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Can Cadillac ATS, CTS and SRX European Roadshow Win over the Public?

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G. David Felt
Alternative Fuels & Propulsion writer
www.CheersandGears.com

 

Can Cadillac ATS, CTS and SRX European Roadshow Win over the Public

 

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GMs Cadillac division has gone on a European Roadshow. The tour will be visiting 3 countries, 12 cities, and 22 different locations with the goal of connecting with 10,000 existing and potential customers as well as European Media. The idea is to get these people behind the wheel and check out the 21st century versions of Cadillac and to change the perception that Cadillac is a Land barge V8 powered float machine.

 

To quote FastLane's own write up;

 

"Above all, luxury car buyers on both sides of the pond have one thing in common: they demand superior quality in all aspects of their new potential vehicle, including design, interior, performance, refinement, safety, comfort and service."

 

With a line up of Turbo powered 4 cylinder and V6 powered auto's, Cadillac is out to show they are competitive Driving machines. We here have had lively debates on the current round of Cadillac auto's and for the most part have found Cadillac to be very competitive and in many cases to surpass what the German brands offer in the same auto class such as BMW 3 series or MB c-class versus ATS or the BMW 5 series or MB E series versus the CTS.

 

I believe if you have not spent any time behind a wheel in today's current Cadillacs you need to get out and test drive them. You just might discover how nice a driving machine Cadillac has become. Clearly a step in the right direction back to achieving the Standard of the World.

 

What are your thoughts on Cadillac and Europe? What will it take to bring Cadillac to the Masses in Europe?

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The plus side to doing this is they should learn a lot about what European buyers want and what these prospective buyers like or don't like about the cars.

 

Without a solid dealer network and sales and service channel through Europe it is going to be hard to sell cars.  Plus European luxury cars are half diesel, the 2.0 turbo is too thirsty compared to 50 mpg A4's and 3-series sold in Europe.  Gas prices range from $8-9.20 per gallon in Europe with diesel ranging $7-9 per gallon.  With prices like that you have to have high mileage options, Cadillac doesn't have that. 

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Should be an effective tool- sounds good. European luxury retail numbers are awful and loyalty numbers aren't great either; that's a lot of unsatisfied consumers looking for something else. CTS & ATS will open a lot of eyes over there.

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Should be an effective tool- sounds good. European luxury retail numbers are awful and loyalty numbers aren't great either; that's a lot of unsatisfied consumers looking for something else. CTS & ATS will open a lot of eyes over there.

 

But not if the guy at the tour says "... and to buy one, find your local Opel dealer... have the receptionist show you into the back on the other side of the service department... and we'll let you play with the US Build-a-car site for a bit... just don't select any V6 engines on the ATS."

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So do the Opel Dealers not have to have a single cadillac on their lot, only made to order sales? I would think GM would require anyone who sells cadillac to have them in stock.

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I've bought new vehicles before. You spend a few hours in the dealership, and 5-8 years in the vehicle. 

I'm not saying smartly located & operated Cadillac dealerships aren't a necessity, but I am saying people overweight the dealership experience, IMO.
Cadillac absolutely needs European stand-alone dealerships in key cities, but if I was a disillusioned Euro consumer and fell in love with a CTS V-Sport, I WOULD buy out of the back of an Opel dealership if that's what it took.

 

Here's to hoping the experiment shows measurable results.

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GM needs to show the cars... Also GM needs not to compromise styling language details...

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There is dealership experience and then there is not knowing the dealership exists because there is no sign.

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The commitment isn't there obviously.  If they aren't willing to build dealerships, or make diesel engines or hybrids, or do the marketing, etc, then it isn't going to work.   They have to go all in or not at all, and I don't think Cadillac/GM really has the money to go all in.  Plus Cadillac still has no halo products, no convertibles, there isn't anything dramatic there to catch attention.  And yes I know they'll put a Corvette engine in a CTS but that hasn't really made the CTS light up sales charts here, it isn't going to do anything in the land of $9 per gallon.

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CTS-V has NOTHING to do with the sales charts, just like halo products & convertibles.

I thought you thought you understood the marketing here.

 

BTW : the CTS-V absolutely is "dramatic" AND an obtainable halo vehicle in one.

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Audi since they introduced the R8 has seen sales rise, Mercedes had the SLR McLaren and SLS AMG, these sort of cars help the brand image which helps luxury car sales.  BMW hasn't had a super car, but they did manage to think of every body style possible in the 3 and 5 ranges,  If Cadillac goes into Europe with 2 sedans and 1 crossover, it isn't really a lot to get people excited or get on TV shows or written about in magazines.  Easy to go overlooked.

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The commitment isn't there obviously.  If they aren't willing to build dealerships, or make diesel engines or hybrids, or do the marketing, etc, then it isn't going to work.   They have to go all in or not at all, and I don't think Cadillac/GM really has the money to go all in.  Plus Cadillac still has no halo products, no convertibles, there isn't anything dramatic there to catch attention.  And yes I know they'll put a Corvette engine in a CTS but that hasn't really made the CTS light up sales charts here, it isn't going to do anything in the land of $9 per gallon.

The Halo Product you always mention, AKA Convertible is GREATLY OVERRATED! They have their Halo Product, it is the V series.

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They still don't have an ATS-V or a CTS-V on this body style.  I still think if they want to get noticed in Europe they need something special.   Which doesn't have to just be a sports car, it could be a plug in hybrid or something too.

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They still don't have an ATS-V or a CTS-V on this body style.  I still think if they want to get noticed in Europe they need something special.   Which doesn't have to just be a sports car, it could be a plug in hybrid or something too.

 

The CTS-V is coming next year.  Even the Germans release their Hi-Po versions a year or 2 after the pedestrian model comes out.

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They still don't have an ATS-V or a CTS-V on this body style.  I still think if they want to get noticed in Europe they need something special.   Which doesn't have to just be a sports car, it could be a plug in hybrid or something too.

 

The CTS-V is coming next year.  Even the Germans release their Hi-Po versions a year or 2 after the pedestrian model comes out.

 

Except the S63 AMG that came out the same model year as the S550, and the S600 and S65 were released 6 months later.  On the S-class coupe the AMG versions available right away.  BMW is a bit slower though.

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those were exceptions to the rule.  On the lower cars, MB is usually a year or 18 months behind initial release.

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They still don't have an ATS-V or a CTS-V on this body style.  I still think if they want to get noticed in Europe they need something special.   Which doesn't have to just be a sports car, it could be a plug in hybrid or something too.

 

The CTS-V is coming next year.  Even the Germans release their Hi-Po versions a year or 2 after the pedestrian model comes out.

 

Except the S63 AMG that came out the same model year as the S550, and the S600 and S65 were released 6 months later.  On the S-class coupe the AMG versions available right away.  BMW is a bit slower though.

 

Plus lets get back to reality. S versions do not compete with ATS, CTS or SRX. In comparing the equal class cars, Cadillac is more than competitive and clearly has many positives that you ignore and then point to higher class cars.

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If Cadillac goes into Europe with 2 sedans and 1 crossover, it isn't really a lot to get people excited...

Maserati came back to the U.S. market with ONE car- not much to get anyone 'excited'... except, of course those looking for that ONE car. No one comes into a new market with 10 models right off the bat.

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C-class comes out this fall, so I guess we'll see how long it takes for coupe and AMG models to follow.

 

 

Maserati I don't think is making much impact here, but the Quatroporte and Gran Turismo use a Ferrari engine at about half the cost of a Ferrari, so that is their appeal.  Cadillac uses a Chevy engine at double the cost of a Chevy.

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