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Cadillac News: Cadillac's Marketing Boss Isn't A Fan Of The Three Letter Names


William Maley

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For almost a decade, Cadillac has been using a three-letter naming system which is (insert letter here) followed by T and S. Small sedans such as the ATS start towards the beginning of the alphabet while larger sedans such as the XTS go towards the end. However, not all of Cadillac's vehicles follow this. For example, the SRX crossover and Escalade.

Many complain that Cadillac's nomenclature is confusing and will only get worse when more models are added. Cadillac's marketing chief Uwe Ellinghaus is one of them.

"There's no doubt with an expanding product portfolio we need to revise our entire nomenclature," Ellinghaus told reporters at Geneva.

How Cadillac plans to change their nomenclature wasn't hinted at by Ellinghaus. The only thing he said is that it would not copy BMW or Mercedes-Benz.

"I'm on the case. We are aware that this is currently a weakness of the Cadillac brand."

Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)

William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.


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I don't mind the letters, except that they never meant anything. If Sedan, Crossover, SUV, Coupe, and Wagon each had a unique letter in the 3rd position, a T or another letter to denote Touring (i.e. Base) and Performance (like a V) and the first letter was a general "Size" class, that would have made some semblance of sense.

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While I agree with need for proper names for Cadillac. In someways I am a little concerned. Especially for the CTS, all that positive and brand image it has garnered over the three generations will disappear with a new name.

This strategy is nothing different than naming a Cobalt a Cruze, Aveo a Sonic and list goes on. All the value that name has generated over the years suddenly becomes useless. For one at least ATS and CTS should not change. GM apparently is packaging the same wine in different bottle, i.e. from names to alphanumeric to names. Spend that amount of time, energy and efforts to make those vehicles stronger. Like replacing the weak 3.6 compared to the competitors' offerings, improving flaws of the ATS, etc.

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What about the Sport sedans like the ATS and CTS remaining named as they are with the coupe versions getting C and wagons getting W at the end? Then a next gen smoother riding XTS and the upcoming large Luxury sedan getting real names? XTS could become the DeVille with the upcoming premium sedan becoming Fleetwood! That way the sportier Europien like modes and the Traditional American Luxury Models could be named differently like two distinct Cadillac lines?

Europien Inspired Line.

ATS Sedan.

ATC Coupe.

CTS Sedan.

CTW Wagon.

Traditional American Line.

Sedan Deville replaces XTS.

Coupe Deville.

Seville as a stretched version of the CTS.

ElDorado as a Seville Coupe.

Fleetwood Large Sedan.

Broughm as the Top Version of the Fleetwood!

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What I hate most about this is GM's lack of naming consistency. Pick something and stick with it for crying out loud!!! Why do the names have to change every generation or two? There is no brand equity built up with this lack of consistent naming over time. Now that the product is better and there hopefully is no negative stigma associated with a name, STICK WITH IT, whatever it is. Just make up your damn mind already.

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• Of course there's "doubt" the names need to change- changing names is what GM does bestest... but seldom the 'wisest'.

• 'CTS' has only been defined as denoting 'xxSedan' by extension of other, earlier models. It has never been marketed that way. We're going on 12 years with the CTS now, it's simply "C T S", everyone should be on-page with it... about 11.5 years ago at this point.

• I ABHOR naming system's dumbed down to grade school levels. '1,2,3,4,5,6,7' has got to be the most moronic, "instantly understandable" system in auto history. Blech, and who asked? And taking the Exact Same Vehicle and changing its name for every engine fitment is likewise "confusing".

• 'Not copying mercedes' - too late. That's already an inaccurate, non-linear and "non-logical" system, and here we're being told Cadillac needs to get away from being that. Which is it? And if you are looking to point out confusing, go straight to mercedes. The weakness there is epic. Jumbling 'S', 'C' and 'W' into the 'CTx' mix is even more confusing.

Name the model, build various styles and call them the same name. "The Cadillac CTS, available in Sport Sedan, Sport Coupe, convertible and Sport Wagon."

Edited by balthazar
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Name the model, build various styles and call them the same name. "The Cadillac CTS, available in Sport Sedan, Sport Coupe, convertible and Sport Wagon."

This.

Would like to add that maybe the Omega sedan should not be named LTS but instead get a 'real' name. Escalade and the Omega woulg get 'real' names, the others would stick to 3-letter names (though I personally might favour a 4 letter naming for the crossovers - ATS-X and CTS-X)

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Name the model, build various styles and call them the same name. "The Cadillac CTS, available in Sport Sedan, Sport Coupe, convertible and Sport Wagon."

This.

Would like to add that maybe the Omega sedan should not be named LTS but instead get a 'real' name. Escalade and the Omega woulg get 'real' names, the others would stick to 3-letter names (though I personally might favour a 4 letter naming for the crossovers - ATS-X and CTS-X)

I totally agree with this, use X to refer to AWD Crossovers and then keep the name for Escalade and the Omega.

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I think Cadillac should use names not alpha-numeric. Lincoln and Acura are a disaster of names because none of them mean anything. You'd think MKC is a coupe, but it is a crossover, like MKX is a crossover, yet MKT is not a truck, but a crossover. MKZ is midsize, MKS is larger, it is just all random. Cadillac is heading that direction. BMW naming makes sense, 1 is small, 7 is big, although I am not a fan of odd number for sedan and even number for coupe. What has thrown BMW and Mercedes off a bit is changing engine sizes and not wanting to change all the numbers every few years. The Mercedes letters have meaning in German words, SL is "sport liecht" SLK "sport leicht kompact" etc, it isn't random.

Other luxury makers stared using alpha numeric just because BMW and Mercedes did and they thought since they sell and Lexus copied Mercedes in 1989 and by 1999 they were #1 so Acura, Lincoln and Cadillac figured let's copy what Lexus did, and it didn't work for any of them. And Lexus has been able to use names like RX350 because they haven't made a new engine in 10 years.

For Cadillac I think the whole lineup should be names, and they should stick with it. Names like Seville, Eldorado or Fleetwood weren't hurting Cadillac sales, crappy cars were. The average joe doesn't know the difference between an RX, SRX, MDX and MKX, and they may not have ever heard of an XTS, but I bet they know "Eldorado" is a Cadillac.

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Gotta love too how Cadillac executives for 10-15 years have been stating that they know the weaknesses of the brand or places they need to improve, yet it doesn't happen. You have to wonder if the people that run this brand get it, every 5 years they want to blow it up and start all over, because the last 5 year plan didn't get them caught up to the Germans.

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I completely agree with smk4565 that GM embarked on the same disastrous path that Acua and Lincoln charted when they began with the 3-letter nomenclature. People just don't seem to have the same affinity for abbreviations that don't have an obvious meaning that they do for richly poetic adjectives and nouns. Good article and great discussion. Thanks guys.

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Ditch the letters. I own a Cadillac and will buy another Cadillac. I think ATS is a terrible name. SRX sounds cheap. The only name that has any clout is CTS but i would love to see that name go. I'd prefer to be driving a Seville, Deville, Eldorado, etc over any of these dumb sounding alphabet names. If I wanted a German car I would buy one. Please go back to naming your cars Cadillac.

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I'm 100% on board with the flagship getting a real name and not three letters - especially not LTS. That sounds like a F'ing Chevy. Cadillac LTS.

I'm still amazed that Cadillac dumped STS and DTS names. The XTS should have been a DTS (really, is it not a DTS?) and the new, larger CTS should have been STS. The ATS should have been the new CTS (entry level). This way, at the very least, Cadillac COULD have used real names ALONG with the current names. Seville STS, DeVille DTS, and I hate to say it, but Catera CTS. Eldorado ELR.

When all is said and done, the vehicles Cadillac is making are excellent - so the names aren't a huge problem to me. Though I'd like to see they set something SOLID in place that STICKS for awhile. I THINK they can still use DeVille with the XTS if they really wanted to. I'm sure an upcoming four door coupe (Mercedes CLS) can be called Seville STS. I guess I just like the old names and feel they can still be utilized if marketed properly...

But the flagship MUST not be named LTS and really, REALLY needs an classy name...

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  • 5 weeks later...

Good move to pay a person for their time and hope to conquest them with a new auto purchase.

Now we just need to get them to realize that owning a Deville, Eldorado, Escalade, is a superior thing over the ATS, CTS, XTS, SRX crap.

Really when you think about it, you can envision a two door Eldorado today, a luxury Deville and a Extended platform Deville like in China as well as an Escalade and Escalade ESV.

Current naming does not stick nor have any history to really make me think luxury.

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I think we all have the dictionary definition of Arts and Science, but it would be interesting to hear from the Cadillac Division on what they think it stands for. :P

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      The CT4-V Blackwing sports an evolution of the Cadillac 3.6L Twin-Turbo V6 that features revised control system software and an improved air intake system to create 472 horsepower (352 kW) and 445 lb-ft of torque (603 Nm). The turbos’ low-inertia (titanium-aluminide) turbine wheels enable more precise and responsive application of torque throughout the rev range.
      Highlighted features and output:
      CT5-V Blackwing: 6.2L Supercharged V8 - 668 hp, 659 lb-ft of torque GM-estimated top track speed: over 200 mph GM-estimated 0-60 mph: 3.7 seconds (automatic transmission) Most powerful Cadillac ever Air intake airflow is improved by 46 percent vs. the CTS-V Compact, high-output 1.7L four-lobe Eaton supercharger with small-diameter rotors that enable boost to be generated earlier in the rpm band for instantaneous response Rotocast A356T6 aluminum cylinder heads are stronger and handle heat better than conventional aluminum-alloy heads Lightweight titanium intake valves Track-capable wet-sump oiling and vent system with external oil separator and drainback CT4-V Blackwing: 3.6L Twin-Turbo V6 - 472 hp, 445 lb-ft of torque GM-estimated top speed: 189 mph GM-estimated 0-60 mph: 3.8 seconds (automatic transmission) Most powerful and fastest Cadillac in the subcompact class Air intake restriction is improved by 39 percent vs. the ATS-V Turbocharger compressors matched for peak efficiency at peak power for optimal track performance Titanium connecting rods (manual transmission only) and revised crankshaft counterweights reduce main/rod bearing reciprocating loads Re-targeted piston oil squirters, which direct engine oil at the bottoms of the pistons, for improved temperature control The manifold-integrated water-to-air charge cooling system contributes to more immediate torque response Airflow routing volume is reduced by 60 percent when compared to a conventional design that features a remotely mounted heat exchanger Track-capable braking systems
      Both V-Series Blackwing models feature advanced high-performance braking systems that have been extensively track and road-tested. The exclusive V-Series Blackwing wheel designs enable an even larger rotor over the previous CTS-V, making the CT5-V Blackwing braking system the largest factory-installed brakes in Cadillac history. Additionally, an available carbon-ceramic brake package for the CT5-V Blackwing, featuring cross-drilled rotors, deliver several benefits including weight savings, durability and heat management.
      Highlighted features:
      CT4-V Blackwing: 14.96 x 1.34-inch (380 X 34 mm) front rotors and 13.4 x 1.1-inch (340.5 x 28 mm) rear rotors CT5-V Blackwing: 15.67 x 1.42-inch (398 X 36 mm) front rotors and 14.7 x 1.1-inch (373.5 x 28 mm) rear rotors Staggered Brembo® six-piston front calipers and four-piston rear calipers Available on the CT5-V Blackwing, the lightweight carbon-ceramic brake package significantly improves heat management, as well as greater resistance to wear under extreme conditions on the racetrack, while also reducing unsprung mass and rotating mass: 53-pound (24 kg) reduction in unsprung weight 62-pound (28 kg) reduction in rotating mass High-performance copper-free brake linings comply with California law and deliver superior fade resistance with an excellent pedal feel on and off the track Brake systems are integrated to each vehicles’ selectable drive modes, including brake pedal feel. Brake pedal feel can also be assigned within My-Mode and V-Mode Manual transmission is standard
      Rare for sport sedans today, a six-speed TREMEC manual transmission is standard on both vehicles. It has been optimized for each V-Series Blackwing vehicle to provide an engaging experience on the track or on the road. Details include:
      LuK twin-disc clutch for high torque capacity and great pedal feel Active Rev Matching accessible via a console mounted toggle switch to automatically adjust engine speed to match anticipated downshifts No-Lift Shift allowing the driver to shift gears without letting off the gas pedal. In the case of the CT4-V Blackwing, it allows the turbos to remain spooled, resulting in faster lap times Transmission and rear differential cooling – the manual and automatic transmissions use the same track-performance cooling system for greater track performance Clutch and brake pedals positioned for optimal driver ergonomics A physical barrier stop for the clutch pedal rather than a hydraulic master cylinder stop provides greater driver feedback during clutch operation A shorter shifter ratio than previous generations for more precise shifts Ten-speed automatic transmission
      The CT5-V Blackwing and CT4-V Blackwing are available with a 10-speed electronically controlled automatic transmission. It is tuned to complement the dual-personality experience of each respective model.
      Highlighted features:
      Tap Shift/Manual Mode allowing the driver to use integrated magnesium paddle shifters to select a gear and hold it until selecting the next gear, up or down Sport Mode providing real-time interpretation of driving conditions, adjusting the transmission to reduce shift busyness and improve performance, while retaining aggressive driving dynamics Twenty-four-hour track testing resulted in several improvements in response to the demands of a high-g track environment, including a unique oil pan design and priority valve changes Unique control systems with performance calibrations tailored for each model Ten forward gears offer the most available transmission speeds in each sedans’ respective segments, helping keep the engines within their optimal rpm bands, while also anticipating the next shifts Dynamic Performance Mode is calibrated specifically for V-Series Blackwing to deliver track focused shift patterns and automatically activates when high-g forces are experienced in Sport or Track mode An auxiliary pump primes the automatic transmission system from the time the vehicle door is opened for improved cold-shift performance. Both V-Series Blackwing models also feature an enhanced Electronic Limited Slip Rear Differential. It weighs less and has been optimized for each driving mode and each Performance Traction Management setting.
      Highlighted features:
      More control of the rear differential compared to traditional open and mechanical limited-slip differentials Enhances road grip by automatically allocating torque to the rear wheel with the most traction during hard cornering — with the capability of sending up to 1,475 lb-ft (2,000 Nm) of locking torque across the axle High-performance differential cooler An aluminum housing replacing the previous generation cast iron housing, reducing mass by more than 22 pounds (10 kg) Exclusive integrated heat exchanger for enhanced cooling Advanced suspension systems and strengthened chassis
      V-Series Blackwing combines the fourth generation of Magnetic Ride Control (MR 4.0), with improvements to the front and rear suspension systems. Stiffer spring rates, unique hollow stabilizer bars, higher-rate bushings and more enable a driving experience that isolates the driver from road imperfections, while also providing a precise, engaging connection with the road.
      MR 4.0 highlights:
      Immense performance envelope that gave Cadillac engineers the freedom to optimize everyday driving and aggressive track performance New accelerometers and an inertial measurement unit that transmit and process changes in road conditions four times faster than the previous generation system Secondary temperature maps that enable engineers to compensate for changes in damper fluid temperature for more consistent performance, even during performance driving Inertial measurement unit that provides more precise measurements of body motion relative to the wheel for more accurate readings under heavy braking, hard cornering and other driving conditions Improved magnetic flux control that creates a more consistent and accurate transition between rebound and compression Improvements to transient body control that allow the vehicle to remain more level while transitioning between corners MacPherson strut front suspension:
      Ride link includes an all-new 100-percent elastomer bushing on the CT4-V Blackwing and a retuned hydro bushing on the CT5-V Blackwing, for improved ride response Handling link has cross-axis ball joints for improved lateral control and quicker steering response Five-link independent rear suspension:
      Lateral link features stiffer bushings for faster response and increased cornering agility Toe link has cross-axis ball joints for increased stability and driver confidence Rear knuckles have increased stiffness for improved braking and better control during cornering Rear cradle mounts have been stiffened for optimum balance between road comfort and track performance V-Series Blackwing models are built on Cadillac’s award-winning rear-wheel drive architecture and feature unique structural enhancements including shock tower braces, an underside shear plate and thicker rear cross members to improve chassis rigidity. Along with the unique suspension elements, the stiffer structure enhances steering response, handling and the everyday driving experience.
      All-day performance, on and off the track
      The CT5-V Blackwing and CT4-V Blackwing build on Cadillac’s racing heritage and were developed to be track-capable straight from the factory. That includes an intensive validation program to ensure consistent performance during the most challenging track conditions.
      Validation for both models included:
      Twenty-four-hour continuous track testing with the available automatic transmission, available carbon fiber aero package, aluminum wheels and available carbon ceramic brake package Twelve-hour continuous track testing with the standard manual transmission, available carbon fiber aero package, aluminum wheels and available carbon ceramic brake package Functional aerodynamics, including an available carbon fiber aero package, contribute to the V-Series Blackwing models’ track prowess to support a variety of cooling needs for the cars’ respective engines, transmissions, axles and other supporting systems.
      Additionally, MICHELIN® Pilot Sport 4S tires developed exclusively for the V-Series Blackwing models contribute to their balance of track capability and road comfort. Highlights include:
      Unique, multiple-compound tread composition: Contact patch composed of three unique tread rubber compounds Racing “R compound” used for the majority of the tread Compounds optimized for wet traction, enhanced street and track durability, as well as rolling resistance The mold shape of the tire has been specifically engineered for Blackwing models to optimize contact with the road Tire sizes: CT5-V Blackwing tire size: 275/35ZR19 (front) and 305/30ZR19 (rear) CT4-V Blackwing tire size: 255/35ZR18 (front) and 275/35ZR18 (rear) Both V-Series Blackwing vehicles feature standard forged aluminum alloy wheels with staggered widths, front to rear. These forged wheels are stronger and lighter than conventional cast aluminum.
      Wheel sizes:
      CT5-V Blackwing: Front – 19 x 10 inches / Rear – 19 x 11 inches CT4-V Blackwing: Front – 18 x 9 inches / Rear – 18 x 9.5 inches Coming this summer
      Reservations for both vehicles open on Feb. 1, 2021 at 7:30 p.m. ET on Cadillac.com, with deliveries later this summer. Pricing begins at $59,9901 for the CT4-V Blackwing and $84,9901 for the CT5-V Blackwing.

      View full article
    • By David
      Here you will find the latest teaser videos from Cadillac.
      Cadillac CELESTIQ
      Cadillac-CELESTIQ-Teaser.mp4
      Cadillac BLACKWING teaser
      BLACKWING-teaser.mp4
      Will add more teasers as Cadillac releases them.
       
      Here is the link for the Cadillac BLACKWING Reveal on February 1st 2021 @ 7pm EST.
      Cadillac Pressroom - United States - V-Series Blackwing
    • By William Maley
      The COVID-19 pandemic has possibly caused another auto show to rethink their plans. According to Automotive News, organizers of the show are planning to delay the show from November to next May. Three sources tell the outlet the new dates are May 21st to 31st. Two of sources go on to say that an announcement could come this week.
      Automotive News tried to get comment from Terri Toennies, president of the show, but did not reply.
      By possibly moving the LA Auto Show to May, automakers and organizers of the New York and Detroit shows find themselves in a difficult spot. The LA show sandwiches between New York (April) and the revised Detroit show (June), which may cause automakers to make difficult decisions as to which shows get the most significant unveilings or whether to attend at all.
      Auto shows in general have been struggling before the onset of the pandemic. With automakers deciding to hold their own events to have more time in the spotlight and save cash, the spectacle of the show has gone down.
      We'll keep you posted.
      Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)

      View full article
    • By William Maley
      The COVID-19 pandemic has possibly caused another auto show to rethink their plans. According to Automotive News, organizers of the show are planning to delay the show from November to next May. Three sources tell the outlet the new dates are May 21st to 31st. Two of sources go on to say that an announcement could come this week.
      Automotive News tried to get comment from Terri Toennies, president of the show, but did not reply.
      By possibly moving the LA Auto Show to May, automakers and organizers of the New York and Detroit shows find themselves in a difficult spot. The LA show sandwiches between New York (April) and the revised Detroit show (June), which may cause automakers to make difficult decisions as to which shows get the most significant unveilings or whether to attend at all.
      Auto shows in general have been struggling before the onset of the pandemic. With automakers deciding to hold their own events to have more time in the spotlight and save cash, the spectacle of the show has gone down.
      We'll keep you posted.
      Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)
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