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Cadillac Escalade, Cadillac XLR, Cadillac STS, Automotive News
#4270 of 6186 Re: Can we get back to Cadillac [habitat1]
Jan 07, 2008 (8:58 am)
Even BMW, with their excellent 535i, has not announced plans to abandon the 550i.
I also agree with pretty much everything you say but do no wait for BMW to announce dropping the V8 in the near term. They will continue to pay gaz guzzler taxes until the tax is so high actual buyers refuse to pay it. BMW will just pay the penalties as long as consumers support them. When will this happen? Well if everything stayed the same (gas prices, economy, regulations, etc.) it will probably be at least 5-10 years. And of course the V8 penetration would go down during that time. If gas doubles (I doubt it) it will go away faster, if gas remains the same (most likely scenario) then V8 will be around til the regs cut it off.
DETROIT – The big, powerful V-8 engines that have been a mainstay of
Cadillac's big sedans since the late 1930s are fading away, victims of
the move to fuel efficiency.
Cadillac's trademark V-8 engine will give way to smaller high-tech V-6s
– and possibly some diesel engines – in Cadillac's cars.
In an interview with Automotive News, Cadillac General Manager Jim
Taylor said last week that Cadillac is considering a 2.9-liter
turbocharged V-6 diesel for its mainstream U.S. sedans.
Taylor's revelation came in the wake of General Motors' announcement
last week that it has dropped plans to replace the Northstar V-8, which
goes out of production in 2010. The Northstar has powered Cadillacs
It's all part of the new world of high fuel prices, rising fuel economy
standards and pressure to reduce emissions.
"On Dec. 19, the world changed," Taylor said. That's when President Bush
signed a law mandating a 40 percent fuel-economy improvement by 2020.
In the future, Cadillac's mainstream sedans probably won't offer V-8
engines, Taylor said. Instead, the CTS and the successor to the STS and
DTS will be powered by the 3.6-liter direct-injected V-6 that went on
sale in 2007.
In 2009, the new 2.9-liter diesel goes into production for Cadillac's
CTS to be sold in Europe. Cadillac also could use that engine in U.S.
models, Taylor said.
After 2010, Cadillac could use a pushrod V-8 in its Escalade SUV and
also in niche vehicles like the CTS-V and XLR roadster.
Marketers once considered a V-8 engine an essential selling tool for the
luxury market. But in a world of $100-per-barrel oil, those days may be
gone. Lincoln, for example, does not offer a V-8 in its MKS sedan.
And the percentage of Cadillac buyers who want a V-8 is declining. Only
10 to 15 percent of Cadillac buyers insist on a V-8, while the others
choose the V-6 powertrain.
"You have such a narrow gap now in terms of performance ... that smart
consumers are saying, 'I don't need it,' " Taylor says.
Dealers appear to accept Cadillac's decision to reduce the size of its
engines. At Moore Cadillac in Richmond, Va., two-thirds of buyers choose
a V-6. They feel they get better fuel economy while achieving near-equal
performance, says owner Jacques Moore.
"The V-6 is adequate today for virtually all of Cadillac's sedan fleet,"
While the V-6 gasoline engine enjoys wide acceptance, a diesel-powered
Cadillac might prove risky – at least in marketing terms. In the early
1980s, Cadillac had a brief, disastrous experience selling
diesel-powered cars, with powerplants hastily modified from gasoline
But that was then.
Today, Mercedes sells a diesel version of its E-class sedan in the
United States, and BMW plans to introduce diesels here. Cadillac's
compact 60-degree European diesel, made in Italy by VM Motori, would be
competitive. The engine will generate 250 hp and 406 pounds-feet of
torque – performance comparable to a V-8.
While Cadillac could accommodate a diesel in its U.S. fleet, Taylor says
it probably would remain a niche product. "As long as BMW and Mercedes
are going to have (diesel engines) and market them, those guys will lead
the charge," Taylor notes.
In the future, hybrid powertrains may replace V-8 engines as a mark of
prestige, Taylor says. This summer, Cadillac dealers get the Escalade
hybrid. GM has not announced pricing, but a fully loaded Escalade now
sells at about $67,000.
Asked whether customers would pay $70,000 for a hybrid Escalade, Taylor
says yes. Someday, hybrid powertrains might become the new V-8, he says.
"The world changed with the signing of the new fuel economy bill,"
Taylor says. "That's the new world."
#4271 of 6186 Re: Can we get back to Cadillac [lemko]
Jan 07, 2008 (9:44 am)
The RL hasnt sold for a number of reasons. A lack of a V8 is one of them but not the only one. Also, the RL may prove to be ahead of its time if V8s start to become scarce in the midsize luxury class. The MKZ doesnt have a V8 and its the only modern car Lincoln makes and its sold decently.
#4272 of 6186 Re: Can we get back to Cadillac [habitat1]
Jan 07, 2008 (9:53 am)
"All of these vehicles offer absolutely nothing over a Toyota Camry or Honda Accord in terms of utility. They are purchased because the buyer has certain "desires", not because the Accord or Camry don't satisy their basic "need" for reliable transportation.
Rare is the company that can succeed by telling the customer that "you don't need 'X', so take 'Y' and be happy with it".
You are angry and confrontational for reasons I cant discern at this time. Not sure why you are getting so bent out of shape because I am not one of these people who says we should shame anyone who owns an SUV or luxury sedan. That said, the rules have been changed and there is nothing we can do about it. From an image and CAFE standpoint V8s are going to get less popular. Not sure why you or anyone else wouldn't think this is coming after the law was signed. I see you made no mention of how small V8 sales are in European sedans. You say that no V8 in the CTS and STS (remember CTS-V will have V8) means Cadillac is trying to compete with Toyota and HOnda (funny) but the fact of the matter is 80% or 90% of sedans that offer a V8 are sold with a V6. This has been the case with the STS even though until the 2008 model year the V6 made only 255hp. Now that it has 302hp you can rest assured the V8 will be even less popular. BMW made its own V8 obsolete when it put the 300hp I-6 in the 535. The 535 is just as fast as the old 545i and barely slower than the 550i.
BTW, lets not confuse Acura with cadillac. Cadillac has a RWD chassis with near 50/50 weight distribution and develops cars on the Ring. Acura does neither. A powerful RWD sports sedan with a six cylinder engine will sell as evidenced by the 3 series, G35 and new CTS. The DTS comes standard with a 275hp V8 right now so I dont see how its replacement will be at a disadvantage with a standard 304hp V6.
I wish things werent this way but I'm glad GM is being proactive instead of investing millions in a small volume V8 that would only hurt their CAFE numbers in the long run.
#4273 of 6186 Re: Can we get back to Cadillac [mr215]
Jan 07, 2008 (10:41 am)
I would agree based on people I see driving every Lexus except the RX and IS.
You are right.
The ES is their biggest seller
Wrong, the RX is their biggest seller so see above.
By the way, what Cadillac product have the youngest owner age? I would bet it's the CTS and maybe the Escalade. But according to the JP Power data we can see that even with the new 2008 CTS, Caddy is not attracting many owners under the age of 40.
#4274 of 6186 Re: Can we get back to Cadillac [mr215]
Jan 07, 2008 (11:01 am)
I wasn't attempting to vent anger or be confrontational in my previous post. I was merely responding to your comment suggesting that Cadillac can/should/might drip V8's from their line-up because of your opinion that the buying public doesn't "need" them. "Need" is not the issue. As long as they are desired by a segment of the luxury performance sedan market, it would be somewhat risky, IMO, for Cadillac to drop them from their model lines while Mercedes, BMW, Lexus and Infiniti have them.
The fact that 80%-90% of sedans are sold with a I6/V6 can also be misconstrued. BMW sells 85%+ of its 5-series with an automatic transmission. But their image as being king of the hill in the sport sedan segment almost mandates that they cater to the enthusiast minority, many of whom require a manual transmission. A decision by BMW to drop the manual transmission would, again IMO, have an impact beyond the 15% that actually buy a manual.
On the side note of confusing Acura with Cadillac, I have been unbashful in my criticism of Acura in other forums for not using its engineering prowess and Formula One expereince/success more to its advantage. This in spite of having a 2004 TL 6-speed and 2005 MDX in our garage. Nevertheless, let's not confuse a RWD platform, 50/50 weight balance, and a marketing show at "The Ring" with world class driving dynamics. Acura may be guilty of conservative underachievement (with the exception of the Honda S2000), but Cadillac is no BMW when it comes to driving dynamics.
I do agree with your point that the new fuel efficiency / CAFE requirements are going to result in some changes in both attitudes and model offerings. I myself am looking forward to my first drive in a BMW 535d. My marketing director has a E320 Bluetech and routinely gets in the high 30's MPG at 75 mph on the highway. She claims to have never gotten worse than 24 for a tank in mostly city driving. The high performance diesels, in my opinion, are likely to be the big victors in this battle to achieve better fuel efficiency.
#4275 of 6186 Re: can't read graphs [mr215]
Jan 07, 2008 (11:02 am)
You need to read the original post again, the average buyer age data is from 2005 (the most recent that I can found) but the IS and CTS owner age breakdowns are for 2008 model. Just in Case you missed it I'll post again.
JD Power Model Age Profile (all 2008 models except the Lexus LS which is 2007):
Ages 16-35 - 12%
Ages 36-55 - 34%
Ages 56+ - 54%
Ages 16-35 - 5%
Ages 36-55 - 22%
Ages 56+ - 73%
Ages 16-35 - 41%
Ages 36-55 - 43%
Ages 56+ - 17%
Ages 16-35 - 8%
Ages 36-55 - 38%
Ages 56+ - 54%
Ages 16-35 - 30%
Ages 36-55 - 30%
Ages 56+ - 40%
Ages 16-35 - 6%
Ages 36-55 - 29%
Ages 56+ - 65%
Cadillac really don't have much of a case here declaring it has a younger image than Lexus except maybe the ES. However, even the ES has the same age profile as the CTS, the youngest model of all Cadillac. What more amazingly is that even the Lexus LS has a younger age profile than Cadillac's "sports sedan" STS.
Cadillac is getting younger buyers as time goes forward. I dont think we can say the same about lexus.
Really? Lexus is getting a whole lot more buying into their 2nd generation IS and with the age profile it has I am sure it has contributed A LOT to getting Lexus younger. On the other hand, Cadillac really can't say that about their new 2008 CTS because very unfortunately, the old 2007 CTS has a younger age profile:
Ages 16-35 - 14%
Ages 36-55 - 39%
Ages 56+ - 47%
I can tell you most drivers I see of the SRX, CTS (especially V) and Escalade are under 50
Ages 16-35 - 23%
Ages 36-55 - 53%
Ages 56+ - 24%
Ages 16-35 - 4%
Ages 36-55 - 41%
Ages 56+ - 55%
You maybe have a case here for the Escalade but the cold hard data from JD Power doesn't support your statement for the SRX and CTS. I am sure CTS-V has a lot young owners but unfortunately Cadillac doesn't make those in significant numbers so it has little say to the overall picture.
#4276 of 6186 Re: Can we get back to Cadillac [habitat1]
Jan 07, 2008 (11:19 am)
Interesting you mention the Bluetec...I read MB is coming with a diesel hybrid S-class for 2010 (estimated 40mpg highway), and it is slated to be sold in the NA market. Hybrids are coming to the upper end, will Caddy have one too?
#4277 of 6186 Re: can't read graphs [louiswei]
Jan 07, 2008 (11:24 am)
I wonder what the age breakdown is for a Ferrari 430 or a 911 Turbo? My guess is that a high percentage of buyers are in the 56+ category, not because the car doesn't appeal to a younger demographics, but rather because of affordability issues. I would think the Lexus LS, especially the $100k hybrid version, suffers a little of this.
Lexus doesn't exactly have a young "hip" image but, on the other hand, Cadillac still has an image among some of appealing to the very old and dead demographic. Perhaps that is changing. But they do spend as much advertising dollars on the Senior PGA tour as the regular PGA tour. Saw that in the WSJ a few weeks ago. Author joked that they should come with Viagra (another big Senior Tour advertiser) in the glove compartment.
#4278 of 6186 Re: can't read graphs [habitat1]
Jan 07, 2008 (11:39 am)
I agree that comparing who has a younger image between Lexus and Cadillac is like comparing who is less messed up between Lindsay Lohan and Britney Spears. What I was trying to point out is that the perception of "Lexus is quickly becoming Buick and Cadillac is getting younger than ever" couldn't be as more wrong.
#4279 of 6186 Re: Can we get back to Cadillac [louiswei]
Jan 07, 2008 (12:24 pm)
But according to the JP Power data we can see that even with the new 2008 CTS, Caddy is not attracting many owners under the age of 40.
Very true but if we look at Mercedes their average age is 59, 6 years older than Cadillac (53). Heck Rolls is a dead old age of 63 . Lexus is just under Cadillac with 49. Even BMW with their very youthful/sporty/performance high volume 3 series has an average of 46.
So it really looks like the major reason that Cadillac and others in the same $ ball park are buyers with an average of close to 50 is due to wealth, and most of the wealth in this country is held by older folks.
And if you look at the younger average ages you see that they are all low priced marques. Who woulda thought!!
But there is no doubt that if Cadillac wants to attract the same buyers as BMW they have their work cut out for them. CTS is just a start. When they drop the DTS next year most of those buyers will swap over to the STS but many will just keep their DTS untill they can no longer drive. In the short run dropping the DTS should drop Cadillacs average age but in the longer term they need to continue to go after the baby boomers with a different kind of product.