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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
My Vision of Cadillac (Redux)
... another commentary by mgescuro ...

This is the thread I’ve been wanting to do for some time. My original vision of Cadillac has had some time to sink in, but it’s about time to revisit it and tweak as necessary.

So what exactly is Cadillac?
Quite simply, Cadillac is the premiere American luxury automaker. Cadillac established the standard for what luxury cars could and should be. Cadillac led with automobile innovations and technology. Cadillacs had unabashed style and image. They coined the phrase the “Standard of the World” and no one batted an eye because there was no way to really challenge that statement. But Cadillac lost its way. It moved towards being generic, relying on its name to keep them afloat until that name became synonymous with “old,” “unappealing,” and a “bad joke.”

Cadillac has not only lost its way, but its image as a respectable luxury brand. It is fraught with inconsistent product, and a lack of focus and direction. And due to a cash crisis at GM, it no longer has the financial means to truly realize its goal. Make no mistake, the so-called Cadillac Renaissance, that was meant to bring a new age of Cadillacs to the masses is a failure. It has failed in its goals to establish Cadillac as a leader and has failed to do anything about Cadillacs still faltering image. There is more product confusion that ever. At least before the Renaissance, we knew what to expect from Cadillac; now, its product is woefully inconsistent, with its best product not even sold in its home market. What the Renaissance has managed to do is bring forth a new design language, that for the most part, has been executed with varying stages of success.

What does Cadillac need to do? The list is endless.
First and foremost, Cadillac needs focus. What defines a modern Cadillac? What are Cadillacs opportunities in this market? What is a “global” Cadillac?

The ultimate goal for Cadillac is to build a car that matches feature for feature, style for style, luxury for luxury, amenity for amenity, image for image the Mercedes-Benz S-Class. Why? Because the S-Class is the Standard of the World. You don’t become Standard of the World by mimicking Audi or seeing if your car will out run or out corner a BMW.
You become the Standard of the World because your car is better than the Standard of the World.

As in my original “Vision of Cadillac” commentary, Cadillac needs a common baseline:

Standard on ALL Cadillacs:
  • Leather Seating
  • Power windows, doors, seats, headrests, trunk/hatch release/close
  • OnStar
  • Bluetooth, iPod and other media access
  • Navigation
  • Push Button Start
  • Advanced forward lighting (projectors with light tubes) / Rear LED with Amber
  • Choice of wood or metallic acced: Maple, Blonde Maple, Sapelli, Eucalyptus, Zebrano, Ash, carbon fiber, brushed metal
  • Free, 3 years scheduled maintenance
In addition, Cadillac will remain fully customizable.

Dealership Experience

This is the most crucial element of Cadillac’s survival. Cadillac cannot be the Standard of the World when the top XLR is sold next to an Impala.
Cadillac dealerships must be standalone. And each dealership must exude sophisticated and modern luxury. Each dealership should be elegant and comfortable. The dealership should have soft leather chairs and sofas, hardwood floors, displays should have a edgy, modern, feel to emulate the Cadillac A&S look.
Customer service should be priority. They should be treated as a buyer of luxury products. Anything less than a premium experience is inappropriate. Salespeople should be well dressed and look the part of a luxury product salesperson. It is this experience where luxury and the premium nature of Cadillac needs to be brought to the forefront. Cadillac cannot be expected to be a leader in luxury if it doesn’t look, act, or behave like a luxury brand.
Showroom floor should showcase and highlight the Various Cadillacs Sedans, coupes/roadsters, CUV/SUV. This way, you don't have a CTS sitting next to an XLR. You get a contiguous experience.

The Vehicle Lineup

Coupes and Sedans

Compact Luxury (BLS)
This car is the makes up one-third of the core Cadillac lineup.
Not only is it a compact sports sedan, it manages to maintain dignified luxury, instead of the spartan, technical look of the 3-series.
This class should have a sedan, coupe, wagon, convertible, and V-series.

Mid-sized Luxury (CTS)
This car is the next third of the core Cadillac lineup.
Taking the current CTS as a baseline, luxury and amenities need to be improved to match E-Class. Particular care to traditional Cadillac comfort is needed. However, this car will run with the 5-series.
This class should have a sedan, coupe, wagon, convertible, and V-series.

Full-sized Luxury (Fleetwood)
This car is the next third of the core Cadillac lineup.
It replaces STS and DTS from the current stable. This cars amenities should harken back to the true luxury Cadillacs of old. Name the amenity? This car has it. It offers uncompromising luxury and sophistication. It should offer the performance and sophistication of the future Jaguar XJ but remain relatively affordable (like the XJ). And it can compete with the S-Class. But it isn’t an S-Class competitor... or at least a low end S-Class competitor.
This class should have a sedan and coupe and V-series.

Full-sized Luxury (S-Class and Flying Spur/ConGT Competitor)
This is the next product extension for Cadillac. The S-Class competitor. Not only does it offer uncompromising luxury and sophistication, it is the technological tour de force and platform for innovation and first-of-its-kind application. There is nothing you can’t get in this car.
This class should have a sedan and coupe and V-series.

Roadsters

Compact Roadster (SLK Competitior)
A small 2-seat roadster. Great to throw around corners and for weekend jaunts. A good entry level for individuals who want a small, fun roadster, but doesn’t have the cash for a full blown roadster. It is more luxury than sport, but it will have a solid ride and bite into corners nevertheless.
This class will have base and V-series.

Luxury Roadster (XLR)
It continues to share its existence with Corvette. But luxury amenities and technology and customization are taken up a few notches. There is no mistaking XLR for Corvette. Its luxury and sophistication distinguish it from its brash brother. XLR exists to compete with the SL at all levels.
This class will have base and V-series and “Super V” Series. The base will have a V6. It is expected that Super-V will have at bare minimum a Twin-Turbo V12 of 750+ HP.

Exotic Roadster (Cien)
Completely custom vehicle. Production is outsourced to a manufacturer that will hand-build it to order. Target competition are the Italian supercars. Car is expected to run with Veyron and Porsche Supercar.
Base engine is the “Super V” engine found in XLR. Top engine at 850+HP.

Crossovers

Compact Crossover (BRX)
This is the GLK and X3 competitor. It’s a smaller 5-passenger luxury crossover. Standard RWD biased AWD. Great for navigating smaller streets in Europe and American metropolitan areas.

Midsized Crossover (SRX)
This is the X5 and ML competitor. It’s a 7-passed luxury crossover. Standard RWD biased AWD.

Fullsized Crossover (Escalade)
Yes. The Escalade becomes a crossover. It retains its large proportions, but is more efficient about it. It has uncompromising luxury and performance. It’s main target is still Range Rover, and will offer a smaller, 5-passenger version.
Escalade will have a luxury version and a Sport version. And it will have a V-series.

Vehicle Tiers

Platinum Edition:
Custom Order Only
Comprises of: Top Engine Choice + Top Audio/Speaker combo + Suede Headliner + Suede Dash + Custom PE Only Rims + Improved Leather on Seats + Suede Seat Inserts + Custom PE Interior Badging + Silk carpet
Special Key Fob, specific to Platinum Edition -- Made with platinum

Emerald Edition:
Dual-Mode Hybrid System (or EFlex) available across the board.
Special Key Fob, specific to Emerald Edition -- Made with emeralds

V-Series:
All V-series will do 0-60 under 4.5 seconds
Interior accents adds choice of Carbon Fiber or black-dyed wood.
Special, bolstered sport/performance seat option
Custom V-series rims
Custom V-series interior badging
Special Key Fob, specific to V-series -- Made of Carbon Fiber and Gold

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So there you have it. My Vision of Cadillac. (Again)
 

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This sounds great but does GM have the finance to do all of this, it's like Santa's wish list but very very expensive.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
This sounds great but does GM have the finance to do all of this, it's like Santa's wish list but very very expensive.

Cadillac can't do it overnight, nor would I expect this type of lineup to appear overnight. This is something that will happen over the course of 2 decades at the very least.

The solution for Cadillac is staring them right in the face. yet they don't proceed that way. Well, they did at first, but then they backed away from the Renaissances initial goals. And instead of fixing the fundamental problems with their cars, they go ahead and cancel them.
That's no way to build or rebuild a luxury brand.

Cadillac is failing to execute at all fronts that doesn't have a CTS attached to it. And it looks like every single luxury car company out there know what to do and how to execute it. Yet Cadillac does not.

Cadillac might throw technology and gizmos at the situation, but they have no clue on how to package a luxury product. So what if Cadillac projector lamps have the Cadillac logo etched in them if the dashboard has gaps the size of canyons?

XLR is the worst offender of them all. Slap on new foglamps, slap on a side vent and a new exhaust. But the fundamental problems of the interior remain. It doesn't exude luxury. It's a cheap imitation. it's like buying a leather jacket at WalMart. It might be leather... but my God its butt-ugly, with poorly threaded buttons, polyester lining, and a plastic zipper. Or you can go to Saks and get a beautifully tailored leather jacked with a nickel zipper and silk lining.

My vision is exactly what Cadillac needs to be a true player in the luxury market. Anything less leads them to Tier 2 status, if not Tier 3. Right now, I'm hesitant to really call them a Tier 2 luxury brand. Their product, aside from CTS is pathetic. Cadillac's a 1-hit wonder, with a crappy dealership base and a questionable image. That's not a premium car or a premium experience. And it's certainly not the Standard of the World.
 

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Maybe for V-series, they dont have to be all under 4.5sec, spend a little more on handling

Plus, they have to match the price with competition as well, you can claim being a luxury brand while selling CTS at 3-series price but compete with 5-series, Being expensive is a good thing in luxury market!!!!!! Just need to justify the price!!!! Need to have everything differ from other GM Brands, like Cadillac exclusive engine and platform
 

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I also believe a redux is needed. Let us start with them getting 3-5 models right before foraying into lands where nobody waits for them (compact executive / BLS).

Marc, I believe you need to take a deep breath, relax and all... I am not sure if that's really you...

PS. XJ costs the same as the S-Klasse...

PS2. I am sorry, but "Emerald" and "Platinium" sound like tiers of Sam's Club membership...
 

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This plan sounds like more of the same. Lets have a full sized luxury car that has all the amenities of other cars, and could possibly compete w/ the S Class...
Or.....
You could wait just a bit longer and the REAL competitor for the S Class will be here.
 

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So the mid-sized crossover is a 7 passenger vehicle, and the full sized crossover is a 5 passenger vehicle? And the Escalade v series goes 0-60 in 4.5 seconds?

Other than that idiosyncrasy, it sounds like a plan. It certainly makes plenty of room for Buick.
 

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they better come up with an Alpha based BLS-Vseries twin turbo HF V6 DI VVT 6MT the SIZE of a 3 series AND the price (30k-50k)...

I'll be so PO'ed in 4-6 years when I'm in the market for that type of car and Cadillac does not offer me a product!

CobaltSS
 

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So basically you want Cadillac to have a car (sometimes with a wagon, coupe and convertible) in every class that is the best in the world. Got it. Cadillac should have everything mercedes benz has with a few more wagons and convertibles, minus the ugly r-class and g-class. Are you expecting them to raise their prices once they get their reputation back? It seems like if they are producing so many cars they either have to sell more or raise prices. Are you aiming the wagons more toward Europe? Also, shouldn't big luxury cars be Buick? What about CAFE with all the V-series and special H.O. engines you propose? Otherwise a terrific plan, but the devil is in the details.
 

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To many models, though many ideas are good. If they can globalize Cady, then most of the products would work. I also don't believe in cuving-out the Escalade; people who buy these could care less about an mpg saved, if that is important than stick the Baltimore transmission in it. But Escalade and Suburban (and hopefully H2) should probably always be bof; to be the best, you'll need an extra 500+ pounds of girth.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
I also believe a redux is needed. Let us start with them getting 3-5 models right before foraying into lands where nobody waits for them (compact executive / BLS).

Marc, I believe you need to take a deep breath, relax and all... I am not sure if that's really you...

PS. XJ costs the same as the S-Klasse...

PS2. I am sorry, but "Emerald" and "Platinium" sound like tiers of Sam's Club membership...
Apparently you didn't read closesly.
XJ starts at $60K and goes to about $104K.
S-Class (in the US), starts at $89K and goes to about $190K.

XJ does cost about the same.... in the lower range.

So the mid-sized crossover is a 7 passenger vehicle, and the full sized crossover is a 5 passenger vehicle? And the Escalade v series goes 0-60 in 4.5 seconds?

Other than that idiosyncrasy, it sounds like a plan. It certainly makes plenty of room for Buick.
No. Escalade would have a 5-pass version.
Cayenne does 0-60 in 4.9 sec. 4.5 sec is not out of the realm of possibility.

Sounds like a plan, but it would prove to be costly. The least expensive Cadillac could go for as high as $50,000.
The least expensive Cadillac now will extend in to the $60,000 range.
It's a luxury brand.
 

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Besides the SRX replacement which will be around the same time as the coupe version of the CTS, they need to come out with a STS/DTS replacement ASAP. Then a compact 4 door caddy should follow to battle the IS-Lexus/3series BMW's etc.

I will say this once and again. Take the currnent Northstar V8 and give it Direct Injection, cylinder deactivation and a hybrid version !!!!!!

Come on GM !!!!!!
 

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This is a great lineup, and hopefully GM would do something like this. But the lineup its self seems rather large. Is this for Cadillac in the U.S. or is this a global Cadillac lineup?
 

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Great list!

I would also suggest the maintenance be included for 4 years, not three.
 

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I like alot of what you have put up. And you're right, with the exception of the CTS, Cadillac's line up leaves allot to be desired. I do like the XLR, but like you, I think they missed the mark with the Update. How much does that side vent cost? :rolleyes:
I think you went a little heavy with the coupes. They go out of style way too fast and are in constant need of updates. Plus, with the prices the options (standards) you propose, it would be prohibitively expensive to do.
Other than that, the dealership experience desparately needs work! When I bought my '08 CTS, the people there were nice enough, but if I was cross-shopping say a BMW, there's no way I'd buy from them. They weren't up on their products, the dealership was old, and I got that 1970's salespeople feel. That could be because they have had the store for that long and longer, many elderly people work there. I've seen many new or updated Cadillac stores and while they look good, marble tile on the floors etc, the salespeople could work at a Chevy store in their approach. One Cadillac dealer here in town still advertised brand new DTS's as Deville's. :eek: I guess they figure that name is more recognizable, hopefully that's why.:rolleyes:
Yes there is work to be done. The CTS is a wonderful car, and the derivitives of it appear to be pretty good also. Let's hope the rest is going to be very good, if not class leading and get here sooner rather than later!
 

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Cadillac might throw technology and gizmos at the situation, but they have no clue on how to package a luxury product. So what if Cadillac projector lamps have the Cadillac logo etched in them if the dashboard has gaps the size of canyons?

XLR is the worst offender of them all. Slap on new foglamps, slap on a side vent and a new exhaust. But the fundamental problems of the interior remain. It doesn't exude luxury. It's a cheap imitation. it's like buying a leather jacket at WalMart. It might be leather... but my God its butt-ugly, with poorly threaded buttons, polyester lining, and a plastic zipper. Or you can go to Saks and get a beautifully tailored leather jacked with a nickel zipper and silk lining.
It just confounds me that Cadillac cannot figure out the interior thing, not counting the CTS. The XLR interior looks like it was designed by engineers, not luxury goods designers that it should have been designed by. Way too simple, lack of attention to detail, and now so dated. At that price point...Well, it has been said before, :(

Cadillac has wonderful technology and engineering...And they have shown they can build a world-class interior in the CTS. How hard is it to use sophisticated woods or other accents, as mentioned by Mg and used by so many other car makers? How difficult can it be to at least implement a unique gauge cluster and small details where the drivers and passengers touch? Where are the unique leather colors you see on so many other luxury cars? I just don't get it.
 

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On the XLR update. This is exactly what happens when you have a Cadillac low on funds trying to develop DTS/STS replacement, CTW, CTC, and Alpha car all at once. And even they keep getting delayed due to lack of funds and need to ensure they all make money. The XLR looks worse to me, but is about what was expected when you ask them to update with chump change.

BUT, I consider it a GOOD thing that money is apparently being focus on the different CTS variants and the STS/DTS replaceement and Alpha. All those are more important in the long run than XLR. Even Lexus doesn't do any more updating to their SC. And that is one of only a few cars that answer MB's SL.
 
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