: Will the BLS Hurt Cadillac in Europe?



Ralph
05-16-05, 05:19 AM
http://www.forbes.com/columnists/columnists/2005/03/08/cz_jf_0308flint.html

"Mercedes-Benz has a problem with its American business because the cost of importing cars from Germany is so expensive due to the strong euro currency. So it goes to its associate Mitsubishi, which builds the Galant sedan in Illinois. Mercedes and Mitsubishi cobble together a modified Galant, with new sheet metal and a nicer interior and with the Mercedes ornament on the hood. They call this car the Mercedes-Benz D 280. They only sell this " MitsubishiBenz" in the U.S. They never ship one to Europe.

"Would you buy this phony-balcony Mercedes? What do you think Car and Driver magazine would say about it?

What do you think the Europeans will think? I'll tell you this for sure: The European auto press, which doesn't like American products anyway, will dump on it. I understand GM's overall logic for pushing Cadillac in Europe. Despite its size, GM doesn't have a worldwide luxury brand. Cadillac is just an American brand, and Opel in Europe is kept out of the luxury segment by Poppa GM. So GM's new short-term goal is to sell 10,000 Cadillacs a year outside of North America. A few years down the line, GM wants to boost that number by several orders of magnitude."

If a BLS sent to America would end up being priced near the CTS, then the CTS sent to Europe should end up being priced near the BLS. Better yet, even if you lowball the development costs and figure it would cost only $100 million to create the BLS, the cost works out to $5,000 per car over 20,000 cars. That would cover a few years' sales. To me, it would make more sense spending that $100 million by knocking $5,000 off the price of the American-built Cadillac CTS to make it more attractive to Europe."

Another benefit of using that $100 million to push the CTS in Europe: GM would be sending a real, made-in-Michigan rear-wheel-drive Cadillac to Europe. I think the CTS would have a lot more appeal than the BLS, which is a worked-over Saab with front-wheel drive. And I see no reason why GM couldn't adopt a good diesel for the CTS in Europe."

Eric2203
06-27-05, 02:12 AM
Well I have to say I completely agree with this article. Seems it would have been a lot wiser to export an existing model, even with some work to adapt to different markets. To begin with, it's got to be cheaper than making an entirely new car, even based on an existing platform. That article has a good point when saying that spending the same amount of money on the CTS to make it viable for Europe would give GM a lot more options. Or am I missing something ?

Ralph
06-27-05, 02:21 AM
Well I have to say I completely agree with this article. Seems it would have been a lot wiser to export an existing model, even with some work to adapt to different markets. To begin with, it's got to be cheaper than making an entirely new car, even based on an existing platform.

We are having a similar discussion in this thread regarding Holden, feel free to offer opinions..............

http://cadillacforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=43975

I think this is a good statement by the author......

"I'm troubled by this plan. For starters, the one thing that makes Cadillac special in Europe is that it is Detroit iron. Today's successful Cadillacs are not conservative or known for "understated elegance."

I think "more options" means money saved by offering an existing model, thefore Detroit making the extra sales, and what they could use that money for, etc.

Playdrv4me
06-27-05, 02:37 AM
That BLS was a strange situation altogether... Im really not sure what all came together for it to happen but I agree that the CTS should have gone over there.

In fact, the two vehicles which I feel SHOULD be the anchors for Cadillac in Europe are the CTS and SRX. The Escalade is far too large for most roads in Europe so the SRX is really well positioned to take the market over there.

Eric2203
06-27-05, 02:38 AM
Will check that other thread out.

Yes they'd save money. But in the article, they compared the 2 by using the same amount of money the BLS costs to fictionally promote the CTS. Gives interesting results. 100 millions on an existing car makes for a lot of possible improvements, although they merely suggested to reduce the price.

Ralph
06-27-05, 02:47 AM
That BLS was a strange situation altogether... Im really not sure what all came together for it to happen but I agree that the CTS should have gone over there.

In fact, the two vehicles which I feel SHOULD be the anchors for Cadillac in Europe are the CTS and SRX. The Escalade is far too large for most roads in Europe so the SRX is really well positioned to take the market over there.

I agree about the Escalade. For Europe the SRX and CTS are just fine, except they have "wrong hand drive" if they buy one in the UK, and Cadillac could accomodate this issue......

I'm thinking for the likes of Japan, ANY Cadillac is too big??

They are too expensive in Europe for many to consider Cadillacs.

Playdrv4me
06-27-05, 11:37 AM
I agree about the Escalade. For Europe the SRX and CTS are just fine, except they have "wrong hand drive" if they buy one in the UK, and Cadillac could accomodate this issue......

I'm thinking for the likes of Japan, ANY Cadillac is too big??

They are too expensive in Europe for many to consider Cadillacs.

The Japanese have a ton of big cars, they really like their cars over there. Id say most Cadillacs would be at home on alot of the streets in Japan.

davesdeville
06-27-05, 01:04 PM
I don't know if $100 million is a good estimate on how much the BLS has cost to develop...

I'll say this about rebadged Cadillacs... the Cimmaron failed not because it was rebadged but because it was a POS. The Catera didn't go over all that well not because it was rebadged but because it wasn't all that spectacular of a car, its design was far from inspired and it couldn't pull off "high perfomance Euro style sedan" either (the high performanc was the hold back there.) We will wait and see if the BLS takes a dive or sells well - it is a pretty spectacular car.

Ralph
06-27-05, 04:26 PM
the Cimmaron failed not because it was rebadged but because it was a POS.

I completely disagree. I still see dozens of early 1980's Cav's running around and some still w/o rust of any kind!

People were not fooled by an inflated price and a Cadillac badge. Car enthusiasts KNEW it was a Cavalier and NOT a Cadillac!

Cadillacfanatic
08-24-05, 04:02 AM
I dont see why the BLS wouldnt do well in Europe,Its related to the Saab 9-3 sports sedan which seems to be a decent seller there,If it was available here in the states id buy one in a second,it would be a great car to drive around in New York City,Im hoping the car does well in Europe and i have faith that it will.

mccombie_5
08-24-05, 05:04 AM
Hmmmm, i will be placing my order for one.

The Saab 9-3 is a dynamic platform shared with the 2002 Vauxhall Vectra a few other cars, so it would be a good choice for the BLS

However, you seem to be overlooking one thing with this thread.....
What does a CTS get to the gallon? I know the Saab 9-3 gets about 30+ and this is also suited to European prices of fuel.
AND as much as I love my STS it certainly doesnt drive like a european car, even though it is a sports model, i cannot feel any tough suspension, a BMW 5 series competed with the STS when it was out new here, and the STS has a floaty ride, its emphisis is on cruising and floating around..... the five series allows you to feel the road...

Thisis what Cadillacs are known for in the EU. If they make a European car into a Cadillac they know it will handle like a European car....

I doubt that Europeans would even like the CTS because it is an attempt at a sporting model, and most American sporting models flop here.....

Will the European press really crap on their own car rebadged???

davesdeville
08-24-05, 05:31 AM
I completely disagree. I still see dozens of early 1980's Cav's running around and some still w/o rust of any kind!

People were not fooled by an inflated price and a Cadillac badge. Car enthusiasts KNEW it was a Cavalier and NOT a Cadillac!

OK then have I got a deal for you on a 89 Cavalier 4cyl, New Mexico car, no rust, still runs somehow, $2500 USD. You pick it up. :D

Seriously though the BLS reminds me of the Jag S type 3.0. Its got a Taurus motor in it for crying out loud, but I still see plenty of them on the road.

mccombie_5
08-24-05, 06:51 AM
Seriously though the BLS reminds me of the Jag S type 3.0. Its got a Taurus motor in it for crying out loud, but I still see plenty of them on the road.

Exactly! That works but Jaguar was already a well established brand everywhere

It might not sell because its a Cadillac though. Eurpopeans dont like them.....

I could be the only one buying one

Ralph
08-25-05, 04:05 AM
The British do tend to be more critical and tough on American cars, so I'm not so sure "enthusiasts" in Britian will welcome a Saab with a Cadillac badge, except you MC. ;)

But I do admit they look ok.

mccombie_5
08-25-05, 09:00 AM
The British do tend to be more critical and tough on American cars, so I'm not so sure "enthusiasts" in Britian will welcome a Saab with a Cadillac badge, except you MC. ;)

But I do admit they look ok.

Haha! Im just snapping at my chance to buy a new RHD cadillac, the 93 Platform is very dynamic, so it will be a very sharp handling car

vanaisa
09-01-05, 12:04 PM
I dont think europeans dont like american cars. There are lots of people, who like US cars. It is not problem at all, that handling and suspension have different feel. It is just different ideology. But bad service, lack of parts and professional repairmen - those are problems.
BLS will sell very good if it is Cadillac, stands in front of salons, not hidden behind Opels and Saabs, like now.
And even more, when it gets diesel engine - europe loves smell of diesel :)
And yes - Cimarron is pos - everyone know here, that they were just rebadged (and crappy) opels.
Just my opinion.....

mccombie_5
09-01-05, 06:10 PM
I dont think europeans dont like american cars. There are lots of people, who like US cars. It is not problem at all, that handling and suspension have different feel. It is just different ideology. But bad service, lack of parts and professional repairmen - those are problems.
BLS will sell very good if it is Cadillac, stands in front of salons, not hidden behind Opels and Saabs, like now.
And even more, when it gets diesel engine - europe loves smell of diesel :)
And yes - Cimarron is pos - everyone know here, that they were just rebadged (and crappy) opels.
Just my opinion.....

Well this is why i think it will be a seller. The Saab and opel platforms are EXCELLENT on European roads, and the saab is very dynamic, so it makes sense to put a Cadillac body over underpinnings already set for UK and EU roads. That means it is already right. That is why the STS had sales issues, in fact, it was a huge flop. It was not meant for UK and EU roads. It was brought straight from the US where steering doesnt need to be as sharp as it does here, there are fewer tight corners in the US. etc etc.

The Saab 9-3 platform is ready, why not drop a cadillac body onto it, and also, if a FWD platform is no good, why does the 9-3 even exist? It competes well with the three series and C class, its just low volume.

With greatest respect, you guys accross the pond do not know how to set a car up for European roads. And if you have a company within your corporation that does, why not utilise this?

Ralph
09-05-05, 12:13 AM
http://www.autoindex.org/news.plt?no=1197#

This looks like the production version, which will be debuting at the Frankfurt Show. I don't like the grille.

mccombie_5
09-05-05, 07:46 AM
I cant wait for the pricing. I will be buying the 210hp model :D

Obviously if its the right price ;)

Ralph
09-05-05, 02:58 PM
I cant wait for the pricing. I will be buying the 210hp model :D

Obviously if its the right price ;)

Here's a little more info for you MC....

http://www.autoindex.org/news.plt?no=1197

mccombie_5
09-05-05, 03:05 PM
Here's a little more info for you MC....

http://www.autoindex.org/news.plt?no=1197

It doesnt load.....

Nevermind slow computer

Ralph
09-05-05, 03:06 PM
It doesnt load.....

It does for me. Just go to autoindex.com and I think it was on the news page....or maybe try later...it did seem to slow down..

mccombie_5
09-05-05, 03:11 PM
255bhp with a 6 Speed Manual Tranny!!

ee-yessss!

Ralph
09-05-05, 03:13 PM
255bhp with a 6 Speed Manual Tranny!!

ee-yessss!


It finally loaded I see.......as soon as I see something on prices, I'll post it.

I don't think this car would do good in NA, unless someone was a Saab fan, but they don't do that well here.

We already have the CTS, and it's just too similar and not a real Caddy to begin with..

mccombie_5
09-05-05, 03:16 PM
It finally loaded I see.......as soon as I see something on prices, I'll post it.

I don't think this car would do good in NA, unless someone was a Saab fan, but they don't do that well here.

We already have the CTS, and it's just too similar and not a real Caddy to begin with..

Yeah i agree it wouldnt sell there. It will probably seel as much as the Saab does here. Im looking forward to it.

They made a wise move basing it on the Saab. No offence intended but America cant build cars for European roads.

Johan Ahlqvist
10-10-05, 07:52 AM
Hello!
I writing from Gothenburg, Sweden. I live close to the Saab plant and I must say that Cadillac name will be hurt of this car. I Sweden Saab is a car for your grandfather, a boring car with shit quality. Cadillac stands for the American dream great cars with alot off comfort. But GM is doing it with Chevrolet here in Sweden Daewoo is Chevrolet so why donīt cal Saab for Cadillac. If Cadillac want to be like Mercedes and BMW they realy have to stop this car and deliver real Cadillacs with real quality. Nobody will be foold by this Saabillac.

70eldo
10-10-05, 10:20 AM
Here's another overseas opinion to backup my European buddy :)

The sizes of the roads have nothing to do with the choice of size. American cars always have been bigger, but we have trucks and busses here too. It has more to do with our taxsystem. You pay more monthly road tax (something you don't have in the US) the heavier your car is and the bigger the engine displacement. You had and have to be a 'big spender' to afford an American car.
Well, most of the square 80's and 90's US designs were absolutely not appealing to the Europeans if you also have to bear more financial load. This is an image that has been built up for a very long time and thus persisting.
This road tax expires after 25 years. Your car is then concidered a classic. So the Old classic US cars you see more and more over here. Myself I have shipped my 70 Eldorado from California to Holland after I drove it for half a year in AZ when I was in flight school.
I was never really interested in any other American car, until Cadillac came out with their new stealth design. The CTS is in the BMW 3, Audi A4, Mercedes C section and does well. Finally Cadillac nailed it to have a (to European stadards) big engine displacement but with a good fuel efficiency.
Do you remeber the Catera? It was based on the Opel Omega platform. A little pimped up, but not really attractive to the US market it seemed. And there has been a lot of (international) platform swapping in the past among other brands.
Also Chrysler has (always had) a succesful base in Europe. They always seem to have models that appealed to European standards and there are also models and packages that were never released in the US and vise versa. They recently created the Crossblade out of European standards. I think it looks nice.

Chrysler always had their own dealership. But Chevy and Cadillac could only be accuired through the Opel Dealer who, actually, knew jack sh*t about it. Not too surprising, also the workshop quality could be questionable and parts had long delivery time. All in all, not so good for the US car image...

The BLS could be a very important and successful step of Cadillac to set foot in Europe. Based on the Saab 93 platform it already has a European feel. But the CTS is a head turner here too! People are just surprised it's a Cadillac!!! Cadillac has no commercials here and only the freaks (like me) know about (the new and improved) Cadillac. Indeed, IMO, standard of the world again. I am only one of hundreds CTS drivers in Germany and Holland. It is almost an event when I meet a fellow CTS driver on the road. We salute eachother!

Anyway, the start is there. The attention of the people is there. As their curiosity rizes when they see a CTS and want to know what car it is (I love it when I see people in the car behind me at traffic lights lean over their steering wheel trying to read the small Cadillac badge! You can see them frown and say C-a-d-i-l-l-a-c ???). Could be a tactic, but I would like to see some commercials for Cadillac too. The BLS is in European standards a very appealing car! BLS, CTS and STS are something like nothing else out here.

And by the way, I LOVE my CTS!

Ralph
11-03-05, 10:45 PM
and speaking of Saab......

http://macleans.auto123.com/en/info/news/news,view.spy?artid=51096&pg=1

megeebee
11-04-05, 05:55 PM
How can the BLS "hurt" Cadillac in Europe? Sales are so small now that there is nowhere to go but up. And, remember the first Lexus ES250 in the early 90's? It was a rebadged Camry of the day. That didn't hurt Lexus any. And its important I think to say that the BLS is not a "rebadge". It sports its own sheet metal. Its not, say, a Zephyr. That shares all exterior door and roof sheetmetal and all glass with 2 cheaper cars.

Ralph
11-04-05, 08:25 PM
How can the BLS "hurt" Cadillac in Europe? Sales are so small now that there is nowhere to go but up. And, remember the first Lexus ES250 in the early 90's? It was a rebadged Camry of the day. That didn't hurt Lexus any. And its important I think to say that the BLS is not a "rebadge". It sports its own sheet metal. Its not, say, a Zephyr. That shares all exterior door and roof sheetmetal and all glass with 2 cheaper cars.

Then why did Lexus kill it off only a few years later? Lexus was a totally new brand back and buyers had no preconceptions. Generally speaking, Europeans are not easily fooled and tend to be more fussy about their vehicles. They are more impressed by HISTORY of a vehicles bloodline, and Lexus does not have this lineage compared to the century old Cadillac brand. Which is why Lexus does not sell that well in Europe.

So when Europe is sent a "phoney" Cadillac, and it costs as much as a BMW 3 series or more, which do you think they will buy? A genuine, distinct Cadillac would be more successful, and won't start the brand off on a bad foot as they re-introduce it to Europe.

Go back and re-read the whole thread.....

megeebee
11-06-05, 07:39 PM
[QUOTE=Ralph]Then why did Lexus kill it off only a few years later? Lexus was a totally new brand back and buyers had no preconceptions. Generally speaking, Europeans are not easily fooled and tend to be more fussy about their vehicles. They are more impressed by HISTORY of a vehicles bloodline, and Lexus does not have this lineage compared to the century old Cadillac brand. Which is why Lexus does not sell that well in Europe.
So when Europe is sent a "phoney" Cadillac, and it costs as much as a BMW 3 series or more, which do you think they will buy? A genuine, distinct Cadillac would be more successful, and won't start the brand off on a bad foot as they re-introduce it to Europe.
Go back and re-read the whole thread.....[/QUOTE

Lexus didn't kill it, they replaced it with the ES300, a slightly more camoflaged Camry. But I do agree with the rest of your post. My point was only that Cadillac sales are so poor in Europe already that the BLS could only help. Why does the CTS not do better in Europe?

Ralph
11-06-05, 09:07 PM
Lexus didn't kill it, they replaced it with the ES300, a slightly more camoflaged Camry. But I do agree with the rest of your post. My point was only that Cadillac sales are so poor in Europe already that the BLS could only help. Why does the CTS not do better in Europe?

Well, the ES300 was altered from its source considerably more than the 250. Lexus learned their lesson, and massaged the suspension, redesigned many of the body panels, adjusted the transmission, upgraded the interior, and added much more sound-proofing.

You're probably right that Caddy sales in Europe are scraping the bottom of the barrel these days, however, the BLS will only make it more difficult to climb out of it. A real 3-Series challenger from Caddy would improve things greatly, but GM doesn't seem willing to take the financial risk on the bigger investment.

mccombie_5
11-07-05, 12:21 PM
The reason the CTS doesnt do so well is because its a funny size, and it isnt designed fro Europe. It handles like an American car. ANd American cars do not handle in Europe.

Johan Ahlqvist
11-10-05, 07:59 AM
Do Lexus have any fans i Europe? Lexus have not suceed here in Sweden anyway, there is not many people here that want to pay this money for a Toyota. I think Cadillac has many fans that would buy a Cadillac if the dealers and services had done a better work. Until then they will buy Mercedes and BMW. I realy hope that Cadillac will suceed here in Europe.

mccombie_5
11-11-05, 07:12 PM
Lexus?

Not in the UK. There are some, but not hlaf as many as BMWs.

70eldo
12-05-05, 06:10 AM
Do Lexus have any fans i Europe? Lexus have not suceed here in Sweden anyway, there is not many people here that want to pay this money for a Toyota. I think Cadillac has many fans that would buy a Cadillac if the dealers and services had done a better work. Until then they will buy Mercedes and BMW. I realy hope that Cadillac will suceed here in Europe.

I agree on the service. No I have some experience with it over here after a couple of months. Plus Cadillac does not make ANY commercials here in Europe. I haven't seem any! Maybe some in exclusive magazines, but that's all...

But I do hope the BLS will do good to Cadillac!

london
03-07-06, 04:51 PM
No reason why the BLS should hurt Cadillac. The exterior is distinctive and the interior looks to be of high quality.

http://www.cadillac-bls.com/Default.aspx?lang=en&iso=GB&page=8

The other positive point for the UK is that Cadillac are producing Right Hand Drive versions and making them available with a diesel engine. The BLS and CTS are the only Cadillac models available with RHD here, all the others are LHD.

My main concern are the prices. The cheapest BLS models will retail at just over Ģ20,000 and the most expensive, the 2.8 Automatic at Ģ32,000 (multiply by 1.74 for US dollars) i.e. more expensive than the Saab 9-3 and equivalent to Mercedes C Class prices.

70eldo
04-07-06, 04:52 AM
Ok, now I seen it in real life last night, I am positive it will do good in Europe. It looks distinctive and the price is where the quality and package is. When I look here in Germany where 80% of the cars are BMW, VW, Mercedes, Audi it's getting boring. There's people who want to be different and I know that they are very ethousiastic about my CTS too...

Can't wait to have my test drive next week

mccombie_5
04-14-06, 11:43 AM
My dad is taking his test drive on Thursday, he has no intention of buying one, but hes taking a drive anyway.

David W. Bailey
04-21-06, 05:29 AM
VANAISA, the gentleman from Estonia has made a good point. I have an exchange student this year from the Czech Republic, and he and his friends love selected American cars. The problem is that European governments place a huge tax on US cars, so that a base CTS costs near $50K and a Chrysler 300M Hemi is about $75K. Then, there is the availability of service and parts, which is a big problem outside of Germany, according to my young friend.

Can you imagine what would happen if the US taxed imports like that?

David W. Bailey
04-21-06, 05:29 AM
VANAISA, the gentleman from Estonia has made a good point. I have an exchange student this year from the Czech Republic, and he and his friends love selected American cars. The problem is that European governments place a huge tax on US cars, so that a base CTS costs near $50K and a Chrysler 300M Hemi is about $75K. Then, there is the availabilty of service and parts, which is a big problem outside of Germany, according to my young friend.

Can you imagine what would happen if the US taxed imports like that?

irebroff
06-02-06, 06:36 PM
Nobody knows Cadillac in Europe! If you say "I drive a Cadillac Seville" all people think you drive an 30 years old car.

Nobody knows a new Cadillac, there is no image, no dealer, no PR-work.

Then Cadillac had no station wagon and in Europe we like DIESEL !
You cannot pay gasoline in Europe, the price is about 7 $ per gallon.

Then especally in Germany we drive very fast on highways; 150 mph is a usuall speed and we like to drive much faster as that! American engines and transmissons are not buildet for this (so they are speed limeted) and cannot live longer than 100000 miles. A german car do this without bigger problems.

The BLS is a german OPEL VECTRA buildet in Sweden by SAAB. But the Vectra is much cheaper and there is a station wagon! If you want to resell a Cadillac you will loose about 60 % of new price in 4 years!

Cadillac needs a big DIESEL as BMW or Mercedes and a station wagon and a good public relation, then it works!

The CTS is the same plattform as the OPEL OMEGA you know it as Catera, but in Europe we have a station wagon. So the CTS is to expensive compared to OPEL.

70eldo
07-04-06, 08:13 AM
Irebroff: The vectra is NOT much cheaper than the diesel BLS! And you definately get more for the BLS than the Vectra!

My 03 CTS I bought in 05 for €23000 is now being sold for €21000 with slightly over 100000 km. I think it held its value pretty well there!

And the CTS is not on the Omega platform. The Catera was.

My CTS has no problems driving 250 km/h, so the new Cadillacs are definately a better breed than the old generation. Though my 70 Eldorado drove well over 10000 km's and after 36 years it is still going smooth without any big problems!

The BLS will not sell any better when you launch a station version right now, when you lack in any PR for Cadillac in Europe. There you got it right, though Europe does have Cadillac dealers!

irebroff
07-15-06, 04:48 AM
Sorry, but you are not right!

The Sigma-basic ist for STS, CTS and SRX the same and it was the Opel Omega.

So you don t have a problem to drive very fast, it s a german platform.

Cadillac STS basiert (genauso wie CTS und SRX) auf der Sigma-Plattform vom Opel Omega (opelnews)

And then the price of Opel Vectra 2.8 turbo is 31.200 Euro (not list, dealer price!) the BLS 2.8 turbo is 45.200 Euro! ! ! OK it s more luxury, but who needs and who pays this price?

If you had buyed a NEW Cadillac Seville STS in 2000 for 48000 Euro so you get now about 10000. You lost 38000 in 5 Years...

Is your example a new car? I don t think so...

70eldo
07-18-06, 01:21 PM
'Based on' does not mean it is the same platform. How does the bigger STS fit on the smaller CTS?

You are right about the 2.8 turbo. I think it is a little overpriced and I noticed Cadillac Europe about that after my testdrive. But the diesel, the one we were talking about, is not that much more expensive. In comparison to the package you get for it in the BLS. So, in my opinion, for now the diesel is the best buy.

But if you compare the BLS 2.8 turbo with the Saab 93 Aero with the same package, you get the same price. So...

Yeah, it stinks that the Cadillac drops in value that much. I am happy that the new CTS doesn't. It's still a pitty that Cadillac is too unknown in Europe...

By the way, any other German car in that class drops about the same way in price... :)