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Art & Science is revolutionizing Cadillac. Pontiac is next up with their attractive new designs, GTO and the gorgeous Solstice. Buick is adding more "SUVs" and GMC, is GMC. Chevrolet is adding new vehciles too, while Saturn is floundering at the bottom of the GM ocean. But the question is, Will Cadillac's Revolution turn around under the direction of Mr. Lutz? Ever since the first production vehcile of Art & Science debuted in the form of the Cadillac Escalade, people started paying more attention to GM's famed luxury brand, that had previously embraced itself as being an American Luxury Automaker. A&S helped attract peoples attention and in 2003, the first CAR adaptation of A&S appeared in the form of the CTS. Now we all know what an un-expected hit the CTS was garnering almost as many sales and Cadillac's all-time best seller, the DeVille. What really drove these sales, were not just Cadillac's excellent powertrains, but their revolutionary designs. These revolutionary vehicles all came to be under Zarella, not Lutz. Therefore most of Cadillac's turnaround should be credited to him, for without the Escalade and A&S, Cadillac would be nothing today. A&S has made Caddy famous, but now Mr. Lutz feels the designs are crude and not appropriate for a Luxury brand. This is quite obvious through his previous designs (Sosltice, New Durango, Caravan, Dodge Ram, etc). However I fear softening A&S will leave Cadillac again with no-where to stand in the Luxury world. With softer and softer designs coming down the pipeline (SRX has already hit, with barely a dent in the market (but much of this is due to that fact that Cadillac hastily produced the most expensive versions first), STS which is by far the softest A&S sedan to come out of Caddy's design studio, and the upcoming DTS which should probably end up being a Buick.) God knows what Mr. Softee is going to do to the Escalade, EXT and ESV when they are due for a re-design in '07. My suggestion is to let Mr. Softee have control over the designs from Buick and under, and let him soften up their designs. He did a great job with the Sostice, but let Caddy designers do what they do best. Let them design Sharp and attractive, cutting eduge machines, not soap-boxes.
 

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I agree with all but your last recommendation. Lutz does indeed favor bland styling, epitomized by the latest LH cars developed under his watch. Whether you like Solstice or not, there is no denying it's "soft" in appearance.

But if you cannot trust Lutz with Cadillac, certainly don't throw him at Chevy and Buick, where even more work needs to be done. Those brands need the same type of pot-stirring as Cadillac has seen. Not that all brands need to have the same edginess, but they certainly need to be striking. I don't think the fabled "car czar" can pull that off. He's breaking down barriers in GM -- a good thing -- but his influence over styling is troubling.

A few months ago, I read an interview with Bob. At one point, he listed all the cars in his collection. There was one classic American car, as I recall. It was a 40s or 50s Buick Skylark, and he said he'd only kept because it had belonged to a friend. Everything else he has, and there were a dozen or more, were eclectic old foreign cars (except for the first couple Vipers made). Nothing wrong with old foreign jobs, mind you... but wouldn't you think that someone with a car collection, and leading product development at anyof the Big 3, would have at least one performance car from the late 50s to early 70s? That era was prime-time, man! Whether you go retro or not, Detroit can stage a briilliant future for itself if they peer into their past for inspiration. Why do you think there is no Camaro on the horizon? The guy has no interest in it. Considering Lutz's bland tastes, its influnce elsewhere (Chrysler and Ford), and comments like "Buick is to be like Lexus", I have no doubt what we'll see under his watch. GM will be producing well-executed but Camry-like vehicles for years to come. And as we all know, even a perfect Chevrolet Camry clone won't get people out of their Toyotas. Cadillac is succeeding because it's becoming authentic, and GM would be wise to inflict some authenticity into every brand. The Magnum and 300C pull this off, whether you like them or not (recall many didn't like the CTS at first!). Those Mopars would not have been produced under Lutz, instead they'd look more like the uninspiring 300M. The new STS would look like a 300M, too, if it wasn't already in a CTS-like clay when Bob arrived. His demands to soften it up delayed it by a year (bad) and took Cadillac a step backwards in the A&S theme (worse).

Mark my word.. unless there is a change, Ford and Chrysler will surpass GM in styling leadership over the next 5 years (if they have not done so already). As far as GM and Bob Lutz are concerned? ... a false sense of security can me more dangerous than no security at all.
 

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I think it is still too early to tell. If the deville was still Cadillac's best selling model and it has alot softer styling than the 2005 STS, who is to say that the STS will not be a sales success. The CTS has what some call polarised styling, people either love it or hate it, which is fine as it is going after a younger, less seasoned buyer. The STS on the other hand is going after an older more seasoned buyer, who does not want to make a loud splash but at the same time want to demonstrate that he/she has made it. I think the car will do fine, assuming that the attention to detail, fit and finish is at the level expected in this segment. That will be GM's biggest challenge, much more so than the styling.
 

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I dont know that hes that bad. I personaly like the CTS, but people like my dad who are in the market for a large luxury sedan, dont like the art and science. The CTS is different then the STS in that respect that younger buyers will buy the CTS. The STS is more for people that are doing well in there life and they want a car thats big and powerful to show the world that they have made it. I dont think the solstice is "soft" either. It doesnt have sharp angles and it doesnt look like steal bomber no, but it doesnt look soft. I think in an age now where people are going for more of a rounder, softer look, Caddy is heading the other way and its working. Audi, BMW, MB, lexus, etc other luxury brands are going with more rounder but bolder styling. Caddy does not look like any one of thoes cars, and I think thats good. But I dont think the "softness" of Lutz's cars will really hurt GM. The Ram trucks were a huge hit, as was the PT and of course the Viper which became every kids dream car, I know it was mine. I think you guys are being a bit over bearing on this guy. I think hes improving the over all way things get done at GM. Thats more important then anything is how these cars are going to fair later on down the line. When cars need a refreshing of interiors, exteriors or a total redesign. Stuff like that needs to be improved. Yeah, all these new products coming out are great, but GM needs to be ahead of the curve, instead of behind. GM needs to make the curve happen. A shift in how cars are made should be done because GM did soemthing, and now everyone is doing it. GM needs to take leadership and I think thats gunna take longer then most people think,
 

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If the picture that was shown early on of what the next STS was to look like was actually what it was supposed to look like then I can say the new one is a definite improvement. As we may never see what the original was to look like we'll never know -- unless a picture escapes GM.

As for the CTS, I love the style. So much so that I bought one. Furthermore, when the Sixteen was shown I felt it was a mature version of the Art & Science theme. Softened but aggressive. In fact, the Car and Driver Photochop was a great rendition of Sixteen styling coupled to an STS. I'd love to see that style STS created.

But I think Lutz overall will be good for GM, mostly because he has put the notion of driving excitement back into the mix. Kappa would not be without Lutz. I also think that had Lutz arrived two years earlier the current Grand Prix wouldn't be so bland. The inside is atrocious, the outside uninspired. I'd have prefered that they keep the old styling until Sigma Mass was available. What they produced drives nice but just doesn't move me. The Solstice, now that does.

I'm really anxious to see what comes out of the Sigma Masss platform. I think it'll be quite good. And for now, I have a Sigma car and it's a divine ride. And, yes, unique to the point that I still get stares and the occassional nose print, too :).
 

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Hate to burst a bubble, but Cadillac abandoned the Art and Science marketing theme just before Zarella left. Too much disagreement on what it meant and how to leverage (and explain it) to the masses. You have not seen it advertised for nearly two years. The design theme, itself, remains. They are tying their marketing star to Led Zepplin, marking a concerted effort to appeal to a much younger audience. I think Lutz has adjusted to the styling just as the general public has. Whether it has "legs" or not is yet to be seen. I forecast that Cadillac will stay with this direction for the forseeable future but look for a slight softening of the edges as seen in the new STS. Deville cannot be nearly as edgy as the CTS if it is to appeal to the existing clientele (and you do not want to walk away from the market segment with the most money). Buick will get the "soft", more rounded treatment reaching for "timeless elegance" rather than "nouveau chic". I just wish Buick would lose the goofy Harley Earl thing. Really bogus!
 

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First, Lutz didn't design the Solstice, he mearly approved it and pushed it through to production. That is the reason the Nomad and Curve exist. GM cannot earn a profit creating a new architecture and only selling one car on it. And the SSR helped the Solstice by teaching GM how to stamp sharp curves (like in the SSR's fenders) from a die. It's the same pricipal with the redesign of the GTO in 2007 that will also be expanded to other brands by sharing the platform globally.

As far as Ford and Chrysler taking design leadership?? What are you talking about? The Ford 500 is similar to the CTS design. If there was a leader, it would be BMW. The Lincoln LS, as well as Mercedes and some Lexus's follow BMW's (old) 3 series. The CTS is the first car that kind of broke away from the image. The CTS is up for a redesign in a couple of years along with the Escalade that also will be almost as edgy as when it was released. If Dailmer ever dumps Chrysler, they well be dead in the water, and will probably be bought by Toyota. And if Chrysler's new designs are so great and supposedly going to "take leadership" why did they have to offer cashback AND 0% financing on most of their new models. They already killed the Pacifica because of that, and the new Durango might suffer the same fate.

And I don't understand why everyone sees the STS as a bland. Did you not expect that it would look like a bigger CTS? Take a older 5 series. It looked like a bigger 3 series.
 

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Originally posted by mrfunji@Jan 26 2004, 03:16 AM
The Ford 500 is similar to the CTS design.

If Dailmer ever dumps Chrysler, they well be dead in the water, and will probably be bought by Toyota.
I cut out most of your post as I just wanted to touch on the specifics.

If anything the Ford 500 design is similiar to that of the older VW's as they where designed by the same person. Also, Daimler has no interest in letting go of Chrysler & if for some strange reason they did Toyota would never buy them as they have stated repeatedly that they do not believe in buying alot of other brands.
 

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BMW? Who are you kidding?

BMW couldn't and still can't figure out who they are. Cadillac had figured it out until Lutz stepped in. What a shame.
 

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The edges and sharp angles are Cadillac, especially with the CTS, which is aimed at the younger crowd. With cars like the STS and Deville, you're going more upscale to to an older crowd. The softening isn't bad for that, and Lutz's vision is Caddy vs Lexus long-term.
 

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Originally posted by dwnhllskiier815@Jan 26 2004, 03:33 PM
The edges and sharp angles are Cadillac, especially with the CTS, which is aimed at the younger crowd. With cars like the STS and Deville, you're going more upscale to to an older crowd. The softening isn't bad for that, and Lutz's vision is Caddy vs Lexus long-term.
I thought it was Buick v.s Lexus?
 

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Buick vs. Lexus at the low end. He basically said that BMW and MB are watering down their brands too much, hence the creation of Maybach. He sees Caddy vs. Lexus duking it out at the top.
 

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The Maybach exists because Mercedes' rivals bought Rolls and Bentley... and all three felt they needed a super-premium marque, distinct from the brand selling $30K near-luxury models.

Lutz would be wise to stop making these comparisons at all. Who cares whether Buick or Cadillac is chasing Lexus? Makes no difference. GM needs to give brands their own identities, and these efforts should not be undermined by comments like "the American Lexus." Lexus has existed for 14 years. Great quality, but in it's own bland Toyota-like skin. So GM's goal should be to attain Lexus-like quality levels in all GM models, then figure out how to differentiate Buick from Cadillac in their own distinctive ways. The theme that makes most sense to me is keep Cadillac rather state of the art and worldly, but let Buick become the tradional American luxury marque (to take on Chrysler and Lincoln types).
 

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Lexus is #1 not #3. BMW may not get watered down, but there will be widespread appeal for it in many buyer groups. Cadillac needs exclusivity. I agree that Buick should go against Lincoln and Chrysler, but with Lexus quality. GM isn't going to create a Maybach, they want the Cadillac brand up there. Cadillac is moving upmarket, and that's why Buick is also moving slightly up to rival Chrysler/Lincoln/Lexus (maybe). Lutz has been doubted before, so let's just wait and see. I think the STS will be a big winner.

Where exactly does anyone get the idea that Ford or Chrylser are leaders in design? The Ford 500 or Freestyle? Can they get any more bland? The first step Ford can make is to stop putting the stupidest names on their new cars just because they begin with F. The new names will probably get confused to. (Freestar vs Freestyle, etc) Chrysler is doing better, but it has far to go to see if that brand can stage the kind of comeback with new design that Caddy has been able to.

GM is the design leader, at least in Detriot. Cadillac started it and is ongoing, Chevy is in the midst of a much-needed revamp, as well as Pontiac. I personally think Buick is in a sad state of affairs, let alone Saturn.
 

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Originally posted by dwnhllskiier815@Jan 26 2004, 05:40 PM
GM isn't going to create a Maybach, they want the Cadillac brand up there. 
The rest of the world is saying, "we can't sell a $30K and a $300K model of the same brand, side-by-side." It does great things for the clout of the $30K model, but you're not apt to get people to spend $300K on something unless it's ultra-exclusive. Even with Mercedes' clout, they didn't feel they could compete with Rolls et al unless they marketed under an exclusive label. So, while Cadillac may try to sell a Rolls-competitor at $300K, as the report suggests, don't hold your breath. This makes a $65K VW seem like a slam-dunk buisiness case!

Remember that decades ago, when Cadillac DID have Rolls-like clout, Cadillac was not selling models priced less than the top-end Chevy. Each brand had only one model with few variations, and brand overlap was not an issue. In that environment, Cadillac could reach for the stars. Times have changed, and they'll have to work like heck to even attain the range of Benz and BMW (up to $100K or so). If Lutz is really serious about a $300K Cadillac, then I'd really start to question his judgement. Sounds like ego more than good business vision to me. I know he was hip on attaching his name to a ULS like Cunningham, but to throw a billion dollars at the development of a $300K Cadillac is crazy. That's right...it's not free!!! and the significant investment could be better used in fixing other divisions.

No $25K Camaro or anything else truly worthy under $30K for the masses, but a $300K Cadillac for a dozen or so oil-shieks. Quite a way to bring people back to the fold and turn GM's reputation around!
 

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Originally posted by socalsoda@Jan 26 2004, 03:52 AM
BMW? Who are you kidding?

BMW couldn't and still can't figure out who they are. Cadillac had figured it out until Lutz stepped in. What a shame.
Compare the CTS to the Deville to the Escalade.

:blink:
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Originally posted by Erunion+Jan 26 2004, 10:27 PM--></div><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (Erunion @ Jan 26 2004, 10:27 PM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'> <!--QuoteBegin-socalsoda@Jan 26 2004, 03:52 AM
BMW?  Who are you kidding?

BMW couldn't and still can't figure out who they are. Cadillac had figured it out until Lutz stepped in. What a shame.
Compare the CTS to the Deville to the Escalade.

:blink: [/b][/quote]
Okay, now what... :huh: :huh: :huh:
 

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Originally posted by TaHoE+Jan 27 2004, 05:24 AM--></div><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (TaHoE @ Jan 27 2004, 05:24 AM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'>
Originally posted by [email protected] 26 2004, 10:27 PM
<!--QuoteBegin-socalsoda
@Jan 26 2004, 03:52 AM
BMW?   Who are you kidding?

BMW couldn't and still can't figure out who they are. Cadillac had figured it out until Lutz stepped in. What a shame.

Compare the CTS to the Deville to the Escalade.

:blink:
Okay, now what... :huh: :huh: :huh: [/b][/quote]
They dont exactly solidify a universal brand styling theme, do they?

Thats was my point, and the opposite of what soda was implying
 
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