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Cadillac Escalade, Cadillac XLR, Cadillac STS, Automotive News
#1813 of 6186 Re: ONE MORE TIME [Mr_Shiftright]
Jan 14, 2007 (1:15 am)
Media has a lot to do with it. Most would argue that hip-hop rescued both Cadillac and Lincoln from obscurity with Escalade and the Navigator, respectively.
I will respond to the above post re: foreign companies importing tried and tested models to the states. Where shall I begin? The Nissan Versa -- a Renault. The Prius was initially tried and tested in Japan before the generation we call the Classic was brought to the States. Heck, even GM is doing so with the Saturn/Opel/Vauxhall Astra.
Back to Cadillac... The new CTS is a good start. I do believe 2009 should bring the new CTS-V and the new SRX. Please, please, please fix the XLR and err... price it properly. A Kappa based ALR with a shoehorned V-6 would be nice. A BRX is already planned. The BLS? Is there a compact RWD platform in GM's profile that would fit it? It could be a small sedan, hatch, etc.
Mercedes is falling from grace on its own. Lexus can't even outsell BMW or Mercedes in Japan. Cadillac can't outsell BMW or Lexus in the US. Cadillac needs put a shotgun in the form of superior products to the head of every other luxury brand and pull the trigger. They have the best large truck based SUV (only Infiniti comes close). However, they lack in every other segment. It's the product plus dealer service that makes a luxury brand great. BTW, I do see Hyundai creating a luxury brand or buying one (Jaguar/Astin Martin/Packard?) and putting even more pressure on the domestics as well as other worldwide luxury brands.
#1814 of 6186 Re: Cadillac & The New World Order [douglasr]
Jan 14, 2007 (6:40 am)
Lexus would be a dead product if it were sustained only by its Japanese sales, (and for which, it was not available in Japan at the outset, allowing them to "dump" them in the U.S. market at $38,500 a copy.)
Lexus LSxxx = Toyota Celsior
Lexus GSxxx = Toyota Aristo
Lexus SCxxx = Toyota Soarer
Lexus ISxxx = Toyota Altezza
Lexus ESxxx = Toyota Windom
Toyota finally decided to start selling them as Lexi in Japan last year.
#1815 of 6186 Re: Remembering the past [louiswei]
Jan 14, 2007 (6:52 am)
A lot of the supposed "they sold at home first" notion comes from the fact that some markets don't have model years like we do in the US. The first S13 Silvias hit the Japanese market in May 1988 and the first 240SXs arrived here around September 1988 as 1989 models.
#1816 of 6186 Re: ONE MORE TIME [Mr_Shiftright]
Jan 14, 2007 (6:58 am)
Once again, Cadillac has been tried and convicted for all crimes in the past and has served its ten year sentence
Only ten years? Must have gotten time off for good behavior.
#1817 of 6186 Cadillac & NWO III/Never?
Jan 14, 2007 (7:06 am)
"Never say never..." James Bond once replied...
That holds true in the auto industry. Let's keep in mind that when the British Army of the Rhine occuppied Wolfsburg in June 1945, taking over from the U.S. Army, the factory fell under the command of the Royal Engineers Colonel Michael McEvoy and Major Ivan Hirst. They found the 'beetle' and recognised its inherent traits. Those first cars assembled by the remaining workforce of 450 men to serve the Control Commission for Germany were anything but regarded as having "quality" in our modern sense of the word. Even the "Export" Model did not have chrome bumpers until 1949!
Henry Ford II drove a Beetle in Germany in 1948, adding "Well, at least it's a car..." For various reasons, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, the British Intellegence Operational Service, executives at Ford and even GM dismissed Wolfsburg and the Beetle, along with a bevy of British Motor executives. Leaving Colonel McEvoy and Major Hirst to build cars for the CCG. Servicemen voted with their pocketbooks, later able to "buy" a VW for $630. (Equivalent then in 1946-7 to 100 lite bulbs; 200 tonnes of bricks; or 1,200 English cigarettes---plus 5lbs coffee: what a Beetle was worth in exchange on the black market!) Thus began the story of VW after the war...a car "no one would want", except, it turned out: the people.
VWAG sold more than 3.2Mn cars in Europe last year. Not even Heinz Nordhoff, the first auto executive to take charge of the factory under the aegis of the Royal Engineers and the CCG believed such a goal was ever possible. Certainly not selling 17.2Mn Beetles over more than 30 years.
Given that possibility, anything is achievable. Cadillac could regain that mantle, as GM may well be able to do. It also depends on the competition...hopefully Cadillac will not remain the sole surviving American marque in the luxury market.
(Sources: 'Battle for the Beetle' Karl Ludvigsen with Ivan Hirst, Bentley Publishers, Cambridge, Ma. 2003)
#1818 of 6186 Re: Remembering the past [bumpy]
Jan 14, 2007 (8:12 am)
Yes, I agree on the Versa, 1st gen Prius and the 240SX. However, none of the mainstream cars is "they sold at home first".
To compare Lexus' sales in Japan and Cadillac's in US is totally apples to oranges (at least right now). Cadillac is a long established brand here in its home turf and it got beat by the newcomers like MB, BMW and Lexus. This is the first year Lexus is sold in Japan so its number can only go up not down. We can revisit this issue couple years from now but to use Lexus' first year number is just plainly idiotic.
#1819 of 6186 Re: Cadillac & NWO III/Never? [douglasr]
Jan 14, 2007 (8:13 am)
"Never say never..." James Bond once replied...
But he said never when he said never to say never.
Thus began the story of VW after the war...a car "no one would want", except, it turned out: the people.
The French wanted it for war repertations but the powers that be said no. Also the bug is another car that was bought largely because of its image.
#1820 of 6186 Re: ONE MORE TIME [Mr_Shiftright]
Jan 14, 2007 (8:41 am)
Does media like TV and movies and music have a lot to do with this?
The hip-pop culture only helped Cadillac or maybe MB. I don't really see it has a lot to do with other manufactures. As matter of fact, even though maybe Caddy got some sales through this hip-pop image thingy but it might also loss some conservative customers in the process. I personally like BMW & Lexus' subtle image more than Cadillac's "bang, in your face" one.
could Lexus or Mercedes fall from grace and Cadillac come out on top?
Is it POSSIBLE? Yes, anything is possible. Is it PROBABLE? Not really, unless Lexus, MB and BMW decide to shoot themselves in the foot. Classic example is GM in 80s and early 90s. If GM didn't start putting out inferior products and provide terrible service I really don't see the imports could enjoy the success they have today. However, that's not saying Caddy couldn't gain market share. I think if it puts honest effort into its quality products then its sales number would definitely go up. But to dethrone MB and Lexus? I think that's too much of a stretch for right now. I say one step at a time, Caddy.
Can you see some other car company seizing a spot in the luxury car field like Lexus did in 1990
Yes I can. Watch out for Hyundai to establish a new luxury brand and undercut Lexus. All Hyundai has to do is to have enough cash (which they are working on right now), seize the right moment and borrow Lexus' strategy. With the LS pushing $65K - $70K range, I see deja vu all over again for Hyundai to undercut Lexus with it own version of the 1990 LS400.
Does dealer service and dealer image have anything to do nameplate prestige or is mostly all about product?
I think dealer service is very important to a brand and this is especially true with the luxury brands. However I don't think it should be the number one priority for any manufacture; to put out good quality products still remain on top of "to do list". I don't know about other people but as for me, I can tolerate not-so-satisfactory dealer service if I am happy with the car. On the other hand I could care less about the dealer service if the car is either horrible or doesn't satisfy me.
#1821 of 6186 Let's Look at the Lexus Story
by Mr_Shiftright HOST
Jan 14, 2007 (9:30 am)
Why don't we look at the Lexus story in 1990 and figure out how they did that?
Now here's a company with a new nameplate entering a very mature and presumably saturated luxury car market in the USA practically owned by Mercedes on the high end and BMW in the middle. Seems like a tall order. How'd they pull that off?
#1822 of 6186 Re: Let's Look at the Lexus Story [Mr_Shiftright]
Jan 14, 2007 (10:11 am)
Here's how I have always seen it.
MBs were grossly overpriced (and the W140 was even more overpriced upon introduction in 92), and had a large clientele that didn't care for any driving dynamics these cars might have had...they just wanted euro-plush and cachet. MBs of the time were reliable, but did require extensive maintenance as well.
Lexus shows up with something that offers much of what a 70K MB offered...for 40K. It was even a virtual copy of the MB in exterior design. It was very refined, had a catchy name, and gave all the tactile/plush feel many period MB customers wanted. It also was less expensive to keep around. That was a winning combo. It was an S class for E class money.
It's almost like Lexus knew that the W140 was going to be very expensive, as well. By then (1992) a LS was what, 45K...and a W140 ran 80-90K for V8 cars. That helped them too, they could undercut that car even more. And MB made the car very complex, which led to maintenance issues, and that helped Lexus again. They seemed to know what to do to make MB panic.