actually increased the sooner an issue was acknowledged and resolved. So in other words, the sooner your dealer found and explained the defect -but not necessarily fixed it- the more your customer loyalty would increase. The company I used to work for had the contract to hire in all GM factories for many years and during my time worked closely with GM (they have since lost the contract).

    • 0 avatar
      MoDo

      A couple years ago I was eyeing up lightly used 2.0L turbo ATS’s as in just 2-3 years they had plummeted down to the high teens in value, some still under warranty and low mileage. Then I realized the plummet wasn’t going to stop until the things were worth $1500 and the drop from $17,000 to $6500 wasn’t going to take long at all. No wonder they are killing that car, unless they already have.

      • 0 avatar
        gasser

        You’ve hit the nail on the head with the depreciation issue. Years ago, the first owner, after 3 years took a 40% our so hit. If you bought then, your depreciation was like 10% per year. Now the depreciation curve of a luxury auto is more like a ski ramp. If your own it from year 4 to year 6 you will lose almost as much value as the original owner’s three years of “‘pride” cost, but you won’t have the pleasure of new car smell, new car gloating or the warranty. In today’s crossover/SUV crazy market, who knows what a 6 year old “luxury” car that has no more factory support is worth. BHPH fodder?? At least if you lease one of these models, you know your cost of ownership for 3 years.

        • 0 avatar
          ToddAtlasF1

          A friend of mine bought a 2001 BMW 740i Sport in 2005 with a good aftermarket warranty for $21K + $2,800 for the warranty that gave him thirty-nine thousand miles of comprehensive coverage from 61k to 100k, IIRC. He had just had a new Ford Focus ZX3 PZEV turn itself into a pumpkin after two mileage-intensive years. He figured that a car that had already lost over sixty percent of its value didn’t have far to fall. Less than two years later, he had used up the BMW’s warranty and the car’s value had decreased sixty-two percent of what it cost him. OTOH, it cost the warranty company about as much as it cost him. They quoted him $5,600 if he wanted a similar warranty on a two year old E65 545i. Considering the price of both warranties totaled about what they spent keeping the 740i roadworthy the last six months he had it, I’m not loving their business model. That’s why every aftermarket warranty available today has nine lines of covered items and ten pages of exceptions when they aren’t covered.

    • 0 avatar
      Rocket

      Well, not quite just like Lincoln. With the Aviator, Lincoln begins a new chapter. A wonderful, potent, RWD chapter.
      I expect the next Nautilus will continue with its transverse layout, but with the CD6 architecture, it certainly doesn’t need to.

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        Well, clearly someone’s paycheck from the Lincoln Motor Company came early this month…

        • 0 avatar
          johnny_5.0

          I think it’s easy to make the argument that Lincoln’s updated CUVs are more interesting. Better looking with more potent powertrains isn’t a bad starting point. Is there enough differentiation from Ford? Will they always be stuck in a pseudo premium status below the Germans? Both are fair questions.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            More interesting? Undoubtedly.

            “Wonderful”? “Potent”? Seems to me that’s pretty high praise for a car that no one besides Ford employees have actually driven.

  • avatar
    ToddAtlasF1

    Is Oscar night still a thing? There are probably lots of luxury car buyers among the art students who don’t have anything better to do than watch the clowns award one another.

  • avatar
    jatz

    Cadillac is like patriotism; you now only see grotesque parodies of either.

  • avatar

    As a (former?) premium brand, Cadillac could have been where Mercedes is right now. Why not? Well, for a lot of reasons not. Bean-counting GM for one reason. It will only get worse. There’s no drive to compete with car brands from countries where people tend to pay two to three times as much for their gasoline as in the U.S. That means that for instance electric cars will even be further away.

  • avatar
    NoID

    it’s a safer tagline to be sure.

    To “Dare Greatly” puts the onus 100% on the Great Darer to act in the manner implied by the name. Cadillac failed to do this, time and time again floating daring concepts which swung for the fences, only to trot out conservative base hits. In the game of Truth or Dare, Cadillac chose Truth every time and lied to our faces.

    To “Rise Above” is far more nebulous, and will be far more forgiving of the Moneyball mentality that Cadillac is trying to embrace. Should the brand in fact Rise Above and excel, they can claim all the credit in the world. Should the brand continue to fail, at least there wasn’t a promise made. Market swings, economic factors, competitive advantage/disadvantage, etc…all of these can and will influence the brand’s capacity to rise. None of these impacted Cadillac’s capacity to dare.

    Even their new branding is a base hit.

    • 0 avatar
      SPPPP

      See, Cadillac is focusing on SUVs now. They let you “Rise Above” traffic by a few inches because of the higher seating position. And Cadillac aspires to be a brand to which people aspire. So they want status-seekers to view the purchase of a Cadillac as an outward representation of their own personal saga, in which they rise above the plebeians that surround them. Ego-marketing.

    • 0 avatar
      Luke42

      Tesla dares greatly. We spend a lot of time debate the sanity of Tesla’s daring moves (and we debate them for good reason), but they embrace risk and they have done things nobody else has done (and for good reason). THAT is daring greatly.

      Cadillac, on the other hand, seems to be trying to maximize their 2nd mover advantage. That is not daring greatly.

      Elon Musk is a modern Howard Hughes. Howard Hughes was found near the end of his life in a penthouse in Las Vegas where he’d been hanging out gorwing his hair and fingernails while trying to preserve his precious bodily fluids. I have little doubt Elon Musk will suffer a similar fate — but there’s a higher than normal chance his crazy-man penthouse hermitage will on Mars. THAT is daring greatly.

      Hiring and then firing high profile brand managers is not daring greatly.

  • avatar
    Steve203

    I floated a rumor in another forum last night:

    Last March, the rumor mill said the Escala had been green lighted for production. The Escala uses the Omega platform that the CT6 uses, so speculation was it would be built at D-Ham.

    Last June, GM announced that $175M had been budgeted for Lansing Grand River for an unnamed Cadillac sedan.

    Last November, GM announced D-Ham would be closed, seemingly condemning the CT6 to a dirt nap.

    In January, GM said a search was under way for a location to move CT6 production to.

    This month, GM announced D-Ham would stay open through 2019, keeping the CT6 supply chain intact until after UAW contract negotiations are complete.

    The rumor: the CT6, Escala, Camaro, CT4 and CT5 (Alpha platform ATS and CTS replacements) will be offered to either Grand River or D-Ham, depending on which local offers the most supplications.

    In a related rumor, as the D-Ham extension keeps the Impala supply chain intact, and Oshawa will run into the 4th quarter, keeping the XTS supply chain intact, The Impy, XTS, Malibu and XT4 will be offered as a package to either Fairfax or D-Ham, depending on which local offers the most supplications.

    • 0 avatar
      Robotdawn

      XT4 is built is Spring Hill isn’t it? Although being said to be on a Malibu platform, what you say makes sense.
      Also, next gen Regal will have to be built here somewhere, and god knows Malibu volumes are down enough I’m sure they have capacity.

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        It’s built outside Kansas City.

      • 0 avatar
        Steve203

        >>XT4 is built is Spring Hill isn’t it?<<

        As FreedMike says the XT4, which is apparently based on the Malibu's Epsilon platform is built at Fairfax, KS. The version of the Epsilon usually used for SUVs is designated as C1xx. C1 SUVs are built at both Spring Hill and Delta Township (near Lansing, MI).

      • 0 avatar
        Steve203

        >>Also, next gen Regal will have to be built here somewhere, and god knows Malibu volumes are down enough I’m sure they have capacity.<,

        I get the impression Buick is nothing but an afterthought in the North American market. LaCrosse production ended Feb 15th. The LaCrosse shares the Impy's platform, so could have been retained through the end of the year, in conjunction with the Impy.

        GM could easily have offered a Malibu based Regal built here, but decided to leverage Opel's production in Germany instead.

        It occurred to me last night, Buick's entire North American produced line now consists of one model, the Enclave. Everything else is imported from China, or Korea, or Germany, or Poland.

        • 0 avatar
          PrincipalDan

          Lacrosse has revised updated version of the current Impala’s platform.

          Impala wheelbase 111.7 inches

          Lacrosse wheelbase 114.4 inches

          This also likely means that it is more difficult to continue Impala AND Lacrosse production because of the variation in wheelbases and the differences between the platforms.

          But yes the Impala looks like a “best seller” compared to Lacrosse sales.

          Since for the foreseeable future both Malibu and Regal production are going to continue (unlike Ford, GM HASN’T announced the death of EVERY sedan) I foretell the Malibu and Regal merging for the next Malibu generation. That would leave ONE sedan in each showroom for the die-hards that truly want sedans.

          • 0 avatar
            Steve203

            “Since for the foreseeable future both Malibu and Regal production are going to continue’

            The Regal is built by Opel at Russelsheim. Under the terms of the sale of Opel to PSA, PSA has significant financial incentives to get rid of all the GM platforms in a hurry.

            GM could do a Regal version of the Malibu, but, as you said wrt the LaCrosse, the Regal’s sales volume is tiny compared to the Malibu. Last year, Regal volume was less than 10% of the Malibu’s.

            Both the LaCrosse and Regal are built in China, so importing them may be an option, but with SUVs accounting for about 80% of Buick sales, would they bother with more sedans?

          • 0 avatar
            PrincipalDan

            Remember how we got Ranger and Bronco? It was possible to build a factory that could build both. Neither by itself would have enough volume to justify the expense of setting up an assembly line here in the USA. But together it could work.

            Depending on what Malibu volume is, the Regal might be needed for plant utilization purposes.

    • 0 avatar
      Hummer

      Can someone tell me what the hell the point of the Omega platform is? Structurally speaking the Zeta in its lightest form was 50 lbs lighter than the omega under the CT6 in any form. The Zeta has perfect crash ratings… why did we end up with the Omega?

      And then add the Alpha platform which is arguably the biggest platform failure in modern history strangling every design put on it with poor packaging.

    • 0 avatar
      bd2

      The Escala will not be built on the Omega platform as Cadillac is updating and consolidating its platforms.

      The Alpha and Omega era for Cadillac was a disastrous one for Cadillac and the man most responsible for it is the one now heading all of GM as President (Mark Reuss).

      RWD Cadillac sedans will be based on the VSS-R platform and the indication is that there may very well be a 2nd gen CT6 based on that platform (which follows the JdN product plan).

      Extending current CT6 production to 2020 should allow for ample supply until the 2G CT6 model is ready for production.

      As for the XT4, XT5 and XT6 – they are all a bit underwhelming, but despite that, should sell well as they offer more space for less $$ (same formula Toyota used w/ the RX/RX-L).

      • 0 avatar
        Steve203

        “RWD Cadillac sedans will be based on the VSS-R platform and the indication is that there may very well be a 2nd gen CT6 based on that platform (which follows the JdN product plan).”

        A piece on GM Authority a few days ago said exactly that. As well as the CT6, CT5 and CT4 also eventually moving to VSS-R.

        Thing is, development of VSS-R is in it’s early stages. The article estimates a late calendar 2022 launch date, with the CT6 being the first to make the move. That launch date would be model year 2023, which implies a generation of Alpha based CT4 and CT5 between now and then.

        The article also expects Grand River to be the CT6’s new home, but I don’t see GM management missing an opportunity to play the Grand River and D-Ham locals off against eachother. Grand River’s run rate is also very low, though I’m sure the profit margin on it’s products glitters. Can’t help but wonder what else GM will want to put in there.

        • 0 avatar
          Hummer

          Alpha based CT-4/5 would be a disaster just like every other alpha based sedan. Omega or laid to pasture Zeta would be much better options in every way. Otherwise they are knowingly creating cars which will fail in the market place. Granted that seems to be their going strategy so let me step back and let them do their work.

          • 0 avatar
            bd2

            The Alpha II platform corrects the packaging/space issue of the Alpha platform.

            Every Cadillac sedan should be among, if not the class-leader, when it comes to interior room.

            For instance, the CT5 will be about the size of the 2G CTS and w/ the Q50 will be the largest in the segment.

            The CT4 will be about the size of the ATS, but this time, competing against the A Class, A3, etc.

          • 0 avatar
            bd2

            Also, unlike the Alpha platform, the VSS-R will be able to underpin crossovers.

            Remains to be seen what the new regime decides, but JdN wanted to go to an all RWD-based lineup, but was rebuffed by his bosses and the bean-counters.

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        Were Caddy’s sedans “disasters”? Strictly from a product standpoint, I’d say not entirely – they’ve been disappointing in certain areas (the powertrains offer enough power and too little refinement, unimpressive interior materials, poorly executed infotainment), but they steer, handle, and stop properly. I’ve shopped off-lease examples and there’s nothing wrong with the way they’re put together. Reliability-wise, the main problem seems to be CUE, which started out a ba*tard child and hasn’t improved much.

        The bigger problem is that the luxury-sedan segment itself has become a disaster. BMW, Benz, Lexus, Audi – they’re all getting killed. Cadillac was unlucky enough to get into this game at the same time the game was becoming irrelevant. And because the segment’s tanking, GM isn’t investing in these models the way it should – it’s refocusing on CUVs.

        • 0 avatar
          Hummer

          I look at the ATS and see a car that has the right bones to be something special but interior room that compact cars like the Mazda 3 can match. It’s a great entry level Pontiac, horrible Cadillac, leaving aside the traditional interior material faults.

          The XTS is a segment I have a personal vendetta against, I just can’t stand a FWD vehicle, no matter how perfect everything else is they just don’t move the way I want when pushed. Clearly (for other reasons) the market outside of livery sees a big Cadillac for a reasonable price and it has a small market. It’s a segment they do alright with.

          The CTS imho should be entry level, unfortunately they have priced it into the atmosphere to make room for ATS; great car but marginalized by its high price and lack of identity that it once commanded. This could be a killer car but GM screwed up its identity and who it’s target was.

          The CT6 is ruined by the fact that Cadillac has been pushing out CTS-Vs for 15 years with hi-po large V8 engines and then they introduce a larger RWD car with 4 and 6 cylinder options for even higher prices. Again I don’t believe their cars command the prices they ask and the resale value seems to echo my sentiment.

          They have great ideas that are marginalized by group-think that doesn’t include car enthusiast ideals. You have to balance real world demand with cost cutting with enthusiastic products. They did great on the cost cutting side.

          Of course this is all my opinion, worth $.02 on a good day.

        • 0 avatar
          sportyaccordy

          No it’s not bad luck. Caddy completely misread the market. It would be one thing if they got the car mostly right and were victims to changing trends. But anyone paying any attention at all would have seen the shift coming. Especially anyone so “German” focused. By then all the Germans had begun their crossover pivot.

          The ATS/CTS dropped the ball on everything customers care about- design, infotainment, interior space- for things they don’t- track day dynamics. Now we are heading into a period of constrained credit, heightened competition and another market twist with electrification. Thankfully it seems like this time Cadillac understands its existential fragility…. but I don’t know if they have the tools to get to the other side.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            They probably did misread the market, but when you get down to it, reading a market is really another way of saying “rolling the dice.”

            But let’s say Cadillac did say screw sedans and go all in on CUVs in time to ride the current wave. That means that about six or seven years ago, you’d have a Cadillac lineup with lightly disguised Chevy CUVs, and no sedans that were even halfway decent.

            Can’t see that as a positive, unless you want to call it “Lincoln,” and that brand ain’t killing it either.

          • 0 avatar
            bd2

            The biggest issue was focusing too much on driving dynamics at the expense of interior room (and quality).

            Cadillac, however, was not the only one to make this misstep – Jaguar and Alfa have also done this w/ their sedans.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    Ink is being spilled over a silly ad tagline? Whatever. The brand will rise or fall on its’ product.

    • 0 avatar
      Robotdawn

      Yeah. I know this place is part of the media, but I can’t recall the last time I saw an actual commercial for Cadillac. Or much of anything else for that matter. Who watches commercials nowadays?
      I know the XT4 is good enough looking and priced well enough that it might be my wife’s next ride. And I haven’t considered a Caddy in some time.
      Doesn’t help Buick’s midsize is built in the one country I will never buy a car built in.

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        I haven’t driven an XT4, but what I’ve seen of it is singularly unimpressive. It’s tiny, the interior is nothing special, and the pricing is an acid trip.

        Something like a Mazda CX-5 would make a lot more sense to me

        • 0 avatar
          jack4x

          I test drove one for a gift card promotion.

          The seat was quite comfortable and the peanut butter colored leather (??? I hope it was real at that price point) was a refreshing change from the normal black.

          And since I have nothing else nice to say, I won’t say anything at all….

          • 0 avatar
            ect

            Your last sentence reminds me of a quote from socialite Alice Roosevelt Longworth (daughter of Teddy Roosevelt, and after whom Crayola named a crayon colour:

            “If you don’t have something nice to say about someone, come sit right beside me.”

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            Are you referring to the Caddy or the Mazda, Jack?

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        I would shop a decent size selection before making a decision, my .02.

  • avatar
    Boxerman

    They can Bs all the taglines they want, and to me taglines are an excuse. In the end you need great product to really sell. All the self drive is a nice add on tech, but the underlaying vehicle needs to be great, and in the premium sector pull at the heart strings.
    While an escalade may do that with old tech due to its unchallenged sheer mass, the rest of the lineup is sorely lacking as accomplished vehicles compellignly styled and executed.
    No matter how warmed over, a chevy traverse xt6 is not going to cut it. The design is at best bland and the powertrain pedestrian. Yeah theyll make a profit selling some of these but thyere takign the brand nowhere but backwards.

    If BMW can make an X5 out of a 5 series, then cadillac ought to dare greatly with the ct6 mechanicals. The CT6 was a potentialy great car let down by not having premium power and bland styling apparently the dimbulbs at Gm thought add on “Tech” would sell it anyway. Like why build a great car with great american styling, really premium interior and premium powertrain when the supercruise magic bullet will sell like hotcakes, idiots.
    Gm repeats the fiero and Allante by getting is powertrain right just before production stops. And how stupid is cadillac, the v series sells so they only make 250. I just dont get them, and they appear to squander billions because no one there actualy undertands the biz. Its all about product stupid.

    Lets look at the mercdees E-class. You can get it with a “regular” motor and then there is amg light in the E53 and amG full bore in the E6.3. Plus numerous al carte upgrdes here and there including the interior. After one year Merc was able to figure out enough people dont want a screen for their dash so you can now order the classic guage cluster too. Meanwhile cadillac still persists with cue.

    The CT6 actualy has some world class bits, not that marketing relaizes this, not that styling was allowed to design a cadillac, not that powertrain was allowed to complete the job. Why would any future cadillac be executed any better.

    Cadillac is management failure.

  • avatar
    Sigivald

    I’d never heard “Daring Greatly” until now.

    Cadillac’s messaging is plainly not making it far.

    (Then … what Cadillac is even interesting?)

  • avatar
    Lightspeed

    I am happy to buy used cars and keep more money in my pocket. So, an off-warranty Caddy is simply not on my radar, but a used Lexus is. Sorry Cadillac, you don’t have the reliability or build-quality for me to take a chance on you, it’s as simple as that.

  • avatar
    abitolder

    Greatness starts at the top, let’s just say Stevie the boss is not as great as he dreams he is.

  • avatar
    jatz

    So, identifying Cadillac with a flying male dress designer didn’t work?

    Americans are such clods.

  • avatar
    sckid213

    As an older millennial (35) who drives a Cadillac (second-gen CTS) that I purchased (**with my own money**) on one of the coasts (in Los Angeles), I like Cadillac’s current advertising, including this latest campaign. It’s more understated than “Dare Greatly” (which I hated), and to me it makes a nice follow-up to their old “Break Through” campaign. (First you “Break Through,” then you “Rise Above.” Or maybe both at once. But the sentiment is the same.)

    I like that part of the campaign is a nod to the brand rising above its current reputation (just look at the comments on this thread), as well rising above its self-imposed drama over the past few years (Johan, Melody, Ewe).

    Being a Caddy fan is frustrating. There are high highs and low lows. But despite it all, I’m still rooting for them. It’s one of the few brands that still radiates Americana to me. Their latest ads show promise.

    • 0 avatar
      Spartan

      Agreed. I’m 34 and have owned one Cadillac. I haven’t owned a Cadillac in some years. We replaced our 2009 Escalade with a 2016 Yukon XL Denali. We’re waiting for the next Escalade to be released and likely will replace the Denali with an Premium ESV.

      I don’t get the hate for Cadillac as a brand. What’s even more odd is there’s a lot of pro-America people who comment here and will buy an (insert import brand here) before even considering Caddy for some ridiculous reason…or they couldn’t afford a new Caddy anyway so they come here to whine.

      I guess we should offer them some cheese because they may be around for a while.

  • avatar
    Vulpine

    Personally, I am unwilling to buy or drive any product produced by Cadillac after 2004. I do not like a single one of their current models, whether they be sedan, crossover or truck.

  • avatar
    jkross22

    If the goal of a new marketing slogan or tagline is to get potential buyers to think about Cadillac in a new way, how will they accomplish this when many potential buyers don’t think about Cadillac at all?

    I think to many potential buyers, Cadillac the brand is like an envelope their power bill comes in – not something they’re bothered with either way.

  • avatar
    Hummer

    Rise above with our fake SUVs (crossovers) and generic 2.0T and 3.6L drivetrains.*

    *Note tagline does not apply for anyone that looks at the Chevrolet’s for half the price.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      Hummer hits on one of Cadillac’s key weaknesses: the engines. They’re not bad, but there’s nothing special about them. If they have to use the basic designs from cheaper GM products, then fine – why not make them “bespoke” to the brand, with more power, different engine notes, etc? It’s hard to make an argument that this is a “premium” brand when it sells cars with engines straight out of a Malibu.

      • 0 avatar
        Hummer

        The 3.0TT would be a nice addition across the entire spectrum, even if it’s not a 500 cube Big Block some brand specific engines would go a long way. If not brand specific then at least world renown engine (ala LT V8)

        Lincoln just moved their mid level crossover to a RWD platform with a 400Horse engine. Granted GM has the sales crown so we will see how this turns out.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Historically, Cadillac had offered brand specific drivetrains with some exception. Drivetrains are certainly a problem but the fact they are not brand specific is not one of them IMO.

      • 0 avatar
        Spartan

        Audi uses VW engines
        BMW and MINI share engines
        Lexus and Toyota share engines
        Acura and Honda share engines

        And you’re complaining about Cadillac not using a bespoke engine? I swear some of you are being ridiculous.

      • 0 avatar
        Spartan

        Audi share VW engines
        BMW and MINI share engines
        Lexus and Toyota share engines
        Acura and Honda share engines

        And you’re complaining about Cadillac not using a bespoke engine? I swear some of you are being ridiculous.

        • 0 avatar
          Hummer

          Audi is sold on badge alone, the Cadillac badge seems to repel customers. The lower end Audi’s don’t have the platform to utilize hi-po drivetrains unlike the ATS and CTS.

          Have you seen prices on Mini? They are not a volume brand. Better comparison here would be Rolls Royce and BMW, which I don’t believe share an engine.

          Lexus shares highly reliable (non performance) engines with toyota, customers know what they’re buying and want that. Cadillac customers know when they’re buying an LS or LT driven car and similarly want that, though it’s not offered for much longer.

          Your joking about Acura? That’s more of a Chevrolet and Buick relation.

          Cadillac has a heritage and “says” that it wants to play with the big boys, and they’re not going to do that sharing a turd nugget 4 cyclinder or the 3.6L lambda minivan engine.

          • 0 avatar
            Spartan

            Audi is sold on badge? That doesn’t negate my comment. They share motors and the VW 2.0T is throughout Audi’s lineup.

            MINI isn’t a volume brand, but they share engines with BMW. Again, doesn’t negate my point.

            Lexus shares highly reliable engines. Doesn’t negate the fact that they share engines. Rolls Royce does indeed use BMW engines.

            Again, Acura and Honda share engines. And no, I’m not joking.

            Cadillac has to make money and that requires economies of scale. I’ll be glad when the electric vehicle market finally takes off so you engine snobs can finally piss off. Then you can argue over battery supplies and complain when your favorite battery supplier isn’t GM’s choice.

            “BUT BUH BUT HONDA AND TOYOTA USE PANASONIC! MY PANASONIC BATTERIES LAST LONGAH THAN DURACELL! DURACELL IS TRASH!”

            ^ You in 20 years.

          • 0 avatar
            jack4x

            @Hummer,

            BMW does use the Rolls Royce V12 in the 760.

            That being said, I agree with your overall point. A small block would not be out of place in a modern Cadillac sedan.

  • avatar

    Without decent cars like the ATS, CTS6, and CTS-V, Cadillac is not remotely competitive with BMW, Mercedes, Lexus, Audi, and even Infiniti. Cadillac is now taking the 1970’s approach by selling only large mediocre vehicles. This strategy might actually work. The auto press hated those large Cadillac’s of the 70s, but they did sell.

    With the exception of the Fiat 500 and Mirage, the Escalade is one of the lowest scoring vehicles we tested this year. – Consumer Reports.

  • avatar
    RedRocket

    How predictable. The usual suspects of the TTAC comments sections flock to this article to offer their negative opinions like ants to a picnic.

    • 0 avatar
      Hummer

      Your welcome to point out the good aspects of a company who’s best product is a (albeit d&mn good) rebadged Chevrolet truck. Otherwise it’s hard to say anything nice about the company that once competed against Rolls Royce that now offers 2.0T engines in its cars.

  • avatar
    DEVILLE88

    These commercials are worse the the ones they replace. They are stupid and have nothing to do with a buyer. these people are idiots. And the ship called the Cadillac keeps on sinking. what is wrong with a luxury car pulling up to an opera or theater or expensive restaurant(like in the days of the barges)simple elegant luxury. these commercials are crap and so are the people running Cadillac.

  • avatar
    DEVILLE88

    These commercials are worse the the ones they replace. They are stupid and have nothing to do with a buyer. these people are idiots. And the ship called the Cadillac keeps on sinking. what is wrong with a luxury car pulling up to an opera or theater or expensive restaurant(like in the days of the barges)simple elegant luxury. these commercials are crap and so are the people running Cadillac. And GM for that matter.

  • avatar
    stingray65

    Women greatly out-number men in the ad. Non-whites great outnumber whites in the ad. Nobody appears to be over 35 years old, or have an opposite gender partner or a child in the ad. Virtually all outdoor scenes are urban. How are these social justice themes going to play with the 55+ year old white guys and suburban soccer moms who currently buy Cadillacs? Will 30 year old social justice types with $100,000 gender studies degrees and working at Starbucks be able to qualify for a Cadillac lease should this ad awaken them to the fact that Cadillac is still in business?

    • 0 avatar
      Hummer

      In all fairness, you shouldn’t expect the marketing department to be any less inept than the people that hired them.

    • 0 avatar
      jatz

      Ironic that the most iconic American automaker so enthusiastically distances itself from the only demographics that can save its American market.

    • 0 avatar
      Spartan

      The people you’re referring to stopped buying Cadillacs a long time ago. Odd because those same people love wrapping themselves in the flag and calling themselves patriots.

      It’s a waste of money to market to them. They won’t buy Cadillacs.

      • 0 avatar
        Hummer

        Your comment makes zero sense, white men over 35 don’t buy Cadillac’s?

        • 0 avatar
          Spartan

          They’re no longer the target demographic. When’s the last time you saw a White man over 35 in a new Cadillac? Then ask yourself how often.

          White men don’t buy Cadillacs the way they once did. My neighbor on the right has an S-Class. The left? Range Rover LWB. Anecdotal, sure. But there are no CT6s in my neighborhood. There quite a few Escalades. White men aren’t driving them. The rich Middle Eastern and Africans families own (lease) them. And when the new ‘Slade hits dealers, I’m sure they’ll all be swapped out for new ones.

          Rich White guys buy pickup trucks and import luxury cars. They stopped buying Cadillacs long ago.

          • 0 avatar
            Hummer

            I don’t see any demographic but white male in ATSs running around me, and I would say 75% of the local Escalades that are driving off the lot are piloted by old white men. The XT5 is almost exclusively older white woman and men. The rest I don’t see enough of to generalize.

          • 0 avatar
            Spartan

            I’ve never seen a white man in an XT5, not alone anyway. All women, usually older white women.

            No matter, White folks ain’t buying Caddies the way they used to. But they love foreign luxury cars. Some strong irony there if you know where to look.

          • 0 avatar
            jatz

            “Some strong irony there if you know where to look.”

            If you’re standing in the bucket of a cherry picker.

            All any of us can provide here are anecdotal, local observations and mine entirely contradict yours.

          • 0 avatar
            Spartan

            But eh, I did my part! 2009 Cadillac Escalade owner for many years. Traded for a Yukon XL Denali in late 2016. Can’t wait to see the next gen Yukon and Escalade. But I’m sure the ‘Slade we’ll want will be over $100k. That’s a hard sell when the Yukon XL Denali can be had for <=$65k OTD.

          • 0 avatar
            Spartan

            I think you missed my point, but I’ll drive it home for you.

            The MAGA crowd is predominately White, especially the rich MAGA crowd. When’s the last time they bought new Cadillacs?

            You can’t make America great from the seat of your Lexus or Benz, no matter how hard you try to convince yourself.

            We can poke fun at Liberals all day long, but the MAGA crowd isn’t as patriotic as they think they are. I surely don’t give anyone a pass for buying foreign iron when there’s plenty of American made options that are just as good.

            You know what’s in my driveway? A Ford and a GMC that we bought new. Both made here. Why? Because I support American manufacturing.

            No one will ever lecture me on being an American from their Samsung phone while driving a Toyota.

          • 0 avatar
            jatz

            All any of us can provide here are anecdotal, local observations and mine entirely contradict yours.

          • 0 avatar
            Spartan

            What?

    • 0 avatar
      Sceptic

      The add is complete trash. It promotes the idea that only an idiot would buy a Cadillac.
      In five years Cadillac will be gone…

  • avatar
    Hummer

    I just realized something, for a long time I was Sympathetic that Cadillac would get itself together and produce something world class. Now, after repeated blunders and useless decisions, I realize that DeadWeight was not harsh enough on these morons.

    The CTS-V and Escalade are hold overs from programs started in the late 90s to early 2000s, they are the only shining spot left. Of course both of those face a questionable future as news would have it. With them out of the way there’s no reason to visit a Cadillac dealer and they can be marginalized further until their inevitable demise.

  • avatar
    Rick T.

    “May the Road Rise Up to Meet You….)

    Not much in the way of Irish in that commercial, except maybe the ginger child at the beginning. Seems a little like cultural appropriation? (j/k)

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    ” “In our newest brand campaign, ‘Rise,’ we have decided to allow the Cadillac name and our crest speak for themselves and continue to tell the story of our reinvention.”

    So is that the fourth or fifth reinvention since 1980 ma’am?

    Chevillac: Keep daring.

  • avatar
    ToddAtlasF1

    Every now and then I read an opinion piece suggesting that Cadillac needs to stop trying to be BMW and go back to building ‘American luxury.’ The problem with going backwards is that American luxury stalled out about forty years ago. 1977 was the last time Cadillac introduced a distinctively new model that the whole country took generally positive notice of. German luxury has been propagating(I wouldn’t call it evolving after reunification) continuously for the four decades since American luxury stopped being aspirational.

    The various stewards of Rover found themselves in similar positions to the GM execs trying to find a market position for Cadillac. Rover made prestigious and aspirational cars in the ’30s, ’50s. and ’60s. They leveraged that brand equity to sell cars in volume in the ’70s and ’80s. They put their badge on seriously downmarket cars as the ’80s ran down. They put their badges on other peoples’ cars.

    Then BMW bought them in 1994 and tried to use their immense resources and know-how to revive Rover as if they had never lost direction after making the P5, introduced in 1958. The result was the 1998 Rover 75. It had a sumptuous wood and leather interior, a formal yet modern shape, and mechanicals that pointed the way towards BMW’s FWD future. Some claim it was a FWD E46, but the detailing and chassis tuning were all meant to be English luxury. The result? A few pensioners who remembered the P5 bought them. Yuppies don’t recognize history lessons, and there’s no way global regulations are going to put people who earn their money in land yacht sedans and coupes again. There’s no point in trying to sell Coupe de Villes with Apple Carplay and eight feet of batteries under the hood.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      Two issues with your post:
      0. Despite its terrible recent quality rankings the Escalade remains the brand’s most well-known and profitable nameplate. I think it shows there is still some market out there for a mack-daddy Cadillac. No one is seriously saying that GM should go full retro Brougham, but infusing some of the Escalade’s presence across the lineup wouldn’t hurt. Their concept cars have been on the right track, but it isn’t translating to production vehicles.

      1. Cadillac trying to be Mercedes failed. Cadillac trying to be Lexus failed. Cadillac trying to be 90s BMW failed worst of all. I’m expecting that Cadillac trying to be Tesla will fail just as bad. At some point they either need to stop being followers or just sell the whole thing to China.

      • 0 avatar
        ToddAtlasF1

        0. The Escalade is a tribute to bad taste. Look at who drives them. You can’t build an aspirational brand in the gutter. A few years ago, GM was selling beige Yukon Denalis to most of the young, rich entrepreneurs that I know. The next Yukon Denali was as tacky as an Escalade. All of the former Yukon Denali drivers I know have since gone to big German cars and fancy pickup trucks.

        1. I think Cadillac is already Chinese. Otherwise they’d still have the wreath and the CTS and CT6 would have been powered by carefully assembled LS/LT engines.

        • 0 avatar
          ajla

          “The Escalade is a tribute to bad taste.”

          Mercedes offers everything they make with big light-up badges in the grille. The new 3-Series has you say “Hey BMW” to operate its UI. Rolls Royce builds bright purple cars with twilight-twinkle headliners. Lexus vehicles look like robot sea monsters. Everything has 20+ inch wheels. In this environment I think there are worse strategies than building a brand around something like the Escalade.

          On the second point, I basically agree. Might as well make it official though.

          • 0 avatar
            ToddAtlasF1

            I think it’s high time for the next definition of luxury. Mercedes-Benz and BMW have been consuming their brand equities for twenty years. Lexus doesn’t know what it’s doing. Only the Land Cruiser embodies heritage, quality, truth and luxury. Maybe the next generation luxury definition will come from China, but it still probably won’t carry the Cadillac name.

          • 0 avatar
            jatz

            This thread was the best read here in months.

          • 0 avatar
            Sceptic

            “Mercedes offers everything they make with big light-up badges in the grille. The new 3-Series has you say “Hey BMW” to operate its UI. Rolls Royce builds bright purple cars with twilight-twinkle headliners. Lexus vehicles …”

            Quod licet Iovi, non licet bovi

        • 0 avatar
          Spartan

          Who drives new Escalades? Upper middle class families and celebs. Are you saying well-to-do families are gutter?

          Tribute to bad taste is purely subjective and most everyone who goes outside at least once a day and isn’t a basement hobbit disagrees with you.

          And you think the Land Cruiser is a luxury vehicle? I can assure you it isn’t by any stretch.

          • 0 avatar
            jatz

            Well, it *was*.

          • 0 avatar
            jack4x

            A Land Cruiser is luxury in the old-school bank vault Mercedes way. No it may not have the most cutting edge tech and features, but it’s a vehicle you can buy new and pass to your kid. That’s no longer something I would feel comfortable doing with an Escalade.

          • 0 avatar
            Spartan

            Yeah, most people who spend that kinda $ on cars don’t pass them to their kids. Sure, people who buy Land Cruisers keep them forever, but how many Land Cruisers did Toyota sell in the US last year? A few hundred?

            Land Cruisers are stout and reliable. No arguments there. They’re luxurious in the same way an F-150 Platinum is luxurious. A luxury vehicle, it is not.

          • 0 avatar
            jack4x

            Depends what luxury is to you I suppose.

            In a world where $20k subcompact cars can be equipped with tech features that would shame a 10 year old S-class, I think there is more value than ever in solid engineering and overbuilt components. That is what luxury used to be and still is to some.

            Interestingly given your example, my last vehicle purchase was narrowed down to two choices, a Land Cruiser or a high trim Ford truck. Toyota doesn’t offer any provisions for plowing snow with the LC so I bought a King Ranch Super Duty. It’s nice inside for sure, but I would definitely consider the Land Cruiser more of a luxury vehicle.

  • avatar

    “Care Lately?”

  • avatar
    JoDa

    BlahBlahBlah

    American marketing MBAs are just so incredibly freakish/cartoonish that they don’t even seem self-aware. You almost have to be embarrassed for the babbling ninnies.

    Johan and Melody were just bazaar.

  • avatar
    DEVILLE88

    @toddatlas, “the Escalade is a tribute to bad taste”by your deffinition? I happen to like the Escalade and the Suburban for that matter(Denali is redundant to me)who drives them? Limo drivers,company execs that need the room for people and materials, long time Cadillac loyalists. You may not like the Escalade………so don’t buy one you still have your BMW and Benzes(that look like everything else on the road)i cant count how many times i’ve mistaken a Honda Accord for a Bimmer. I and members of my family have owned many Cadillacs throughout the decades. They may be messed up now(and may not recover)But the Escalade is the closest thing to a traditional Cadillac that is available right now(the CT6 sedan as well). Some of us like the comfort of a cruiser that can absorb all the bumps on the road. Not everyone wants their butts beat by the road in a Bimmer or Benz.

  • avatar
    Dave M.

    I had a 2015 ATS as a loaner for 2 weeks. Pluses: It was fun to fling around and my kid loved the booming bass on the radio. Minuses: no back-up camera or BLS to cure the gunslot windows and huge C-pillars. Can’t understand how they feel they can compete with “luxury” makers.

  • avatar
    DweezilSFV

    “Rise” ?

    Isn’t that what the Manson girls wrote on the wall in blood ?

    I guess enough time has passed…

  • avatar
    pb35

    Late to the party as usual but I feel its necessary to chime in. I purchased (not leased) an ’18 Cadillac CTS-V 5 months ago. A week ago yesterday, at 3600mi I started it up on Monday morning to go to work. I was greeted by 3 error messages and a check engine light. The messages were generic, the automotive equivalent of PC load letter (Rear axle system off, Advanced front lighting and Stabilitrak). I put the “gear selector” in D and the car wouldn’t move (thank you, electronic shifter). After restarting several times (turning it off and on again) I was able to drive around the block. I returned home, pondering what the rest of my day might look like.

    I decided to risk it and drive it straight to my local Cadillac store without calling to see if I could get an appointment. When I arrived, the service writer asked if I needed a ride or if my V was a “second car.” Sure it is! Take me home and I’ll grab the keys to my Urus. Anyway, I told him I didn’t need a ride, I needed a car to get to work. Polite but firm. He went and spoke to someone, came back and said he was going to take care of me.

    It took them about 5 days to get to my car (totally understandable since I didn’t have an appointment). I didn’t want or expect any special treatment, I just wanted my car fixed. It turned out to be a poorly connected ground strap at the cylinder head. They also had to replace both headlights as there is what appears to be some adhesive residue running down the inside of the lens in streaks. They special ordered 2 headlights and replaced them. This is a common issue that many in the V community complain about. The service writer sent me regular updates via text which I thought was great, I don’t know why all makes insist on calling the customer, leaving a message then I have to call back and miss him/her and play phone tag all day. Kudos for that. I got my car back yesterday and it’s like new again. I’m pleased as I could be with my first service visit.

    Now, for my loaner. Don’t get me wrong, I am always happy to have a car to drive while my car is in the shop. I use an indie Volvo shop for my wife’s 12 year old XC90 and they provide used, clapped out Volvos. My last loaner was a 2003 S60 with 250k on it. Like I said, happy to have a car to get me around. Cadillac provided me with an XT5 with about 4k on it. I was interested to drive one as we’ve owned the Volvo going on 12 years this year and it’s time for her to get something new. I said maybe we would consider this mid-size Cadillac SUV? It was actually “fine” to get around, it was good on gas and seemed to be put together well. The problem is, it did not look or feel special in any way like a Cadillac should. In fact the only thing special about it was that it’s a parts bin special. It was completely devoid of any character and there are so many other options to consider in this segment for this money. What the hell do I know though, I saw a ton of them driving around my area while I had it. Driving the XT5 certainly doesn’t prompt me to want to check out the XT6. Especially with the same engine? That’s a no.

    I’m eagerly awaiting the upcoming Aviator. Good power, plush interior and concierge service? That’s what I’m talking about.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      Agreed on the XT5, but let’s be honest here – if the standard-bearer in that segment is a Lexus RX, that bar’s not exactly set high.

      I’ll also be interested to see how good the Aviator/Explorer is as a people mover – the XT6 is going to be based on the Acadia, which is highly practical, so it might have an edge there.

      • 0 avatar
        pb35

        Yeah, the XT6 is spacious from everything I’ve read and I’m not necessarily sour on the exterior styling either. I just don’t know how that 3.6 is going to drag a larger vehicle than the XT5 around if it was wheezing in that application.

        My biggest beef with the XT5 was the interior. Not to complain like an old dude (52) but the seats were hard and it was a sea of black throughout. Throw some nice wood trim in there to make it feel a bit more special. I’m not asking for much!


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