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Here PDL AE rant of the weeek www.autoextremist.com

Cadillac swings for the fences, and...
DateMonday, September 29, 2014 at 09:06AM

By Peter M. De Lorenzo

Detroit. Editor-in-Chief's Note: It's clear that the news of the moment will continue to swirl around Cadillac for the foreseeable future. Last week I responded to the news of Cadillac embarking on a new - and misguided - nomenclature strategy with a special column, which we've decided to leave up again this week because it's a point that has to be pounded in again... and again. I have been writing for several years now that in order for GM's luxury division to succeed going forward, Cadillac must learn to be Cadillac again, that it's okay for GM's luxury division not to mimic or fall into lockstep with everyone else. The division has gotten part of the way there by alighting on a distinctive design point of view, which is absolutely crucial as a product differentiator in this, the most competitive market in automotive history. But it has taken at least five steps back with this absurd new naming strategy, which does nothing for the brand but park it into MeTooVille, while allowing its fiercest competitor - BMW - to dictate Cadillac's naming cadence, and that is patently absurd.

If China is going to be the dominant market for decades to come, then fine, hang different names on the cars aimed for the Asia-Pacific market. I get global architecture strategies and economies of scale in manufacturing, but it doesn't always translate with marketing issues, or what's desirable when it comes to the naming of vehicles. Saddling the Cadillacs sold here in this market with that colorless naming strategy is counterproductive at best. Think about what GM Design captured with the Elmiraj concept for a moment. It's an emotionally compelling design statement that reminded everyone of what Cadillac could and should be. I can't tell you how many times I heard hardened and jaded auto journo types muttering out loud, "Now that's a Cadillac" when standing around the Elmiraj in the flesh.

And what does that say? It says to me that Cadillac needs more. No, Cadillac deserves more. Calling a design that will be heavily influenced by the Elmiraj concept the CT6 is a cop-out. Even worse, it suggests to me that the powers that be at Cadillac have so much on their plates that they figured they could fall in lockstep with BMW's historic naming regimen and be done, so that they could move on to more pressing issues. And what are those pressing issues? Well, 132 days of car inventory as of September 1st, two and in some cases three times more than what their direct competitors have. And a dealer body that is used to churning out cars with deep discounts, because they know of no other way to do it.
 

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Has anyone ever read anything remotely positive by this guy?
He's not writing to sell advertising, he's writing to offer an opinion.

He is spot on about the names.
Lexus, before the double whammy of the pall of unintended acceleration AND a tsunami, was the North American leader in sales of luxury vehicles. Those vehicles, by-and-large (RX excluded), are marketed domestically in Japan under different names.

North Americans generally know what to expect (finally) when they shop for a Cadillac ATS or a CTS. Other Cadillac names still have cache', here. I get the uneasy feeling this renaming could 1) initially confuse shoppers (NOT a good thing), and 2) backfire like it did for Pontiac in the '80s (T1000-1000, J2000-2000-2000 Sunbird-Sunbird, A6000-6000).

As with all things, time will tell. NOW that the decision has been made, hopefully the transition will be more seamless than Pontiac's experience (and Oldsmobile's, too). Otherwise...where are those Brands now?
 

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As a snobby rich snob, I can't argue with any of PDL's rant for the week. His points are on target and he understands the psychological frailties of the Amurricans vs. the Germans.

edit:
From PDL:

"So then, understanding all of that you have to wonder, why would Cadillac deign to put an evocative name on the gorgeous Elmiraj concept – which, by the way, was an homage to the classic Eldorados of yore – when it knowingly was crafting this pathetic homage to nomenclature mediocrity all along? Excellent question, but I don't think anyone at Cadillac would want to answer that.

surrendering to one of its chief competitors when it comes to naming its vehicles is a rote reaction that's just plain nonsensical and stupid

Cadillac must be allowed to be Cadillac. It is one of the great luxury brands in the world, but one in desperate need of nurturing and polishing.

First of all, it means that the legacy of Detroit automakers feeling inadequate next to their German luxury competitors (and others who have followed the German luxury car naming cadence) when it comes to nomenclature is alive and well. Cadillac and Lincoln both abandoned storied, evocative, even legendary car names years ago in favor of alphanumeric nomenclature to be more like their German counterparts, figuring that would do the trick with the American consumer while forgetting, of course, that the key ingredient was genuinely excellent product

CTWhatever isn’t a naming strategy, it’s unmitigated bull**** masquerading as a solution
, one that conveys a complete lack of vision and is evocative of nothing. To me it suggests that Cadillac operatives are being lazy and taking the path of least resistance. In other words, why bother fighting the good fight when they can generate some generic names that will come off as benign to the Chinese consumer?"
 
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Has anyone ever read anything remotely positive by this guy?
Yes!!!!! Of course you have to give him something positive to write about.

As a snobby rich snob, I can't argue with any of PDL's rant for the week. His points are on target and he understands the psychological frailties of the Amurricans vs. the Germans.

So then, understanding all of that you have to wonder, why would Cadillac deign to put an evocative name on the gorgeous Elmiraj concept – which, by the way, was an homage to the classic Eldorados of yore – when it knowingly was crafting this pathetic homage to nomenclature mediocrity all along? Excellent question, but I don't think anyone at Cadillac would want to answer that.

surrendering to one of its chief competitors when it comes to naming its vehicles is a rote reaction that's just plain nonsensical and stupid

Cadillac must be allowed to be Cadillac. It is one of the great luxury brands in the world, but one in desperate need of nurturing and polishing.

First of all, it means that the legacy of Detroit automakers feeling inadequate next to their German luxury competitors (and others who have followed the German luxury car naming cadence) when it comes to nomenclature is alive and well. Cadillac and Lincoln both abandoned storied, evocative, even legendary car names years ago in favor of alphanumeric nomenclature to be more like their German counterparts, figuring that would do the trick with the American consumer while forgetting, of course, that the key ingredient was genuinely excellent product

CTWhatever isn’t a naming strategy, it’s unmitigated bull**** masquerading as a solution
, one that conveys a complete lack of vision and is evocative of nothing. To me it suggests that Cadillac operatives are being lazy and taking the path of least resistance. In other words, why bother fighting the good fight when they can generate some generic names that will come off as benign to the Chinese consumer?
Well said! It isn't the name that makes the car, although a great name helps, It's the car itself. If you build it, they will come.
 
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I agree with you whole heartedly Neanderthal - why don't they just give it a fourteen digit stock number like the military does, as it would make more sense than CT6 which to me sounds like a trail bike or similar. Names are better if they are good names, the worst thing you can do is give it a bad name ie one that translates in to something derogatory in another language. Cadillac have a good name in Ceil which I believe means sky. The Chinese version could be tian, both sound OK for their markets. I think Cadillac should find French sounding names for their US models as they would match Cadillac itself.
 

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Well said! It isn't the name that makes the car, although a great name helps, It's the car itself. If you build it, they will come.
Thaxx 300. All after paragraph #1 is quotes from PDL, I should have put them in quotes.

I agree with you whole heartedly Neanderthal - why don't they just give it a fourteen digit stock number like the military does, as it would make more sense than CT6 which to me sounds like a trail bike or similar. Names are better if they are good names, the worst thing you can do is give it a bad name ie one that translates in to something derogatory in another language. Cadillac have a good name in Ceil which I believe means sky. The Chinese version could be tian, both sound OK for their markets. I think Cadillac should find French sounding names for their US models as they would match Cadillac itself.
There are so many great names. Cadillac is a French town. The Frenchman who called himself Cadillac "borrowed" the name, it was not his given. He rebranded himself after arriving in the Colonies, according to the Wiki articles I looked up about the naming of Detroit.

Spain, France, California, Florida, and Mexico, for starters, have so many great town or city names that nobody has any need to use half-assed German-wannabe alphanumeric "names."
 

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