Mercedes-Benz got out in front of BMW while automotive sales languish in the gutter, though neither company finds itself resting comfortably upon a bed of roses. The global pandemic has made sure of that; no segment has gone unaffected by social distancing measures, but it may be the luxury divisions that have it the hardest moving forward.
Up until recently, premium nameplates had done rather well — scooping up an increasing share of the total auto market for years. While the Great Recession momentarily suppressed their ascension in 2008 and 2009, it was a temporary setback.
Luxury brands have had a good decade overall, with any rough years being offset by expansions in their lineup (chiefly crossover vehicles). Now they’re trying to move downmarket to capitalize on younger customers with a bit more pocket money. It might have been a good strategy, were it not for the coronavirus outbreak and subsequent economic downturn.
Cadillac had become by far the top luxury car manufacturer in North America by the early 1970s, with the all-time pinnacle of Cadillac production reached in the 1973 model year: 304,839 ’73 Cadillacs purred off the assembly line. Then, well, the Yom Kippur War pissed off OPEC’s most important members, European luxury cars gained more than just a minor foothold, and Cadillacs became so commonplace that their prestige value sank for the rest of the decade.
Here’s a big, plush Sedan DeVille, from the final year of Cadillac’s undisputed reign over the American road, photographed in a Denver self-serve car graveyard earlier this year.
You’ve seen them lurking in your neighborhood. The suburban ninja. Clad head to toe in skintight black – usually from Lululemon, but other brands work here, too – they jog early in the morning and late at night, oblivious to the world beyond their AirPods. They’ll never jog on the sidewalk, either. They’re always in the street, ready to strike the hood of your car.
Drivers are taking back the streets, however, defending themselves and their precious rides by all means necessary. Cadillac has upped the game with the available Night Vision camera on the 2020 Cadillac XT6. No joke, the feature saved the good folks at Cadillac PR from headlines such as “Hack Journalist Slays Jogger.”
Cadillac’s CT5-V debuted so far away from its predecessor that you have to wonder what the brand’s marketing team was thinking. Whereas the CTS-V represented a monumental jump in performance over the CTS, its modern-day replacement barely offers more than the Premium Luxury trim with an upgraded engine option.
Stepping out of the CT5 and into V territory is only slightly more meaningful than purchasing an appearance package. The turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 is tuned to make an extra 25 horses in the CT5-V, offering a grand total of 360 hp and 405 lb-ft of torque. The brand has clearly tried to soften its V-badged models for broader appeal, but enthusiasts cried foul. This wasn’t because Cadillac had built a cheaper, softer sedan but due its overt use of the performance emblem. There’s not enough distance between a V6-equipped Premium Luxury model and the base CT5-V for it to seem truly special.
Don’t be disappointed if you were considering one. General Motors has promised that completely insane performance Cadillacs are still to come. While the presumed Blackwing variants appear to have been scrapped, CT5 test mules have been spotted running mystery V8s in the past and new rumors have all but confirmed a variant with a manual transmission.
The public debut of Cadillac’s first all-electric model has hit a snag in the form of the fast-growing coronavirus epidemic. A splashy (aren’t all reveals splashy?) unveiling scheduled to take place April 2 is now scrapped, Bloomberg reports.
The article, which (strangely) positions the cancellation as a major blow for General Motors CEO Mary Barra, notes that the automaker has yet to come up with a fall-back plan for the model’s debut.
God, that’s an awkward word to type… and pronounce. Regardless, the upcoming Celestiq is a halo for the brand — a fastback-style four-door electric with exclusivity in spades. General Motors envisions it as a limited-production offering, and its price will reflect its status.
The Name Game: Cadillac's Future EVs Ditch Alphanumerics in a Questionable Way, but at Least There's an Actual Flagship
Yesterday was EV Day at General Motors, with the automaker revealing a $20 billion roadmap to electric vehicle dominance. By 2025, a slew of EVs riding atop a new modular platform (and powered by an innovative new battery) will find a home in every GM brand, segment, and price point, the automaker claims.
Some of those vehicles already have names. Perhaps we were too quick to call for the return of traditional naming conventions at Cadillac.
General Motors has no interest in continuing a production presence in the Motherland, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t see the Russian market as ripe for new product.
As sales fall in the tricky market, the automaker believes the new Cadillac Escalade, joined by a trio of crossovers, is just the thing to reclaim lost ground.
A Cadillac crossover that heralds a slew of other electric models will make its public debut in April, Cadillac executives told dealers on Monday. The meet-up, reported by Automotive News, comes as General Motors readies a surge of EVs over the next few years. Cadillac will play a major role in that product transition.
Per that same meeting, Cadillac’s dealer council has created a subcommittee made up of dealers and brand execs to help smooth the entry of gas-free product.
General Motors CEO Mary Barra went to New York on Wednesday to hold an investor conference. The day’s theme was: convincing everyone that GM deserves a higher valuation because, like Tesla, it’s supposed to be more than a car company.
While it seems slightly presumptuous for GM to expect the same overblown share price when Tesla probably doesn’t deserve it, either, the Good Book is supposed to say something about getting what you ask for. Still, having not read it in a while, I sincerely doubt it was referencing giant corporations or huge amounts of money.
Barra and company are attempting to show that GM hasn’t sat back on electrification and the same kind of advanced automotive technologies that wooed Tesla investors. Nobody said the rival automaker’s name during their speech, of course. Of course, they wouldn’t really need to, either.
Widely regarded as one of the best— if not the best — hands-free driver-assist system in a still-small market, General Motors’ Super Cruise receives an upgrade this year, allowing drivers to change lanes by simply activating a turn signal.
The first models to gain the feature are the 2021 Cadillac Escalade revealed late Tuesday and Cadillac CT4 and CT5 sedans for the coming model year. The plan was always to filter Super Cruise through the GM stable, but the timeline was always hazy at best. Via GM President Mark Reuss, we now have a better idea of when semi-autonomous (and semi-autonomous only) driving will reach other models.
The last model of the General Motors body-on-frame SUV trifecta to drop just hit the ground in Hollywood. After a greater than normal amount of press leakage, the 2021 Cadillac Escalade showed off its upmarket flanks and decidedly less flashy face Tuesday night, marking an end to the trend of overly ornate Caddy range-toppers.
Like the Chevrolet Tahoe/Suburban and GMC Yukon that debuted before it, the revamped Escalade adds interior volume and suspends that capacious cabin with fully independent legs. Gone is the solid rear axle.
Gone, too, is the model’s gasoline-only powertrain.
While the next-generation Cadillac Escalade debuts on Tuesday, the cover was pulled off early by automotive photographer Wilco Blok. The model has seen leaks before, helping to validate Blok’s image as authentic. That said, this is probably the best-quality photo we’re likely to see of the model before its official premiere just hours from now.
Visually, the 2021 Escalade maintains its familial resemblance to SUVs from GMC and Chevrolet sharing the same GMT1XX platform and has dramatically scaled back its reliance on bling. However, the de-chromed grille arguably makes it more difficult to tell apart from the Tahoe/Suburban and Yukon, which hardly seems like a wise marketing decision.
This may come as less than exciting news, given that we’ve already seen properly leaked 2021 Cadillac Escalade images already. “Properly” meaning someone sneaked their phone out and fired off a couple of bad pics in a secure area.
That said, the next-generation Escalade has shown its face in an official image ahead of next week’s big reveal. By all accounts, it will be a star-studded affair. The amount of cosmetic surgery bestowed upon the range-topping SUV will surely put attendees at ease.
Super Cruise, the advanced driver-assist system that’s (very) slowly making its way into Cadillac vehicles, has already earned accolades for its precision and commitment to safety. Now, it’s been enhanced.
General Motors on Tuesday revealed the next generation of the system we’re loathe to call semi-autonomous, tapping the new Cadillac CT4 and CT5 sedans as its debut applications. The big takeaway? Your Cadillac needn’t stay in its own lane anymore.
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- Beachy Asphalt only works to keep the dirt road below it dry, and it is the dry dirt that holds up the asphalt surface to make a smooth road surface. Once the asphalt cracks or a spring wells up and the dirt gets wet, all bets are off. It is usually due to a spring that perennial potholes form. They are very hard to get rid of.
- JamesG I’m the owner of the featured car that’s currently on EBay. Thanks for such a nice write up on these cars. Mine happens to be in excellent condition and the photos don’t do it justice. The HT4100 isn’t as bad as some made them out to be and they can go 200k miles with proper maintenance. I also own a 79 w/the analog fuel injected 5.7 350 which should have been used through 1985 but ever-increasing CAFE regulations called for more economical power plants which made GM shelve this great motor.
- Jeff S Adam on Rare Classic Cars recently bought a pristine 71 Kenosha Cadillac.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lY-G2dExgXE&ab_channel=RareClassicCars%26AutomotiveHistory
- Jeff S Wouldn't most of the large suvs in NYC be livery vehicles? If so that would be hurting those who make their living by driving for hire.
- EBFlex Yes their mass transit is great if you want to be beat within an inch of your life or pushed onto the tracks by some random psycho.