GM Inside News Forum banner

1 - 20 of 24 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,003 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
GM looks at a small Cadillac for Europe
12 Jan 2004
Source: just-auto.com editorial team

General Motors could develop a small Cadillac for sale outside of North America, according to Automotive News Europe. Two variants of the Saab 9-3 are being considered for Cadillac, GM sources say.

An entry-level model could provide much-needed volume for the GM luxury brand's new Netherlands-based independent distributor in Europe. If approved for production, a Saab-based Cadillac sedan would be assembled at Saab's plant in Trollhattan, Sweden while a convertible version would be produced by Magna-Steyr in Austria. The Cadillac models would have front and rear-end styling that draws on design themes from the current Cadillac CTS and SRX and sales could begin around 2007.


more...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
43,818 Posts
:lol:
Not exactly new news, since that rumor has been floating around for quite a while now. Having a new Caddy series for Europe will be a good thing.
I wonder if Cadillac will eventually bring that version into the States. Probably not. But it might bring in some sales.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,334 Posts
;)
I hope it won't be too small and the interior will be much better than in Saab
and I hope it will be RWD
with only one similarity to Saab-platform
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,714 Posts
The Saab 9-3 would be an excellent car to use for a Cadillac. When I drove it, I thought it would be a great basis for the Malibu, but I knew it would hardly be the same car....and I was right.

With a Cadillac "9-3," I hope they won't bring it to the US. A small Cadillac may be necessary for Europe, but it would just bring down the brand in the States. Anything smaller/less expensive than the CTS just shouldn't come to the US.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,003 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Originally posted by mgescuro@Jan 13 2004, 02:34 AM
I wonder if Cadillac will eventually bring that version into the States. Probably not. But it might bring in some sales.
Perish the thought. :eek:

Mark LaNeve has said emphatically that he will not allow Cadillac to wallow around the mid-20K price range like its competitors are doing. I'm sure it would be a great little car and sell a lot of copies, but it would contradict Cadillac's attempt to re-establish itself as the ultimate luxury brand.

Maybe they should consider a Saab platform for a Buick sports sedan? :blink:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,401 Posts
I don't think that yet another "badge engineered" Cadillac would bode well in the North American market.. I don't have a problem with a small Cadillac per se, but if they do a car the size of the BMW 3 series, it should be a Cadillac design, and not at a mid-20K price point, and not based on a pre-existing design from somewhere else.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
43,818 Posts
Originally posted by coolcaddy@Jan 13 2004, 10:43 AM
Maybe they should consider a Saab platform for a Buick sports sedan? :blink:
:lol:
It's only fair. Saab's getting a Ranier.
:roflmao:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
43,818 Posts
:huh:
Well, I don't want to see a Cadillac launch a 1-series competitor. That's insane. But if they want to push the CTS upmarket a bit, and shove in a "9-3" Cadillac under the CTS and sell it around $29K or so, then that should be fine.
I'm sure it would be sufficiently differentiated from teh Saab too.

I don't think it's going to happen. But I'm open to the idea... but not until at least 2007 or 2008 anyways.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
700 Posts
Originally posted by Hudson@Jan 13 2004, 04:30 PM
It's more than being considered. There's a Buick Epsilon in the plan.
I've read in other places that the idea was cancelled. Hopefully, you're right.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
94 Posts
Here GM goes and spends $4 billion moving Cadillac back to RWD so it can compete head-to-head with the Teir 1 Europeans, and now they want to shoot themselves in the foot just as the revival is kicking off by building a FWD sedan?

They screwed up, from a marketing perspective, when they made their entry-level CTS so big (bigger than a BMW 5-Series). Now it's hard to go smaller, which is ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY if Cadillac will be a successful WORLDWIDE luxury player, because they don't want, and shouldn't go any cheaper.

Now to compete in Europe and the rest of the world, they have to build a second entry-level model. Wasted effort.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
954 Posts
I don't remember reading anywhere that this thing is going to cost less than the CTS. I agree with whoever said Europeans want and need smaller cars, which is exactly why this car wont come to the US.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,003 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
Originally posted by caling7@Jan 13 2004, 08:09 PM
Here GM goes and spends $4 billion moving Cadillac back to RWD so it can compete head-to-head with the Teir 1 Europeans, and now they want to shoot themselves in the foot just as the revival is kicking off by building a FWD sedan? 

They screwed up, from a marketing perspective, when they made their entry-level CTS so big (bigger than a BMW 5-Series).  Now it's hard to go smaller, which is ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY if Cadillac will be a successful WORLDWIDE luxury player, because they don't want, and shouldn't go any cheaper. 

Now to compete in Europe and the rest of the world, they have to build a second entry-level model.  Wasted effort.
Wasted effort? Hmmm.

From where I'm standing, the $4B invested in product and marketing has been a resounding success. Period.

...and I would say that the decision to create a bigger CTS for Cadillac's low end was right on the money. Contrast that with BMW dumping its pathetic little FWD 1-series and Mercedes-Benz peddling its equally pathetic C-Coupe.

You're right about needing a smaller car to be a global competitor, and that's exactly what they seem to be doing in Europe, where such a move is warranted. I don't understand your rant.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
10,859 Posts
Although I can't say that I agree with the idea of basing this car on the 9-3, I can understand why they are looking to pursue it. I would have expected GM to utilize the new Kappa platform for this car instead of a FWD chasis. When GM greenlighted Kappa, they stated that they wanted it to be flexible enough for coupes, convertibles and small sedans. Maybe this is a short-term answer til that car can be developed, kind of like the Saab 9-2X and 9-7X? Or perhaps this is just to make use of the under-utilized factories in Trollhattan or Graz? Or perhaps this is to protect the car from currency fluctuations? Afterall, small cars bring small profits and it may be better to build it in Europe where you'll get a decent profit than run the risk of importing it and getting killed by currency exchanges and tariffs.

What ever they decide to do, I only hope that they try to make this offering as unique as possible from the 9-3 (this isn't a dig against it, but only to make it unique). For example, Caddy should offer some different engines from the Saab variants. Like the smaller displacement versions of the CTS's own 3.6 liter for these cars if they can fit them. GM Europe uses a 2.6, 2.8 and 3.0 liter version of the new *High Feature* family that we don't have here in North America. Use versions of these engines so that they stand out more and the public doesn't see them as rehashed Saabs. Hell, Opel/Vauxhall already uses the 3.2 liter variant in the Vectra GSi, so you know they'll fit. They should also offer a few diesel engines since 40% of Europeans prefer such engines. These can be taken from GM's affiliation with Fiat. Fiat builds some of the best common rail diesels and their new 2.4 I5 JTD engine is a gem and has received great reviews. Standard AWD (at least to make it more acceptable of a FWD gone AWD like Audi, Jag X-Type, some Volvos or upcoming Alfa Romeos) would also be necessary and offer better handling. No need for Caddy to go through the business of making their cars RWD only to backtrack and offer a FWD version. I know that Saab has already developed an AWD version of the Epsilon chasis (once they dropped their codevelopment midsized platform with Alfa Romeo and Lancia) and even Opel/Vauxhall has an AWD version for the Signum. This AWD is a must to keep it on the radar screens of the European car buying public (and again to seperate it from the 9-3). They need to give it a unique interior and not a rehashed Saab one. I like the Saab interior fine, but no need to reuse it, especially if Caddy wants to be taken seriously as a luxo-marque in Europe, they need their own interior styling. Lastly, the exterior needs to share the same styling cues as the rest of the Caddy line. I know they they will still use the basics of the 9-3, but adding new front and rear fascias may not be enough. They need to make sure it looks right so that buyers won't think they're buying a dressed up 9-3. This is in the same vein as European 9-3 buyers not thinking they're driving a dressed up Vectra. Each car is unique and has a unique approach.

Just some of my thoughts.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
43,818 Posts
Originally posted by markform@Jan 13 2004, 05:33 PM
I think a small Caddy would be an excellent idea **IF** it was meant for people age 25-40. There are many buyers in places like Boston, NYC, Chicago and San Francisco who have high incomes, but want somthing easy to park and maneuver around the city.

These are professionals, opinion leaders and will take a BMW 3 series or a C class MB because they are shorter and easier to park. FYI - this is why Europeans like smaller cars - they live in crowded cities.

The car must have nice styling, attitude and durability.
Naaah... we get BMW's and Mercedes because of the social status it brings. That and because it's "all the rage." Don't forget the A4 in that list as well. ;)

Seriously though, there is a market for the 3 series and C-class and the A4, which essentially says "you've arrived," "you're a successful professional," etc etc etc.

But first Cadillac needs to re-establish and solidify their brand before they make any solid decisions on putting a car below the CTS. But a car like this would do very well in Europe, where streets are narrower and the need for superior fuel economy is higher.

2007-2008 might be an ideal time to enter this market for Caddy.

And there is a market for those who do not want a Merc, BMW, or Audi (ie - me), but still want to portray the image that "they've arrived." That's where Saab and Cadillac step in.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,774 Posts
Please no more FWD Cadillacs for that or eny other market.BMW doesent offer FWD and thats what everyone is truely trying to beat in the luxury ranks.I think Cadillac is better then that and could beat BMW at there own game with SIGMA and its better duble A arm suspention system.And the CTS is not all that mutch bigger then the saab so let them(meaning saab) have that market to themselfs.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
94 Posts
Originally posted by coolcaddy+Jan 14 2004, 01:43 AM--></div><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (coolcaddy @ Jan 14 2004, 01:43 AM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'> <!--QuoteBegin-caling7@Jan 13 2004, 08:09 PM
Here GM goes and spends $4 billion moving Cadillac back to RWD so it can compete head-to-head with the Teir 1 Europeans, and now they want to shoot themselves in the foot just as the revival is kicking off by building a FWD sedan? 

They screwed up, from a marketing perspective, when they made their entry-level CTS so big (bigger than a BMW 5-Series).  Now it's hard to go smaller, which is ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY if Cadillac will be a successful WORLDWIDE luxury player, because they don't want, and shouldn't go any cheaper. 

Now to compete in Europe and the rest of the world, they have to build a second entry-level model.  Wasted effort.
Wasted effort? Hmmm.

From where I'm standing, the $4B invested in product and marketing has been a resounding success. Period.

...and I would say that the decision to create a bigger CTS for Cadillac's low end was right on the money. Contrast that with BMW dumping its pathetic little FWD 1-series and Mercedes-Benz peddling its equally pathetic C-Coupe.

You're right about needing a smaller car to be a global competitor, and that's exactly what they seem to be doing in Europe, where such a move is warranted. I don't understand your rant. [/b][/quote]
Wasted effort? Hmmm.

From where I'm standing, the $4B invested in product and marketing has been a resounding success. Period.

...and I would say that the decision to create a bigger CTS for Cadillac's low end was right on the money. Contrast that with BMW dumping its pathetic little FWD 1-series and Mercedes-Benz peddling its equally pathetic C-Coupe.

You're right about needing a smaller car to be a global competitor, and that's exactly what they seem to be doing in Europe, where such a move is warranted. I don't understand your rant.
I guess you didn't read my post. ;) I said having to build TWO entry level models was a waste of effort. Cadillac now has to invest more money to develop a second vehicle to do exactly what the CTS was intended to do, that is to be an entry level model. Show me one other company that does that. I like the CTS and it's been a great success story for Cadillac but it was initially supposed to lead Cadillac in its worldwide expanssion.

And coolcaddy, there's a huge difference between the CTS and the BMW 1 Series, which is RWD and not FWD as you stated. The CTS is as big as a 5 Series, far from an entrylevel model by any measure. What I was suggesting was that GM should have made the CTS comparable in size to the 3 Series, A4, and C Class, entry level models which are all doing very well here in the U.S. Leave the cheepo 1 Series and A Classes to BMW and MErcedes if they want them, I agree with you on that, but I was just observing that GM could have used their resources better by making one globally competitive entry level Cadillac instead of two.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
43,818 Posts
Originally posted by caling7@Jan 16 2004, 02:40 PM
I guess you didn't read my post. ;) I said having to build TWO entry level models was a waste of effort. Cadillac now has to invest more money to develop a second vehicle to do exactly what the CTS was intended to do, that is to be an entry level model. Show me one other company that does that. I like the CTS and it's been a great success story for Cadillac but it was initially supposed to lead Cadillac in its worldwide expanssion.

And coolcaddy, there's a huge difference between the CTS and the BMW 1 Series, which is RWD and not FWD as you stated. The CTS is as big as a 5 Series, far from an entrylevel model by any measure. What I was suggesting was that GM should have made the CTS comparable in size to the 3 Series, A4, and C Class, entry level models which are all doing very well here in the U.S. Leave the cheepo 1 Series and A Classes to BMW and MErcedes if they want them, I agree with you on that, but I was just observing that GM could have used their resources better by making one globally competitive entry level Cadillac instead of two.
Cadillac isn't going to develop a model lower than CTS for the US market. That was just reiterated recently in a press release. Launching one in Europe requires a new model that is actually smaller than the CTS.

Bu I do agree with you... CTS should ahve been closer in size to the 3-Series and C-class, not a 5-series and E-class. But here's the thing. If the CTS were the size of a 3-series, where does that place the STS?? Right there at the 5? Right now, it's positioned above the 5 and below the 7. Having the "flagship" right at the 5-series size doesn't work. So in that respect I have to agree with what Caddy did.
But since DTS is going to emain a big FWD car for "older generations," where does that leave Caddy in terms of a 7 and S competitor?? It leaves 'em w/o a platform. :(
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
94 Posts
I think you nailed the issue right on. If their entry model is as big as a 5 Series, what do they do to compete against the 3 Series. They can go smaller, but they would technically also have to go cheaper, which I don't agree with, and which they won't do.

And as you pointed out, by making their 3 Series fighter as big as a 5 Series, it throws off the sizing for their other models. Now the STS is almost as big as a 7 Series, and I just don't see how the flagship of "The Standard of the World" could be a 5 Series competitor.

Maybe GM has a plan that makes sense to them, but it doesn't to me right now.
 
1 - 20 of 24 Posts
Top