Cadillac Europe Has Failed - Long Live Cadillac Europe

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Thread: Cadillac Europe Has Failed - Long Live Cadillac Europe

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    GMI Staff Member Premium Member sigma's Avatar
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    Cadillac Europe Has Failed - Long Live Cadillac Europe

    Fixing the Cadillac Europe Debacle.

    GM's plans to make Cadillac a "global luxury brand" had fallen apart before the economy had fallen apart. Sales projections of thousands of sales a year never met goals. In Britain, 14 of the original 19 Cadillac dealers have shut their doors. The Cadillac product portfolio has never been a good fit for Europe with no small cars, no wagons, no coupes, no diesels, no turbos and large displacement engines which subject Cadillac to significant tax penalty.

    Furthermore, GM's attempts to quickly remedy its inadequate product portfolio by rebadging the 9-3 hurt both Cadillac and SAAB. Cadillac's "image" as a RWD sport luxury brand is muddled by the BLS because the BLS is a FWD compact sedan that does many things competently but nothing excellently (just like the 9-3). The BLS does nothing but add another competitor to a segment where SAAB needs no additional competition. Furthermore, it drains development dollars away from the 9-3 (which desperately needs them) to design and engineer completely new sheet metal for the BLS.

    There is almost zero awareness of the Cadillac brand in Europe and those who are aware of the brand are indifferent to it at best. Sales figures bare this out. Establishing a brand in a market as static as western Europe demands perfect product launches of class leading cars that are tailored to fit the market they are launched in. All of this would seem like a duh, unless of course you're General Motors and you're trying to launch Cadillac. There is nothing that Cadillac offers in Europe that Mercedes, BMW, Audi and Jaguar don't do better.

    Because of a lack of appropriate powertrains (diesels, turbos), lacking product portfolio (small car, compact car, large car) - Cadillac will never become a volume luxury brand in Europe. Efforts to turn it into such by rebadging SAAB's will only hurt Cadillac and GM's viable European luxury brand - SAAB.

    There is an easy way to negate these disadvantages - turn Cadillac into a hyper performance brand in Europe.

    - This ends any overlap with SAAB's product. Furthermore, Cadillac should consider selling the V-Cars through SAAB and establishing Cadillac as the ultimate SAAB performance sub-brand. This would reduce overhead by using already established distribution network and could help strengthen SAAB's sporting image.
    - When competing against AMG, M and RS cars, Cadillac won't run into the powertrain portfolio challenges it faces in the non-performance spec models and variants.
    - The Cadillac CTS-V can spank the M5 around the 'Ring', something no one else has been able to do - Provides Cadillac an instant identity and the brand cache.
    - Forthcoming V-variant of Coupe would provide Cadillac with the ultimate M6 killer.
    - Enhances Cadillac's image as a sport luxury maker in the States by ensuring continuing slate of American and European comparisons between the M's and V's.
    - Considering how low Cadillac's sales are in Europe, there wouldn't be much of a volume penalty either.
    - The dollar's weakness could allow for Cadillac to export the CTS-V to Europe without the significant losses it would have incurred otherwise. Hell, GM might even turn a profit on this exercise.
    - The eventual release of the ATS will allow Cadillac to field -V sedan, wagon and coupe variants to compete against the M3, C Klasse AMG, and RS4.

    This would establish Cadillac as a serious performance sedan manufacturer in Europe and would allow Cadillac to reintroduce different variants as its powertrain and product portfolios more closely align with the demands on Europe.

    - The introduction of engines such as the 2.4L DI Ecotech, 3.0L DI V6, 2.9L Turbo diesel would finally give the CTS the powertrains it needs to be taken seriously on non-performance models.
    - The eventual introduction of ATS would provide Cadillac with a compact sports line to compete against the C-Klasse, 3 Series and A4.
    - Cadillac should also consider investing in a SWB Alpha car to develop a competitor for the A3, 1 Series and B-Klasse.
    - Cadillac should also consider powertrain combination that would be European exclusives such as using the 2.0L DI Turbocharged engine found in the Kappa roadsters.

    I'm about as familiar with GM Europe as a certain Senator from Alabama is with reality so I welcome any input from our GM Europe crew (Bravada? Where are you?) and their thoughts.

    I quickly wrote this on the Eurostar this morning so please excuse the occasional grammatical issue.

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    Re: Cadillac Europe Has Failed - Long Live Cadillac Europe

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Ryan View Post
    Having been through Europe and seeing Cadillac's / Corvettes being sold out of glorified "corner store" dealerships. I would say either firstly: fix the dealerships(expensive and probably not that practical) or this may not be very palatable to hardcore GMNA fans; rebadge the Cadillac V-Cars as Vauxhalls/Opels and sell them in an established network. Cadillac 's image in Europe is not that pretty, but it might change when an owner of a Vauxhall
    VTS realizes that it is really a Cadillac. Same thing that happened with Holden when they sold the HSV Commodore as a Vauxhall VXR.
    The Opel/Vauxhall nameplates do not have enough cachet to command the price level of the V-cars. There's no way of getting around it, they just don't.

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    Re: Cadillac Europe Has Failed - Long Live Cadillac Europe

    It's too bad, I think GM can make Caddy a more global brand but I think it lacks the resources right now to do much.

    Europeans are much more into small cars and with the CTS, GM essentially only has what they would deem as a full size car. A lower volume hyper-performance group may be an answer.

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    Re: Cadillac Europe Has Failed - Long Live Cadillac Europe

    Quote Originally Posted by sigma View Post
    - This ends any overlap with SAAB's product. Furthermore, Cadillac should consider selling the V-Cars through SAAB and establishing Cadillac as the ultimate SAAB performance sub-brand. This would reduce overhead by using already established distribution network and could help strengthen SAAB's sporting image.
    Interesting idea, but I think Cadillac's sales would be much lower, and they're low enough already... Wrong idea to try to establish it in Europe without a 3-Series sized car.

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    Re: Cadillac Europe Has Failed - Long Live Cadillac Europe

    I don't think it's all about products. It has to do with the brand, too.

    Cadillac (and Lincoln) has very little history outside of North America. Even with competitive products, Cadillac would have a hard time conquering BMW and Mercedes buyers in Europe.

    SAAB has more potential as a global brand than Cadillac, I think.

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    Re: Cadillac Europe Has Failed - Long Live Cadillac Europe

    Quote Originally Posted by genjy View Post
    I don't think it's all about products. It has to do with the brand, too.

    Cadillac (and Lincoln) has very little history outside of North America. Even with competitive products, Cadillac would have a hard time conquering BMW and Mercedes buyers in Europe.

    SAAB has more potential as a global brand than Cadillac, I think.
    Add in the fact that most countries have far more nationalistic buying habits then we do in the U.S. and you have a very tough sell.

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    Re: Cadillac Europe Has Failed - Long Live Cadillac Europe

    I would seriously smack Mulally if he ever attempts to bring Lincoln over to Europe. All FWD, most euro fords are better in alot of aspects and it would die alot faster than Cadillac ever has.
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    Re: Cadillac Europe Has Failed - Long Live Cadillac Europe

    Cadillac is a niche brand in Europe....sort of like Alpha was in America.

    A company as large as General Motors should understand that over the next decade, Cadillac will have to continue to offer good products and excellent marketing....but production must match demand.

    Cadillac may take a loss for years in Europe, but once it becomes viable the payoff will be worth it.

    Rome wasn't built in a day. Cadillac is essentially a 3-5 year old brand in some cases since it didn't start actually competing until the CTS hit the market. Give it time...stay the course....etc

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    Re: Cadillac Europe Has Failed - Long Live Cadillac Europe

    Having driven many times in the U.K., I think the fact that Cadillac does not have a small car product to offer is a major factor. A 3 series is considered a large family automobile in the U.K. Cadillacs are just too large to be popular. Europeans have completely different buying trends than Americans do. Americans view small cars as cheap whereas in Europe it is common to see heavily optioned small cars.
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    Re: Cadillac Europe Has Failed - Long Live Cadillac Europe

    Quote Originally Posted by genjy View Post
    I don't think it's all about products. It has to do with the brand, too.

    Cadillac (and Lincoln) has very little history outside of North America. Even with competitive products, Cadillac would have a hard time conquering BMW and Mercedes buyers in Europe.
    That's not stopping Lexus.

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    GMI Contributor Premium Member zete's Avatar
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    Re: Cadillac Europe Has Failed - Long Live Cadillac Europe

    To win over Europe Cadillac needs shock-and-awe, as Top Gear put it. The Sixteen would have put Cadillac on the lips of people with money. An entry Cadillac will do no such thing.

    That said, I do believe having V-series Cadillacs available in Europe would be a very good idea. GM needs to go after particular targets with better product, performance, etc. The V cars can do that, especially as Cadillac does not have a Sixteen.

    But it's a hard slog for GM in Europe where American cars are not well appreciated and many times for very good reason. Just look at the problems GM faces in their home market and realize that to convince Europe you have to offer something substantially more. There has to be a reason for folks to buy a Cadillac over a BMW or Mercedes. Something that makes the cars desirable. Exclusivity of some nature may just be the ticket, but how to achieve it. Making only V-series cars available is one way.

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    Re: Cadillac Europe Has Failed - Long Live Cadillac Europe

    "The eventual introduction of ATS would provide Cadillac with a compact sports line to compete against the C-Klasse, 3 Series and A4.
    - Cadillac should also consider investing in a SWB Alpha car to develop a competitor for the A3, 1 Series and B-Klasse.
    -
    BS - that type of thinking is why GM failed in Euro in the first place. You dont play on their turf against their home products with 40+ years of rwd-small car experience. ATS and alpha suck as cadillac ideas(not other GM brands) and GMs brass deserves to eat it on the money they will waste on these products. But I am still pining away for the 16 and a new fleetwood brougham. Those would resonate with the many Cadillac car club fans in Europe who remember the good old days of high style Caddys.

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    Re: Cadillac Europe Has Failed - Long Live Cadillac Europe

    Quote Originally Posted by Butz View Post
    That's not stopping Lexus.
    1. Lexus in Europe is backed by the massive financial resources, dealer network and advertising budget of Toyota.

    2. Lexus was launched in Europe in 1990, less than a year after the US launch.

    3. Lexus is a still very, very small player in Europe.

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    Re: Cadillac Europe Has Failed - Long Live Cadillac Europe

    Cadillac has now been forced-thrown on the bed. It's giving up and saying, "Oh, have your way with me BMW! Mercedes and Audi are next in line! Make it hurt if you must! I give up!" But wait, Cadillac is an independent lady! Get your shyte together Cadillac and YOU get on top, show them the proud woman you really are, show them your hidden moves and make them regret Fxcking around with you!
    Be the change you wish to see in the world. - Gandhi.

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    Re: Cadillac Europe Has Failed - Long Live Cadillac Europe

    Cadillac should just pull out of Europe and focus on the Soviet Union and Asia The Middle East and India. Cadillac should be a CADILLAC, big, luxurious, smooth, powrful with the latest automotive tech, period. There are alot of countries out there where this kind of vehicle is a desired status symbol. Dont change to meet the demand of a beauracratic non- car culture like europe.

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