: Is This Brand Suicide?



PAULSTSMAN1
02-03-08, 01:18 PM
This morning on AUTOLINE DETROIT, hosted by John McElroy the special guest was Alan Mulally, President and CEO of FORD MOTOR COMPANY. On the reporter Panel was Csaba Csere, Car & Driver Magazine, and Joe White from the Wall Street Journal.

Discussed was marketing strategy, quality issues, brand focus, rebadging of products, and loyalty to customers. All these issues also affect GM and Chrysler Brands inclusively.

The major point when Mulally spoke about FORD globally was the perception of the: Mustang and F150. Though Ford produces many other Brands knowledge of them is not universal. He spoke about the Mondao, a sporty European only, sedan (which opened the new James Bond Movie). Mulally also mentioned how the Detroit AutoShow which displayed a small car from FORD Europe the Verve, generated a lot of excitement.

The reporters acknowledged that though FORD lost 3 Billion dollars last year (2007) it was down 50% in losses from 2006. So from fiscal indicators the business was doing better. However McElroy pointed out that the rebadged brand MERCURY would actually be outsold this year by LINCOLN. And he questioned the viability of keeping the Mercury Brand alive.

Panellist Joe White WSJ, made the observation that FORD marketing strategy may be suspect in their product offerings as the Luxury Markets Worldwide are growing, and the Working persons are not keeping up in income. The ratio of 8% Luxury/85% Working was given, and both White and Csaba Csere questioned the decision of FORD to sell the JAGUAR and LAND ROVER brands at this time. Mulally countered with the fact that FORD considered the 85% the core business of FMC.

An interesting bit of banter was: When White brought up that LEXUS was the top luxury brand, and that though in the lower lines it had a lot of similarity to its TOYOTA brand, the premium offerings shared NO SIMILAR parts. This created the Luxury Perception.

This forum has debated: That using similar platform architecture, and now Corporate Engines, reduces CADILLAC to a rebadge of lower lines. If this is a Global Perception, then will following similar production practices eventually hurt CADILLAC brand image? :thehand:

Mullaly shared an interesting and most important observation this morning; it was in regards to the FORD Taurus. Mulally shared how early in the initial development of what the Taurus would be (during his tenure at BOEING) the Taurus team was invited to a Voice of the Customer conference where the goal of both companies was to create World Class transportation. For the Taurus this was greatly successful, for 9 years the brand retained a 77 percentile recognition as family transportation. Due to lack of focus and innovation, it was allowed to lose this perception in its 2nd initiation. Mulally identified it a “Disrespectful to the Customer” to allow a Brand reputation to die. Is this what Cadillac has been doing to the: STS and now the DTS, after decades of name recognition? My final point; is this what should be allowed to High Margin products? What are your thoughts on these issues? :stirpot:

99Classillac
03-04-09, 03:42 PM
I think Cadillac kinda shot themselves in the foot when they got rid of the Deville and Seville names. They killed the Eldorado. Now we have DTS and STS. Pretty lame and it got rid of the prestige. When I think of Deville, it makes me think of luxury autoliner. When I think DTS, I think of some half ass performance wannabe car, mainly because of the CTS being what it is and the similarity of the two names.

V-Eight
03-13-09, 01:12 PM
I think Cadillac kinda shot themselves in the foot when they got rid of the Deville and Seville names. They killed the Eldorado. Now we have DTS and STS. Pretty lame and it got rid of the prestige. When I think of Deville, it makes me think of luxury autoliner. When I think DTS, I think of some half ass performance wannabe car, mainly because of the CTS being what it is and the similarity of the two names.

Well the CTS-V is pretty kickass. I think the CTS is trying to appeal to younger audiences, although I'm 17 and want an STS more anyway.

concorso
03-18-09, 11:56 PM
I think Cadillac kinda shot themselves in the foot when they got rid of the Deville and Seville names. They killed the Eldorado. Now we have DTS and STS. Pretty lame and it got rid of the prestige. When I think of Deville, it makes me think of luxury autoliner. When I think DTS, I think of some half ass performance wannabe car, mainly because of the CTS being what it is and the similarity of the two names.I disgree. Hugely. Those names are so tied to Cadillacs of old. They wouldnt sell to the market that Cadillac is aiming at. Cadillac needs to steal sales from the big luxury names, and I think the public needs to forget about the heavily stereotyped Seville and Deville. I mean, you even say that you think the DTS is a half assed performance car. With its huge weight, fwd, and magnaride suspension...

Cadillac's major problem is perception and keeping those names around wouldnt help remedy this problem at all...

Jesda
03-19-09, 10:21 AM
As long as the new model is significantly better than the one it replaced, all the baggage is gone. If not, its a dud without nameplate loyalists to prop it up. Its a risk, and when it pays off it really pays off.

Sales Success:
CTS replacing Catera
GMC Yukon replacing GMC Suburban

Sales Failure:
STS replacing Seville
G6 replacing Grand Am
Lacrosse replacing Regal/Century

RobsDeville
04-03-09, 01:07 AM
i liken this scenario to when Acura replaced its hugely revered Legend with the RL. some say RL stands for revised legend.

why change the name? "it is what it is" as some uncreative people love to say...

Aron9000
04-03-09, 10:11 PM
An interesting bit of banter was: When White brought up that LEXUS was the top luxury brand, and that though in the lower lines it had a lot of similarity to its TOYOTA brand, the premium offerings shared NO SIMILAR parts. This created the Luxury Perception.



Just to clear things up, the only unique Lexus offerings are the LS, IS, GS, sedans, which do not share a platform with a Toyota. Although the V6 versions of the IS and GS share the same corporate Toyota V6.

Lexus ES-very similar to a Toyota Camry/Avalon. Under the pretty exterior and interior its the same car, FWD v6, suspension, chassis stampings are identical

Lexus RX-based on the Camry platform, shares the same transversly mounted V6, trans, and other parts.

Lexus GX suv-rebodied Toyota 4 Runner

Lexus LX suv-rebodied Toyota Land Cruiser, only things unique are a few options, and the headlights. Shares the same dash and body.

My point is that done right, you can build a premium brand by using the engines and platforms from lesser models. I see nothing wrong with Cadillac using this strategy, but it can backfire. Hopefully Cadillac has learned from the mistakes of the mid 80's when they made tiny sized Devilles that looked like an Olds or Buick or Chevy.

z06bigbird
05-04-09, 10:35 PM
I disgree. Hugely. Those names are so tied to Cadillacs of old. They wouldnt sell to the market that Cadillac is aiming at. Cadillac needs to steal sales from the big luxury names, and I think the public needs to forget about the heavily stereotyped Seville and Deville. I mean, you even say that you think the DTS is a half assed performance car. With its huge weight, fwd, and magnaride suspension...

Cadillac's major problem is perception and keeping those names around wouldnt help remedy this problem at all...

Remember when Buick brought back the Roadmaster? What 30 year old would buy a car with that name? Grandpa would, perhaps; but not junior.