Bruce Nunnally

Who's afraid of Tesla? Not Cadillac.

9 posts in this topic

NY AUTO SHOW

NEW YORK - A high-ranking Cadillac executive says he sees Tesla more as a learning experience than a threat.

Global Cadillac Chief Marketing Officer Uwe Ellinghaus said the California-based electric vehicle manufacturer is helping traditional automotive luxury brands, such as Cadillac, look at their future vehicles differently.

I am not afraid of Tesla, he told reporters following a panel discussion at the 2014 Automotive Forum presented by J.D. Power and the National Automobile Dealers Association. I think Tesla is a great opportunity and a learning exercise for all of us, and will help us traditional manufacturers to think twice about electric mobility.

Read more: http://www.mlive.com/auto/index.ssf/2014/04/cadillac_exec_i_am_not_afraid.html


Bruce

2016 Cadillac ATS-V gray/black; 2013 Cadillac ATS 2L Turbo Premium (Wife's)

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That's an enlightened viewpoint, crediting others for innovation that is actively competing with one's own ideas. That's the kind of maturity one would hope for from senior executives. I would hope that this reflects thinking all the way through the organization.

According to Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tesla_Model_S#Sales_and_markets) the Model S sold about 18K cars in 2013, 8347 of them in California, putting it ahead of a lot of established prestigious German cars, electric and otherwise.

The ELR is, of course, a different design point from the Tesla Model S. The Model S is a much larger car with a much larger battery, and a lot more weight (4650 pounds, according to Wikipedia) as compared to 4070 pounds for the ELR. It has a range between charges of about 210 to 265 miles (EPA rated) depending on which battery you buy, versus only 35 miles electric-only (EPA rating) for the ELR - but the ELR has that gas engine charger that gives it a range of over 300 miles on gasoline. Thus the Model S is great for the committed buyer who is willing to deal with Tesla charging station maps as part of his driving habits, and it has quite good performance. But for the town car, commuter, or daily driver, the ELR is a compact that is seamless with existing life-styles, and if you can plug in at work, you can commute with it and never use the gas engine except on weekends, when you can tour with impunity because you can always buy gasoline just about anywhere.

I read somewhere that some GM executive wants to put a Corvette powertrain in a Tesla roadster. That shows respect for the platform, but not for the powertrain.


CTS-V_Dashboard.jpg
-- Click Here for CaddyInfo page on "How To" Read Your OBD Codes
-- Click Here for my personal page to download my OBD code list as an Excel file, plus other Cadillac data
-- See my CaddyInfo car blogs: 2011 CTS-V, 1997 ETC
Yes, I was Jims_97_ETC before I changed cars.

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Perhaps Cadillac isn't afraid of Tesla, however, these are the high wage earners that have chosen electric propulsion (and have so far chosen someone else (not Cadillac). Now if Cadillac never had intentions of selling a lot of ELR, then mission accomplished; there is a finite number or rich people and the pool of potential buyer is further reduced that are making an electric vehicle their statement on the environment because they can certainly afford gasoline.

Now if Cadillac put a twin-turbo 3.6 in the ELR there then might be others that would be fearing Cadillac (but I digress).


Chuck

'17 XT5, '04 Bravada........but still lusting for that '69 Z-28

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That argument can be made of buyers of any niche car, that it is a niche and existing sales have saturated that niche. These niches are small numbers of people, about 20,000 each for Tesla Model S buyers, Jaguar buyers, BMW 6 Series buyers, etc. etc. etc. There is no way of really predicting, other than doing scientific sampling of the market, whether there is room for another niche of about the same size or larger, or smaller, or whatever.

The ELR is about in the same price range as the Tesla Model S, but it is a whole different animal. The Model S is not what someone who works in NYC or Philly or Chicago or Miami or San Francisco or L.A. or Seattle or Dallas/Ft. Worth or Houston or NOLA or Atlanta etc. will want to drive to work every morning and plug in while it's in the parking garage. The ELR definitely is.

If you want an ELR with a twin-turbo engine, it's out there in the ATS now, with vehicle dynamics to match the horsepower.


CTS-V_Dashboard.jpg
-- Click Here for CaddyInfo page on "How To" Read Your OBD Codes
-- Click Here for my personal page to download my OBD code list as an Excel file, plus other Cadillac data
-- See my CaddyInfo car blogs: 2011 CTS-V, 1997 ETC
Yes, I was Jims_97_ETC before I changed cars.

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Personally I would much prefer the Model S...

It wouldn't NEED to be plugged in when you got to work.

265 mile range per the EPA's driving cycle... 300 mile range at 55 on the freeway.

Plus much more performance.

0 to 60 in 4.2 seconds.


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Geeze - back in the 1990s, GM Dropped the Fleetwood, Buick Roadmaster, RWD Impala and Caprice to focus on trucks. When I wrote a letter to complain, they said 20,000 Fleetwoods per year wasn't worth it... Fleetwood's volumes have always been around the 20,000 units per year. Now, they want to produce a car with an annual volume of 20,000 or less. Too bad they didn't have the current attitude back then - I might have had a 2005 Fleetwood Brougham instead of a Deville....


Kevin
'93 Fleetwood Brougham
'05 Deville
'04 Deville
2013 Silverado Z71

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You have to remember that about 1990 was when Cadillac and other GM marques were re-awakened from corporate hegemony and re-animated, finding themselves in a sea of badge engineering with few platforms. Cadillac was expected to resume 2.5% of the marketplace with land yachts with huge, powerful, bulletproof big iron engines, but instead came up with the 1992 Seville/Eldorado and the Northstar. By the mid 1990's, the Fleetwood was a dinosaur car. And indeed, the large RWD GM cars were all on one platform, and it indeed was a boat, with huge squat on acceleration and dive on braking, great ride but barge-like handling, and sales declined to the vanishing point for all of them.

Although the Cadillac Renaissance got its first momentum in the 1990's, they were facing a different set of realities then and the learning process had just begun. Then, sales of 20,000 and declining meant a dead end model. Now, sales of 20,000 for a new concept in a car is a really good start.

What the Tesla Model S has taught everybody is that the Toyota Prius concept of a hybrid town car is one thing, but the plug-in can also be a general purpose, long-range, high-powered luxury car, something that would not likely have occurred to the big boys as commercially viable. Tesla has proved that the car is possible and that it can be a commercial success.

And, yes, I would prefer a Tesla Model S to a Prius, although the more advanced technology of the Volt and ELR make long trips on short notice a lot more attractive than with the Tesla, which *must* plug in twice a day or more, or even the Prius. I would much rather have a CTS-V than any of them, though, because that's me - I'm not the target for marketing any of these cars.


CTS-V_Dashboard.jpg
-- Click Here for CaddyInfo page on "How To" Read Your OBD Codes
-- Click Here for my personal page to download my OBD code list as an Excel file, plus other Cadillac data
-- See my CaddyInfo car blogs: 2011 CTS-V, 1997 ETC
Yes, I was Jims_97_ETC before I changed cars.

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You have to remember that about 1990 was when Cadillac and other GM marques were re-awakened from corporate hegemony and re-animated, finding themselves in a sea of badge engineering with few platforms. Cadillac was expected to resume 2.5% of the marketplace with land yachts with huge, powerful, bulletproof big iron engines, but instead came up with the 1992 Seville/Eldorado and the Northstar. By the mid 1990's, the Fleetwood was a dinosaur car. And indeed, the large RWD GM cars were all on one platform, and it indeed was a boat, with huge squat on acceleration and dive on braking, great ride but barge-like handling, and sales declined to the vanishing point for all of them.

Although the Cadillac Renaissance got its first momentum in the 1990's, they were facing a different set of realities then and the learning process had just begun. Then, sales of 20,000 and declining meant a dead end model. Now, sales of 20,000 for a new concept in a car is a really good start.

The Roadmaster, Caprice, and Impala were the B-Body and the Fleetwood was the D-Body which was a lengthened B-platform. The '94-'96 Fleetwoods were no slouch on acceleration... they were only a half second slower than the Seville STS 0-60 MPH.


Kevin
'93 Fleetwood Brougham
'05 Deville
'04 Deville
2013 Silverado Z71

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The Impala was also no slouch on acceleration; I actually tried that with one in 1998 and it held with me through low gear. But, my car was level and theirs tipped up at an alarming angle, which alarmed me too.

The car did have its appeal and its admirers, and I felt that I could own one. If I did, I would do what I did with my 1959 Chevrolet four-door and 1964 Chevrolet wagon: stiffen the suspension, up the rim width and tire size, and go from there to improve the handling. That would get me a car that I could accept. But it never came close to the combination of performance, handling, economy, and safety offered by my Eldorado, and by extension, the Sevilles and Devilles. Yes, the Fleetwood is a larger car and that certainly has its appeal for some drivers and uses, and it is possibly a better car for use as a commercial chassis such as a limousine, hearse, or specialty vehicle than a Deville. For a daily driver, Cadillac became once again a leader with the Seville, Eldorado, and Seville of the 1990's. You will remember the STS as Road and Track's Car of the Year - in 1992, with the 4.9, when the new K platform was introduced.


CTS-V_Dashboard.jpg
-- Click Here for CaddyInfo page on "How To" Read Your OBD Codes
-- Click Here for my personal page to download my OBD code list as an Excel file, plus other Cadillac data
-- See my CaddyInfo car blogs: 2011 CTS-V, 1997 ETC
Yes, I was Jims_97_ETC before I changed cars.

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