• Mar 9, 2010
Cadillac XTS Concept – Click above for high-res image gallery

There's no way to misunderstand Cadillac spokesman Nick Twork on this: "The Cadillac brand is best communicated as Cadillac without GM." For proof of his intent all you'll need to do is swing by a Cadillac showroom where soon you'll be unable to find any trace of the words "General Motors" or any hint of marketing strategies like Red Tag Sales. Even Cadillac employees are changing their e-mails from @gm.com to @cadillac.com.

Cadillac's 2009 sales posted a slightly steeper drop than GM's overall decline, and this year the luxury brand is rebounding at about half the pace of GM overall, with a 14 percent rise vs. 31 percent for its parent. That doesn't mean we should assume that the perhaps unsavory associations with "Government Motors" is what's holding Cadillac back, but the brand doesn't want to leave anything undone in its quest to again be the best.

GM wants to move 140,000 Cadillacs this year, representing a 28 percent jump over last year's depressed figures. It's starting consumer research to figure out what buyers think of the brand, will soon reveal the first round of creative by its new ad agency Bartle Bogle Hegarty, and will introduce more leasing deals that luxury buyers are keen for. And neither it nor its dealers will bring up The Brand Which Must Not Be Mentioned. Hat tip to John!



[Source: Bloomberg]


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  • 59 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      Sounds good. You don't see VW or Audi badges on Bugatti, Lamborghini, Porsche, etc. Brand differentiation wasn't cool at one point, but it matters now.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I think you guys are taking this way too literal. They are just making it "appear" that there's no tie to GM. And as for the numbers, I think it would appear even worse if they didn't count the Cadillac numbers in the GM numbers.
      • 4 Years Ago
      That XTS looks like an Avalon!
        • 4 Years Ago
        Uh-huh. Riiiight.

        But since you are a Toyota lover, that's supposed to be a compliment right?
      • 4 Years Ago
      My parents have a 2008 DTS. Looks nice, but that's as far as it goes. For fifty plus thousand dollars, this car, compared to a BMW, Lexus, or Benz (or even my Honda) has to be an embarrassment for GM and Cadillac.

      The reliability and quality of this car is junk (new transaxle, new transmission, broken trim pieces galore, broken third mounted stop light, lose wires, and on and on). This car doesn't need GPS to find its way to the shop anymore! And all of this with only thirty some thousand miles.

      And to GM and Cadillac, there are lots and lots and lots of old-timers left in the world that still think Cadillac is the best (go figure!). Your new CTS is nice (and hopefully the quality is much better than the DTS), but how many old timers can easily get in and out of that small car like they can a big car? There is a significant market left with the old timers. Don't forget about them and the ca$h (not financing) they bring to your company.

      Oh, I just saw Cadillac's new STX today in person. Looks nice, edgy, sophisticated. But what's with the crappy gas mileage with the optional turbo'd motor? Has Cadillac forget that gas was recently $4/gallon and quickly on it's way to $3/gallon again? Geez...

      And as long as I'm on a rant, what in the he-- is Cadillac doing spending more time to bring more leasing deals to its customers? HELLO--if someone is going to drive a Cadillac (or any luxury car for that matter), get your damn checkbook out and pay for it. Otherwise, buy an affordable car and stop acting like you are wealthy! Wealthy wannabees have cost the rest of us billions of dollars in bailouts. Enough!
        • 4 Years Ago
        Sorry, but you sound like a standard troll. It doesn't matter what thread is out there, there is one of these "stories" about some relative or friend who had this horrendous experience with the brand in question, dealing with multiple failures. It doesn't matter if it's a Toyota, Ford, Cadillac, etc. I mean really, do you people have a form you fill out?

        bought and while the cars quality is .

        After only the need to be replaced. Also after only .

        ...
      • 4 Years Ago
      I drive an 08 Cadillac CTS (with a stick shift - imagine that) and I love the car. And that is the key, I love the car. I love the way it looks, I love the way it drives and that will likely keep me in the Cadillac fold for my next car, provided they don't do something really stupid (which, given this is GM we are talking, is always a strong possibility).

      I for one couldn't care less if Cadillac is or isn't associated with GM provided they produce sexy, interesting, fun to drive cars. Frankly, I think it's rather disingenuous to believe that simply removing the GM branding from dealerships is going to confuse anyone. Cadillac is as GM a brand as any that have ever existed and GM should spend less time on marketing gimmicks (first is was putting little Mark of Excellence badges on everything, now it's hide the GM name) and simply focus on continuing to build cars people might actually want (like mine).
        • 4 Years Ago
        Your next car should obviously be a CTS-V Sportwagon. :) Err wait that's my dream.
        • 4 Years Ago
        It may be silly and obvious to you, but I meet people all the time that don't know GM is the parent company to all the brands under their umbrella. Or that couldn't name them all. It is what it is. Some people would buy a CTS-V if they were sold in Wal-Marts between the shotguns and the kiddy toys and others wouldn't purchase an American car if a D3 company flew them to the factory on a private jet, gave them three "escorts" to keep them company while their vehicle of choice was custom built to their specifications.

        Somewhere in between GM is working its hardest to woo the people in the gray area. They aren't going waste a dime on the two extremes I listed above.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I guess they're counting on people to be ignorant and stupid with this strategy...
        • 4 Years Ago
        It worked for Saturn until 5 years ago when it got folded into GM, it was the model Scion was going to use until the Toyota dealers mucked it up, It works especially well for Audi. I am amazed how many people don't realize their A# isn't a rebadged VW until you point it out.

        • 4 Years Ago
        Lexus seems to be doing well these days. hehe
        • 4 Years Ago
        exactly why it will work.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Considering Obama criticism of the upper class, i doubt anyone would want to buy Luxury car from government motors.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Isn't this what every large automaker does? I mean, you don't see Toyota logos everywhere at the Lexus dealer, or VW badges on Audis or Bentleys... Good to see GM's finally figured that out.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Some have mentioned that the luxury brands under Toyota and Honda do well being separate from the parent. These brands were separate from the get go, Cadillac has been under GM forever, thus this exercise will fail.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Lexus/Infiniti/Acura were all designed from the ground-up to operate like separate entities. It's a marketing plan to segment the market and cater to a higher clientele. Cadillac is just trying to follow this plan now, but for them to mimic this they have to invest in 1) separate showrooms that are not adjacent to another GM brand's lot, 2) separate parts and financing divisions and 3) separate sales channels, incentives, and advertising. The most important thing I would say is #1: wow the customers with great sales and service experience in a physically separate environment and downplay all connection to the corporate parent. Good luck to Cadillac on following the japanese marketing model.
      • 4 Years Ago
      To quote an expression going around today; You can put lipstick on a pig, but its still a pig ! !
      • 4 Years Ago
      Unless you have been living under a rock, I think pretty much the entire general public knows Cadillac belongs to GM; No?
        • 4 Years Ago
        My best friend drives a Jeep Liberty, she didn't know that Chrysler owns Jeep and Dodge. She also didn't know that GM own Chevy, Caddy, etc. So trust me everyone is not an autoblog car enthusiast. This can work.


        Funny story...she loves the Range Rover and she said once she gets one (after we both start our careers) she was going to get one of those "out of a job yet, keep buying foreign" bumper stickers until I told her that Land Rover was a foreign brand lol.
        • 4 Years Ago
        notfooled 5:39PM (3/09/2010)

        In a way, Buicks aren't American cars. They've got American brand name with the bones of European Opels. At least, the Regal and the Lacrosse do, right? By they way....what constitutes an "American" car, anyway?

        There is a difference between American Car and American Made...GM is an American Company there for it's cars are American....GM was founded in the US, based out of the US...headquarters reside in motor city etc etc....
        • 4 Years Ago
        You give the general public way too much credit.

        I had someone ask me one day: "Is Buick an American brand?" I have a different friend who asked for car advice and did not know that Chevy was a GM brand.
        • 4 Years Ago
        @Tony a big +1

        I went along with a family member to help them with buying a Ford Escape Hybrid. We actually had the finance manager tell us that at least we didn't have to worry about the Hybrid Powertrain since Toyota takes care of all that. If it hadn't been for the shortage of "Hybrid Certified" Ford dealers at the time we would have walked out.

        I have had many people argue with me that their Pontiac has nothing in common with a Chevy or Mercury and Ford. I remember the discussions about how GM's were so much better the body is made by Fisher.

        My favourites though are the people driving Aveo's, Epica's, etc who tell me how proud they are to drive a North American car. Once in a while you will even see one with a "Made In Canada Matters" sticker.

        • 4 Years Ago
        In a way, Buicks aren't American cars. They've got American brand name with the bones of European Opels. At least, the Regal and the Lacrosse do, right? By they way....what constitutes an "American" car, anyway?
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