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  • William Maley
    William Maley

    Cadillac Begins Its Eighth Reinvention In Two Decades

      How many reinventions can a brand go through?

    Stop me if you have heard this before; Cadillac President Steve Carlisle is vowing to reboot the brand with six new models beginning with the XT4 crossover and a new advertising campaign that will replace the boring 'Dare Greatly" tagline.

    “We lost our mojo for a long period of time. This time, it is different and we will show you,"

    By Bloomberg's count, this is the eight reinvention of the brand in the past two decades. Despite the brand's best efforts to reverse a shrinking market share and improve their image, they haven't paid off in the U.S. China is a different story where Cadillac sold more vehicles there than in the U.S. last year.

    Cadillac's problems are numerous and familiar; lack of SUVs, too many sedans, and older buyers continue to be the majority of people entering the showroom. Not helping has been the confusing "Dare Greatly" advertising.

    “‘Dare Greatly’ has been a disaster from beginning to end. When you have product that is in many ways better than the competition, you tell people about it. You don’t dare them to take a leap of faith on your cars,” said Bob Lutz, retired GM chairman.

    Carlisle agrees with Lutz on the ad campaign not really going anywhere. He and Deborah Wahl, Cadillac's new marketing boss are working on a new campaign "that will emphasize features and new technologies."

    The upcoming the XT4 will also be playing a vital role, becoming the brand's least expensive model with a price tag of under $35,000. The low price and crossover shape are hoped by Cadillac that it will bring in younger customers.

    Source: Bloomberg (Subscription Required)



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    Lutz is correct, the Dare Greatly is a FAILURE. Cadillac Korea better understands advertising luxury. Just look at their Instagram account. Way better than the US version.

    https://www.instagram.com/cadillackorea/

    They clearly get how to do this with young people. The US must be done by baby boomers.

    US has some great auto pics, but nothing that drives home why Cadillac is better or to even Dare Greatly. Pathetic

    https://www.instagram.com/cadillac/

    Even Cadillac Canada gets a better youth driven message driven image.

    https://www.instagram.com/cadillac_canada/

    Cadillac Europe is also like the US, just mostly auto's with no real messaging other than the stupid Dare Greatly at the top. Pathetic

    https://www.instagram.com/cadillaceurope/

    Cadillac Arabia has some awesome history pics and story.

    https://www.instagram.com/cadillacarabia/

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    Cadillac should just relocate to OMaha or Iowa, and I mean that without meanness.  Heartland you know.  If you're going to court urbanites, do it in the midwestern states at least. 

    I think the other bit people don't understand.  A lot of Cadillac's bad rap the last 5-7 years is in a huge way related to the terrible outcomes of the early CUE systems.  By all accounts since 17 and especially on the new product, the touchscreen business is bangup and reliable and so I think that alone will get buyers back into the fold once the good rep comes back.

    The V8 returning is huge too.  Caddy's heart and soul is v8 and if this new v8 is boss AND reliable it can be a HUGE difference maker in returning interest to Cadillac.

    Edited by regfootball
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    ^ Lutz just damned Cadillac advertising because in a number of instances they 'didn't even show the car until the ad was half over', yet the Cadillac korea instagram site has a huge majority of pic links not showing any product, just anonymous people. Which way do you want it?

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    “We lost our mojo for a long period of time. This time, it is different and we will show you,"

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.  Yeah right, why will it be different?  Oh please explain Mr. Carlisle.   This brand hasn't had mojo since the 80s and that mojo was mostly with seniors even then.  Since then it has been one mistake after another, "Dare Greatly" was a horrible idea, I said that at the time they launched it.

    I don't see the XT4 as their savior because the millennial and Get X-ers that are buying cars don't want a Cadillac, they want a German car if they like performance and they want an Acura or Lexus if they want reliability.  Cadillac's brand image is badly damaged, and I guarantee nobody at GM knows how to fix it, or else they would have done it already.

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    It's not individual "reinventions". The brand builds American luxury / well-performing (or scorchingly so) vehicles, as it has for most of it's history (not all, of course). These public statements aren't supposed to indicate 'difference'; they are a remnant of Corporate-think where sales were the be all, end all. It's outmoded, and frankly, consumers don't know or care.

    One of my 'mandate wishes' for Cadillac has actually happened already; the discontinuance of monthly sales reports.  Hopefully, future sales projections will likewise never be released again. Add to that, there should never again be public declarations of 're-' anything; invention, investment, dedication, etc. 

    Cadillac should only speak of what they actually are doing : a evolutionary strive forward to be among the best.

    God- I would love to run Cadillac for a few years.

    1 hour ago, smk4565 said:

    I don't see the XT4 as their savior because the millennial and Get X-ers that are buying cars don't want a Cadillac, they want a German car if they like performance and they want an Acura or Lexus if they want reliability.

    Unless it's a mid-size SUV; then they do want a Cadillac.  Your metric; sales - isn't the XT5 #2 in it's segment?

    No model is ever a 'savior' for a brand (well; maybe the cayenne/macan for porsche), but the XT4, especially in light of recent reviews I've seen, should perform very well for Cadillac volume-wise (not that I care about high volume). Were it to also get to #3 or #2 in its segment, that's a very significant statement that people want Cadillacs.

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    Auto brands, just like brands in any other industry, operate globally.  Cadillac operates in 2 countries and ranks in 6th or 7th place in both of them.  I don't see any path for them to do better than that.  Cadillac doesn't really have a clear focus or brand image, they haven't for decades.

    Cadillac was late on crossovers, they'll probably be late on EV's and miss that market when it takes off.   I think GM will keep Cadillac around because they'll always find a way for the Cadillac brand to turn a profit.   But I see no way for them to turn this brand around.

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    7 hours ago, smk4565 said:

    “We lost our mojo for a long period of time. This time, it is different and we will show you,"

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.  Yeah right, why will it be different?  Oh please explain Mr. Carlisle.   This brand hasn't had mojo since the 80s and that mojo was mostly with seniors even then.  Since then it has been one mistake after another, "Dare Greatly" was a horrible idea, I said that at the time they launched it.

    I don't see the XT4 as their savior because the millennial and Get X-ers that are buying cars don't want a Cadillac, they want a German car if they like performance and they want an Acura or Lexus if they want reliability.  Cadillac's brand image is badly damaged, and I guarantee nobody at GM knows how to fix it, or else they would have done it already.

    Yes and no. Caddy had something going when the CTS rolled out and their SUV was hot. But then they just lost their way yet again, and that was that.

    Caddy simply needs to stop comparing it self to other brands, and start just simply carving it’s own image. You’re not going to change the mindset of competing against the best in the world-so it’s time to simply go your own way....

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    6 hours ago, smk4565 said:

    Auto brands, just like brands in any other industry, operate globally.  Cadillac operates in 2 countries and ranks in 6th or 7th place in both of them.  I don't see any path for them to do better than that. 

    That's purely sales-focused, not where I want a luxury brand to circle around.

    Quote

    Cadillac doesn't really have a clear focus or brand image, they haven't for decades.

    There's no response to such an inane comment.

    Edited by balthazar

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    Why is everyone feeling the need to court young people?  If we are lucky, young people become older, and as we age we accumulate money if we're careful... enough to treat ourselves to a Cadillac, perhaps.

    I totally agree with those that say chasing BMW and Mercedes has been a recipe for failure.  It is Cadillac following, not leading.  Trying to not be Cadillac.  A forfeiture of greatness, a disowning of one's own greatest history.

    The V8 CT6 is a glimmer of hope.  I just wish it had a real name... something to remember.  Turbo 4 CT6 is a disastrous idea.  STUPID.

    The XT4... I hope it catches on.  Of course being an insignificant bystander, I would make some changes to it.

    I think Cadillac should adhere to RWD/AWD chassis only.  I think strong, silent V8 power is sorely missed.

    Escalade's staying power should be a clue to Cadillac management of what Cadillac should strive to be across the entire line.  Brash, bold, unashamedly AMERICAN.  BIG AND STRONG.

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    They did not give Oldsmobile that many chances or this long to turn around. I see the unfairness in that alone.  There are marketing and management issues at "GM". Get to the root of the issues.  It has been a long time watching this turn around. There is a product issue too. They had all those great concepts, and did not pursue yo think about putting them into production.  Too many management changes and and too many directions and false starts.  Although it is see as cheesy now, The "Cadillac Style" era marketing worked and it was memorable. It sold cars.

     

     

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    Much like what has been stated here, Cadillac needs to ignore, stop trying to follow the Germans as Idiot Johan attempted and continue to deliver on what they did great. Yes SOME elements are getting into the product but not enough of what made their concepts so great.

    See the source image

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    Will say there are some sweet Ideas for Cadillac out there!

    See the source image

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    listening to the biased bullshit that comes off SMK's keyboard is a  march onward into insanity.

    The reality is that Cadillac never needed reinvention.. they just needed products that were revolutionary.  The first CTS was the springboard that promised to launch Cadillac into the new century. CTS.. then the XLR.., the Escalade .. then the SRX.. then the STS.  What destroyed a great deal of promise was the simple fact that Cadillac was in the hands of GM during a time of survival. Seriously.. think about it. 2000-2009 was a dark time. Not just for GM, but the entire American 3. The interesting part is that they had the formula partially correct under Lutz's direction. The Second Gen CTS was a hit. The STS.. now faced with a still similar sized new rival costing less.. even lost me as I went with my first CTS-V after a brief 1 month stint with a horrible quality M5. But here is the kicker.. and timing was everything:

    We can skip to 2011. The long promised STS replacement materialized into the XTS.. the XTS was originally supposed to be a replacement for the DTS named XLS.. They mergered the STS and DTS together, and went FWD based due to costs and timing. The SRX, Caddy's sole CUV was selling like hotcakes, especially compared the RWD model. Here's how I think things could have stayed the course

    The CTS should have been down-sized to essentially the ATS on Alpha. Hindsight suggests that the car spies should have spied on BMW a lil better and saw that the 3Series was gonna add a lil more space in the rear. A simple "scallop" of the back of the front seats would have shut a bunch up about leg room. That being said.. the CTS should have never lost its position. All variations should have been reintroed for the 3rd gen.. Wagon, Coupe, Sedan, Vert... V for all 4

    The STS should have remained. It should have been the current CTS.. again.. more legroom for the bitches who bitch. A WAGON, a Sedan, a Coupe, Vert and a V For all 4 would have sufficed

    SRX, along withe the BRX (smaller) should have been as they are.. FWD based. Same size difference as the XT5 and XT4, with a AWD only variant of the Lambdas at the time as an ERX

    XLR should have remained.. Gotten  C6 and then C7 bones instead of it being a C5 variant as it was. Furthermore the engines should have been no different than the Vette's. As in a XLR- with LS3, XLR VSport- LS7 and XLR VSeries LS9

    Escalade should have been pretty much what it has been with a more powerful 500HP+ engine option to go head on with RRover. 

    The XTS (or what was also called XLS and  DT7) should have been introduced on Omega.. essentially what the CT6 is, but add back in that 10% they took out to have it go full on with the S-Class. That includes exactly what is getting ready to happen with the 2019 model year. There should have also been a coupe XTC

    The name thing is negligible now.. what's done is done. The XT5 and CT6 names are very well known and I hear people actually knowing what they are upon sight.. even women. The new names will settle in fine if Caddy properly announces them and does so in a way that does not confuse returning customers. I can tell U straight up that people would go in dealerships looking for the "small" Caddy and find that it was no longer called CTS.. it was now a smaller ATS. No warning.. no announcement. The switch to XT5 was done well. The intro of the XT4 is going nice. The thing they need to do at the Auto Show is have an EV and VSport version of both ready to be shown and ready to launch by Spring 2019.

    The thing is that my plan isn't even hard to replicate, and truthfully GM has all the parts to do it.. cost effectively.. but alas.. that cost was probably $100 over what some planner budgeted for it so it was scrapped.. instead of just saying "FUCK IT.. charge the customer's $400 more for it."

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    15 hours ago, smk4565 said:

    “We lost our mojo for a long period of time. This time, it is different and we will show you,"

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.  Yeah right, why will it be different?  Oh please explain Mr. Carlisle.   This brand hasn't had mojo since the 80s and that mojo was mostly with seniors even then.  Since then it has been one mistake after another, "Dare Greatly" was a horrible idea, I said that at the time they launched it.

    I don't see the XT4 as their savior because the millennial and Get X-ers that are buying cars don't want a Cadillac, they want a German car if they like performance and they want an Acura or Lexus if they want reliability.  Cadillac's brand image is badly damaged, and I guarantee nobody at GM knows how to fix it, or else they would have done it already.

    Saw a BMW X4 in a parking lot yesterday.  As more of those creations pop up it just underscores how much the XT4 will help Cadillac.  It gets Caddy's foot in the door to compare with those strange and milquetoast German and Asian luxo SUV's.  So it is, what people want.  Including Millenials.  And Seniors.

    Edited by regfootball

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    4 hours ago, ocnblu said:

    Why is everyone feeling the need to court young people?  If we are lucky, young people become older, and as we age we accumulate money if we're careful... enough to treat ourselves to a Cadillac, perhaps.

    I totally agree with those that say chasing BMW and Mercedes has been a recipe for failure.  It is Cadillac following, not leading.  Trying to not be Cadillac.  A forfeiture of greatness, a disowning of one's own greatest history.

    The V8 CT6 is a glimmer of hope.  I just wish it had a real name... something to remember.  Turbo 4 CT6 is a disastrous idea.  STUPID.

    The XT4... I hope it catches on.  Of course being an insignificant bystander, I would make some changes to it.

    I think Cadillac should adhere to RWD/AWD chassis only.  I think strong, silent V8 power is sorely missed.

    Escalade's staying power should be a clue to Cadillac management of what Cadillac should strive to be across the entire line.  Brash, bold, unashamedly AMERICAN.  BIG AND STRONG.

    I don't think the CUV's need a RWD biased chassis, they just need a very good chassis.  The new XT4 chassis is wider and has suspension and ride that is not bargain sedan class by accounts.  Likewise, it has a brand new (smooth by accounts) 2.0 motor with enough movement to get out of its own way.  Not a 15 year old 2.5 and CVT.  As long as Cadillac ditches the 2.0 from the CT6 and doesn't put the 2.5 NA in the newer products I think they are getting the picture.  The XT5 is a geriatric wagon and so next go round they may need to overhaul the ride and handling and such, but they can still keep it on the FWD/AWD platform IMO.  Maybe Caddy would benefit from a CT6 chassis RWD/AWD exclusive sports crossover.

    I do think the sedans except for an entry class sedan should use RWD/AWD because they have to demonstrate being the very best.  But the entry class vehicle, which cmon, is for young posuers like those who get a CLA, to make a very excellent FWD/AWD chassis that is outperforming the A3's of the world, its not a bad strategy to just have a few sales of those here in the US.  If you don't make much $$ on those in the US, but can cover those costs globally, its ok IMO to have that model be FWD/AWD.  It just needs a larger back seat than the ATS.

    Caddy fans should be thankful for the XT4 and XT5, they make enough of Caddy's volume, or will, to keep the dealer's doors open so they can sell the rest of the lineup.

    Edited by regfootball

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    7 hours ago, Drew Dowdell said:

    Most/All of the new models coming were started under Johann.

    Which means they probably won’t be any good.

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    2 hours ago, regfootball said:

    The XT5 is a geriatric wagon and so next go round they may need to overhaul the ride and handling and such...

    Aaaaaaaaand; there it is.

    2 hours ago, regfootball said:

    I don't think the CUV's need a RWD biased chassis...

    My local dealer has 14 2019 XT5 in inventory and 13 are AWD. FWD/RWD is a non-factor.

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    I agree with Cmicasa’s product line but Cadiallc didn’t do that then and they aren’t going to do it now.  This brand doesn’t spend money and I have been saying that for a decade.  Even going back to the XLR in 2004, they cut cost all over the place. 

    The argument that sedans need to be rwd for better performance, ride and handling, but the crossovers are fine with front drive makes no sense.  If rwd has better ride and handling then you should invest in it on the most popular body style of vehicle.  Cadillac sales could be 80% SUV by 2020, why wouldn’t they want the best platform possible on 80% of their product?

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    6 minutes ago, smk4565 said:

    The argument that sedans need to be rwd for better performance, ride and handling, but the crossovers are fine with front drive makes no sense.

    My local BMW dealer has 21 2019 X5's in inventory and 21 are AWD. FWD/RWD is a non-factor. Nearly all SUVs are all AWD.
    If RWD was so great in SUVs (because assumedly people were road racing them or something), wouldn't most BMW SUVs be RWD INSTEAD of AWD??

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    1 hour ago, balthazar said:

    My local BMW dealer has 21 2019 X5's in inventory and 21 are AWD. FWD/RWD is a non-factor. Nearly all SUVs are all AWD.
    If RWD was so great in SUVs (because assumedly people were road racing them or something), wouldn't most BMW SUVs be RWD INSTEAD of AWD??

    Same reason the SRX went FWD: sales.  The original luxury crossover, the first Lexus RX, defined the market in ways that are still palpable today.  Few RWD crossovers sell compared to their FWD competition.

    As for the reinvention, it is ALL ABOUT a unique selling point: why Cadillac instead of BMW/MB/Audi/Lexus/Acura?  The new head at Cadillac had better figure out why anyone should buy a Cadillac AND push that.  No need to ape Japan or Germany on anything.

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    2 hours ago, balthazar said:

    My local BMW dealer has 21 2019 X5's in inventory and 21 are AWD. FWD/RWD is a non-factor. Nearly all SUVs are all AWD.
    If RWD was so great in SUVs (because assumedly people were road racing them or something), wouldn't most BMW SUVs be RWD INSTEAD of AWD??

    They are all AWD, but you need a longitudinal mounted engine with the transmission behind it that can help with weight balance, longer wheelbase, and the ability to send more power to the rear wheels, like 40/60 to the rear for example. 

    If chassis does not matter, then the CT4, CT5, CT6 should all be FWD with an AWD setup (make it standard AWD if they want) in order to save money.  They can build the whole line off Cruze and Malibu chassis and save engineering resources.  

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    6 minutes ago, smk4565 said:

    They are all AWD, but you need a longitudinal mounted engine with the transmission behind it that can help with weight balance, longer wheelbase, and the ability to send more power to the rear wheels, like 40/60 to the rear for example. 

    If chassis does not matter, then the CT4, CT5, CT6 should all be FWD with an AWD setup (make it standard AWD if they want) in order to save money.  They can build the whole line off Cruze and Malibu chassis and save engineering resources.  

    Chassis doesn't matter for a vehicle that is never going to be used with sporting intentions.  The XT5 outsells the X3 easily.  Cadillac doesn't (yet) have an X5 competitor.  The German competition to the XT4 is all transverse FWD (X1 and GLC)... in fact, there isn't a RWD competitor to the XT4 from any brand. 

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    1 hour ago, Drew Dowdell said:

    Chassis doesn't matter for a vehicle that is never going to be used with sporting intentions.  The XT5 outsells the X3 easily.  Cadillac doesn't (yet) have an X5 competitor.  The German competition to the XT4 is all transverse FWD (X1 and GLC)... in fact, there isn't a RWD competitor to the XT4 from any brand. 

    Precisely.  Cadillac is following.  Not leading.

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    I'm putting on my Mary Barra hat.  @ocnblu, @smk4565, @Cubical-aka-Moltar here is your job:

    1. Show me the ROI of using a RWD platform instead of a FWD platform.   There must be higher profits on the XT4 to justify changing my mind. 

    The key competition at this price point is the GLC, X1/2, Q3, QX30, Lexus NX or UX and Acura RDX.  Show the advantages to sales figures.

     

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      In addition to the area of development, we are further strengthening our operational structure in the area of production as well, so that we can create strong products with high efficiency.
      We are making steady progress in optimizing our production capacity in all regions. When this is complete, we are expecting to see that our global capacity utilization rate, excluding China, will increase from 90% recorded in 2018, and we will be producing at full capacity by 2022.
      In China, the third plant of Dongfeng Honda became newly operational, and this put us in a position where we can definitely accommodate market demand in China. We believe that this progress we made paved the way for the optimization of our global production capacity.
      From here onward, we think it is important to increase our competitiveness by increasing the efficiency of our production system in North America.
      For our business in North America, while keeping pace with sales expansion, we enhanced our model lineup and established a flexible production system where our plants sometimes produce various models in duplication to accommodate changes in market demand. However, as a result of the pursuit of high flexibility, an increase in the investment amount and a decline in production efficiency started to become an issue. Therefore, in North America as well, we will reduce the number of variations at the trim and option level, and at the same time, we will simplify the production model allocation at each plant. Through this initiative, we will re-establish a highly-efficient production system and realize the growth of North American business through the pursuit of quality.
      By implementing these initiatives to increase production efficiency in each region, we are expecting to reduce global cost in the area of production by 10% by 2025, compared to the cost recorded in 2018.
      Through all these initiatives I have mentioned, we will steadily strengthen the structure of our automobile business and realize the solidification of our existing automobile businesses by 2025, and, at the same time, we will accelerate our preparation for the future.
      Direction for the electrification of our automobile products
      Striving to realize a carbon-free society, Honda set a goal to electrify two-thirds of our global automobile unit sales by 2030.
      When we talk about the introduction of electrified vehicles, there are two perspectives. One is the improvement of fuel economy, and the other is zero emissions. Regulations for the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards are becoming increasingly stringent in every country around the world and complying with CAFE standards is one of the most important challenges for the automobile industry. At Honda, in light of the required infrastructure and how people use automobiles, we believe that hybrid technology is, at this moment, the most effective way for us to comply with CAFE standards. Therefore, we will electrify our products mainly with hybrid technologies. By increasing sales of our hybrid models all around the world, Honda will contribute to the global environment through the improvement of fuel economy.
      To this end, we will expand the application of our 2-motor hybrid system to the entire lineup of Honda vehicles. In addition to the 2-motor hybrid system which is compatible with mid-to-large-sized vehicles, we developed a new, more compact 2-motor hybrid system suitable for small-sized vehicles. This small-sized 2-motor hybrid system will be adopted first by the all-new Fit which we are planning to exhibit as a world premiere at the Tokyo Motor Show this fall.
      In addition to the expansion of the lineup of products equipped with the 2-motor hybrid system, we also will expand the application of the 2-motor hybrid system on a global basis. With that, by 2022, we are expecting to reduce the cost of the 2-motor hybrid system by 25% compared to the cost of this system in 2018.
      As for zero emission vehicles, with our battery EVs we will comply with the Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) program being adopted by California and other states in the U.S. and China's New Energy Vehicle (NEV) mandate. We will efficiently introduce our battery EVs to the market by selecting the most appropriate partners and resources to satisfy the different needs in each region.
      In North America, we will jointly develop battery components with General Motors and introduce highly-competitive battery EVs in the market.   
      In China, in order to keep up with the fast speed of electrification, we have already begun introducing battery EV models developed together with our local joint venture companies in China. While envisioning the introduction of battery EV models from the Honda brand, we will continue utilizing local resources in China and introduce more battery EV models in a timely manner to fulfill local market needs in China.
      In Europe and Japan, we will introduce the Honda e, a new battery EV model, which was recently introduced as a prototype at the Geneva Motor Show.
      To summarize, Honda will popularize and improve the business feasibility of electrified vehicles by focusing on hybrid vehicles and battery EVs.
      Changes in operational structure
      In order to ensure the solid implementation of these initiatives I just introduced for our automobile business, we renewed our operational structure as of April. The aims of this structural change are to establish an organization which brings all regional operations together to strongly facilitate inter-regional coordination and collaboration and to increase the speed of our business operations by enabling prompt decisions and prompt execution.
      Today, I introduced our initiatives to strengthen our automobile business structure and the direction of our electrification. Under the new organizational structure, we will realize our goals with a keen sense of speed. 
      Closing
      As we stated in our 2030 Vision, Honda is striving to grow through the pursuit of quality so that we can fulfill our vision to "Serve people worldwide with the joy of expanding their life's potential."
      Honda will continue taking on new challenges while being driven by strong passion, so that we can continue to be a company that society wants to exist even in 2050 after Honda becomes more than 100 years old. 
      *1 S-E-D-B: Sales, Engineering (Manufacturing), Development (R&D), Buying (Purchasing)

      View full article
    • By William Maley
      On Wednesday, Honda CEO Takahiro Hachigo announced plans for the future of the company's automobile division. Efficiency was the theme in Hachigo's speech in terms of their lineup. manufacturing, and driving.
      One of the initiatives put forth by Hachigo was to cut down on the number of variations on offer in their global lineup, along with the dropping of various regional nameplates.
      "However, as a result of accommodating regional needs somewhat excessively in each individual region, we recognize that the number of models and variations at the trim and option level have increased and our efficiency has declined. So, we will undertake initiatives to further strengthen our inter-regional coordination and collaboration and advance our art of making automobiles in order to simultaneously increase the attractiveness and efficiency of both global and regional models," he said.
      "With this initiative, by 2025, we will reduce the total number of variations at the trim and option level for our global models to one-third of what we have now.In addition, we will increase efficiency by eliminating and consolidating some similar regional models into even more competent models shared across multiple regions."
      This will allow Honda to simplify model allocation at their various assembly plants around the road. According to Hachigo, this will allow the company to achieve "100 percent capacity utilization worldwide by 2020" and cut production costs by 10 percent by 2025. 
      Part of that initiative involves a new modular architecture that will debut in a global model next year. No details on the vehicle were provided, but Honda says the goal of the architecture "is to commonize about 70 percent of the components" used in a vehicle such as the engine bay and passenger cabin.
      Honda is also planning to have two-thirds of their global lineup electrified by 2030. Furthermore, it wants 100 percent of its European lineup to be electrifed by 2025. To do this, Honda is readying a new electric city car known as the e, along with deploying their two-motor i-MMD hybrid setup to all of their models in Europe. In the U.S. Honda is planning to launch more hybrid models, and increase their electric car lineup with some help from General Motors.
      “In North America, we will jointly develop battery components with General Motors and introduce highly-competitive battery EVs in the market,” said Hachigo.

      Press Release is on Page 2
      Summary of Honda CEO Speech on Automobile Business Direction
      Remarks by Takahiro Hachigo, President & CEO, Honda Motor Co., Ltd. May 8, 2019
      Honda has been working on two top-priority management challenges in the midst of abrupt changes in the global business environment surrounding the automobile industry: to strengthen the structure of our automobile business and to further increase the speed of business transformation for future generations.
      So, today, I would like to introduce some initiatives we are taking for our automobile business, especially how we are strengthening the structure of our automobile business, the direction we are taking with electrification, as well as some progress we have made to date.
      Strengthening automobile business structure 
      Ever since I became the president of the company, I have been conveying the message that we will make Honda strong by creating strong products and also by strengthening our inter-regional coordination and collaboration. We put special emphasis on the strengthening of our global models, which have been the source of Honda's core competence, and also the enhancement of our regional models.
      As a result, we currently have the five global models, namely Civic, Accord, CR-V, Fit/Jazz and Vezel/HR-V, and these five strong models now account for 60% of our global automobile sales. At the same time, our regional models such as the N Series for Japan, Pilot for North America and Crider for China are playing an important role as a source of growth for each respective region.
      However, as a result of accommodating regional needs somewhat excessively in each individual region, we recognize that the number of models and variations at the trim and option level have increased and our efficiency has declined. So, we will undertake initiatives to further strengthen our inter-regional coordination and collaboration and advance our art of making automobiles in order to simultaneously increase the attractiveness and efficiency of both global and regional models.
      Strengthening inter-regional coordination and collaboration
      As for inter-regional coordination and collaboration, under the new operational structure we adopted for our automobile operations starting from April, we began reviewing and sharing the product lineup by grouping some of our six regions outside Japan based on a similarity of key factors, such as market needs and environmental regulations. With this initiative, by 2025, we will reduce the total number of variations at the trim and option level for our global models to one-third of what we have now. In addition, we will increase efficiency by eliminating and consolidating some similar regional models into even more competent models shared across multiple regions.
      Advancement of our art of making automobiles (automobile development) 
      As for the advancement of automobile development, since I became the president, we have been increasing the efficiency and speed of our Monozukuri (the art of making things) by innovating the entire process, from planning and development all the way through production, by enabling the S-E-D-B (sales, manufacturing, R&D, purchasing*1) functions to collaborate beyond the boundaries of their divisions.
      Moreover, we have already introduced the Honda Architecture in our development.
      The Honda Architecture is a company-wide initiative which will increase the efficiency of development and expand parts-sharing for our mass-production models. The first model being developed with this new method will be the global model we are launching next year. And we will continue increasing the number of models to which we apply this new architecture.
      With the strengthening of global and regional models through inter-regional coordination and collaboration and with the introduction of the Honda Architecture, by 2025, we will reduce the number of manhours we use for the development of mass-production models by 30%, and we will repurpose those manhours to accelerate our research and development in advanced areas for the future. In this way, we can continue creating new technologies which will support the future of Honda.
      Strengthening our operational structure in the area of production 
      In addition to the area of development, we are further strengthening our operational structure in the area of production as well, so that we can create strong products with high efficiency.
      We are making steady progress in optimizing our production capacity in all regions. When this is complete, we are expecting to see that our global capacity utilization rate, excluding China, will increase from 90% recorded in 2018, and we will be producing at full capacity by 2022.
      In China, the third plant of Dongfeng Honda became newly operational, and this put us in a position where we can definitely accommodate market demand in China. We believe that this progress we made paved the way for the optimization of our global production capacity.
      From here onward, we think it is important to increase our competitiveness by increasing the efficiency of our production system in North America.
      For our business in North America, while keeping pace with sales expansion, we enhanced our model lineup and established a flexible production system where our plants sometimes produce various models in duplication to accommodate changes in market demand. However, as a result of the pursuit of high flexibility, an increase in the investment amount and a decline in production efficiency started to become an issue. Therefore, in North America as well, we will reduce the number of variations at the trim and option level, and at the same time, we will simplify the production model allocation at each plant. Through this initiative, we will re-establish a highly-efficient production system and realize the growth of North American business through the pursuit of quality.
      By implementing these initiatives to increase production efficiency in each region, we are expecting to reduce global cost in the area of production by 10% by 2025, compared to the cost recorded in 2018.
      Through all these initiatives I have mentioned, we will steadily strengthen the structure of our automobile business and realize the solidification of our existing automobile businesses by 2025, and, at the same time, we will accelerate our preparation for the future.
      Direction for the electrification of our automobile products
      Striving to realize a carbon-free society, Honda set a goal to electrify two-thirds of our global automobile unit sales by 2030.
      When we talk about the introduction of electrified vehicles, there are two perspectives. One is the improvement of fuel economy, and the other is zero emissions. Regulations for the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards are becoming increasingly stringent in every country around the world and complying with CAFE standards is one of the most important challenges for the automobile industry. At Honda, in light of the required infrastructure and how people use automobiles, we believe that hybrid technology is, at this moment, the most effective way for us to comply with CAFE standards. Therefore, we will electrify our products mainly with hybrid technologies. By increasing sales of our hybrid models all around the world, Honda will contribute to the global environment through the improvement of fuel economy.
      To this end, we will expand the application of our 2-motor hybrid system to the entire lineup of Honda vehicles. In addition to the 2-motor hybrid system which is compatible with mid-to-large-sized vehicles, we developed a new, more compact 2-motor hybrid system suitable for small-sized vehicles. This small-sized 2-motor hybrid system will be adopted first by the all-new Fit which we are planning to exhibit as a world premiere at the Tokyo Motor Show this fall.
      In addition to the expansion of the lineup of products equipped with the 2-motor hybrid system, we also will expand the application of the 2-motor hybrid system on a global basis. With that, by 2022, we are expecting to reduce the cost of the 2-motor hybrid system by 25% compared to the cost of this system in 2018.
      As for zero emission vehicles, with our battery EVs we will comply with the Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) program being adopted by California and other states in the U.S. and China's New Energy Vehicle (NEV) mandate. We will efficiently introduce our battery EVs to the market by selecting the most appropriate partners and resources to satisfy the different needs in each region.
      In North America, we will jointly develop battery components with General Motors and introduce highly-competitive battery EVs in the market.   
      In China, in order to keep up with the fast speed of electrification, we have already begun introducing battery EV models developed together with our local joint venture companies in China. While envisioning the introduction of battery EV models from the Honda brand, we will continue utilizing local resources in China and introduce more battery EV models in a timely manner to fulfill local market needs in China.
      In Europe and Japan, we will introduce the Honda e, a new battery EV model, which was recently introduced as a prototype at the Geneva Motor Show.
      To summarize, Honda will popularize and improve the business feasibility of electrified vehicles by focusing on hybrid vehicles and battery EVs.
      Changes in operational structure
      In order to ensure the solid implementation of these initiatives I just introduced for our automobile business, we renewed our operational structure as of April. The aims of this structural change are to establish an organization which brings all regional operations together to strongly facilitate inter-regional coordination and collaboration and to increase the speed of our business operations by enabling prompt decisions and prompt execution.
      Today, I introduced our initiatives to strengthen our automobile business structure and the direction of our electrification. Under the new organizational structure, we will realize our goals with a keen sense of speed. 
      Closing
      As we stated in our 2030 Vision, Honda is striving to grow through the pursuit of quality so that we can fulfill our vision to "Serve people worldwide with the joy of expanding their life's potential."
      Honda will continue taking on new challenges while being driven by strong passion, so that we can continue to be a company that society wants to exist even in 2050 after Honda becomes more than 100 years old. 
      *1 S-E-D-B: Sales, Engineering (Manufacturing), Development (R&D), Buying (Purchasing)
    • By Drew Dowdell
      Cadillac will be unveiling the Cadillac CT4 along with a V-series version on May 30th according to Motor1.
      Both the CT4 and CT5 ride on a second generation Alpha platform called Alpha 2.  The CT5 is offered in rear-wheel drive with all-wheel drive being an option. It is highly likely that the CT4 will get this same offering. 
      There is word that the V-series version of the Cadillac CT5 will also debut.  It is likely to pack the same 4.2-liter Blackwing V8 that is available in the CT6. The CT4 V-series is likely to get an uprated version of the 3.0TT.
      While the CT5 is more of a fastback style, the spyshots of the CT4 shows a more conventional sedan profile and an Escala style grille similar to the CT5's.
      The CT5 is likely to start in the high mid-$30k range while the CT4 will be aimed more at entry-level luxury buyers. 

      View full article
    • By Drew Dowdell
      Cadillac will be unveiling the Cadillac CT4 along with a V-series version on May 30th according to Motor1.
      Both the CT4 and CT5 ride on a second generation Alpha platform called Alpha 2.  The CT5 is offered in rear-wheel drive with all-wheel drive being an option. It is highly likely that the CT4 will get this same offering. 
      There is word that the V-series version of the Cadillac CT5 will also debut.  It is likely to pack the same 4.2-liter Blackwing V8 that is available in the CT6. The CT4 V-series is likely to get an uprated version of the 3.0TT.
      While the CT5 is more of a fastback style, the spyshots of the CT4 shows a more conventional sedan profile and an Escala style grille similar to the CT5's.
      The CT5 is likely to start in the high mid-$30k range while the CT4 will be aimed more at entry-level luxury buyers. 
    • By Drew Dowdell
      Cadillac's SuperCruise is currently considered the best of the hands free driving systems on the market, but some recent upgrades to Tesla's AutoPilot are pushing Cadillac to innovate further. Cadillac plans to roll out SuperCruise to all of its models starting with the 2020 model year.  Before that happens, Cadillac has some updates in store.
      Cadillac is able to push updates to the SuperCruise system via an over the air package. While not considered a "next generation" of SuperCruise, Cadillac will be adding capabilities.  Those could be features like automatic lane changes and wider availability of the system on interchanges.  In addition, the just released Cadillac CT5 gets slightly upgraded hardware over the CT6.  One area where Cadillac has made improvements is in feedback to the driver.  If SuperCruise can't see road markings due to poor road conditions like snow or heavy rain, the system will display a message as to why it cannot engage. 
      SuperCruise monitors data from customers and they analyze why the system disengages.  This data is then used for further development and refinement of the system.  Cadillac said in vehicles so equipped that 70 percent of all highway miles driven are traveled with SuperCruise active.
       

      View full article
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