Cadillac should update their definition of premium brand - more choices from factory
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Cadillac ATS General Discussion Forum Discussion, Cadillac should update their definition of premium brand - more choices from factory in Cadillac ATS Discussion Forums; ...
  1. #1
    HandletheTruth is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Cadillac should update their definition of premium brand - more choices from factory

    I assert that a significant aspect of purchasing a premium branded / luxury branded vehicle is personal customization from the factory - would buy from a mass market brand if I was OK with limited choices. Car companies need to limit the number of build variations from the factory to control costs / complexities and maintain quality. A build variation is the total number of different combinations of trim levels (Luxury, Performance, Premium, etc.), factory options (heated seats, sunroof, etc) and other choices (paint color, interior trim choices, etc.). They already limit the number of factory variations by employing dealer installed options. However, they must be competitive regarding the number of customizable options/choices - and presumably improve over time.

    My thoughts are summarized by an interesting paragraph from a previous review from TheTruthAboutCars.com review of the Cadillac ATS by Michael Karesh on July 23, 2012: .....I pressed a number of ATS development team members about this inflexible packaging. Their response was that they had to keep the build combinations very low, 915 to be precise. GM feels that matching the BMWs 1.2 million build combinations would substantially drive up costs and harm quality. I believe that they believe this, but Im nevertheless skeptical. How does it significantly help cost or quality to always install nav when you install the FE3 suspension? I dont doubt that reducing manufacturing complexity helps, but I dont think all additional build combinations are equally harmful (as assumed by GM math).

    Also, they could increase the number of dealer installed options. For example, if you look at this forum there are large number of entries regarding aftermarket upgrades for items that are included on the higher level trim packages - such as headlight LEDs, HUD display, remote vehicle start, etc. Cadillac needs to improve in this area over time.

    Am hoping that Cadillac will respond with "Challenge Accepted". I do not expect them to match BMW (because BMW charges a lot for all their options), but they need to understand their customers better and increase the number of choices where it matters. Mining the forums is an excellent place to start.

    If I were Cadillac.... There should be two interior trim options with the Morello red seats - one the way it is now and another with less red trim on the dash and doors (to prevent people from suffering from visual red fatigue). Also, they should include a black chrome option for All the exterior chrome trim from the factory. Currently they have a dealer installed Black Chrome option for only the front grille and a back trim piece - and not for the side chrome trim on the doors / windows (really?!?).

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  3. #2
    Stevo Supremo's Avatar
    Stevo Supremo is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: Cadillac should update their definition of premium brand - more choices from fac

    Cadillacs a mid priced, luxury car... "luxury" (hell I think the new impala LTZ rivals cadillac in comforts)

    You're not shelling out 100K here for a range rover/7series/A8/S class. At this price point I dont blame them, these are mass manufactured cars at a point where its not viable or needed to make a million combo's. I still think the implement of a red leather interior is something I didn't think they'd do and is a real step up for them.

    I just dont feel that, at this pricing, total customer customization is needed/possible for a car thats manufactured/sold on such a scale.

    Its hard to express what I mean but I hope you understand what I'm getting at.

    I'll agree that maybe not this car, but a loaded Vsport CTS should have a lot of customization, and when/if the Elmiraj happens, if they're going to be pricing it to compete with the aforementioned, it had BETTER be customizable to quite an extent. But does the ATS need that? not in my opinion, its still the baby entry level caddy.

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    bbrown450's Avatar
    bbrown450 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Interesting... I noticed one of the last statements that we written in the new Motor Trend article on the new CTS winning Car of the year was about customization being a huge point with the CTS and you cam literally build a 4 cylinder $60k car or a $59k CTS-V Sport with no options at all.
    RippyPartsDept likes this.

  5. #4
    HandletheTruth is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Cadillac should update their definition of premium brand - more choices from fac

    Quote Originally Posted by Stevo Supremo View Post
    Cadillacs a mid priced, luxury car... "luxury" (hell I think the new impala LTZ rivals cadillac in comforts)

    You're not shelling out 100K here for a range rover/7series/A8/S class. At this price point I dont blame them, these are mass manufactured cars at a point where its not viable or needed to make a million combo's. I still think the implement of a red leather interior is something I didn't think they'd do and is a real step up for them.

    I just dont feel that, at this pricing, total customer customization is needed/possible for a car thats manufactured/sold on such a scale.

    Its hard to express what I mean but I hope you understand what I'm getting at.

    I'll agree that maybe not this car, but a loaded Vsport CTS should have a lot of customization, and when/if the Elmiraj happens, if they're going to be pricing it to compete with the aforementioned, it had BETTER be customizable to quite an extent. But does the ATS need that? not in my opinion, its still the baby entry level caddy.
    At this price point should they try to be competitive with the BMW 3 series (a mass manufactured vehicle) or is 915 build variations even remotely adequate relative to 1.2 million build variations available for a direct competitor like the 3 series (perhaps 200,000 would be adequate, but 915)? I certainly agree with you that the more expensive the car the higher the expectation of factory customization choices. If you read what Cadillac is saying about how they want to be perceived NOW - they consistently convey they want to be considered a premium vehicle maker that justifies higher transaction prices - you should consider recalibrating your expectations about the brand.

  6. #5
    ryannel2003's Avatar
    ryannel2003 is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: Cadillac should update their definition of premium brand - more choices from fac

    BMW allows you to build any model of their car pretty much exactly how you want it. I agree and I think Cadillac should allow a bit more customization than they do at the moment.

  7. #6
    sgr88 is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Cadillac should update their definition of premium brand - more choices from fac

    I totally agree with this. The one thing that really, really irks me about the ATS/factory ordering is that I'm not allowed to choose which kind/color of interior trim panels I want. If I choose to order a black interior... I'm only allowed to get the brushed aluminum trim and no other. I'm not allowed to choose any of the wood colored trims. There is one wood trim color which I thought would look really good with a black interior, but I asked the dealer and he said no go... you can't pick other trim color packages when factory ordering. When you pick your interior color, it comes with a standard trim color package from the factory and there is no option to choose another interior trim color

  8. #7
    pissedoffwookiee's Avatar
    pissedoffwookiee is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: Cadillac should update their definition of premium brand - more choices from fac

    Quote Originally Posted by sgr88 View Post
    I totally agree with this. The one thing that really, really irks me about the ATS/factory ordering is that I'm not allowed to choose which kind/color of interior trim panels I want. If I choose to order a black interior... I'm only allowed to get the brushed aluminum trim and no other. I'm not allowed to choose any of the wood colored trims. There is one wood trim color which I thought would look really good with a black interior, but I asked the dealer and he said no go... you can't pick other trim color packages when factory ordering. When you pick your interior color, it comes with a standard trim color package from the factory and there is no option to choose another interior trim color
    this is not true, you can order any trim you like they are called LPO's (Limited Production Option)

    and the LPO codes for the trim when ordering are as follows:

    WCZ - Red Accented Carbon Fiber
    WGI - Brushed Aluminum
    WGK - Natural Sapele Wood
    WGL - Okapi Stripe Designer wood
    WGM - Olive Ash Wood

    the new CTS has this too, but they have 2 Carbon Fiber choices one with the red thread and one without....for both cars there is an extra cost for this customization

    to verify this ask your dealer (a competent one), cadillac.com build your own or try a god but independent configurator like the Costco auto buying program

  9. #8
    Hoosier Daddy's Avatar
    Hoosier Daddy is offline Moderator
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    Re: Cadillac should update their definition of premium brand - more choices from fac

    Quote Originally Posted by sgr88 View Post
    I totally agree with this. The one thing that really, really irks me about the ATS/factory ordering is that I'm not allowed to choose which kind/color of interior trim panels I want. If I choose to order a black interior... I'm only allowed to get the brushed aluminum trim and no other. I'm not allowed to choose any of the wood colored trims. There is one wood trim color which I thought would look really good with a black interior, but I asked the dealer and he said no go... you can't pick other trim color packages when factory ordering. When you pick your interior color, it comes with a standard trim color package from the factory and there is no option to choose another interior trim color
    Fortunately, its not hard to end up with any trim you want. All of the ATS trims are available as accessories which can be self or dealer installed. The people who have done this say they just snap in and out. You would have to pay for the trim you actually want but you can turn around and sell the ones that came with the car. There is a good chance you could buy someone else's take offs and sell your take offs for the same amount.

    So while it would be nice if you could just pick the trim you want when you order (for no additional cost), that wouldn't make much difference since most people don't custom order their car like I did.

    I know your dealer won't do it but two of the four dealers I talked to said they would swap trim with any car in inventory for no cost. I'm just mentioning that for other readers wanting the same thing. Anyone who does should ask the dealer to throw that in although I wouldn't trust that for a special order because who knows what will be in their inventory by the time your car comes in.

  10. #9
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    GJB
    GJB is online now Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Re: Cadillac should update their definition of premium brand - more choices from fac

    Quote Originally Posted by bbrown450 View Post
    Interesting... I noticed one of the last statements that we written in the new Motor Trend article on the new CTS winning Car of the year was about customization being a huge point with the CTS and you cam literally build a 4 cylinder $60k car or a $59k CTS-V Sport with no options at all.

    Speaking of the CTS, this weekend while I was having my ATS oil changed I looked at the 14 CTS...It is OMG nice! If I had a spare 70K laying around I would have left with it.

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