In ages past, more than one nameplate could lay claim to having its own engine. Olds manufactured its own V8s for over 40 years, for example. More recently, Cadillac had its own engine too, by way of the Northstar. Yes, hindsight is 20/20 and the engine did have its challenges, but it certainly set the brand apart from its proletariat brothers.
Now, the General’s crown jewel is once again introducing its own engine, a clean-sheet design called the Cadillac Twin Turbo V8. This time, it’ll be hand-assembled and signed by the builder, just like an AMG. Ich wundere mich!
It’s hard to fathom, given the industry’s (and the public’s) addiction to utilities, but a new report claims Cadillac aims to start production on a new flagship car in late 2021. Not just any car, either, but a model with a name taken from a high-profile concept vehicle: Escala.
You’ll remember the Escala as a trim, pillarless, four-door liftback with classic rear-drive proportions, introduced at the 2016 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. At the time, Cadillac president Johan de Nysschen called the concept a “potential addition” to the brand’s product lineup, but with the CT6 just beginning to roll out of dealers — and in the wake of the earlier, futureless Ciel and Elmiraj concepts — few got their hopes up.
Cadillac is showing off the upcoming XT4 before its official debut at the 2018 New York International Auto Show by tossing it into a handful of commercials scheduled during the 90th Academy Awards. While the television spots seem to be intended to whet appetites prior to the vehicle’s launch later this fall, it’s the best look we’ve had at the model to date. That said, careful lighting and smoke machines allowed the XT4 to show plenty of leg without unbuckling its belt and giving us a real show.
The overall design is on par with what we’ve come to expect from present-day Cadillac, with vertical headlights cutting deeply into the front fenders. However, it looks to be a more shapely SUV than everything else the brand currently offers. Styling was clearly a priority here, and every element that identifies a model as a Cadillac appears to have been exaggerated without going too far.
Speaking at a conference in California on Wednesday, Cadillac President Johan de Nysschen threw some gentle shade at his rivals by stating General Motors’ measured approach to hands-free driving was the secret to Super Cruise being a winner. For those of you that don’t know, Cadillac claimed it became the first automaker to accomplish a coast-to-coast drive using hands-free technology last fall.
While it’s debatable whether the Super Cruise equipped CT6s making the journey actually achieved the feat without a driver ever having to touch the steering wheel, GM’s semi-autonomous system is among the best in the business right now — if not the best.
How did it manage the feat? For the most part, Cadillac built on the technology it already had to fine-tune adaptive cruise control to a point where the car could effectively steer itself on predictable highway jaunts. But de Nysschen says it mastered that in a closed environment, waiting until the system was completely ready. Meanwhile, other areas of General Motors have been devoted to total autonomy and perfecting the Cruise Automation fleet’s artificial intelligence systems.
After the industry’s first annual sales decline of the post-recession era in 2017, the small uptick in year-over-year U.S. auto sales in January 2018 shouldn’t be seen as a trend, analysts warn. This year will apparently bring more worry for automakers as buyers plan fewer trips to the dealership.
For the domestic brands, January brought a mixed sales bag. Two members of the Detroit Three posted significant sales declines, while the third squeaking by on the strength of light truck sales. Clearly, having a lineup full of pickups, SUVs, and crossovers helps a company’s bottom line, but it’s no guarantee of ever-higher volume in today’s market.
In 2017, the average U.S. Cadillac buyer walked out of the dealership after signing over $54,488 for a new vehicle. That’s almost $6,000 more than the average sticker in the luxury field, placing Cadillac among the upper echelon of premium cars.
However, the brand’s skyrocketing average transaction price — up 25 percent over the past five years — comes as the brand weathers a sales downturn in the U.S. market. That lofty 2017 figure has plenty to do with the models customers aren’t buying.
General Motors is tooling one of its car plants to build the svelte new Cadillac crossover that’s aimed at fixing the luxury brand’s sales slump in the United States. However, GM is keeping quiet on the move as the XT4’s future hasn’t been officially announced. However, insiders have claimed the automaker has already begun production on test versions of the Cadillac XT4 at its assembly plant in Kansas City.
Cadillac deliveries fell 8 percent last year in the United States and, as crossovers seem to be the sure-fire remedy for every automaker seeking sales, the XT4 could be a godsend. That blessing isn’t isolated to North America either. Adding the more-affordable crossover to the company’s Chinese lineup is equally important.
Christmas was in the air, but Cadillac’s last sales month brought anything but good cheer. General Motors’ luxury brand saw sales of every last one of its models fall, year-over-year, ending December as the worst-performing division in the GM fold.
Total U.S. Cadillac sales fell 28.6 percent last month, year-over-year, with 2017 volume down 8 percent compared to all 12 months of 2016 — a loss of 14,566 sales. Hardly a brand reaching its pinnacle. However, as bad as Cadillac’s numbers look, there’s a couple of unavoidable factors working against the brand.
The year is 1986. There’s a new, V8-powered convertible on the horizon from Cadillac — the Standard of the World. This particularly special convertible is slotted above the Eldorado in the product lineup. And it was designed by a famed Italian house.
You’re drooling by now, 1986 person. Vamanos, to Allanté!
After a relative lull in product introductions, Cadillac has a pipeline of new vehicles ready to boost the brand’s fortunes. Or so the General Motors division hopes.
In early 2016 Cadillac launched the XT5 crossover and CT6 sedan, following it up with a refreshed XTS in late 2017. Next year brings bigger news in the form of the XT4 compact crossover, with at least one other crossover waiting to plug another hole in the brand’s utility lineup.
But what about Cadillac’s older sedan lineup — the one that’s not bringing in anywhere near the passenger car volume the brand once enjoyed? There’s a long-range plan to deal with that, but first the company has some careful surgery planned.
By “can’t,” we mean “keep the division afloat.” The luxury brand’s sedan sales just aren’t cutting it anymore, forcing Cadillac to play a game of crossover catch-up with other players in the premium field. While the full-size Escalade and midsize XT5 remain strong (and consistent) sales performers, many of Cadillac’s rivals offer more utility vehicle choice. Lexus has four, and might not consider that enough. Even Lincoln has three.
The first of several answers to this problem is the XT4, a compact crossover positioned just below the XT5. Debuting in the middle of next year as a 2019 model, the new crossover recently made an appearance outside General Motors’ Milford proving grounds. Luckily, a cameraman was there.
Project Pinnacle hasn’t been incredibly popular with dealerships. Low approval ratings required multiple revisions of the plan, and dealers still found themselves irritated with the final version. There was a lengthy delay, refusal of noncompliant stores to accept General Motors’ buyout plan, and difficulties ensuring eligible shops adhered to the plan’s high standards of service.
Cadillac now says it will weigh customer satisfaction scores and compliance with brand standards more than actual sales volumes when determining U.S. dealer bonuses for 2018. The reason for this comes down to so many dealerships not meeting this year’s sales targets. That’s good news for those smaller outlets that were upset with Pinnacle to begin with.
After overseeing the introduction of the “Dare Greatly” campaign, a move of company HQ to tony Manhattan, and an ad spot touting Super Cruise during the MTV Video Music Awards, Uwe Ellinghaus is resigning from his post as head marketing honcho at Cadillac.
Tapped by Caddy chief Bob Ferguson in 2014, Ellinghaus arrived at the luxury automaker after a stint at Montblanc International and, prior to that, nearly 15 years at BMW.
General Motors’ Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant isn’t the only facility hit hard by the public’s growing distaste for traditional highway cruisers. Falling full-size sedan sales turned out the lights at that plant last month, and GM’s Oshawa, Ontario plant will follow suit in January, returning with a missing shift once production resumes.
Like Hamtramck, the Oshawa plant builds the Chevrolet Impala sedan, and is the sole domestic builder of the Cadillac XTS. As the only remaining front-wheel-drive passenger car in the brand’s lineup, the XTS — saved from execution and refreshed for 2018 — didn’t stage a repeat performance of its October sales climb in November.
Today, our question circles around cars with issues. The sort of issues that could send an owner to an early grave or perhaps some preventative therapy, at the very least. Cars with widely-known issues, bad ownership propositions for running costs, depreciation, safety, or something else — they all qualify today.
Which cars would you avoid owning at all costs?
Since its launch in the Big Apple earlier this year, the BOOK by Cadillac car-subscription service has allowed customers in New York City to get behind the wheel of a Cadillac without signing the note on one of The General’s top-flight vehicles.
The project has proven to be enough of a success that Cadillac is now launching the product in two additional markets: Dallas and L.A.
To paraphrase former editor of GOOD, Cord Jefferson, we Millennials are cold-blooded killers. Whether it’s due to lack of income or interest, few industries have been unaffected by our non-traditional spending habits. The auto industry has been especially vulnerable; I have attended academic conferences and read countless thinkpieces theorizing ways to motivate Millennials to fall in love with automobiles like their parents did. Finding buyers for all of these future cars will be tricky, but there’s a greater problem: If nobody in my generation cares for cars, who will do the work to design them?
Even more bleak are the prospects for students who are actually passionate about automobiles. One current transportation design student told me it is easier to get picked for NFL draft than it is to get a job designing cars for a major automaker. In the past, two schools dominated auto design education in America: Detroit’s College for Creative Studies and Pasadena’s ArtCenter College of Design. Today, graduates from these prestigious (and expensive) schools have to compete against a global talent pool, all vying for a limited number of internships.
With such overwhelming odds stacked against them, who would even encourage a prospective student to apply?
Despite the addition of a corporate split grill a few years ago, there’s no denying Lincoln’s outgoing Navigator is one old piece of kit. As such, the glitzy premiere of the new-for- 2018 Navigator heralded greater full-size Lincoln SUV sales not just from new buyers, but returning ones.
Having seen what Dearborn was up to, it seems some inhabitants of the Renaissance Center decided to try and spoil Lincoln’s fun. If you’re the owner of a 1999 or newer Lincoln vehicle who’s thinking of maybe getting into a new Navigator, Cadillac would like you to know there’s 5,000 smackeroos waiting for you on the hood of your nearest Escalade.
If the Detroit Three want to keep wind in their [s]sales[/s] sails, it sure won’t happen on the strength of traditional passenger cars.
Several brands from Ford Motor Company, General Motors, and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles posted U.S. sales declines in October 2017, all thanks to the slipping popularity of regular cars. In many cases, the continued strength of the crossover/SUV/truck market wasn’t enough to tip the scales back in the automakers’ favor.
Cadillac enjoys some of the highest average transaction prices among premium auto brands operating in the United States. After years of Lincoln MKS disappointment, the new Lincoln Continental actually looks the part. Globally, Cadillac sales are rising month after month after month. In the U.S., Lincoln is rare among auto brands in a declining auto industry in 2017: sales at Ford’s upmarket brand have risen 3 percent this year.
Indeed, while discussing the apparent appeal of the Tesla brand last week, Jack Baruth said, “You might say that General Motors and Ford are going to build better, more reliable, and more thoroughly developed electric cars than Tesla can, and you’re probably right.”
“But the world doesn’t want an electric Cadillac or Lincoln,” Jack accurately points out, “for the same reasons it doesn’t want gasoline-powered Cadillacs or Lincolns.”
Regardless of how you grade the momentum of Cadillac and Lincoln, they are mere blips in the global luxury automobile market and remain rather inconsequential players in their U.S. home market, as well. Will that change in your lifetime?
Imagine a traditional luxury car buyer — yes, some still exist — walks into his or her local Cadillac dealer to check out the radically refreshed 2018 XTS. Naturally, the old XTS is hanging out in the parking lot, quietly serving as potential trade-in. After entering the dealer, a salesperson ushers our buyer over to a virtual reality machine to check out the many glories (and options) that await in the new model.
On the way to that machine, the buyer passes zero Cadillacs. There’s not a CTS or CT6 or hot-selling XT5 in sight. An unlikely scenario? Perhaps. A little weird? Certainly to a repeat (read: aged) buyer. It seems small Cadillac dealers definitely felt that way, as low-volume sales locales soundly rejected head office’s plan to do away with traditional showrooms and physical cars.
As a result, Cadillac has given the ominous-sounding Project Pinnacle a makeover.
It’s going to be a black Christmas at the Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant this year. Amid rising inventory levels for the Cadillac CT6, Buick LaCrosse, Chevrolet Impala, and Chevrolet Volt, General Motors plans to shut off the lights for the rest of the year.
Blame the American consumer’s rapidly changing automotive tastes.
By the slimmest of margins, Cadillac’s U.S. operations put an end to China’s repeated dominance of Cadillac’s sales charts in August 2017.
But after Americans acquired two more Cadillacs than the Chinese did in August, normal order returned in September 2017. 49 percent of the Cadillacs sold around the world last month were delivered in China, where volume rose 38 percent, year-over-year.
Perhaps of greater consequence to Cadillac’s New York HQ is the fact that September sales not only increased in China but also in the U.S., Canada, and in its rest-of-the-world markets.
September was the 16th consecutive month of global Cadillac sales improvement. Naturally much of the credit belongs to the Cadillac XT5.
Across the U.S. auto industry, there are a number of auto brands that are actually selling more passenger cars in 2017 than in 2016: Jaguar, Lincoln, Infiniti, Subaru, Volkswagen.
Some specific models, many with all-wheel-drive availability like the Audi A5, Subaru Impreza, and Volkswagen Golf, are enjoying far greater sales success this year than last.
But you know the story. Generally speaking, Americans are buying far fewer cars now than they used to. From more than 50 percent just five years ago, passenger car market share is down to 37 percent. Nowhere is this more obvious than at traditional domestic manufacturers, the Detroit Three.
GM Cuts Third Shift at Spring Hill Plant, but Not Because the Cadillac XT5 and GMC Acadia Are Tanking
Layoffs at an assembly plant producing recently redesigned midsize crossovers? Seems an unlikely scenario. But that’s what General Motors is doing in Spring Hill, Tennessee, where the automaker builds the Cadillac XT5 and GMC Acadia.
GM has announced it is cutting the plant’s third shift for an undetermined length of time starting in late November. The move comes just eight months after Spring Hill added hundreds of workers for that very same shift. While it might appear that demand for the vehicles is drying up, the numbers tell another story.
Since 2011, National Drive Electric Week has taken place in venues across the United States, some Canadian locations, and at select international venues. This year, it runs from Saturday, September 9th through Sunday, September 17th.
There are 262 event locations for 2017, so there’s probably an event not far away, assuming you’re electrically inclined.
By the Slimmest of Margins, Cadillac's U.S. Operations Reclaim No.1 Position in Global Cadillac Sales Race
Cadillac, with market-specific cars and a rapidly expanding dealer network, is increasingly a China-reliant GM luxury brand.
In four consecutive months, from April 2017 through July 2017, GM’s Cadillac division sold more new vehicles in China than in its U.S. home market. Indeed, so far this year, 48 percent of the Cadillacs sold around the world were sold in China. Thank a massive 67-percent year-over-year sales gain, stirred up by very healthy Chinese demand for the XT5.
But in August, for the first time since March, Cadillac’s U.S. dealer network reasserted its collective claim as the rightful nation for Cadillac sales success. That’s correct: Cadillac sold more vehicles in the United States in August 2017 than in China.
Albeit not many more.
Setbacks notwithstanding, we’ve been eagerly anticipating Cadillac’s entry into the world of semi-autonomous driving with its Super Cruise system, developed to help reinforce the automaker’s position as top-tier luxury brand. After all, vehicular opulence is now deeply embedded with technological achievement and few things shout “I’ve arrived” like a car that can chauffeur you around.
However, Cadillac is changing its implementation strategy, making Super Cruise standard on the highest trimmed CT6 — instead of leaving it as a pricy optional extra. It’s also launching an advertising campaign to whet the public’s appetite, with the first of its “Let Go” TV spots appearing on MTV’s Video Music Awards over the weekend.
2018 Cadillac CTS-V Glacier Metallic Edition Celebrates Cadillac's 115th, Commands a $15,895 Premium
The production run for the 2018 Cadillac CTS-V Glacier Metallic Edition, set to take place in 2017 on behalf of the 2018 model year, will be limited to a scant 115 units to celebrate Cadillac’s 115th anniversary.
Sounding like the proper name for a glitzy Jeep Grand Cherokee, the CTS-V Glacier Metallic Edition operates with the same 640-horsepower supercharged 6.2-liter V8 of less costly CTS-Vs, but Cadillac demands $15,895 for the privilege.
That brings the CTS-V Glacier Metallic Edition’s price up to $103,885 including destination, a lofty sum for a performance-oriented Cadillac.
Yet the 2018 Cadillac CTS-V GME — you can’t expect us to type Glacier Metallic Edition every time, not when Cadillac alternatively calls it “smoky light gray” — is more than just an anniversary paint job. The CTS-V GME still undercuts the Mercedes-AMG E63 S and Audi RS7 and is slathered with typically optional equipment.
Expand your horizons. See the forest, not just the trees. Look west of the Pacific Coast Highway.
Cadillac sales plunged in the United States in July 2017, dropping by more than a fifth to only 11,227 units. That 22-percent dive was the worst for Cadillac’s U.S. operations since April of last year. The 11,227-sale result represented a five-month low for Cadillac in the United States and the lowest-volume since 2011.
But Cadillac is increasingly a less U.S.-centric automotive brand. Just three short years ago, two-thirds of Cadillac’s volume was produced in its American home market. Fast forward to July 2017 and the majority of Cadillac’s volume isn’t produced in the market where it’s suffering from such dwindling demand.
Rather, Cadillac generates the bulk of its global volume outside of America, where Cadillac demand is rapidly increasing.
Lately, it seems everyone wants to talk about Cadillac sedans. Too bad few people want to buy one. The future of the storied brand’s traditional passenger car offerings was recently called into question by a report claiming two Cadillac sedans, including the CT6, are slated for execution.
Hashtag fake news, brand president Johan de Nysschen responded. In a reply only slightly less vague than the initial report itself, the brand president said no sedan models were on the chopping block. Nope, the Cadillac lineup will strut into the 2020s with three sedans, he said, making no mention of the fact Cadillac has four sedans.
Okay, so we knew the aging (but facelifted for 2018) XTS had no long-term future. But what about the survivors? In a recent interview, de Nysschen spelled out the plan.
You can’t compare the traditional passenger car segment to the Titanic speeding towards an iceberg, as the once market-leading segment tore its hull open on that crossover-shaped berg long ago. Cars, especially in North America, are rapidly taking on water and sinking by the bow.
Against this backdrop, a recent — and unconfirmed — report predicting looming death for six General Motors car models came as no shock, though it did raise questions. Would GM really drop a famous nameplate like the Chevrolet Volt? The Cadillac CT6 is barely more than a year old — surely the division wouldn’t go to the expense of building a flagship, then take it behind the barn?
The deaths foretold in the Reuters report would be carried out by 2020, the source claimed. While he didn’t speak to the lifespan of the Volt or the Chevrolet Sonic and Impala, nor the Buick LaCrosse, Cadillac president Johan de Nysschen responded by saying Cadillac’s four-sedan lineup remains safe. Yep, those three sedans will be just fine, he said. Wait, what?
The first-generation Cadillac Seville was a sibling — or maybe first cousin — to the proletariat rear-wheel-drive Chevrolet Nova, selling well while also cheapening the Cadillac brand. The second-generation Seville, introduced for the 1980 model year, moved to the Eldorado’s front-wheel-drive platform and gained a bold “bustleback” rear body design.
Here’s an example of a Bustleback Seville I spotted last week in a Phoenix self-service wrecking yard.
“Pshhh, it’s not that fast. Your car is faster,” the young man wearing the Alpha Gamma Delta shirt said to his blonde companion. We were in the parking lot of a stadium in Orange County, under the shade of a white tent with a Cadillac logo, beside a sign reading: “ACCELERATION.” It was unclear which Cadillac he was disparaging, as both the ATS-V and CTS-V were available for full-throttle rips. He may have been trying to goad his girlfriend into driving, but the trash talk indicated this was no press junket.
Welcome to the Southern California edition of Cadillac’s Truth + Dare summer tour across America.
Two weeks earlier, I was wondering how the hell I was targeted on Twitter by a Cadillac ad with an invitation to a ride-and-drive event. For financial reasons, “automotive journalist” doesn’t fit the profile of a typical Cadillac customer. My BMW Z3 recently celebrated its 20th birthday. But they weren’t asking for my tax returns and I’m fascinated by the Cadillac brand, so this seemed like an opportunity to see how they present themselves to the public. All I had to do was drive from Los Angeles to Anaheim on a Friday at 2:00 p.m.
Thanks to China’s media, as well as General Motors’ aggressive pursuit of new buyers in that populous, prestige-seeking country, we’ve already seen the facelifted 2018 XTS sedan. The Chinese market model appeared a month ago, powered by a downsized motor you won’t find in U.S. variants.
Despite this, the refreshed XTS is now official. Cadillac has released details and photos of a model that wasn’t supposed to have a second act — until it realized you don’t drop a vehicle with steady sales, no matter how outdated it may appear. Say hello to Cadillac’s front-drive full-sizer, now gussied up to look like Cadillac’s rear-drive full-sizer.
Today’s Question of the Day isn’t our typical lighthearted, open-ended Choose Your Own Adventure inquiry. It’s serious business, pitting two serious flagship sedans against one another.
At the end of this post, you’ll have to choose: Lincoln Continental, or Cadillac CT6?
Back in late May of this year, I inquired which modern automaker was the most daring. While I posited it could be Nissan or Volvo, many of you replied it was actually Dodge, followed by Kia and Mazda.
This week, let’s turn back the clock a couple of decades and see if all our answers require a bit of reworking. We’re off to everyone’s favorite car decade, the 1990s. Which automaker was most daring in the era of the neon and teal fanny pack? I’ll give you two specific model examples, much like I did before.
The crossover is king and Cadillac doesn’t have nearly enough of them. As it works to correct that problem, the automaker hasn’t completely forgotten about the segment that once made it the first name in American automotive opulence.
As many of its models are now global, it’s not surprising our first view of the refreshed Cadillac XTS front-wheel-drive sedan hails from China — General Motors’ main growth engine.
Cadillac’s controversial 2015 move from its Detroit birthplace to the glittering spires of Manhattan is already showing signs of working, says the brand’s stern and methodical president.
By packing their bags and heading to Soho, Cadillac’s braintrust hoped the brand’s swanky new digs would rub off, distancing it from the likes of GMC and Chevrolet and helping to pull in discerning new customers. So far, Cadillac is — just not in its home country.
Cadillac Prepares For Perpetual Party, Forecasts Buoyant U.S. Auto Sales Demand While Relying On China
“Levels that were once seen as excessive are now sustainable.”
—Uwe Ellinghaus, Chief Marketing Officer, Cadillac
Cadillac expects to see auto sales in the United States in calendar year 2017 fall just below 2016’s best-ever results, which GM’s premium brand considers a positive sign for the U.S. auto industry and Cadillac.
While the decline reported America’s auto industry in March 2017 drew headlines because 2017’s first-quarter encompassed three consecutive months of year-over-year decline, Cadillac’s chief marketing officer, Uwe Ellinghaus, views the results through another lens.
“What they call a cooling off I say is the best thing that has ever happened,” Ellinghaus told Automotive News. “We don’t see that the party is over. It’s continuing.”
Cadillac? Party? Huh?
Here’s a well-banged-up Fleetwood Sixty Special Brougham, spotted in a San Francisco Bay Area self-service wrecking yard last month.
(Everybody say HAYYYYYYY to our guest reviewer du jour, Danger Girl! —jb)
The creaky old 737-300, lacking wi-fi and assigned seating but chock-full of oversized roller luggage, touched down in Queen City at about 9:40 p.m. on a Monday night. My hopes for what I would find in the Charlotte Douglas International Airport Executive Emerald Aisle were about as high as the hopes I’d had when I ran from gate A8 to B15 at BWI, knowing my connecting flight had been boarding for a solid 15 minutes. Which is to say: lower than low. To my surprise, this was not the case at the Executive Emerald Aisle. I’d expected the automotive equivalent of my back-cabin center seat, but this was more like the delightfully unoccupied space on the aisle side of the exit row.
I walked past the Tahoes, the Escalades, and a Cadillac XTS thinking I was in some alternate universe known as the Elite section, or that “Hertz Dream Car” area Jack sometimes rents from. I was looking for the standard 300C, Challenger, or base Mustang to which I’ve become accustomed. An agent happened to walk by me. In an effort to pinch myself and make sure this was really happening, I asked him if the XTS was, in fact, part of the Executive Emerald Aisle. “Sure! Take it!” he said.
Well, alrighty then.
Cadillac is in a curious state.
Many would rightly argue that Cadillac’s products are more competitive now than they’ve been in decades. Cadillac is making headway in China, a market which accounted for slightly more than half of Cadillac’s global volume in the first-quarter of 2017. Cadillac’s average U.S. transaction prices are also above the norm thanks in part to a high percentage of its sales being produced by the high-dollar Escalade.
But sales in Cadillac’s home market continue to slide. U.S. volume has fallen by a fifth over the last decade and has decreased in two of the last three years, falling to a four-year low in 2016. More recently, U.S. sales at Cadillac are down 5 percent in early 2017 after decreasing on a year-over-year basis in six of the last twelve months.
Long gone are the days when Cadillac could sell new vehicles in America at the same rate as Mercedes-Benz, BMW, or Lexus. Indeed, Cadillac is well back of Audi now, as well. To put an exclamation point on Cadillac’s difficulties, little ol’ Infiniti — also historically reliant on the U.S. market and rather weak globally — outsold Cadillac by a margin of more than 40 percent in March.
What’s next? Which brands will be outselling Cadillac in ten years, or even five, or even two?
Thanks to loyal reader Frylock350, we’ve received a glimpse of what can only be Cadillac’s upcoming 2018 XTS — a long-in-the-tooth model given a stay of execution (and a styling refresh) by its struggling parent.
The XTS was supposed to die after the appearance of Cadillac’s CT6 flagship, but continued healthy sales of the front-wheel-drive full-sizer prompted a change of heart. Why axe a steady performer, especially when your smaller sedans have the sales buoyancy of the Lusitania?
Don’t listen to anybody who tries to tell you that all new cars are about the same nowadays, even if they’re referring to the inhabitants of a particular market segment. While I was at my local auto show last week, I took a few minutes to pretend that I was still my 2005-or-thereabouts self and that I was in the market for a new car. I was a different man back then: childless, fancy-free, still pushin’ those Schedule Twos, and personally addicted to flossin’ in the finest full-sized sedans that did not attract a Flying Spur’s worth of attention from the authorities.
Back then, I divided my street car, four-door wheel time between a Volkswagen Phaeton, Audi A8, and Mercedes-Benz CL55 AMG. I thought I’d look at a few bland big-ballers and pick a favorite using the same criteria that drove my decisions lo these many years ago. Started with the Genesis G90. Now this is a nice car. Lots of room, acceptable interior quality, and the blank-faced menacing mien that used to come standard with fuselage New Yorkers. And such a bargain, too. Make mine the V8 AWD. Hell, I thought about buying one right now but I can no longer justify spending more than $50,000 on a new car unless it has a snake badge on the nose.
Next up: Lincoln Continental. The G90 makes it feel tight inside but this is the one to have for interior ambiance. Bright, airy, and chock-full of unashamed, authentic design for design’s sake. I never thought the day would come when an American car would be able to compete heads-up with Audi in the cockpit, but the Continental absolutely makes the case.
Last on the list, the Cadillac CT6. Well, what can we say about that?
The first of several new utility vehicles to roll into Cadillac dealers won’t carry the name many expected.
Recent spy photos show a heavily camouflaged compact crossover due to launch next year, part of Cadillac’s bid to boost sales by going all-in on the SUV craze. The automaker has offered a name for this looming profit machine, and it doesn’t stray far from place-holder we’ve used for some time.
As urban populations grow and analysts continue to predict dwindling car ownership, alternatives have sprung up and automakers are gradually getting in on that sweet car-sharing action. Currently active in 17 North American cities, General Motors’ hourly ride-sharing unit Maven has been building slowly.
GM is now expanding Maven to include long-term rentals which, come to think of it, sounds identical to what it was doing with its Book by Cadillac premium subscription service. While the Caddy offering is intended to be a monthly subscription serving as an alternative to normal vehicle ownership, nothing is really stopping customers from using “Maven Reserve” in a similar manner.
Also similar is the pricing. While the special Maven Reserve vehicles don’t yet encompass all GM’s fleet, a Chevrolet Tahoe runs $1,500 for 28 days, which is identical to the subscription fee for Cadillac Book, which also includes curbside car delivery and mid-month vehicle swapping.
In essence, GM is allowing you to have simultaneous access to a CTS-V and Escalade or a Tahoe for the same amount of money.
The automaker that can’t seem to catch a break in overall quality rankings — or more comprehensive ones — doesn’t get a reprieve in Consumer Reports‘ latest brand ranking.
In its 2017 list of the best and worst brands, which combines scores for predicted reliability, road testing, safety and owner satisfaction, a familiar German brand returned to the same podium it occupied last year. Unfortunately for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, the bulk of its brands languished — once again — on the lowest steps of the pyramid.
Cadillac’s user interface has been one of its consumers’ biggest grievances. Last week, I heard a private chauffeur in an Escalade — a $75,000 car that makes you feel simultaneously wealthy and powerful — refer to the Cadillac User Experience (CUE) as “bullshit.” Even Johan de Nysschen admitted that CUE did not pass muster.
Clearly aware of how supremely loathsome the interface is, the automaker has announced that the next-generation user experience system will debut on the 2017 Cadillac CTS this spring. According to General Motors, the updated user experience will evolve with a customer’s connectivity needs — adjusting itself over time while offering a plethora of personalization, connectivity and apps.
General Motors’ luxury division isn’t content with brewing coffee and showing off fashionable new threads at its new SoHo space — it also wants you to drive its cars.
Book by Cadillac, a monthly subscription lease service that launched one month ago, aims to get more people in the metal to the tune of $1,500 a month — and 24/7 Wall St. is already calling it a “major flop.”
According to the self-described “financial news and opinion” website, “[Uwe] Ellinghaus [Cadillac’s chief marketing officer] in particular has to be humiliated,” as there aren’t enough subscriptions available to supply the demand.
Say what now?
Okay, who’s getting all excited about the upcoming refreshed XTS? Anybody? Hello?
While the prospect of a mildly revamped front-drive holdover might not set the enthusiast blogs on fire, the sedan’s recent salvation from the Island of Defunct Models is a prudent move for the troubled automaker.
It’s also the only “new” product you’ll see between now and the middle of next year.
Whether the 2017 Cadillac CT6 is the Cadillac you want, surely the CT6 is what you want Cadillac to be.
It’s not unreasonable to consider yourself a candidate for the Cadillac you can most easily afford: the ATS. But what does the ATS say about Cadillac; what image does it present?
Odds are the SRX-replacing Cadillac XT5 is the Cadillac you’re most likely to buy, the Cadillac that will earn more than one-third of the brand’s U.S. sales, but the XT5 is already popular enough to be decidedly mainstream. Cadillac sold more XT5s in the final six weeks of 2016 than the CT6 managed in nine months.
There’s always the Escalade, the upper-echelon Cadillac that’s far more likely in this SUV-crazed world to capture the well-heeled Cadillac buyer’s attention — but shouldn’t a big Cadillac have a properly big back seat? Shouldn’t it be properly long, low, and wide? Shouldn’t it have the streetside presence of a much more costly car, rather than the silhouette of its $49,000 Chevrolet sibling? And don’t you want to have a barrel of fun hustling your big Cadillac down your favourite Nürburgring-impersonating road?
There’s the rub, of course. You may not want, need, or expect your 17-foot-long Cadillac sedan to be enjoyable to drive — not just to be in, but to drive. Moreover, even if that’s what you want, it may not be possible for the CT6’s endearing on-road behavior to counteract a number of Cadillac idiosyncrasies.
Owning a range-topping Cadillac is supposed to be a trouble-free affair, and — barring gremlins — it still can be, so long as your sharp-edged, oddly light CT6 remains unbent and unbroken.
Cadillac’s liberal use of high-strength aluminum in the sedan’s body structure won accolades when the CT6 debuted for the 2016 model year. Body stiffness, curb weight, and fuel economy all benefit from this mingling of metals. However, trouble arises when those carefully bonded metals come apart.
As it turns out, fixing a damaged CT6 could prove difficult for many of the model’s 7,876-plus owners.
General Motors’ Rear Seat Reminder technology, designed to alert drivers to check the back seat when exiting their vehicles, will be offered on a multitude of Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet and GMC vehicles by the 2018 model year.
Having made its debut in the 2017 GMC Acadia earlier this year, the technology aims to prevent heatstroke-related deaths and reduce the number of children left unattended in parking lots.
General Motors’ futuristic semi-autonomous driving technology now seems tinged with nostalgia.
The automaker’s “Super Cruise” self-driving function was first announced back in September 2014, but the new model many expected to be launched with the feature — the 2016 Cadillac CT6 — showed up without it.
Now, GM plans to debut the feature next year, and a recently intercepted letter from the federal government shows what to expect from the system.
Cadillac Racing has dutifully fielded entries in the Pirelli World Challenge since 2005, but the automaker’s motorsports division will now return to endurance racing after a 14-year hiatus.
The automaker revealed its 2017 Cadillac DPi-V.R, designed to hit the track in January as an entry in the 2017 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Series Prototype (P) class. Its maiden voyage? The 24 Hours of Daytona — erm, “Rolex 24 At Daytona.”
All of this, of course, is designed to get you into a new CTS.
Cadillac has delayed the launch of its dealer incentive program for another three months. Brand president Johan de Nysschen says the delay is all about giving dealers more time to understand the program and has nothing to do with its potential illegality or the extensive dealer backlash against it.
Lackluster demand for several General Motors models has forced the automaker to announce shift cuts at two assembly plants, leading more than 2,000 lost jobs.
It’s unpleasant news for autoworkers in America’s manufacturing heartland, but the General hints that four-wheeled saviors are on the way.
Ford Motor Company is finally figuring out the secret to General Motors’ most recent overseas sales success. Chinese shoppers are willing to pay more for a new car than consumers in other countries, but only if it piles on the luxury and, most importantly, prestige.
However, there’s still a long way to go before the Lincoln brand catches up to a surging Cadillac. That automaker only wishes it could find such sales gains in the United States.
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- MelanieRichardson GOOD
- El scotto @jwee; Sir, a great many of us believe that Musk is somewhere (pretty high) on the spectrum and move on.I work on the fringes of IT. Most of my presentations get picked over extensively and intensely at meetings. I'm smart enough to know I'm not that smart and willingly take advice from the IT crew. I bring them Duck Doughnuts too. We also keep a box of Crayolas in the meeting room.At one meeting an IT guy got way into the details of my presentation, the meeting went long as we discussed my target audience. Same IT guy insisted it was a disaster and would fail miserable and that I was stupid. Yeah, F-boms get dropped at our meetings. I finally had enough and asked if he was such an expert, did he want to stand up in front of 30 senior executives and give the presentation? His response was a flat "NO". He got the box of Crayolas. For you non-military types that means shut up and color. Musk is the same as that IT guy, lots of gyrations but not much on follow-through. Someone just needs to hand him a box of Crayolas.
- FreedMike The FJ Cruiser would be a better comeback candidate. The gang back at Toyota HQ must be looking at all those Broncos flying off Ford lots and kicking themselves.
- Tassos 2015 was only 7 years ago. $58k is still a whole lot of $ to pay for a vehicle. FOrtunately one can buy a flagship vehicle with great active and passive safety for half this amount, if one does the SMART thing and buys a pre-owned luxury flagship vehicle. they have historically been SCREAMING BARGAINS. A breadvan on stilts SUV, wether the more compact Macan or the more bloated Cayenne will never pass as a Flagship Vehicle. No matter how well it drives or how reliable it suprisingly is. It still is a breadvan on stilts.
- Sean Ohsee Bring back the 100 series and its I6 diesel.