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About Sevenfeet

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  • Birthday 02/07/1965
  1. Part of the reason why the change back to names is that from a marketing standpoint, I'm guessing customers and most importantly, potential customers never understood what the current naming convention meant after nearly two decades and a course correction on the way. Meanwhile Lincoln who began with names, changed to a similar three-letter naming convention leading with "Mk" decided it didn't work either and added back Aviator and Continental and also created Nautilus and Corsair. So like Navigator, the Escalade name predates and will outlive nameplates like XT5 and CTS. The big problem is what will they go to. Some people want Cadillac to return to their old names but that may not make sense in the modern era either. And the transition to those names was made slowly over two decades as Cadillac went to a naming convention in 1936 that used spoken numbers that were spelled out...Series Sixty-Two, Series Seventy-Five, Sixty-Special (although Cadillac frequently also used "Series 62" and "Series 75" for shorthand in brochures). The name "Fleetwood" as attached to the Sixty Special and Seventy-Five beginning in 1941 with the demise of the custom coach business at Fleetwood body. The Coupe De Ville made its debut as a trim package in 1949 for the Series 62 the Sedan De Ville added a few years later and becoming their own models in 1958. So the following names have been used over the decades for Cadillac cars (not counting the spelled out number models): Fleetwood, Deville (Coupe, Sedan & Park Avenue), Calais, Eldorado, Seville. Brougham, Cimmaron, & Allante. Can you see any of these names attached to a modern car? Maybe you could do a new Fleetwood but I'm not seeing any of the others come back.
  2. I think we have to keep in mind that when a lot of these product decisions were being made, GM was still getting back on it's feet. So they made an educated guess on the future marketplace, especially on the future of crossovers. And nobody imagined we'd be back at sub-$2 gas...if we did, I'd be the first to short the futures market. . But I would have gone to the mat in trying to get a smaller CUV on the same floor at the SRX years earlier. As for branding, we already know that the ATS and CTS names will go away. It's a chance to redefine yourself with buyers by introducing a completely "new" car. The CT6 is coming, and in theory the ATS and CTS will be replaced by "CT2" and "CT4" respectively. But nobody said you had to limit yourself to two vehicles below the CT6....a CT0 could be a product to compete with the BMW 1/2 line, with the CT2/3 coming in to replace the ATS line and so forth. Cadillac has had a hard time "skating to where the puck is going" rather than where it is now. The product line realignment may go a long way to changing that. The hope is that the CT6 is the vehicle that Cadillac wants at that size, but the jury is very much out on this one. At least they have priced it aggressively.
  3. There's a lot of truth to this. My dealer is a family owned business so it's easy to talk to the real owner, a friend of 20 years. He's also told me a few days ago that all the major luxury makes are seeing lower sedan/coupe sales and buyers have gone over to crossovers of varying sizes. And this was Cadillac's problem in that they only had one crossover to sell (SRX) but it was selling really well, even into it's final year. The XT5 should continue the trend but they need to get the three additional cars rumored in the development process to be truly competitive. At some point there will likely be an XT1, XT3 and XT7. The dealerships are pining for them but the XT5 is due up first in the spring with the XT3 bowing several months later.
  4. 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.... I'm not sure that's a fair comparison. The J-cars of the 80s had similar door panels, roof lines, pretty much everything except for some trim pieces and the front/rear clips. I think a better historical comparison for the ELR was the original 1975-1979 Cadillac Seville. Underneath that car was a massaged Chevy Nova platform powered by a Chevy 350cid small block or the unfortunate Olds V8 diesel. The exterior lines and interior of that car wasn't anything close to a Nova. My parents actually had both at the same time...my mother drove a 1979 Seville and my stepdad drove the Nova's twin...a 1975 Buick Apollo. I learned how to drive on the Apollo and drove the Seville occasionally when I was allowed. It was hard to believe they were on the same platform (the Buick was a tired piece of junk). The Seville was also a very expensive car (more expensive than the Fleetwoods of the day) but it was a successful vehicle. The interior of the ELR was quite bespoke for Cadillac at the time and it had a much tighter amount of interior room than the Volt. The ELR's rear seats were a joke...I openly commented to my dealer of why the engineers even bothered (my friend's 911 Turbo had more rear leg room). The 1st gen Volt I sat in during a car show was much roomier, but it had the interior of a Chevrolet that had been looking over the shoulder at a Prius. At the end of the day, the ELR didn't have enough powertrain separation to make it interesting in the new Cadillac (all show and no go with 8 sec. 0-60). And man was it too expensive (interesting how the original Seville was a sales success at a high price). My dealer sold a few of them in the first year but now if you want one, they only come on order. They don't want to stock them.
  5. Even better, the car is real now. My dealership here in Nashville (Andrews Cadillac) actually has one on the show floor (black, all options). It's likely the only one for 500 miles in any direction. Get it while it's hot.
  6. I'm 6'11" tall and the CTS is one my favorite cars because I can actually fit in it reasonably. Keep in mind that there isn't a car made that gives my elongated limbs proper comfort, but the CTS is one of the best out there. The new Lacrosse is also pretty nice too, and the Lacrosse has the added advantage of more rear seat legroom when the seat is pushed back all the way. But it doesn't have the rear wheel drive fun factor of the CTS. The CTS Sportwagon is something I've considered but the budget isn't there right now. Until then, my 2005 SRX will have to do.
  7. The CTS Sports Wagon will have obvious comparisons to the BMW 535xi and the Mercedes E350 in this country. Both have 6 speed manuals or automatics to choose from. Both cars are the same size and going after much of the same market. But the BMW is available in AWD only while the Caddy allows you to choose AWD or RWD. The CTS also gives you two engine choices, matching the BMW at 300 HP at the top end. But the BMW starts at $54K (!!!). The Mercedes is only available in AWD as well (in non AMG form) and has only one engine, matching the CTS entry level engine for horsepower. It does come with a third row of seating, much like the Vista-cruisers of old. It's price is a eye popping $56K before options. As much as a CTS-V Sport Wagon would be extremely cool, I think we're lucky that GM green-lighted this car in the first place. Considering we're getting the coupe too and likely a V-series coupe, we should all count our blessings. The only way we're getting a V-series wagon is if GM thought they could sell at least 400 copies a year, and that's a tiny run of vehicles for the General. Maybe somebody can make the business case for it, but I'm not holding my breath. BMW doesn't even import the M5 wagon anymore. Only Mercedes offers the E63 AMG in this space. At least we get all the features of the existing sedan, including the DI engine, 6 speed manuals (!!!) and brand new 19" wheels. Having said that, I'm sure that someone has a Sport Wagon with the Corvette engine somewhere in GM just to see if anyone's interested...
  8. Many of those others may not have V8 options either as time goes on. The sad fact is that despite getting great press for years, the SRX was a sales failure. It tried to be a very different vehicle in a market where the Lexus RX was king. The RX was smaller, had a better, more inviting interior, and yes, was very popular with affluent women who often were using them to haul kids. I own an '05 SRX for the same reason...my wife hauls the kids with it. We'lve had nothing but nice things to say about the car. But GM botched the launch of the vehicle with an interior that you could get away with on a cheaper CTS bit not this car, and an initial problem of sending zillions of V8 models to dealerships when buyers wanted V6s. It took months to straighten out the supply chain issue and three years to get a new interior. By then it was too late. I hope the new SRX does better with its target audience. For me, the CTS Sport Wagon might end up being our next kid hauler. Having a choice from Cadillac is not a bad thing.
  9. A short rear deck and a long hood is classic muscle car proportions. Think late '60's fastback Mustang. Heck, you could even make the argument of the '80 Seville except I think this trunk is far better executed than the bustle-back of that vehicle. Ultimately, the trunk will be smaller, but again, it's a coupe. It's not meant to be practical. One more point in this rear deck's favor is the European market. They like hatchback cars, even expensive ones. One that looks like one but still has the noise isolation of a rear trunk might find buyers.
  10. I think the proportions are just fine. Look, coupes aren't meant to be practical. If you want that, there's a nice CTS sedan with your name on it. When Infiniti introduced its G coupe, it's wasn't practical either in the rear. Neither is BMW's 6 series. Heck, the Mercedes CLK sedan isn't practical either and they sell a boat load of them. I think we won't see the 20/21" wheels on the production car. I hope they keep the wedge bumper in the back, even if it isn't practical either. Just about everything else in this car is buildable. What's really interesting is that this car really doesn't have a true exact price/size competitor. The closest competitor for size is undoubtedly the BMW 6. Both cars are within spitting distance of each other for length, height and width, but the Ct Coupe has a longer wheelbase (should be cool for handling). Of course, the 6 series starts with a V8 and you can't get one for less than $75K. The Mercedes CLK is a smaller vehicle, starting at $47K for the CLK350. The Infiniti G37 is probably the closest real competitor but its still a shorter vehicle. Regardless, Cadillac looks like they have another winner on their hands. Now we just need a V-series...
  11. One thing for sure is that it takes a very long time to completely remake a product line. Keep in mind that when the original CTS first bowed in the winter of 1992, it was a shot in the dark to try to see if remaking Cadillac would even work (as opposed to shutting it down). Even after that success, there had to be serious talk of just how to remake the product line while keeping the old line customers coming in. GM's biggest long term problem has been execution. Its really easy to say what kind of products you want to build and GM has dangled some really cool looking ideas in front of us (Evoq, Cien, Sixteen). But the execution of those ideas would often end up half-baked or not at all. In the case of the Evoq, the really radical looking concept vehicle with super sharp and delicate features in the same body ended up getting a more conservative nose that was too small for the design. The retractable roof actually gave worst-class trunk room when stowed compared to other competitors. The interior at first got good marks since it was indeed the best thing Caddy had done up to that point. But it was compromised by things like cramped seating, silly comarketing schemes reminiscent of Caddy of 20 years ago (who wants to look at "Bvlgari everyday?), a HVAC cluster from the CTS parts bin, too small tires, etc. The STS didn't know who it was trying to please and ending up being an extremely bland offering in a hypercompetitive market (Chinese market STS not withstanding). Only the STS-V tried to really distinguish itself. We've seen the execution problem get better over time, but I think many of us were still wondering if Caddy could deliver a complete vehicle. The 2007 Escalade was pretty close and a harbinger or what was to come with the '08 CTS. Now with the CTS the execution issues seem to be few and far between compared to previous efforts. So far it's things like Bluetooth or roof handles...things of lesser significance or things they can be modified later. Given this effort, I have hope for the future of Cadillac products. The BTS must be perfect...no excuses at all to say nothing of the flagship sedan.
  12. I know that some of us might have some nostalgia for how the luxury car market used to be, but frankly, that ship sailed 30+ years ago. It just took Cadillac that much time to realize it. Gone are the days where supersized framed cars that completely isolated you from the road roamed the highways. Even luxury cars that aren't considered to be sport racers mostly still have to decent handling a curve or two. The old days defined entry level luxury as just a trim level on an existing large vehicle. These days it's actually a different sized car which has its own trim levels. And the smaller the vehicle, the more likely its supposed to have some idea of how to do good handling with the leaders of the class. Ironically Cadillac had a chance to hit the ground running early on in the mid-70's when they introduced the Seville. They billed it as a European experience and sized vehicle, but they had no clue in those days what a real European sedan experience really meant. If they had figured it out early and done a better job executing that mission, the dark days of the 1980's might have had a happier story instead of the offering things like the god-awful Cimmaron. Markets change and so do buyers. If and when that happens, you can't keep selling the same stuff. That's B-school 101. BMW figured this out in the '70s and even Mercedes had to adjust their thinking. Cadillac tried to adjust but they just didn't buy into what really needed to be done and was too risk advserse in alienating some of their long time customers which are now dying off. The important distinction in the COTY award is that Motor Trend editors said that Cadillac had delivered a competitive product without completely divorcing itself from aspects that are uniquely American. What they are saying is that Cadillac figured out that they can't out-BMW BMW. But they can deliver the best Cadillac they can build with the new parameters that buyers are looking for in a car of this segment. This is also why Audi, Mercedes and other makers keep their unique flavors and are ultimately successful at it. Also, winning over the automotive press is important. Word of mouth advertising often starts with favorable press coverage and BMW has 30+ years of it. Cadillac's product transition from it's old ways to a more modern lineup isn't complete yet, but by 2011/2012 it'll be a lot more clear. It took a long time for Cadillac to turn into a luxury laughing stock. It's also taking a long time to undo that damage. Winning the COTY for the 208 CTS goes a long way to repairing that damage.
  13. The Seville was never small, just *smaller*. When it debuted in 1976, the Eldos, Devilles and Fleetwoods of the day were simply over the top huge (and would never reach that size again). My mother had a '79 Seville and compared to the modern day STS, the two vehicles aren't that much different in overall size....I think the current vehicle does have a longer wheelbase and much shorter overhangs. As far as the automotivenews article, some of it makes sense, but there's one big problem in the rumor article. I've heard before that the DTS and STS might get killed and be replaced by a new flagship. That was always one of the options I thought GM managers had since the new CTS pretty much elminates much of the need of the current STS. The DTS is still "old thinking" Cadillac and is there strictly for traditional customers plus the livery/funeral business. You could either keep the DTS or transition their customers into the CTS or other vehicles over time (some customers have been doing that anyway). What doesn't make sense is replacing the STS/DTS with a "5 series vehicle". I don't know what automotivenews is smoking, but that makes no sense. The new CTS is the 5 series competitive car, especially with a smaller BLS/BTS sedan for North America in the pipeline. Why would you crowd your own market segment with another vehicle in this space and repeat the problem you have now? And I'm sure that the new next-gen Northstar V8 will find a home in the CTS once the STS is dead. By 2010, we should see the following CTS technologies: 1. CTS Sedan 2. CTS Coupe 3. CTS Wagon perhaps 4. Diesel option 5. Hybrid V6 option 6. V8 option 7. V-series One problem Caddy will have is that the upcoming BLS/BTS will be too close in price to the existing CTS. The easy solution to this is to eliminate the entry level trim option for the CTS, leaving it with two levels (not including the V). That will put the CTS being delivered squarly in the $38K-$58K range where the BLS/BTS can live in the $31K-$42K range (with a V series costing more). A future flagship vehicle (we'll call it "FTS" for lack of a better name) needs to give Caddy a world class large sedan in the $60K-$100K range they lack now. Without it, they won't have a complete product line. I would leave the livery business to a future large Buick. And if they play their cards right, you can design a commercial chassis version of the FTS for the funeral business that won't cost those customers an arm and a leg before going to the custom coach builders (who just tear the car apart anyway). I do think the SRX may get whacked, which is unfortunate. As an SRX owners, my wife and I have had generally high praise for our 2005 model. The vehicle is consistently well reviewed and arguably the one class leading vehicle in the Caddy stable. But sales have been slow for a few reasons. First, the launch of the vehicle was flubbed by poorly forecasting the desired engine for most buyers (too many V8s produced initially). Second, the interior was lifted lock stock and barrel from the CTS....not a good move for a vehicle too close to the STS in price and with an "S" beginning its name, you expected better. That has now been addressed for 2007, but its too late for a lot of buyers. Finally, there is no hybrid and the current vehicle's gas mileage is pretty lousy, especially for the V6. A BRX would be nice, but a 5 passenger vehicle crossover is too small for my family, and my wife isn't into the big 'Slades (although the upcoming hybrid may change her mind).
  14. Don't forget the SRX. It consistently gets best in class or near best in class reviews.
  15. I wholeheartedly DISAGREE. Nurburgring is like New York City...if you can make it here, you can make it anywhere. Everyone now uses it at the benchmark since it's such a tough course. But there are some real world benefits. How do I know? 4+ years ago my wife and I owned a 2003 CTS LuxSport and she was out driving on a local state road that's a divided highway driven at Interstate speeds. Ahead of her was a dump truck coming from a highway construction site she had passed earlier. All of a sudden, a metal shovel peels off the dump truck and bouncing into oncoming traffic...at 50 MPH. My wife, who was about 5 months pregnant at the time immediately reacted and tried to avoid it, but when she saw she made the wrong choice on the direction of the object, she immediately whipped the CTS to the other side of the highway, barely missing the object flying my her drivers window by inches. My wife had no advanced driver training and had never owned a sports sedan before the CTS. The vehicle did exactly what she asked it to do...no muss or fuss. It just responded. Oh, and the highway point where this happened wasn't a straight piece of pavement either, so she's managing the curve at the same time. I wrote Cadillac engineers a letter thanking them for all the time they put into their 'Ring testing. I'm told it was passed around the group.

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