: Is $80,000 realy too much to charge for a real luxury automobile?



orconn
01-04-11, 05:13 PM
Considering today that "Upper Middle" class doesn't really start till a family's income is over $250,000, at least if you live in an urban area, and with well equipped "people movers" topping $40,000 in price range, it would seem that $80,000 might be a reasonable starting price for a true luxury car.

Of course, a reasonable question would be what would constitute a "real" luxury car when most mass market vehicle appliances can be had with 90% of luxury accessories that were found in cars only a few short years ago! Would auto makers of all national origins have to start including true "quality" as on of their criteria for a luxury vehicle

I remember a few years back, in the 'S, when Buick had the audacity to advertise the Buick Regal as a "Premium" automobile. Having owned one of these in top of the line trim, I would like to know "Premium" to what? While delivering reasonable value for the price, the materials and most of all the assembly workmanship exhibited anything but premium value. The much visited arm rest cupholder being only the most glaring example of shoddy engineering and vehicle quality. We kept ours only for the duration of the lease because the interior was falling apart with only 30,000 miles on it.

While both the '95 and '02 Sevilles had reasonable quality and have stood up quite well, this seems at best to be a "luck of the draw" experience with these Cadillac flagship models, judging from the experience of other forum members.

However, if I were paying $80,000., or more, for a luxury car I would expect a higher degree of reliability from the cars components. Problems stemming from the electrical systems and accessory components, as exhibited by European makers luxury models really do negate the luxury car experience!

So if some of these shortcomings could be eliminated would $80,000. really be a realistic starting point for entry into the true luxury class of automobile?

hueterm
01-04-11, 06:02 PM
Lexus, BMW, and M-B do it every day of the year, so obviously not.

Now for Cadillac, YES -- $80000 is too much. They've got to get $50000 right before they start trying to sell at $80.

V-Eight
01-04-11, 07:55 PM
Mercedes sells cars for twice that, so obviously not. But like hueterm said, Cadillac really needs to step before they can even consider it.

Jesda
01-04-11, 08:05 PM
The Mercedes S-class last year came with $9000 in incentives.

Lord Cadillac
01-04-11, 08:46 PM
As mentioned, Cadillac cannot just come out with an S-Class competitor and price it over the Lexus LS or on par with Mercedes and BMW. People aren't used to spending that kind of money on a full-size Cadillac. Do what Lexus did with the LS and start it out at a fair price. Not "high value" - but reasonable.. $65k with a good amount of options. After a year or two - if the car is well excepted, raise the price and add a few more features.

ThumperPup
01-04-11, 09:01 PM
got ot agree do what lexus did with the LS
if Cadillac come sout of the ball pen with 80k i can hear it now they are not gona sell them and they will be what happens to tv shows a month after they air they just go away and well if GM did that with a car that would be what happens im betting on it

SDCaddyLacky
01-06-11, 04:32 AM
Personally anybody that spends that kind of money on a car is insane, or just really stupid. Only rich people with gobs of money flowing out of their ass will spend that kind of no non sense money on a car. Basically non car people.

Because believe me, if I had that kind of cash to splurge on, I would just buy myself a bunch of classic Cadillacs, that have real meaning and style, 40's-60's.

But with todays market, you have to spend more money nowadays in order to obtain quality and size of yesteryear. Want a big car, or bigger than whats considered big in modern times? Hey there's always the BMW 7 Series, but be prepared to SPEND.

Cadillac just needs to dump the DTS, come out with the FW A.K.A Fleetwood, improve the interior dimensions, build a truly craftsman interior, with extremely high levels of quality, like real expensive wood, shiny soft leather, not pleather crap, the whole car wrap in leather dammit! Special lighting system and emblem's to dress up the inside, plush carpeting, no plastic anywhere, or reduce the plastic at least, real metal door handles, buttons with cool scripting instead of the standard plain fonts, a classic clock, real chrome trim etc...

These kinds of details matter when people look to buy luxury cars. Since everything else is there, the details are a make or break situation for people. It sucks, but in order to get this kind of quality car, something around $75,000-80,000 might be what the asking price Cadillac could ask from people. But it has to be super luxury at this price point. A car for rich folks.

Jesda
01-06-11, 05:15 AM
On the other hand, the Westminster Range Rover is proof that you don't actually have to build a good product to charge $100k. You just have to make it outwardly desirable.

OffThaHorseCEO
01-06-11, 03:03 PM
Personally anybody that spends that kind of money on a car is insane, or just really stupid. Only rich people with gobs of money flowing out of their ass will spend that kind of no non sense money on a car. Basically non car people.

Because believe me, if I had that kind of cash to splurge on, I would just buy myself a bunch of classic Cadillacs, that have real meaning and style, 40's-60's.

But with todays market, you have to spend more money nowadays in order to obtain quality and size of yesteryear. Want a big car, or bigger than whats considered big in modern times? Hey there's always the BMW 7 Series, but be prepared to SPEND.

Cadillac just needs to dump the DTS, come out with the FW A.K.A Fleetwood, improve the interior dimensions, build a truly craftsman interior, with extremely high levels of quality, like real expensive wood, shiny soft leather, not pleather crap, the whole car wrap in leather dammit! Special lighting system and emblem's to dress up the inside, plush carpeting, no plastic anywhere, or reduce the plastic at least, real metal door handles, buttons with cool scripting instead of the standard plain fonts, a classic clock, real chrome trim etc...

These kinds of details matter when people look to buy luxury cars. Since everything else is there, the details are a make or break situation for people. It sucks, but in order to get this kind of quality car, something around $75,000-80,000 might be what the asking price Cadillac could ask from people. But it has to be super luxury at this price point. A car for rich folks.

That would be awesome, but it would put cadillac in the hole. Sometimes thats a good thing to get your name out or make a statement (see 1957 Cadillac El Dorado Brougham) but other times its just a big risk to take

As far as leather covering the whole interior, thats almost useless. Ive seen alot of people complain that only the seating areas in a car are real leather and the rest is vinyl. The seating area shifter steering wheel and console are the parts you mainly touch anyway, so why should everything else be real leather. So you can clean it with the same product? Most people who pay $80,000+ probably have their cars detailed by pros anyway so its not their problem...So it fades consistently? If youre paying $80k for a car you damn well better have a really nice house with a garage so the sun doesnt cause premature fading in the first place.

I think more important is fit and finish. All the real leather and wood in the world are useless if theyre GLUED or STAPLED unevenly to a panel barely thicker than a cardboard box. when you knock on a panel it should seem immoveable.

i agree on the less plastic.

77CDV
01-06-11, 03:36 PM
80K for any new car is just silly IMO. For that price, the car had better be indestructible, inside and out.

Playdrv4me
01-07-11, 05:35 AM
Cadillac already charges $88,000.00 for the Escalade AWD Platinum Hybrid, but I agree they can't just jump up there right off the bat for a passenger sedan.

Stingroo
01-07-11, 12:38 PM
lol @ Escalade and Hybrid. Still a stupid idea....

hueterm
01-08-11, 11:29 AM
Cadillac already charges $88,000.00 for the Escalade AWD Platinum Hybrid, but I agree they can't just jump up there right off the bat for a passenger sedan.


I've never seen an Escalade Hybrid on the road, ever. Nor a Yukon Hybrid. I see Tahoe Hybrids now and then, but very rarely.

EChas3
01-08-11, 01:53 PM
I graduated high school in 1976. By rule, I expect everything to cost 10 times what it did when I was a kid. Some things cost almost the same and are far better, some are 5 times as much & a little better and many simply didn’t exist. But overall, a factor of 10 makes sense for durable goods like appliances & cars.

A new car could be had under $2,000 back then but a typical middle-class family might spend as much as $4-5,000 on a new grocery-getter. Look what is available today under $20,000. IMHO, a lot of it is junk, but it is safer and more efficient. Technology has advanced but the products are comparable given their context within the industry.

$80,000 for a new luxury car is not out of line. But back then, $20,000 a year was a very good salary. I don’t find that similar jobs today pay $200,000. It’s more like half that. Economic realities do seem steeper.

Many families need two incomes to achieve their financial goals today. Many new graduates are surprised to find that it takes a lot of work to reach the lifestyles achieved by their parents. That’s OK; people tend to be happier when they work hard to achieve something difficult. Unfortunately, the opportunities seem to be in decline. It doesn’t have to be so.

Anyway, I think any car priced over $100,000 is destined for the upper-middle-class making in excess of $250,000 per year. Those are not the ‘rich’. IMHO, the upper-middle-class includes those families making up to around $2.5 million a year.

The ‘rich’ are those with net worth over $100,000,000 and earning more than that $2.5 million a year. These are the people that create jobs and fuel investment. They buy whatever they want, regardless.

Jesda
01-08-11, 01:55 PM
Sam Walton seemed content to hold on to his Ford pickup, lol

orconn
01-08-11, 02:05 PM
I graduated high school in 1976. By rule, I expect everything to cost 10 times what it did when I was a kid. Some things cost almost the same and are far better, some are 5 times as much & a little better and many simply didn’t exist. But overall, a factor of 10 makes sense for durable goods like appliances & cars.

A new car could be had under $2,000 back then but a typical middle-class family might spend as much as $4-5,000 on a new grocery-getter. Look what is available today under $20,000. IMHO, a lot of it is junk, but it is safer and more efficient. Technology has advanced but the products are comparable given their context within the industry.

$80,000 for a new luxury car is not out of line. But back then, $20,000 a year was a very good salary. I don’t find that similar jobs today pay $200,000. It’s more like half that. Economic realities do seem steeper.

Many families need two incomes to achieve their financial goals today. Many new graduates are surprised to find that it takes a lot of work to reach the lifestyles achieved by their parents. That’s OK; people tend to be happier when they work hard to achieve something difficult. Unfortunately, the opportunities seem to be in decline. It doesn’t have to be so.

Anyway, I think any car priced over $100,000 is destined for the upper-middle-class making in excess of $250,000 per year. Those are not the ‘rich’. IMHO, the upper-middle-class includes those families making up to around $2.5 million a year.

The ‘rich’ are those with net worth over $100,000,000 and earning more than that $2.5 million a year. These are the people that create jobs and fuel investment. They buy whatever they want, regardless.

Actually talking to some of the "rich," over fifteen years ago, they put a net worth figure of over $500 million to be in the the club. I would figure it would take a billion dollars to get you membership today. One of these people I am referring to, I just read the other day, was worth over 10 billion when he died a couple of months ago. Yes, Virginia, the rich are getting richer and the rest of us are rapidly losing ground!

orconn
01-08-11, 02:52 PM
EChas figure for the adjusted cost of cars from1976 to the present is in the ballpark. A 1976 Cadillac Seville for between $10,000 and $11,000 (Mercedes "S" class was less) today an equivalent Cadillac (if it were produced (high quality, low volume) would cost at least $80,000. if not closer to $100,000. However, my 1975 top of the line Chrysler Cordoba had a sticker of around $5600. , I doubt and equivalent Chrysler today would be close to $56,000. So value, quality and safety for your buck has definitely improved!

Stingroo
01-08-11, 03:57 PM
A SRT8 300 might come close to $56k.

DouglasJRizzo
01-09-11, 09:59 AM
The problem with selling in the $50k and up price range is that people expect a certain level of "togetherness" quality, and performance as well as luxury. Selling at $80k, and you better NOT have front drive, Delco radio, squeaks and rattles, sheet metal or powertrains shared with chevies, etc. Can Cadillac do it? Sure. Will GM let them? Doubtful. GM likes front drive and badge engineering.

EChas3
01-09-11, 02:49 PM
Yes, Virginia, the rich are getting richer and the rest of us are rapidly losing ground!

To many people, that's ignorance & prejudice showing (and self-defeating.)

orconn
01-09-11, 03:34 PM
All I hear is, "no front wheel drive," no "badge engineering" and while I realize that these two phrases are "catchwords" of the moment I am not in complete agreement with either phrase. First of all, in my opinion front wheel drive in a "luxury car' application has it its' merits. First and foremost front wheel drive allows for the greatest flexibility when it comes to the interior design, allowing for the greatest range of luxury appointments to be design into the cars at this time. Secondly, front wheel drive need not be the evil handling beast so often noted by the uninitiated. Both Alfa Romeo and Audi have designed and produced front wheel drive designs that equal; the much praised BMW 3 and 5 series in daily driving and came close to equaling BMW's performance on the Track (witness Alfa's and Audi's many championships in European "Saloon" racing over the years). It is a well known fact that the handling of front wheel drive only really comes into own on the track. While rear wheel drive has its' advantages as far as maintenance, better spread of functional wear, and, properly designed, better weight distribution. but they also have disadvantages in the areas of foul weather (rain, ice and snow) traction ( I know, if you are a skilled rear wheel drive driver you can equal out the disadvantages .... blah, blah, blah.... but the fact remains for the average driver front wheel drive provides better traction under other then dry conditions.
So for me front wheel drive is not a deal killer in a "luxury car."

Then there is the issue of "badge engineering" which seems to come down to use of components from the corporate parts bin. Having owned a number of "luxury" or near luxury cars from various European manufacturers, and having driven and lived with the highest echelon cars from Mercedes, BMW and Audi I can say they, inspite of their super inflated prices, all draw on their respective corporate parts bin for many of the parts that we as the owners and drivers of these cars come in contact with on a daily basis. let's not forget that Mercedes is primarily a truck manufacturer, and its' range of automotive products covers a broad price range from economy through luxury. Having owned a Mercedes CLK I can tell you that many of the interior components, not to mention the car's mechanical components, were the same as many of its' higher priced brethren .... a trip to a Mercedes show room and a critical eye will bear this out! Same goes for BMW, and Jaguar is notorious for using Ford corporate parts (which were and are a great improvement over the Lucas parts and accessories previously used by the company.

Perhaps only Rolls-Royce of yore used their own proprietary parts, although Lucas "prince of darkness" syndrome has always plagued Rollers as well as other British makes. And of course when Rolls upgraded their engines to V-8s in the 1960s they chose GM's Kettering V-8 design and GM's Hydramatic transmissions to get the motive power job done.

So where exactly are these non "badge engineered makes and models to be found? And of course if such an animal were to be found most of our members would shun it because even though it could be purchased for a low "used" price the car's exorbitant maintenance parts and repair parts price would be considered outrageous.

The "luxury" models today offer exceptional value, even at their high prices, but do fall short in the area of exclusivity of parts and the true luxury of high levels of material and assembly quality . . . . however do provide ever increasing levels of practical and merely frivolous accessorization.

So I guess where does Cadillac really fall as a maker of cars aimed at upper income buyers and whose requirements should Cadillac seek to fulfill?

EChas3
01-09-11, 04:07 PM
Lucas did do a nice job with a fuel injection system for non-US market TR6's in the 70's but otherwise have earned their position as target for the old joke:

Why do the Brits like warm beer...

'cause their frige's are made by Lucas!

EChas3
01-09-11, 04:55 PM
So I guess where does Cadillac really fall as a maker of cars aimed at upper income buyers and whose requirements should Cadillac seek to fulfill?

I like to set achievable goals for myself. I'd offer Cadillac the challenge to be the best American Luxury Performance Touring Sedan. Despite the dramatic improvement of the domestic competition, buyers can be won by Cadillac. Import buyers have proved tough for them to win. That will take longer.

Many American buyers value a domestic marque and feel it demonstrates their pride for America. Cadillac can differentiate themsleve because they are produced by a company with American roots and is primarily owned by Americans. Buyers do want Luxury and Performance. And American roads and driving experience is different than the rest of the world.

Despite a lot of poor maintenance, this country's investment in our road system is unmatched. Some places in the world may have some better roads, but on a per-mile basis, it's indisputable. Thousands of miles of American roads are wide and straight but not as smooth as they used to be. Creature comforts and systems designed to limit driver (and passenger) fatigue have a role essentially unmatched in the world. Cadillac needs to build a car for these roads.

Let the Europeans design as they please, but Cadillac needs to watch out for the 'East', who do understand the American market.

The only real fault I find in America's roads is that our elected officials could increase the effectiveness of their transportation budget by over 60%. But it might reduce their payola. All things considered, the case could be made that the cost of good roads would be halved, just in engineering. Ask a good civil engineer to find fault with this statement:

If we spent twice as much building a stretch of road, it would last 3-times as long.


GM took quite a hit with their financial debacle but so has this country. There has been no shortage of bad decisions. I hope both are recovering. All it will take is some clear thinking. Sadly, it still seems rare.

Playdrv4me
01-09-11, 05:30 PM
I wonder who currently makes the most expensive front wheel drive car in the world. I doubt highly it approaches 80 grand and would definitely NOT be in the Premium Luxury category (S Class, A8, 7 Series etc.).

Aron9000
01-09-11, 05:42 PM
I wonder who currently makes the most expensive front wheel drive car in the world. I doubt highly it approaches 80 grand and would definitely NOT be in the Premium Luxury category (S Class, A8, 7 Series etc.).

I do believe it is Cadillac and the DTS, at least here in the states.

FWD sucks in anything with more than 4 cylinders IMO. In a v6 or v8 application, its too much weight on the front end and too much horsepower for the tires to both put down the power and turn.

As for badge engineering, I don't really care if the car shares parts I can't see with lower cost cars. Its crap like having the same steering wheel, headlight knob, etc with the current Impala and DTS is stuff that I'm talking about. I'd actually welcome a LS based motor like the LS3 under the hood of a large Cadillac. They make great power, are refined, and get good fuel economy.:thumbsup:

SDCaddyLacky
01-09-11, 06:08 PM
The whole road comment makes sense. Actually if you think about it, if all roads in America were perfectly paved, had no pot holes, and mishaps, there wouldn't be a great need for big soft driving cars to absorb and filter out those bad roads. Cadillac and the rest of American car companies have been building vehicles built for European countries not American Cities. I understand that competition has forced these companies to make changes, but at least give the older generation of people options for bigger cars. Once Lincoln kills off the Town Car, nothing, I repeat nothing will ever drive as soft as TC's. Everyone is going to have to snatch up and hold onto many older models of Cadillac Broughams and Townies in the future. I see a huge demand for these cars in the coming years, unless we go back to building bigger luxury cars that are electrically powered so pollution and fuel consumption wont matter at all.

Cadillac can do $80,000 for a bigger sedan, but it better have higher levels of quality than what's be offered elsewhere at the moment.

I also don't have a problem with front wheel drive cars, my friends 94 Deville Concours drove really nice when I rode in it a few times. The seats were might soft and cushy, and personally, I liked the way it felt compared to my 93 TC. It felt like a much newer car for it's year and very modern, it also handled and rode better. So not all FWD cars are terrible, the biggest drawback I think of on FWD's, is that they don't isolate the steering column all too wheel when riding over rough roads. This is true with Rack in Pinion steering. The older linkage systems, (though more prone to wear out from multiple parts), is much better when it comes to being affected by bad street conditions. It also doesn't impact the steering unless your tie rod ends are shot.


Cadillac can you please build a super luxury sedan!

orconn
01-09-11, 06:34 PM
You are right Playdrive, the "premium" car you sight are now all-wheel drive (Audi having evolved out of front wheel drive) and I would suspect that "all wheel" drive gives the best, most secure handling under all road conditions. And if I were choosing a car to take me from my Richmond office to my Washington, D.C. office in all weather conditions I would definitely chose a car that had all-wheel drive. And if I were really interested in achieving top performance from a car on the track I would opt for a mid-engine car that was designed with the best weight distribution and handling and the ability to handling the tremendous power the engine would produce. But having driven essentially track cars on the street I would not, under any circumstances, want the track car attributes to be found on my daily driver street car!

Jesda
01-09-11, 08:59 PM
Cadillac needs to build a car for these roads.

Let the Europeans design as they please, but Cadillac needs to watch out for the 'East', who do understand the American market.

That's a pretty solid statement.

drewsdeville
01-09-11, 09:31 PM
I also don't have a problem with front wheel drive cars, my friends 94 Deville Concours drove really nice when I rode in it a few times. The seats were might soft and cushy, and personally, I liked the way it felt compared to my 93 TC. It felt like a much newer car for it's year and very modern, it also handled and rode better. So not all FWD cars are terrible, the biggest drawback I think of on FWD's, is that they don't isolate the steering column all too wheel when riding over rough roads. This is true with Rack in Pinion steering. The older linkage systems, (though more prone to wear out from multiple parts), is much better when it comes to being affected by bad street conditions. It also doesn't impact the steering unless your tie rod ends are shot.



The rid quality difference is probably the TC's full frame vs the Cadillac's unibody. While I personally don't care for full framed passenger cars, ride quality will always be one of it's merits. Since all of the suspension is attatched to the frame, and the body is isolated from the frame, the ride seems to feel smoother. On the unibody w/ MacPherson struts, only so much can be isolated as the struts are bolted right to the body itself (which is much more rigid than the full framed, further decreasing isolation), transmitting some shock straight to the body with no buffer.

DouglasJRizzo
01-09-11, 09:43 PM
Well, for one thing, how many front drive BMW's are there? Ummm...let's count, oh yeah, NONE. Ditto for Mercedes. And you don't see Mercedes or BMW's with lesser makes engines, drivetrains, and sheetmetal. Hasn't happened, probably never will. One problem with GM is that they LOVE front drive (same underbuilt P.O.S. hardware in a bunch of different cars) and badge engineering (change the grill and trim - poof - different car). Even the almighty Lexus was castigated when its first mid range ES appeared, Car and Driver calling it a "camry in drag."

If Cadillac is to succeed in getting it's magic back, it can't have a chevy engine, no matter how good that engine may be at the time. It can't be a front driver because that layout won't give the driving experience that upper crust buyers get from the much admired European brands. It certainly can't look like an Impala with a different grill and seat trim variation.

The current crop is a step in the right direction. I for one am pleased to NO END that there is a 2 door, "V" spec CTS. ABOUT TIME! Finally, they're getting it right. But they need to do more. The next DTS needs a rear drive platform and distinctive sheet metal. It will need plenty of "punch" AND be screwed together tightly. The FIRST time out. Not 5 years after introduction when everyone has looked and moved on.

DouglasJRizzo
01-09-11, 09:50 PM
..and I for one am appreciative of body-on-frame construction. It can't be beat for ride comfort, strength and solidity.

I~LUV~Caddys8792
01-09-11, 09:53 PM
Well the reason BMW and Mercedes don't badge engineer is because they don't have any other manufacturers to share with. Audi does a bit of badge engineering (mainly sharing of parts and trim pieces) with VW, but their stuff by and large looks so nice that it works to the advantage of both Audi, VW and Porsche (as well as Lamborghini, Skoda, Bugatti).

FWD and Cadillac need to permanently separate. RWD as standard across the board, and AWD available for the snowy climates. This is what all of the other major players in this league do, and there's no reason we shouldn't follow. As a matter of fact, having FWD makes us look decidedly down market and behind the times.

I like what was said about the varying road construction and ongoing conditions being the cause of the "american car ride" v. the "european car ride", it's spot on. Due to the far improved high speed highways, namely the autobahn, that's the reason the german cars ride like they do....they're engineered for their roads, much as our old school, floaty & pillowy riding cars are engineered for our lesser quality roads and lower speed limits. Given the opportunity to do 140mph on the Autobahn in a '76 Fleetwood Brougham (totally stock) or a '79 450SEL 6.9, I'd MUCH rather go for the 6.9.

If the Eisenhower administration had wanted to build interstates with a much thicker baseline concrete/asphalt, and a much higher speed limit, then I'm willing to bet we never would have had super large, totally numb "barca loungers" on wheels like we did from 1968-84.

Aron9000
01-09-11, 10:03 PM
Well the reason BMW and Mercedes don't badge engineer is because they don't have any other manufacturers to share with. Audi does a bit of badge engineering (mainly sharing of parts and trim pieces) with VW, but their stuff by and large looks so nice that it works to the advantage of both Audi, VW and Porsche (as well as Lamborghini, Skoda, Bugatti).

FWD and Cadillac need to permanently separate. RWD as standard across the board, and AWD available for the snowy climates. This is what all of the other major players in this league do, and there's no reason we shouldn't follow. As a matter of fact, having FWD makes us look decidedly down market and behind the times.

I like what was said about the varying road construction and ongoing conditions being the cause of the "american car ride" v. the "european car ride", it's spot on. Due to the far improved high speed highways, namely the autobahn, that's the reason the german cars ride like they do....they're engineered for their roads, much as our old school, floaty & pillowy riding cars are engineered for our lesser quality roads and lower speed limits. Given the opportunity to do 140mph on the Autobahn in a '76 Fleetwood Brougham (totally stock) or a '79 450SEL 6.9, I'd MUCH rather go for the 6.9.

If the Eisenhower administration had wanted to build interstates with a much thicker baseline concrete/asphalt, and a much higher speed limit, then I'm willing to bet we never would have had super large, totally numb "barca loungers" on wheels like we did from 1968-84.


Chad, there is no way a 76 Fleetwood Brougham is doing 140mph.

And I'd actually argue that a big reason we have floaty, soft riding, poor handling cars is that the roads in Detroit suck and Michigan is flat as a panacake.

Not so in Munich, Stuttgart, and Ingolstadt. Much better roads, much more hilly/mountainous.

DouglasJRizzo
01-09-11, 10:12 PM
FWD and Cadillac need to permanently separate. RWD as standard across the board, and AWD available for the snowy climates. This is what all of the other major players in this league do, and there's no reason we shouldn't follow. As a matter of fact, having FWD makes us look decidedly down market and behind the times.

I like what was said about the varying road construction and ongoing conditions being the cause of the "american car ride" v. the "european car ride", it's spot on. Due to the far improved high speed highways, namely the autobahn, that's the reason the german cars ride like they do....they're engineered for their roads, much as our old school, floaty & pillowy riding cars are engineered for our lesser quality roads and lower speed limits. Given the opportunity to do 140mph on the Autobahn in a '76 Fleetwood Brougham (totally stock) or a '79 450SEL 6.9, I'd MUCH rather go for the 6.9

I absolutely agree with your statement on FWD. It very much looks like a down market, cost cutting move, because, well, it IS.

As far as ride goes, there's also the "novelty" effect, as I like to call it. That firm euro ride feels really cool, for a while. Yeah, you're right about the autobahn and M-B 6.9's, but that 6.9 can't tackle NYC chuck holes that the '76 Brougham merely shrugs off, so I think you have a point there too.

However, with today's technology, I think Cadillac could pull off a Euro slayer if they wanted to. First, GM has to let them..

Playdrv4me
01-09-11, 10:33 PM
I wouldn't necessarily say that FWD and Cadillac need to COMPLETELY separate, just that it needs to stay out of the premium segment. I mean Audi does FWD very successfully on the A4, as well FWD based AWD. The Lexus ES makes no bones about its FWD roots either, and I'm not even sure it offers an AWD option. So it seems like the public is accepting of FWD, ironically enough, in cars at about the market point of the CTS but no higher.

I~LUV~Caddys8792
01-09-11, 11:01 PM
Chad, there is no way a 76 Fleetwood Brougham is doing 140mph.

And I'd actually argue that a big reason we have floaty, soft riding, poor handling cars is that the roads in Detroit suck and Michigan is flat as a panacake..

I know a '76 FWB won't do 140, I was just saying "hypothetically if I could do 140 in a '76 Brougham, it would be extremely unnerving because of the total lack of feel and complete isolation." Your argument backs up the point I was trying to make. The reason we had such numb, soft luxury sedans is because our roads aren't nearly as well built as the ones in Europe.


As far as ride goes, there's also the "novelty" effect, as I like to call it. That firm euro ride feels really cool, for a while. Yeah, you're right about the autobahn and M-B 6.9's, but that 6.9 can't tackle NYC chuck holes that the '76 Brougham merely shrugs off, so I think you have a point there too.


I've owned big american boats ('95 Roadmaster, '92 deVille) and one full sized german luxury sedan ('99 S320). The S320 felt much more adept at the high speeds (100+), wasn't as soft or as bouncy as the other two, but rode very very well. I preferred it's slightly firmer, but much more controlled ride over the softer, American cars.

orconn
01-10-11, 12:37 AM
Chad, there is no way a 76 Fleetwood Brougham is doing 140mph.

And I'd actually argue that a big reason we have floaty, soft riding, poor handling cars is that the roads in Detroit suck and Michigan is flat as a pancake.

Not so in Munich, Stuttgart, and Ingolstadt. Much better roads, much more hilly/mountainous.

Funny thing, my experience with British and European road surfaces (Autobahn excepted, most of the time) does not confirm their superior surfacing and upkeep. European highways are just as vulnerable to to the wear and tear that heavy weight long haul trucks put on American highways and show the same kind of surface deterioration. The Autobahn has generated a national fetish with the ability to maintain high speeds on this road system, however Germans find themselves coping with porly suface rural and city roads, and sitting in traffic just as drivers in the U.S. The performance and particularly the build quality of European cars has had as much to do with the ownership of any automobile and especially an "executive" level being the privilege of the upper middle classes until the last 15 years of the 20th century. Because of easier financing and lower taxation American middle class buyers have been able to afford fancier cars than their European contemporaries.

Aron9000
01-10-11, 01:29 AM
That's a real good point I've never thought about orconn. It is a much bigger expense and privilege to own ANY vehicle in Europe. Vehicle ownership is something we take for granted in the states, but it really is the only way to get around in most parts of the country.

Of course mass transit is much better in Europe, but still, owning a car is a much bigger deal in Europe, especially if you live in a major city.

DouglasJRizzo
01-10-11, 10:10 AM
That's something I call the "Rolex" factor. 140mph driving is nearly impossible in the majority of the US - heck, here in NJ, 80 mph driving is a CRIME. But the fact that a M-B (or anything else) can do it, is well, a bragging point. Like a Rolex diving watch that's good to 1000 feet. How many people can actually claim certification to that depth? Anyway.. I'm not of the mindset to return to building things like the aforementioned '76 Brougham (even though I thought it was really COOL when I was 12), and certainly, as I said, Cadillac could easily build a M-B slayer if they wanted to, the CTS-V being a good start.

As far as FWD, the low line Lexus and Inifiti models that are FWD are not the "lust mobiles" that people drool over, they're the "cooking" versions to give dealers something to sell in the mid price range. The Audi A4 isn't a "drool mobile" either. I DON'T believe Cadillac should tackle that market at all, and it's going to be a problem for Lincoln in a few years. IMHO, front drive should be excised completely from Cadillac's lineup, leave it to others, and let Buick go up against the low line asian luxury models.

EChas3
01-10-11, 10:36 PM
^^^ That's the idea. Market to your stength, not against your competitors' strength.

orconn
01-11-11, 12:20 AM
Well the reason BMW and Mercedes don't badge engineer is because they don't have any other manufacturers to share with. Audi does a bit of badge engineering (mainly sharing of parts and trim pieces) with VW, but their stuff by and large looks so nice that it works to the advantage of both Audi, VW and Porsche (as well as Lamborghini, Skoda, Bugatti).

FWD and Cadillac need to permanently separate. RWD as standard across the board, and AWD available for the snowy climates. This is what all of the other major players in this league do, and there's no reason we shouldn't follow. As a matter of fact, having FWD makes us look decidedly down market and behind the times.

I like what was said about the varying road construction and ongoing conditions being the cause of the "American car ride" v. the "European car ride", it's spot on. Due to the far improved high speed highways, namely the autobahn, that's the reason the German cars ride like they do....they're engineered for their roads, much as our old school, floaty & pillowy riding cars are engineered for our lesser quality roads and lower speed limits. Given the opportunity to do 140mph on the Autobahn in a '76 Fleetwood Brougham (totally stock) or a '79 450SEL 6.9, I'd MUCH rather go for the 6.9.

If the Eisenhower administration had wanted to build interstates with a much thicker baseline concrete/asphalt, and a much higher speed limit, then I'm willing to bet we never would have had super large, totally numb "barca loungers" on wheels like we did from 1968-84.

Chad, you don't see the similarity of using parts bin parts across models of cars that range in price between $25,000 (or perhaps less depending on market country) and $140,000. even though the badge remains the same, in this case Mercedes or BMW as badge engineering in the same vain as manufacturers that market different models under different brands names. The difference seems to me to be one more of marketing ploy as opposed to the absence of "badge engineering!"

Playdrv4me
01-11-11, 04:02 AM
That's something I call the "Rolex" factor. 140mph driving is nearly impossible in the majority of the US - heck, here in NJ, 80 mph driving is a CRIME. But the fact that a M-B (or anything else) can do it, is well, a bragging point. Like a Rolex diving watch that's good to 1000 feet. How many people can actually claim certification to that depth? Anyway.. I'm not of the mindset to return to building things like the aforementioned '76 Brougham (even though I thought it was really COOL when I was 12), and certainly, as I said, Cadillac could easily build a M-B slayer if they wanted to, the CTS-V being a good start.

As far as FWD, the low line Lexus and Inifiti models that are FWD are not the "lust mobiles" that people drool over, they're the "cooking" versions to give dealers something to sell in the mid price range. The Audi A4 isn't a "drool mobile" either. I DON'T believe Cadillac should tackle that market at all, and it's going to be a problem for Lincoln in a few years. IMHO, front drive should be excised completely from Cadillac's lineup, leave it to others, and let Buick go up against the low line asian luxury models.

1000ft is nothing...

http://www.dkwatch.com/news/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/Rolex-Deep-Sea%201.jpg

And every single one that passes through inventory gets sold :)

I~LUV~Caddys8792
01-11-11, 08:40 AM
When they say it's good to 1000 feet below sea level, do they mean you're wearing it while diving that deep, or just if you're in a submarine that can go 1000 feet below the surface? I guess my question is are they talking about it's water resistance or pressure resistance.

DouglasJRizzo
01-11-11, 10:03 AM
1000 feet is EVERYTHING if it's your tail that's below the surface! :bigroll:

It's measured as if the timepiece itself is submerged. Hence the triple seals on the winding stem, et al.

Still, how many who buy a Submariner or Sea-Dweller actually go that far down? Answer, VERY few.:)

Jesda
01-11-11, 11:05 AM
Watches. Technology that intentionally does very little.

Stingroo
01-11-11, 01:22 PM
I don't even wear a watch. lol I don't remember the last time I did. Probably a decade or so ago? If not longer.

orconn
01-11-11, 02:37 PM
Ten years ago, you must have been quite a little time keeper, Roo!

Stingroo
01-11-11, 05:02 PM
We didn't care about time when I was a kid, man. The only time that mattered was when the sun went down because then you had to be in somebody's house. Otherwise we were too busy to care as kids. :)

Bro-Ham
01-11-11, 05:17 PM
You guys are funny. In my flashy/fancy days I had a Rolex President which true people of high standing and good taste could see from 1,000 feet away - above sea level. My retired business partner lives the dream wearing it now. I also rolled in the Rollers not too many moons ago, which were about as inconspicuous as a Rose Bowl Parade float. There is no substitute for presence. When you're playing the game you had better have all the ammunition or you will, as sting would say, fail. :) At the moment I'm happy in Levi's, no watch, and my dumpy old Cadillac. I'm thinking in 2 or 3 years I may feel different and gun for over the top again. I pray Cadillac makes a car that will tickle my craziness. :)

orconn
01-11-11, 05:53 PM
Yeah. those Rolex watches were and are definitely conspicuous. Back in the eighties when everyone had one, my neighbor, a top 50 attorney in the field of franchise law, drove his 7 series BMW home from a dinner meeting in Beverly Hills only to be robbed of said "Rolex" at gun point at his front door! Unfortunately, this way of loss of a Rolex became all too common and the wiser ones started wearing a less "conspicuous watch!

Bro-Ham
01-11-11, 05:57 PM
Less conspicuous watches are for losers. :) If you don't play the game you'll never know. Beverly Hills is fun but only when you're a guest at the Beverly Hills Hotel. :)

ben.gators
01-12-11, 06:38 AM
^
Which game are you speaking about? and what does the winner take and what does the loser lose?

DouglasJRizzo
01-12-11, 10:51 PM
The Rolex was a great investment. I bought my Submariner in '89 and sold it last year for $1200 more than I paid for it!

OffThaHorseCEO
01-15-11, 06:19 PM
I used to love watches as a kid. i would always spend my quarters on the crappy watches in the grocery store machines, and was always devastated when they would break after a month of using them. The worse was when they said water proof or water resistant and so i would jump in the pool or shower with them and ruin them. its funny but that actually turned me off to watches for a long time.

Recently, ive started picking up watches not for keeping time but as a "fashion" accessory. I think it just completes the look of a nice shirt and tie. Of course the watches i wear are still cheap and nowhere near a rolex in value or quality but i like wearing them and i still get compliments on them.

these are two of my favorites,the first is a metal mesh band and a VERY thin face which makes it a very low profile watch
http://www.watchessalecheap.com/wp-content/uploads/product_images/Skagen-Mens-694XLTMD-Titanium-Brown-Mesh-Watch.jpg

this one i like even though i can tell its cheap. mine has a black band and rose tone bezel, im constantly accidentally hypnotizing myself by watching the innards tick
http://lh3.googleusercontent.com/public/vXKuYPSRpskylUy1qhcFErLlCeMYeGJa9JDaaEHBHD7cgrIueW JEKo6Q7hxFI_TR0nUSmZfl_90ixXQHG3QqwnzgEoi4LoH6ikJr W8lCiZRDNeX4Ugwx27c2WQnLa8ZXIeg8bAtruJkWLuj98nOOjt NZgMOEug
the description i just found for this watch says that the second hand "sweeps". it doesnt actually sweep but ticks about 4 times per second

Jesda
01-15-11, 10:29 PM
So what time is it

gary88
01-15-11, 10:52 PM
So what time is it

time for you to get a watch

EChas3
01-15-11, 11:42 PM
An ass with an expensive watch is still an ass!

Jesda
01-15-11, 11:48 PM
time for you to get a watch

http://www.ahoodie.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/hex-ipod-nano-watch.jpg

77CDV
01-16-11, 12:08 AM
^I've been forcibly reminded of the Swatch.

Jesda
01-16-11, 12:40 AM
I have a Coca Cola Swatch. I never wear it because after buying it I realized how much I hate the feeling of something wrapped around my wrist. If I was married I could never wear a ring either. I hate the way all jewelry feels.

orconn
01-18-11, 05:51 PM
It is interesting to discover that in 1975, the introductory year of the 1976 Seville, the basic price of the the car was $12,460.00. The price of a Mercedes 450 SE "S" class Mercedes was $13,300.00. Despite the '76-'79 Seville being the most expensive model in the Cadillac lineup the division managed to sell all the cars it was able to build! Both the Seville and the Mercedes 450SE sold very well to the "luxury" car buying public on both the West and East coasts.

Given GM's resources both in the U.S. and abroad I can't see why competitive Cadillac could not be competitive in the American "luxury" car market once again!

77CDV
01-18-11, 10:33 PM
1976 was a long time ago, before Cadillac committed the cardinal sins of the 1980s and early 1990s. The marque is only now starting to be taken seriously again, thanks to the Escalade and CTS, but it's still got a long way to go to be "The Standard of the World" again, present advertising notwithstanding.

Aron9000
01-19-11, 02:03 AM
So what time is it

Time to see Stan!!!!

http://www.gunselman.com/rerewards3.jpg

Jesda
01-19-11, 06:54 AM
:histeric:

billc83
01-19-11, 10:13 PM
By the end of the 80s, Cadillac was arguably at its lowest point. At the same time, Hyundai started bringing their cars to the U.S., and they were widely regarded as horrible econoboxes. If you told someone twenty years ago that a Hyundai would offer an arguably more attractive luxury option than a Cadillac, you'd be a heretic.

I think the most important question regarding the Equus: How has Hyundai been so successful at turning around their image while Cadillac has been so unsuccessful at reviving its?

Perhaps consumers are more willing to forgive a newcomer's sins than that of an established brand.

I~LUV~Caddys8792
01-19-11, 11:22 PM
I think with the new brand it's like "hey, what have THEY got to offer? Let's go take a looksee!" with the established brand's new offerings, especially a tarnished brand like Cadillac, it's kinda like "oh what are they gonna throw upon us NOW?" People are more cynical when it comes to old, tarnished brands offering claims of brand new models that make up for all the past defects.

Playdrv4me
01-19-11, 11:46 PM
Hyundai shook the automotive industry in 2000 with the introduction of the world's first 10 year 100,000 mile powertrain warranty standard with every single car. This "first" got people to actually perk up and listen to their claims of improved quality. As of late, Cadillac has not yet made enough waves to really stand out and get people to take notice, or to prove to luxury buyers that the quality is back.

I~LUV~Caddys8792
01-19-11, 11:48 PM
And if this 3.6L timing chain issue turns into anything like the headgaskets on the Northstar, then they've got a long way to go.

Aron9000
01-21-11, 06:49 AM
And if this 3.6L timing chain issue turns into anything like the headgaskets on the Northstar, then they've got a long way to go.

God I hope its not that bad. Just as a reference, one of my favorite cars, the LS1 fbody, is worth double what the average same year Deville or Seville is in similar condition. My payout on my totaled 1998 Z28 convertible, M6, in cherry condition with 95k miles was $9,500:bonkers: