General Motors Vice President of Global Design, Ed Welburn, had some dismissive words for a certain cross-town luxury brand during an interview with Car and Driver. When asked about his thoughts on Lincoln, Welburn deflected, before saying, "I don't consider Lincoln to be a competitor for Cadillac."

"They're not a global luxury brand. I don't consider them a competitor. Are they a competitor for Buick? Quite possibly. But not for Cadillac," GM's head designer explained. Welburn, who's been at the helm of GM Design North America since 2003 and is the first to hold the position of VP of Global Design, has been instrumental in the styling renaissance at GM, so predictably, Car and Driver's interview with him focused on the design aspect of cars.

During the interview, Welburn explicitly denied plans for a reborn Cadillac XLR, even as a new Chevrolet Corvette is hitting the market and strides are being made with Cadillac's V-Series performance arm saying, "We have a lot of cars that we're working on for the Cadillac brand. The XLR is not one of them right now."

Predictably, there was also talk of the gorgeous Elmiraj Concept. "I think Cadillac needs to be a full-line luxury brand. There are categories that we don't participate in, presently, that we will in the future," Welburn said. "We have more vehicles under development today than at any other time in the history of the brand. But I'm not going to tell you which ones we're going to do. There's a lot that we're working on. And we're certainly looking at that [points to the Elmiraj] for production."

You can read the entire interview over at Car and Driver. Meanwhile, we've put together a little poll for you below.



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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 124 Comments
      Kent Kangley
      • 1 Year Ago
      I'm afraid Mr. Welburn is right. As a Lincoln fan (I drover my '64 Continental sedan cross-country several times in the 1980s), I've been very disappointed in the direction Lincoln has taken in the last 20-30 years. The cars they're selling now should really have been rebranded as Mercury, and entirely new RWD architecture created for Lincoln. The current line-up is really only competing against Buick and Acura.
      Sir Duke
      • 1 Year Ago
      Dem is fightin' words. Ed is poking the comatose 'gator with a long stick. It would be be great to see a good old fashioned slap fight between Cadillac and Lincoln. However, Caddy has been landing hay-makers, and Lincoln has been turning the other cheek. Today's Lincolns barely measures up to Buick lineup.
      The Law
      • 1 Year Ago
      As for right now, they aren't.
        The_Zachalope
        • 1 Year Ago
        @The Law
        I'd give it time. I see Lincoln right now where Cadillac was 15 years ago: A lineup of FWD cars that are just there. Not really exciting, but more of a nameplate to show off when rolling through the parking lot of the Golden Palms Retirement Home. Is Lincoln ever going to be a serious competitor to Cadillac? More than likely not, but only time can tell where they're going to be in the future, and I think the MKC is a starting point.
      WOB
      • 1 Year Ago
      Sounds like this guy knows what he is talking about.
      Groagun
      • 1 Year Ago
      Lincoln isn't and shouldn't be a competitor for Cadillac. Cadillac decided long ago to take on the Germans and have been very successful as of late. The ATS is a genuine and compelling competitor and alternative to the 3 Series, Audi A3/4 and MB CLA. The new CTS does the same strut against the upper end 3 Series and lower to middle end 5 Series, the Audi A4/6 and MB C Class and even lower end E Class. The one thing all of these cars have in common is their 'sports sedan' nature. This is the class of car that defines the phrase 'European Handling'. I think it's great for Cadillac and I really enjoy seeing them take on the world and not just pull even, but in some cases, beat the Euros at their own game. That leaves a void in the market though and one that I think Lincoln should fill. Big, soft, floaty and traditional luxury. I'm talking old school where power, to borrow a phrase, "is adequate". The distinction is the highway ride and comfort. Big, soft and luxurious, NOT to be taken on the Nurburgring. We have all been convinced that 'Euro Handling' is the be all end all of luxury motoring: I call BS on that. It is what I prefer but truth be told, the reason Europeans have tuned their handling is the literal geography in which they live. I've spent some time in Europe and lots of time in America, the differences can be striking. America is one big paved highway, straight and smooth, the grid. Europe is primarily the opposite: Old horse and buggy trails that have become today's main thorough fares. There is a real need for handling in most European countries and cities, hence the phrase 'European Handling' is a function of reality. For America though, the grid reigns supreme and handling isn't as high on the priority list. Comfort, speed and efficiency are the mantra with a sprinkling of unique and personal flavor courtesy of the aftermarket industry. So why enter the pool with the other 4 to 6 'Euro Handling' competitors and not jump into the pool with only really 1 other competitor in Lexus in the comfort and refinement luxury segment. Lexus has faltered lately and the segment would welcome a competitor, it may be the right time to take a run at Lexus and go back to Lincolns roots, old school soft and floaty luxury.
      merlot066
      • 1 Year Ago
      Four years ago Microsoft wasn't a rival to Apple for tablets or smartphones. Windows 8 tablet sales are skyrocketing (as well as Kindle sales) and Windows Phone is predicted to bump Apple as the #2 smartphone in Europe next year. Success breeds complacency. Complacency breeds failure. Only the paranoid survive. Cadillac hasn't had enough success to be complacent yet.
        jtav2002
        • 1 Year Ago
        @merlot066
        Your analogy is a little flawed. How is Cadillac showed complacency? Caddy has done a lot more to both make their product competitive and keep it there than Apple has.
          merlot066
          • 1 Year Ago
          @jtav2002
          Saying that Lincoln isn't a rival shows complacency. The FWD XTS is directly comparable to the MKS. While the current MKS is trash (shuddering at the thought of that plastic grille), it will be fully redesigned next year and moved to the sharp riding (and more space efficient) Fusion platform. The Navigator will be receiving a redesign to compete with the Escalade, and a redesigned MKX on a new platform and brand new MKC will absolutely give the SRX a run for its money. Lincoln spent a lot less money building the MKZ than Cadillac did on the CTS, and at the moment Lincoln is selling more MKZs within the same price range (CTS $33k-55k, MKZ $36k-$52k). Cadillac and Lincoln are *American* luxury brands. While it's great, especially from an enthusiast perspective, that Cadillac has outdone BMW in handling dynamics, if they turn a blind eye to certain sections of the industry, especially Lincoln, they might be blindsided yet again.
        Ryan
        • 1 Year Ago
        @merlot066
        Where'd you get data on Smartphones and Tablets? Windows Phone has a long road ahead to catch Apple. But yes, being a former Nokia employee I 100% agree that Complacency breeds failure. But at the moment, Lincoln really only competes with the likes of Buick and Acura not the likes Cadillac, Lexus, and BMW. But that might change in 5 years.
          merlot066
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Ryan
          Windows Phone is #1 in several small European countries as well as Italy, and in the top 5 largest countries in Europe market share for the iPhone dropped from 20.8% to 15.8% while Windows Phone jumped from 4.8% to 10.2%. Windows Phone is adding phablets and other popular devices while Apple is throwing the plastic iPhone C on the market and calling it a day.
      • 1 Year Ago
      [blocked]
      express2day
      • 1 Year Ago
      While both Lincoln and Cadillac are domestic luxury brands and no doubt have buyers shopping both brands, they are both largely targeting imports and not even the same imports. Lincoln may not be a rival of Cadillac but Cadillac also isn't a rival of Lincoln as they seem to be taking different approaches to the luxury market. Cadillac has cars that sell for less than the least expensive Lincolns. It's a little too early to assess Lincoln, or even Cadillac, at this point anyway. This is a question better asked five years from now.
      Eta Carinae
      • 1 Year Ago
      The statement is true, but there is a lot more it then that......lincoln is not on cadillac level, but honestly cadillac is just tickling the germans right now......yes, they're offering stellar new products (sans the ELR).....but they still lack a full line up......it is on the way and it will be good, but he kinda over stepped in terms of were cadillac is at this point.......but an elmiraj production would completely seal the coffin on lincoln in terms of competiting with one another ....
      linuxaddict7
      • 1 Year Ago
      Some people just love throwing **** on domestic brands.
        adam1keith1980
        • 1 Year Ago
        @linuxaddict7
        Americans still have a lot to learn from German automakers on producing cars that are both luxurious and high-performance. Where is the American answer to the Veyron? S65AMG? Rolls-Royce?
      rllama
      • 1 Year Ago
      I think Lincoln needs to build a supercar to shake up the brand's image a little. That, and build better luxury cars.
      Jai
      • 1 Year Ago
      Looks like the 15 Mustang is already causing problems at GM. Useless trash talking is nothing new for this company, Ford is much more professional. Global luxury brand? Higher end Nissans and Fords cost more than equal performing Cadillacs here in Dubai. It's the cheapest luxury brand on the market. You could literally buy 2 cadillacs for the price of a direct competitor from Bimmer or a Benz here. Global luxury brand my ass.
        Carpinions
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Jai
        "Higher end Nissans and Fords"? Which would those be? And the reason Cadillacs are supposedly cheaper there could have a lot to do with taxation and import laws. Go to Singapore and any car will cost 2-3x what it does in the US. Does that mean that a Toyota Prius is suddenly better than a Cadillac because it costs $90k there? Your post could not have more fail written into it.
        Dark Gnat
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Jai
        These statements were made well over a week ago, so your argument is invalid.
        v6sonoma
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Jai
        First he said they don't compete and he's right. Lincoln has very little going for it at the moment in any area, Cadillac has just launched several new products that are all winning reviews in their segments and getting people to buy them that would have bought a MB, BMW, or Audi. Lincoln isn't anywhere close to that. Cadillac still has a ways to go before it can win over everyone but it's getting better and better with each new car. Second just because something costs twice as much doesn't mean that it's necessarily better. It just means people with more money are likely to waste it on poor decisions. Cadillacs new cars are great and perform better then the competition. It's only a matter of time before they build themselves to the point of BMW in the eyes of those that doubt.
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