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Cadillac News: Cadillac's Chief Marketing Officer Calls ELR 'A Big Dissapointment'

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Cadillac's chief marketing officer, Uwe Ellinghaus isn't one to mince words. In a interview with Automobile Magazine, he labels the ELR as a disappointment.

 

"Put it this way: The ELR's a big disappointment; there's no denying," said Ellinghaus.

 

Ellinghaus explained the ELR "was the niche in the niche in the niche," and therefore appealed to a small audience. Not helping matters is the way Cadillac marketed the ELR a luxurious two-seater coupe has proved unsuccessful partly due to the coupe market shrinking. Many customers compared it to the Tesla Model S which offered more practicality.

 

While there might not be a second-generation ELR, Ellinghaus says Cadillac will work on having plug-in hybrid variants across its lineup starting with the new CT6.

 

Source: Automobile Magazine


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Obviously, once they priced this car everyone knew it wouldn't sell.

 

Better plan to add a plug-in hybrid option to existing cars.

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Well, the ELR was a concept car brought into real life while being as, if not more stunning than the concept.

 

It's what I think of GM's 2-mode hybrids.

 

Brilliant in their own right, but just unfortunately timed. 

 

It's unfortunate that this car wasn't compared to the BMW i8...as a discount i8. And it was actually better as a green halo car, but still that niche is limited.

 

Kinda like how there is discount John Travolta in Doctor Who; Captain Harkness or the Face of Boe. 

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When you saw the numbers and pricing of the ELR you just knew that it was going to all hinge on the styling. And even with what I consider to be the best example of Art&Science to date, it just wasn't gonna cut it.

It would have been amazing in 2009. Nowadays? Not so much.

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When you saw the numbers and pricing of the ELR you just knew that it was going to all hinge on the styling. And even with what I consider to be the best example of Art&Science to date, it just wasn't gonna cut it.

It would have been amazing in 2009. Nowadays? Not so much.

 

 

Style? Nope, there was no way anything could have saved it.....even decent GM Marketing!

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It was all just the price. Had they priced it in the mid-50s it probably would have sold decent enough to have a second generation.

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The performance was pretty modest as well.

But the styling and interior were off the charts. I remember sitting in one in Toronto and thinking that it was amazing. And I'd just gotten out of an Audi A7.

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It was all just the price. Had they priced it in the mid-50s it probably would have sold decent enough to have a second generation.

 

 

My dad sees these things go down the line....he and quite a few workers see them as nothing then Caddy badged Volts......and suddenly-we have have flashbacks of an 80s J body....

 

While yes, it was a bit more different than the Volt, it simply was not enough. Something more "Bolt" like would have been a much better, offering not only something different, but something a Caddy buyer might actually be interested in!

 

 

GM killed this....simply by just giving Caddy a pretty Chevy....

 

 

I've seen the two together, I would have to agree with my Dad on this one....

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Even if they had lowered the price it would have not been a success in business terms. Lets face it the Volt as it was is not making money and the little added for a Cadillac would have not made money either. Odds are it was priced to where it did make money.

Where GM failed here was to market the car as a technology showcase and really get the PR out of it as it was never going to make money with it. They needed to float this one up like BMW does their electric car. No profits but a lot of PR and continued work to make it profitable,

Is suspect the new Volt and Bolt may be down to break even or even might make a little money. This segment has to be grown as you are not just going to walk into this one with out earning it.

The present Cadillac management Is in the honesty mode. They are coming out admitting where Cadillac is failing. Why? Well Honesty can take you a long way and in their case they had nothing to do with it or many other failings as they have only been there 2 years. They want to clear the slate and set their own path to the future and first they need to clean up the messes of the past.

The ELR probably should have never happened. But I suspect they had little money in development here since the Volt did most of it. The styling was robbed from a Show car so they already had that but with the compromise of a show car.

We will see them re enter this segment in a much different way and with much different products.

As for now the ELR may go on to be a prime collector car due to it's great styling and low numbers. I wonder if someone will take one and just make it a 2.0 Turbo and remove the battery. Imagine what it would do with little weight in it.

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The ELR was not the whole topic of that conversation. I'm perplexed as to why the other points of the conversation where not discussed:

 

 

 

A great deal of what he talks about confirms a great deal of what I was thinking about the brands bid to go the long haul... and not just add quick sales fixes for the sake of sales. BUILD the brand.. lost customers to gain leadership.

 

 
AM: So, speaking of the CTS, it has obviously been challenged saleswise. Do you feel like it's just in a transition phase?
Ellinghaus: It's a fantastic car. We are not alone in our struggling. The competition is struggling with midsize lux as much as we are. So last year, for example, the midsize lux segment in the U.S. was down 9 percent; CTS was down 3 percent. So I can't say it's the car. Definitely not. The car is terrific.

 

 

 
 
 
I've been pitching this for a while. Even with the numbers right in most posters face.. they will still insist that its the car. Yes the 5series.. E-Class sell more.. but they are establsihed players in the price range.. makes sense. They also don't have the XTS sitting on the lot at the same price sopping up sales because the perceived "Flagship" car of Cadillac.. and many people believe this due to its size.. is a raging bargain versus the CTS. 
 
"Let's see.. I can get your flagship for $500 less than your mid-size.. hmmmmm... " This happens. Ask a Cadillac dealer.
 
See Below in bold
 
AM: Would it maybe have been better to get to another crossover before the CT6?
Ellinghaus: In light of the current SUV pool, yes. But when the CT6 was planned, if somebody else had said, "The oil price will half," everybody would have said, "Where are you living?" So if people are telling me that they expected the economic development and the oil price development, I don't buy it. I don't buy it. Nobody had that on the agenda. And when the fuel price was twice of what is now, SUVs were struggling more. So this is the volatility of the luxury market and also the non-luxury market, and there's nothing we can do rather than be flexible in our response.
 
 
But I do think that we needed the CT6 badly and finally great that I get it because Cadillac in its history was far closer associated with larger luxury cars, and I know of customers, and unfortunately former customers, who couldn't get their heads around just how small ATS and CTS were and who either needed or wanted simply more space and a bigger car.

 

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The SRX should be their XT4 for the time being.. Until the new smaller CUV arrives... I'd even thro in the current Acadia as an XT6 for a year of two until the new larger CUV arrives. Both slightly upgraded of course. People here will squawk while buyers BUY. Replace the V6 with LGW or LF3 in both.. tuned to 390 would = The Armchair CEO shuts it's complaining mouth.

 

Sometimes GM should NOT listen to enthusiasts .. I can scour the pages of the Internet and read hundreds of posts that said the FWD SRX was gonna be flop.. the same for the XTS. When rumor was going around that the Lambdas were coming to Cadillac.. dozens cried "NO!!!" It was at that time Cadillac was considering making a CUV move that we were crying.. and I think they, to their own folly.. listened. (Buick did the same with the Saturn Vue derived Envision back in 2010.. and now look what has happened

 

Also.. we should remember what JDN said a few months ago about the next "CTS" and next "ATS" we should be seeing a simple change of size formula for the sake of these issues that critics have brought up about the legroom etc. I'm thinking for the most part the Alpha based ATS replacement will essentially get the Chinese ATS-L Wheelbase of 112.6 inch vs what it has right now of 109.3. This would dwarf the current 3series' 110.6 in WB by a few inches. I think that the ATS replacement will be, along with the Sub-ATS, the only Cadillacs on the Alpha platform, with the Camaro helping out with the numbers a bit more. 

 

The CTS replacement will probably go to Omega. I could see it staying at 196 inchs.. and getting a bump in Wheelbase (currently at 114.6 inches) too coming in at around 117 in N.Amer, like the 5Series. It has been said that the CT6 handles as well as the current CTS.. so certainly I would think that an Omega based... smaller than CT6... CTS would handle as well or better, not losing any of its agility, and losing a few hundred lbs in the change over. This would be beneficial in amortizing the Omega platform even quicker.. (altho I would still push it out to an Impala at Chevy and a Park Ave or Avenir at Buick) along with the CT7 and CT8
Edited by Cmicasa the Great

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I think there is a 50/50 chance of the CTS going to Omega the next time around. They may need to for additional weight loss. 

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I think there is a 50/50 chance of the CTS going to Omega the next time around. They may need to for additional weight loss. 

 

 

I'm thinking more like 80/20. If they are seeking more interior room.. and the Omega platform is scalable.. they will go that way. In terms of exterior, but for the sake of the comparos.. say for the ATS/CTS...they need to be on par, if not exactly where the 3series is on the inside dimensions. and I mean EXACT or at least larger. Of course with the clowns that normally review these cars.. the ATS/CTS could stretch that interior out an extra inch larger than the 3/5Series, and suddenly the reviewers would then say that the car is so large there's an echo. 

 
All jokes aside.. I think the intent is for the CT4 (ATS) and CT5 (CTS I guess) will get interior dimensions enlarged via the ATS moving up to the CTS's current WB, and the CTS moving into the Omega platform. Similar to what BMW does with the 7, 6, and 5 all being on the same platform
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I think there is a 50/50 chance of the CTS going to Omega the next time around. They may need to for additional weight loss. 

 

 

I'm thinking more like 80/20. If they are seeking more interior room.. and the Omega platform is scalable.. they will go that way. In terms of exterior, but for the sake of the comparos.. say for the ATS/CTS...they need to be on par, if not exactly where the 3series is on the inside dimensions. and I mean EXACT or at least larger. Of course with the clowns that normally review these cars.. the ATS/CTS could stretch that interior out an extra inch larger than the 3/5Series, and suddenly the reviewers would then say that the car is so large there's an echo. 

 
All jokes aside.. I think the intent is for the CT4 (ATS) and CT5 (CTS I guess) will get interior dimensions enlarged via the ATS moving up to the CTS's current WB, and the CTS moving into the Omega platform. Similar to what BMW does with the 7, 6, and 5 all being on the same platform

 

 

I just think they have to use the Alpha platform for the current cars for a bit longer.  At least one big MCE before it switches to the new platform, but that means 6 to 7 years from now. 

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I think there is a 50/50 chance of the CTS going to Omega the next time around. They may need to for additional weight loss. 

 

 

I'm thinking more like 80/20. If they are seeking more interior room.. and the Omega platform is scalable.. they will go that way. In terms of exterior, but for the sake of the comparos.. say for the ATS/CTS...they need to be on par, if not exactly where the 3series is on the inside dimensions. and I mean EXACT or at least larger. Of course with the clowns that normally review these cars.. the ATS/CTS could stretch that interior out an extra inch larger than the 3/5Series, and suddenly the reviewers would then say that the car is so large there's an echo. 

 
All jokes aside.. I think the intent is for the CT4 (ATS) and CT5 (CTS I guess) will get interior dimensions enlarged via the ATS moving up to the CTS's current WB, and the CTS moving into the Omega platform. Similar to what BMW does with the 7, 6, and 5 all being on the same platform

 

 

I just think they have to use the Alpha platform for the current cars for a bit longer.  At least one big MCE before it switches to the new platform, but that means 6 to 7 years from now. 

 

 

 

I agree.. I just think the the capacity or numbers will come from the sub ATS.. and a few other cars or CUVs, just not the CTS

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I think if the CTS was not using the name of the entry level Cadillac from 2002-2013, it would sell better.  There is problem 1, problem 2 is 2 established players rule that segment, and the E-class is taking a leap forward next year.    Back seat space has nothing to do with why the CTS doesn't sell, the badge on the grille does, and the bland rear styling and CUE.

 

As far as Uwe saying that when gas was $4 a gallon they didn't think people would want crossovers, that is just nuts.  Crossovers were selling then, the Lexus RX was obviously putting up big numbers, obviously the NX was in the works, Lincoln was working on MKC, the Germans had crossovers, etc.  He should have realized SRX and Escalade as the only 2 SUVs would not be enough, especially when GM is all about trucks and SUVs.  Plus it is possible to develop 2 vehicles at once.  They could have developed a full size V8 sedan and a sub compact 4-cylinder crossover at the same time.

 

As far as interior size goes, you can't just keep making these cars bigger.  The CTS is already the longest car in its segment, if you make the ATS 190 inches long, it isn't a small car anymore.  They could take the current CTS and price it at $35k against the 3-series to get more rear seat legroom, but a 3-series buyer probably isn't looking for a 196 inch long car.  My car has a 112.4 inch wheel base and 190. inch length.  I am 6'2" and can sit in the back seat without my knees touching the front seat in my driver position.  So if they could do it, Cadillac can do it.

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The ATS Coupe, Sedan, and CTS don't sell as well as the Gen 2 CTS for obvious, constantly repeated reasons: Let's do a a crazy kinda of analysis and thro the Gen two a bone.. in its best, mostly singular year.. 2011, that is without the Gen 1 CTS adding to sales, it did 55,042. That included the Coupe Wagon, and Sedan.. not to mention a VSeries of each. Ill even thro in the last remaining 3400 STS sales to sweet the pot. That would equal 58,450 odd CTS/Coupe/Wagon/VSeries+STS/and STS-V sales I'll use 2014 for CTS, ATS.. and U guessed it.. the same priced XTS since this year isn't over.. (I'll come back to that tho) : '14 CTS: 31,115 + ATS 29,890 + XTS 24,335 =85,340

Even if I take out the XTS.. U still had 61,005 CTS and ATS sales last year OK...OK... I see where this is going.. So I'll just do 2015.. "the Year of the CUV." "The year the CUV Pimp Slaps the Car.. of all makes" just so this silly argument can continue on for more pages: This year!!! HELL YES!!! The Year that despite all of us watching front seat to see what I've pointed out above... We still come back to this silliness...

As of right now.. we are at 40,500 ATS Coupe/Sedan/VSeries trickling in+CTS sales (VSeries is not even really avilable yet). So 40,500 +December's probable yield, based on average sales, 4000 more by years end= 44,500 sales. That's about 14K less than 2011 CTS sales including the STS.

OH!!! But wait!!! Can I bring the same priced XTS into this again??? Why not. XTS adds another 22K minimum by years end.. bring that car total up to 66,500 sales.. beating that 2011 peak year of the CTS Gen 2 Sedan/Wagon/Coupe/VSeries on all and STS combined total of 58K. Completely irrational huh??? It sheds waaaaaaaaaaaay too much light on the situation doesn't it???

But alas.. it doesn't paint CAdillac in the bad light that certain people want to paint it in.. so lets get back to the "PEOPLE DON'T WANT THE ALPHAS BECAUSE OF THE REAR SEAT ROOM rhetoric.Let's ignore the fact that the E-Class and 5Series are both down double digits this year. Let's ignore the fact that the Audi A4, A5, A6, A7, A8, and All-Road are DOWN DOWN DOWN...

Edited by Cmicasa the Great

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Cadillac is doing great for what they have, they are adding additional models and no matter what SMK thinks, Cadillac will always be worse then his coveted over rated MB. 

 

Badge snobs are badge snobs and they will always ignore the science of a superior vehicle. Cadillac is not the standard of the world and I honestly hope they never use that tag line again as there is always room to improve.

 

BMW - The Ultimate Driving Machine!  Not anymore, plenty of nice auto's out there by various vendors that out drive BMW.

 

MB - Does ANYONE remember their tag line? Nope I could not and had to bing it and guess what plenty of others could not remember it even in the auto press. Their NEW tag line - The Best or Nothing! 

 

Interesting note, many say the BMW tag line focuses on the youth where the MB tag line now focuses on the established. Will be interesting to see where they end up over the next few years.

 

Cadillac - Dare Greatly, Honestly, it does nothing for me. I love my Cadillac products but this latest tag line just does nothing for me and when I ask others they also seem to agree. 

 

In fact looking at these three tag lines, only BMW came to peoples mind. NO ONE could think of MB or Cadillac tag lines. Also no one I asked could think of what the Asian luxury tag lines were.

 

End result, Cadillac needs to focus on marketing each and every product they have and get people to be aware of their great quality auto's. 

 

How would you all do it?

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Here's something I wish the media and others understood: the length of the wheelbase means nothing if ts not a space-efficient design to begin with. Pontiac G6 is a classic example-a mid-size car with a 112.3" wheelbase and about 189" overall length, the EPA regarded it as a Compact Car, since it did not make 110 cubic feet of total interior volume (cargo space-a substandard 14 cubic feet in this case) plus passenger cabin volume.

Back to the ELR-I've only seen one out-and that was the Rochester Auto Show a year or two bvack. I've never, ever seen ones otherwise out and in person. More than other Cadillac's and most other GM cars/trucks, this partially-stylish wonder is hideously overpriced!

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Here's something I wish the media and others understood: the length of the wheelbase means nothing if ts not a space-efficient design to begin with. Pontiac G6 is a classic example-a mid-size car with a 112.3" wheelbase and about 189" overall length, the EPA regarded it as a Compact Car, since it did not make 110 cubic feet of total interior volume (cargo space-a substandard 14 cubic feet in this case) plus passenger cabin volume.

Back to the ELR-I've only seen one out-and that was the Rochester Auto Show a year or two bvack. I've never, ever seen ones otherwise out and in person. More than other Cadillac's and most other GM cars/trucks, this partially-stylish wonder is hideously overpriced!

 

Indeed, but sometimes the reverse is true. The EPA regards the Pruis as a mid-size even though it would only feel mid-size if you fill it with sand. 

 

BTW, Welcome back Mule.

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Here's something I wish the media and others understood: the length of the wheelbase means nothing if ts not a space-efficient design to begin with. Pontiac G6 is a classic example-a mid-size car with a 112.3" wheelbase and about 189" overall length, the EPA regarded it as a Compact Car, since it did not make 110 cubic feet of total interior volume (cargo space-a substandard 14 cubic feet in this case) plus passenger cabin volume.

Back to the ELR-I've only seen one out-and that was the Rochester Auto Show a year or two bvack. I've never, ever seen ones otherwise out and in person. More than other Cadillac's and most other GM cars/trucks, this partially-stylish wonder is hideously overpriced!

I get this.. But I owned a G6.. It had more room than a few full sized cars, especially in the rear. I used the backseat for things in such a way I'd hate to have anyone have ever gone over it with a blacklight.. Never a complaint Edited by Cmicasa the Great

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      One of the most controversial moves during Johan de Nysschen's tenure as Cadillac President was moving the brand's headquarters from Detroit to New York in 2015. Executives at GM explained at the time this would Cadillac to separate from the day-to-day operations of their mainstream brands - Buick, Chevrolet, and GMC. Sources at the time said another reason for the move came down to various GM executive worrying about Cadillac's worldview from Detroit "was too myopic for a brand with global aspirations."
      But Cadillac will be moving out of their space at 330 Hudson Street in New York City back to Detroit. This was revealed by Cadillac's new president Steve Carlisle in a interview with the Wall Street Journal. The reason is that he wants the brand's leaders to be closer to GM’s vehicle design and engineering offices in Metro Detroit, especially considering Cadillac has a number of new and redesign models coming in the next few years.
      “We have a huge number of launches ahead of us. We’ve got to think about how we take inefficiencies out of the communication process between the Cadillac team and the GM partners," said Carlisle.
      Cadillac confirmed the move in a statement to The Detroit News.
      "The move will place the Cadillac brand team closer to those responsible for the new Cadillacs, including design, engineering, purchasing and manufacturing, ensuring full integration of Cadillac’s global growth strategy. Cadillac will maintain a brand presence in New York City with the Cadillac House, an experiential brand center which serves as a public space for events, concerts and collaborative partnerships until longer term brand plans are in place," said the brand.
      Cadillac didn't give a timeframe or where the headquarters would be located. Automotive News reports that  U.S. Rep. Sander Levin, D-Mich., released a statement saying the headquarters would be based in Warren, MI - where GM has their technical center. A Cadillac spokesman declined to comment.
      Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required), The Detroit News, Wall Street Journal (Subscription Required)

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