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They Highlight Power, Speed Superiority, Decry Some Up-Charges
MotorTrend
January 13, 2015
By: Jonny Lieberman



Shots fired! Cadillac began the press conference about the CTS-V with the imperious Johan de Nysschen delivering a powerful speech about the forward thrust of the 103-year-old brand. When he moved on to specifics, he brought up a chart that clearly illustrated how the CTS-V makes more power, more torque, and has a higher top speed than the E63 AMG and the BMW M5, punctuating the de-pantsing by turning to the Mercedes booth and stating, “This car goes 200 mph. For our European friends, that’s 320 kilometers per hour.” Car geeks know that’s faster than any AMG can travel. The crowd ate it up

Next, instead of having say David Leone, the CTS-V’s chief engineer deliver the technical blow by blow, it was none other than Mark Reuss. For those of you who don’t know, Reuss is the President of General Motors North America. Meaning he’s the number two guy at GM. He’s also the de facto head of engineering. If Reuss had given the introductory remarks that’s one thing, but to have him go on and on about jumping the CTS-V mule in the air through Flugplatz at the Nürburgring shows a level of enthusiasm that’s new, welcome, and infectious.

Then Reuss started calling the competition out by name, singling out BMW in particular for charging their customers $9K extra for track-worthy, carbon ceramic brakes. I spoke with the M Division’s newly appointed bossman Frank Van Meel about Reuss’ comments. Let’s just say Frank wasn’t pleased. I’ve sat through many a press conference in my day, but never one like this. Very aggressive and very impressive. Here’s hoping the CTS-V can back up all those big words.
 

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Shots fired! Cadillac began the press conference about the CTS-V with the imperious Johan de Nysschen delivering a powerful speech about the forward thrust of the 103-year-old brand.

Cadillac was founded in 1902 making it 113 years old.

Oh, I just noticed something.


It's Motor Trend.

“This car goes 200 mph. For our European friends, that’s 320 kilometers per hour.” Car geeks know that’s faster than any AMG can travel. The crowd ate it up
That's good.
 

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I actually really liked Johan de Nysschen's comments, but I didn't care for Reuss's at all.

de Nysschen used that rather funny line to boost his car. All Reuss did was try to call BMW out for charging extra for brakes. He didn't really say anything about the CTS-V, but instead called BMW out for nothing.
 

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Reuss is the President of General Motors North America.
Wrong.

Tangetially related... I like Johnny Lieberman. Probably the only person I like from Motor Trend.

One of their head guys looks like Sting, the other looks like that Asian from American Idol. And they're boring.
 

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That is a surprise, though when you think of it not as big of a surprise that Cadillacs average transaction prices have gotten so high.

When they increased the price of the CTS (and even with the price drop it is still too high for this demographic) you pushed some people who saw good value in the old CTS into the ATS. Some of those people just may not want a vehicle that small and instead purchased a non luxury brand vehicle. This means that the drop in Cadillac US sales is probably mostly on the lower end, which changes the mix of lower trim and higher trim sales. We saw something similar when Buick introduced the Verano and dropped the lower trim Regal. Those lower trim Regal sales went somewhere else (maybe the Verano), it isn't the worse situation in the world to be in as Cadillac has likely increased its sales in higher trims.
 

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I actually really liked Johan de Nysschen's comments, but I didn't care for Reuss's at all.

de Nysschen used that rather funny to boost his car. All Reuss did was try to call BMW out for charging extra for brakes. He didn't really say anything about the CTS-V, but instead called BMW out for nothing.
He was striking a point: BMW charges outrageous fees for their options, most of which should be standard in the base price of the trim level. I had absolutely no problem at all with his comments.
 

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BMW charges outrageous fees for their options, most of which should be standard in the base price of the trim level...
Depends, what is the take-rate on these options? If people buy them then the price isn't outrageous. I don't know anything about ceramic brakes, but might some people not want them (apart from the price)? And if the CTS-V has them, how much higher is the base price because of them?
 

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Depends, what is the take-rate on these options? If people buy them then the price isn't outrageous. I don't know anything about ceramic brakes, but might some people not want them (apart from the price)? And if the CTS-V has them, how much higher is the base price because of them?
If the CTS V comes standard with them and yet comes in at a lower price point then its competitors then does it matter that they drove prices up?.
 

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That is a surprise, though when you think of it not as big of a surprise that Cadillacs average transaction prices have gotten so high.

When they increased the price of the CTS (and even with the price drop it is still too high for this demographic) you pushed some people who saw good value in the old CTS into the ATS. Some of those people just may not want a vehicle that small and instead purchased a non luxury brand vehicle. This means that the drop in Cadillac US sales is probably mostly on the lower end, which changes the mix of lower trim and higher trim sales. We saw something similar when Buick introduced the Verano and dropped the lower trim Regal. Those lower trim Regal sales went somewhere else (maybe the Verano), it isn't the worse situation in the world to be in as Cadillac has likely increased its sales in higher trims.
These are excellent observations. surpassing Lexus and BMW in ATP's means they are now a top tier brand, without a doubt.
 

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If the CTS V comes standard with them and yet comes in at a lower price point then its competitors then does it matter that they drove prices up?.
Well depends, are all other things equal? Some like to pretend that people at this price range don't care about price, but if the CTS-V is 9 grand more expensive than it otherwise might be it might discourage at least a few buyers (and yes I know that 9 grand is BMW's marked-up price for the brakes, not their actual price, just using it for arguments sake).

I'm not saying BMW is right, but the question is does the added value of these brakes make it worth having a higher base price for the V, or is this kind of thing best left as a stand-alone option so that either the MSRP of the V is more attractive, or it can offer other, more appealing options and features.
 

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Well depends, are all other things equal? Some like to pretend that people at this price range don't care about price, but if the CTS-V is 9 grand more expensive than it otherwise might be it might discourage at least a few buyers (and yes I know that 9 grand is BMW's marked-up price for the brakes, not their actual price, just using it for arguments sake).

I'm not saying BMW is right, but the question is does the added value of these brakes make it worth having a higher base price for the V, or is this kind of thing best left as a stand-alone option so that either the MSRP of the V is more attractive, or it can offer other, more appealing options and features.
This depends on so many factors, if the CTS V can have comparable content and CC brakes and still cost less then the BMW M5 then the perception will be that the BMW is priced too high. Granted for brand snobs they will say one is a BMW and the other is a Cadillac and that is where the extra money goes.
 

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Are atp's higher because of success in the market or because the entry level ATS is underperforming causing their atp to rise, but for reasons which can't really be viewed as a positive. Be careful what you draw attention to, spin goes both ways.
 

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Depends, what is the take-rate on these options? If people buy them then the price isn't outrageous. I don't know anything about ceramic brakes, but might some people not want them (apart from the price)? And if the CTS-V has them, how much higher is the base price because of them?
CTS-V does not use ceramic brakes.

These are excellent observations. surpassing Lexus and BMW in ATP's means they are now a top tier brand, without a doubt.
Not really, it just means they sell as many >$75,000 Escalades as they do $33,000 ATS.

Cadillac sells a lot of SRX's... from what I've gleaned from conversations with local dealers, they mostly sell Luxury and Performance trims, plus a lot of AWDs. That's right on top of their $47,000 figure. Sold 50,000 SRX.

They sold MORE Escalades than they sold of ATS and about as many CTS as both. That's basically 30,000 of each
.
A stripper CTS is $45,000. No options. Say their #1 CTS is the 2.0 luxury... that's $51,000. Escalades start at $75,000.
XTS is a $45,000 car in base form, too. 25,000 of those.

25,000 $45,000+ XTS
50,000 $45,000 SRX
30,000 $45,000+ CTS
30,000 $75,000+ Escalades
30,000 $33,000+ ATS

Meanwhile, BMW sold over 140,000 (that's over 80% of Cadillac's volume in a single model and 40% of BMW's) 3 series cars. ATS sales, comparatively, comprised roughly 20% of Cadillac's sales.

Cadillac's sales are top heavy and that skews its ATPs upwards. Use my numbers... you're marginally off base using those basic numbers (actually higher than $47,000) and those represent base prices.

Try it with GM's actual sales and use only base MSRPs, and you get about $45,750. Assume all luxury SRX's and all other cars are base cars... $47,625.

Pretty sure that's not good news from Cadillac, they're just selling more expensive cars and people just ain't buyin what they've got to sell in the entry market.
 

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Are atp's higher because of success in the market or because the entry level ATS is underperforming causing their atp to rise, but for reasons which can't really be viewed as a positive. Be careful what you draw attention to, spin goes both ways.
See my post above. Hit the nail on the head. Their numbers are totally out of whack with what should be happening at a healthy brand.
 

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When he moved on to specifics, he brought up a chart that clearly illustrated how the CTS-V makes more power, more torque, and has a higher top speed than the E63 AMG and the BMW M5, punctuating the de-pantsing by turning to the Mercedes booth and stating, “This car goes 200 mph. For our European friends, that’s 320 kilometers per hour.” Car geeks know that’s faster than any AMG can travel. The crowd ate it up
Well, they do realize the AMG and M's have limiters right? The S-AMG is limited to 190. M5 Competition Package is limited to 155, but there's an option to raise it to 190.
Fastest AMG I know is the SLS Black at 196 mph.

At least he didn't say "CTS-V is the fastest sedan in the world," which it still isn't. It's still Flying Spur.

Then Reuss started calling the competition out by name, singling out BMW in particular for charging their customers $9K extra for track-worthy, carbon ceramic brakes. I spoke with the M Division’s newly appointed bossman Frank Van Meel about Reuss’ comments. Let’s just say Frank wasn’t pleased. I’ve sat through many a press conference in my day, but never one like this. Very aggressive and very impressive. Here’s hoping the CTS-V can back up all those big words.
Here's my problem with that. CTS-V is standard iron brakes with no carbon-ceramic option. And then in talking about the CTS-V, they say "this is the track ready model!" Well, if it is in fact the track ready model, then there are certainly a LOT of advantages with having the carbon-ceramic option. If it were just a regular non-track model, then there are no real advantages to carbon ceramic, besides the longer life.

It's not like GM doesn't have them in parts bin! They're also lighter.
 
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