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What's the Matter With Cadillac?


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Motley Fool posted an article musing why Cadillac's sales are off this year:

General Motors has set an ambitious goal of reaching a 10% pre-tax margin in North America in the next few years, up from less than 8% today. Revitalizing Cadillac -- its top luxury brand -- is a key part of GM's plan to boost its North American margins. To that end, GM is introducing a variety of new Cadillac models.

Until recently, this was catalyzing impressive sales growth at Cadillac. However, Cadillac's momentum fizzled at the end of 2013. In the first quarter of 2014, Cadillac sales declined more than 7% in the U.S. While Cadillac has introduced several highly regarded new models, luxury car buyers don't seem particularly interested in what the brand is offering today.

Read more: http://www.fool.com/investing/general/2014/04/06/whats-the-matter-with-cadillac.aspx

Interesting Points: Still expecting one or two more crossover offerings. In the end they don't know why Cadillac sales are off either, other than to offer that Cadillac isn't selling more cars because they are not a 'serious challenger to BMW'. This seems a weak point since the ATS is identical in many ways to a BMW 3-series. I suggest Cadillac is pricing up before they have the regard of the market. The ATS need significant re-positioning down-market. We are shopping for a 2L Turbo ATS and they easily price over $50K full retail for a Premium; that is not where the 'entry level' ATS should be.

Bruce

2016 Cadillac ATS-V gray/black

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First, no flagship large sedan, other than the XTS which is a bit small and with rear seat headroom limited by a stylish roofline - not what a limo service would want to offer, or you would want to offer your parents.

Second, too much focusing on other makes instead of on the market. Sales profiles for other models in your targeted market segments is an excellent metric, but it isn't comprehensive, may be misleading, and uses a population that will have the highest brand loyalty resistance. Use customer surveys and feedback from dealers and other inputs about Cadillac and what the demographic wants. A small V8 with excellent rear seat headroom? Good fuel economy (VVT, displacement on demand, seven-speed transmission, low wind and rolling resistance) Who knew?

Overall, Not enough advertising on TV, where the yuppies browse for their BMW ads and the Elite and real estate salesmen browse for their Mercedes, and most people learn about new models. Their ELR ad is excellent and it got a lot of people talking so that is an exception, albeit a controversial one.

Most of the models can be mistaken for each other. There needs to be some distinguishing feature that sets apart the ATS from the CTS from the XTS. The coupes and the sport wagon are excellent, and the SRX proves itself, and of course we have the Escalade, now without its hard-won hybrid technology as an option. But without seeing them together so that the size difference is evident, the ATS, CTS, and XTS look too similar.

The pervasive Lincoln TV ads hit again and again on the hole in Cadillac's line-up: no hybrid, other than the ELR, which they pretend doesn't exist. I think that nobody is fooled when they talk about standard vs. optional features; Cadillac does allow some customization for special-order cars but most common options are on every car on the floor.

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Cadillac had been on a roll with the latest introductions, however, their pricing was highly arrogant and presumptuous.

Case in point: Chevrolet produced similar 'high water mark' new introduction (of the Corvette); very modest price increase, Cadillac on the other hand also produced a new high water mark model(s) BUT charged the heck for it/them. Bad move in my opinion (especially if they were after conquest sales and retaining 'borderline' buyers just realizing/appreciating the Cadillac brand).

Chuck

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

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I think all of you have pretty much nailed it. Advertising totally sucks, including the ELR ad, and pricing is unrealistic. Somebody in corporate has decided that in order to compete with BMW, (or Tesla in the case of the ELR) all you need do is price it the same. Buyers are smarter than that, MUCH smarter.

Never underestimate the amount of a persons greed.

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I like the Escalade, but other than that, I don't like any of the new Cadillacs. The 2011 DTS was the last year for me with the cars. I'm sticking with my 96 Deville..

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I like the Escalade, but other than that, I don't like any of the new Cadillacs.

The 2011 DTS was the last year for me with the cars. I'm sticking with my 96 Deville..

I agree... that's probably what I will be looking for when it's time to get another one...

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