View Full Version : GM Seeks Global Input For Future Cadillacs

01-28-08, 01:47 AM
GM seeks global input for future Cadillacs

Rick Kranz

Automotive News | January 28, 2008 - 12:01 am EST

DETROIT In yet another attempt to turn Cadillac into a successful global brand, General Motors this year will take a group of designers to China, Russia and other countries to learn what it might take to get BMW and Mercedes-Benz buyers behind the wheel of a Cadillac.

This is a major change in product-development strategy for GM. Generally speaking, today's Cadillacs are developed for North American buyers, then sold in other markets.

"What we see happening in China is profound in terms of how quickly and exponentially the growth is happening," said Clay Dean, Cadillac's new global design director. "The luxury market is going to be big in China. It isn't big there yet, but it will be big in the first- and second-tier cities."

Leaders from GM's Asia Pacific regions met Jan. 17 with GM management in Detroit to discuss Cadillac's potential in China. Dean said Cadillac's product portfolio was a key topic.

A rear-drive large sedan debuting around 2011 or 2012 will be the first Cadillac developed for a global customer instead of a North American buyer, said Dean. That sedan is expected to replace the STS and DTS and compete with the Mercedes-Benz E class and BMW 5 series.

"When we look at our direct competitors BMW, Mercedes and Audi they are global brands," Dean said.

Particularly in terms of vehicle size, he said: "They have product that is acceptable and more appropriate around the world. We have a North American portfolio."

Trying to sell U.S.-oriented vehicles globally has been a dismal failure for Cadillac. Last year Cadillac said it sold 15,722 vehicles outside North America, up from 9,581 in 2006. In 2007, 7,022 Cadillacs were sold in China, the No. 3 market for Cadillac behind Canada. Cadillac sold 3,023 vehicles in Europe and 1,485 in Russia last year.

Sales of the BLS, a mid-sized sedan and wagon sold in Europe, have been disappointing. GM plans to add a small rwd sedan that will replace the BLS around 2010 and be targeted at the BMW 3 series. A small all-wheel-drive crossover inspired by the Provoq concept also is planned.

But Dean said those vehicles will arrive before the new vehicle development strategy takes effect.

SOURCE: http://www.autonews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080128/ANA03/801280339/1198/TOC&template=printart

01-28-08, 09:16 PM
I have a coworker from South Korea, none of his friends from home know what a Cadillac is!

01-29-08, 12:05 AM
its a boat on wheels...

02-15-08, 07:53 PM
Cadillac' only real competition in the world prestige market is Mercedes-Benz . I say this judging from the number of Mercedes used by heads of state and top level members of world class society. You don't see BMWs or Audis or even Lexuses very much if at all at this level. My German friends tell me that in Germany BMW is thought to be very much a second class member of the prestige game ......sort of a Pontiac level car.

Let's face it Cadillac is even doing very well in the visibility game in Washington where Lincoln Town Cars seem to be very much in the predominance for "mover and shaker" transport.

Cadillac should spend a portion of their design resources a car that does the job of prestige level transport to "Standard of the World" levels with a car that truly utilizes quality materials, high standards of fit and finish and luxury class comfort and handling. Right now Cadillac is "Pontiac" class on the world stage ........no wonder when those that can have any car chose Mercedes. GM forgot a long time ago that the purpose of the corporations prestige mark was to be prestigious among the worlds elite and not just a car to be aspired to by the "over the hill" crowd (such as myself) and those with enough money to differentiate themselves from their neighbors. Let's face today Cadillac doesn't even make it into the competition with such "middle management" icons as BMW and Lexus. Cadillac needs some world class prestige cars based on styling, handling build quality and yes ....... price!