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The New STS: Cadillac's Next Winner?
Dan Lienert
Can Cadillac sustain its winning streak?

That's one of the biggest questions in the auto business for 2004. Cadillac, the luxury division of General Motors (nyse: GM - news - people ), is preparing its new STS sedan (pictured above) for an introduction at next month's New York International Auto Show. The vehicle, which will be the sole nameplate in the new Seville line, will go on sale in the third quarter of this year with an estimated price range of $43,000 to $65,000.

The STS (which stands for Seville Touring Sedan) may be Caddy's most ambitious car yet. The completely redesigned sedan is gunning for big game, setting its sights on displacing Mercedes-Benz's E-class and BMW's 5-series sedans.

Although Cadillac's U.S. sales increased by 8% in 2003 (216,090 units, versus 199,748 in 2002), the STS is far from assured of success. Cadillac's trucks were what drove overall sales up in 2003. The new SRX sport utility sold 5,049 units in its first year, and Cadillac's stretched Escalade ESV sport utility gave the division 12,866 extra sales it would not otherwise have had.

Cadillac's passenger car sales, which increased by less than 1% in 2003, have not been as successful as the brand's overall performance. New products at Cadillac's low end (the CTS sedan) and high end (the XLR convertible) have done well, but the mid-luxury sedans have been disappointing. Sales of the DeVille sedan were down by 3% last year, and sales of the outgoing Seville sedans--which the STS is replacing--were down by 13%.

Cadillac is feeling that the time is ripe for an overhaul of the STS. It hopes to be able to work the same kind of magic on its midsize sedan that it has on its other models. Company officials often talk about how they want to restore Cadillac as "the standard of the world" for luxury cars.

One of the ways Cadillac plans to do that is to take a page out of Mercedes' playbook: All Mercedes sedans are rear- or all-wheel drive, and the STS will abandon its front-drive setup to come in rear- or all-wheel-drive configurations. This will make the car sportier, as will the optional 4.6-liter, 320-horsepower V-8 engine, which it shares with the SRX and XLR. The less expensive 3.6-liter, 255-horsepower V-6 from the CTS and SRX will also be available, although Cadillac is planning for now to offer all-wheel drive only on V-8 STS models.

The STS will feature the same angular, modern styling that graces other Caddies. Its edgy looks would give it some sort of advantage over Mercedes' more traditional styling, but BMW is carrying out the same sort of experiments with angular, aggressive looks. Still, Cadillac is gaining market share. One trump card it has over the Germans is that customers are complaining more and more about the quality of German cars, and less and less about the quality of American cars. According to Consumer Reports, Buicks now break down less often than BMWs.

While the fit and finish of its vehicles remain to be perfected, Cadillac has made great strides with the quality of its materials and interior components. The new STS offers the same premium interior materials, such as eucalyptus wood, leather and real aluminum, that can be found on the XLR. Like the Corvette, the new STS will have a magnetic ride control suspension--a smooth, high-tech unit that adds value to the package.

The good news for GM executives is that Cadillac is catching up to Mercedes. In 2002, Mercedes outsold Cadillac in America by 7% (213,225 units versus 199,748); in 2003, Mercedes outsold Cadillac by only 1% (218,551 units versus 216,090). Mercedes could be looking more and more in its rear-view mirror as Cadillac gets closer, and Caddy's new STS is a critical product for a division that wants to get in the passing lane.

Full Article Here

 

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GM BRING CADDY TO EASTERN EUROPE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!GM BRING CADDY TO EASTERN EUROPE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!GM BRING CADDY TO EASTERN EUROPE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!GM BRING CADDY TO EASTERN EUROPE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!GM BRING CADDY TO EASTERN EUROPE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!GM BRING CADDY TO EASTERN EUROPE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!GM BRING CADDY TO EASTERN EUROPE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!GM BRING CADDY TO EASTERN EUROPE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!GM BRING CADDY TO EASTERN EUROPE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!GM BRING CADDY TO EASTERN EUROPE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!GM BRING CADDY TO EASTERN EUROPE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!GM BRING CADDY TO EASTERN EUROPE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!GM BRING CADDY TO EASTERN EUROPE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!GM BRING CADDY TO EASTERN EUROPE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!GM BRING CADDY TO EASTERN EUROPE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!GM BRING CADDY TO EASTERN EUROPE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!GM BRING CADDY TO EASTERN EUROPE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!GM BRING CADDY TO EASTERN EUROPE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!GM BRING CADDY TO EASTERN EUROPE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!GM BRING CADDY TO EASTERN EUROPE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :bounce:
 

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LOL :lol:

ive heard you say that over and over, well you guys will probably get it once it regains itself at home first.. .

this sounds like it will easily make caddy #3 again, and who knows maybe even #2 by late next year.
 

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:D powervette...they will bring it. I'm sure of it!!!!
Anyway, the STS is nice, and people will buy it, just like me and the CTS. I turned down a new BMW 3-Series for the CTS.
 

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forget eastern europe, give ME a caddy. only me :D
 

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The STS looks are not as radical as the CTS looked when it debuted, for two reasons. First we are used to the Caddy look, second the STS appeals to a more affluent and older buyer than a CTS. What do people expect the STS to look like? A car with the giant Ecslade grill or even more aggressive looks than the CTS?
 

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Originally posted by powervette@Mar 23 2004, 12:16 PM
GM BRING CADDY TO EASTERN EUROPE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!GM BRING CADDY TO EASTERN EUROPE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!GM BRING CADDY TO EASTERN EUROPE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!GM BRING CADDY TO EASTERN EUROPE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!GM BRING CADDY TO EASTERN EUROPE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!GM BRING CADDY TO EASTERN EUROPE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!GM BRING CADDY TO EASTERN EUROPE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!GM BRING CADDY TO EASTERN EUROPE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!GM BRING CADDY TO EASTERN EUROPE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!GM BRING CADDY TO EASTERN EUROPE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!GM BRING CADDY TO EASTERN EUROPE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!GM BRING CADDY TO EASTERN EUROPE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!GM BRING CADDY TO EASTERN EUROPE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!GM BRING CADDY TO EASTERN EUROPE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!GM BRING CADDY TO EASTERN EUROPE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!GM BRING CADDY TO EASTERN EUROPE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!GM BRING CADDY TO EASTERN EUROPE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!GM BRING CADDY TO EASTERN EUROPE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!GM BRING CADDY TO EASTERN EUROPE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!GM BRING CADDY TO EASTERN EUROPE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :bounce:
We have European exports in the CTS and SRX wonder were they are going exactly. :huh:
 

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Originally posted by gmwsag@Mar 23 2004, 09:09 PM
:D powervette...they will bring it. I'm sure of it!!!!
Anyway, the STS is nice, and people will buy it, just like me and the CTS. I turned down a new BMW 3-Series for the CTS.
I HOPE SO... :unsure:
 

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Originally posted by LGRpup+Mar 24 2004, 12:42 AM--></div><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (LGRpup @ Mar 24 2004, 12:42 AM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'> <!--QuoteBegin-powervette@Mar 23 2004, 12:16 PM
GM BRING  CADDY TO EASTERN EUROPE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!GM BRING  CADDY TO EASTERN EUROPE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!GM BRING  CADDY TO EASTERN EUROPE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!GM BRING  CADDY TO EASTERN EUROPE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!GM BRING  CADDY TO EASTERN EUROPE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!GM BRING  CADDY TO EASTERN EUROPE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!GM BRING  CADDY TO EASTERN EUROPE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!GM BRING  CADDY TO EASTERN EUROPE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!GM BRING  CADDY TO EASTERN EUROPE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!GM BRING  CADDY TO EASTERN EUROPE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!GM BRING  CADDY TO EASTERN EUROPE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!GM BRING  CADDY TO EASTERN EUROPE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!GM BRING  CADDY TO EASTERN EUROPE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!GM BRING  CADDY TO EASTERN EUROPE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!GM BRING  CADDY TO EASTERN EUROPE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!GM BRING  CADDY TO EASTERN EUROPE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!GM BRING  CADDY TO EASTERN EUROPE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!GM BRING  CADDY TO EASTERN EUROPE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!GM BRING  CADDY TO EASTERN EUROPE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!GM BRING  CADDY TO EASTERN EUROPE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :bounce:
We have European exports in the CTS and SRX wonder were they are going exactly. :huh: [/b][/quote]
:(

WWW.CADILLACEUROPE.COM

they are sold only in
Greece
Germany
GB
Spain

and few others

Europe isn't so small... <_<
 

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Originally posted by Ten Pounds of Gold@Mar 24 2004, 07:33 PM
Advice to Cadillac honcos: why not revive the SLS name with the next DTS? SLS sounds better. DTS?!? Sounds like some Microsoft fix-up program.
Might as well revive ETC too. etc etc etc.

I like DTS. I just hope Cadillac dumps DHS.
 

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I think it's unfortunate that Cadillac has lost its nerve on this car. Way too conservative. Cadillacs were always very extroverted. This car is a quiet me-too.

Of course, giving it the benefit of the doubt, we haven't seen it on the street yet. Just pictures are never quite enough. But it's nice when the first pics make you say WOW! This one just doesn't do that.
 
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