Cadillac News, Concepts, Future Models, Rumors and more Discussion, How long till names return? in Current Cadillac Vehicle Discussion; It is inevitable that GM will bring back the great names of the past Cadillacs.
Anyone care to take a ...
It is inevitable that GM will bring back the great names of the past Cadillacs.
Anyone care to take a guess? I'll say within 10 years the Eldorado or Fleetwood will re-appear, and it might even have fins
The lettering used now has no character or soul. The car is just a number,
or in this case letters.
Honestly, I think if the cars keep selling well the names won't change. The reason Caddy dropped the old names was to shed the old grandma car image. Like you said, maybe 10 years from now, probably longer, we might see Fleetwood or Eldorado return but I doubt it. Caddy changed and everyone went with it. By all accounts the name change was successful. The only people making a big deal about are die hards like us.
A little follow up from an article from USA Today 2003
Cadillac discontinued the Eldorado coupe April 23, when the last 2002 model was built and sent to the private Cadillac museum in Warren, Mich. That seems to end a line of exceptional — or at least unusual — Caddies dating from 1953.
"Our current plans are not to have another Eldorado," says Pat Kemp, Cadillac marketing director in charge of Eldorado coupe and DeVille sedan. The model made its exit with multiple nods to the 1953 original. Caddy manufactured the final 1,596 Eldos in three batches: 532 red ones, then 532 whites, then red again. Red and white were the original's abbreviated palette of exterior color choices, and 532 is how many 1953 models were built.
Those Eldos were specially equipped, dubbed Collector Series cars and priced $2,395 more than the next-most-expensive version. That one's called Eldorado Touring Coupe, or ETC, as in etcetera. That's like calling it the Whatever.
Despite the retirement pomp, the defining circumstance is that the '02 Eldorado isn't very satisfying. It has more in common with the bad, old days at Cadillac than with today's machines or tomorrow's promise of really wild ones.
That's largely because Eldorado's built on a previous-generation platform. When the mechanically similar DeVille sedan was made over for '00, Eldo soldiered on with aging underpinnings.
"We didn't update that platform for a vehicle that is now running out its final year of production," Kemp says. The DeVille platform "is a little tighter structure, a little firmer ride, and can give you a little more balance from wheel to wheel; it's a little more sophisticated" than what's under Eldorado, Kemp says. It took barely a mile in a $46,102 '02 Eldo ETC to notice.
• Steering's light and feels disconnected from the wheels.
• Suspension bobs and bounces, proving the unappealing combination of mediocre ride comfort and slack handling.
• Brakes feel numb. There's no sense that the car will stop at a rate related to how much you push the brake pedal.
• Seats aren't as comfortable as they look. It's hard to find a perfect combination of height, distance, rake and lumbar support.
• The so-called Smart Stalk — General Motors' do-everything turn-signal lever — is a dumb, old design. It feels like the cranky curmudgeon it is, clacking instead of smoothly engaging. And it lacks the inviting surface most controls have nowadays.
• Cup holders are shallow. Put tall beverages there at your own risk, especially considering how much the car leans in corners and jostles over normal drainage grooves and speed bumps.
Man, were Caddies that bad? It'd sure explain why the brand needs an entirely different type of vehicle and image to dig out from under the consumer scorn it had piled atop itself.
There are a few areas where Eldorado stands out positively, though.
• The Northstar V-8 in the Eldo Touring Coupe yanks the hefty coupe up to fun speeds smartly, aided by an automatic transmission that's generally smooth. Though mainly good, Eldorado's powertrain is not all sweetness and light. There's enough power to pull the front of the vehicle sideways on hard acceleration, making it a minor handful sometimes. That's called torque steer, and it's prevalent on high-power, front-wheel-drive vehicles. But, "They all do that" is no excuse. Also, hard-throttle downshifts sometimes are preceded by an annoying pause, then are executed abruptly. That's not the feel you want in any car, let alone one with a luxury nameplate.
• The dashboard is elegant. A brow covers the main instruments in front of the driver, then arcs gently down to become a plateau extending all the way across to the passenger's door. Very refreshing these days of phony cockpit layouts and other silly executions.
• The instruments and controls stacked in the center, from the console up to the dashboard, are a marvel of simplicity and restraint, at least in contrast to the ridiculous overkill popular today. The stereo is easily operated, without having to toggle through layers of electronic barriers to, say, turn up the bass one notch. The trip computer rotates through its information displays logically, changing to the next item every time the "info" button is pushed. The climate control offers big knobs to set the temperature, as well as a small lever on the steering wheel to do the same. In fact, the stereo and other functions also are easily controlled from the wheel. The levers to do that, though, stick out gracelessly.
• Memory settings respond to the remote-control key fob, as expected, and are comprehensive, recalling stereo and climate control preferences as well as seat and steering wheel positions. Of course, you're that much more out of whack if you grab your mate's keys by mistake.
Cadillac discontinued Eldorado because it plays in a shrinking sandbox. Even luxury paragon Lexus had trouble selling fancy coupes before it launched the SC 430 with the extra appeal of a folding steel top. Just 9,859 people bought Eldorados last year, and sales are 7% behind that pace this year, according to sales tracker Autodata, as the phase-out takes effect. Caddy says the peak was 77,804 in 1984.
It's sad to see the Eldorado name die, because it's stood for innovation, ostentation and a lot that's uniquely American. But spare no sorrow for the death of the car currently wearing the name. 2002 Cadillac Eldorado
•What is it? Front-wheel-drive luxury coupe built at Lansing, Mich., before being discontinued this year, apparently the last to wear the venerable Eldorado name dating back to 1953. Cadillac hints that the name could resurface
and an interesting take from a Forbes article also from 2003. This is part of the article:
Nameplate Engineering Is Bad Business Jerry Flint, 06.10.03, 8:00 AM ET
The Americans often make such mistakes and abandon nameplates when they update a car. In the process, manufacturers kill hundreds of millions of dollars of brand equity. Heritage, or brand identity don't mean much, it seems. Otherwise, consumers would still be able to find names such as Chevelle, Cutlass, Fairlane, Granada, Le Mans, LTD and Reliant in new car showrooms.
Millions of Americans have bought cars like the Taurus and the Cavalier, and whatever their problems, most people liked their cars. Otherwise Detroit would have been out of business long ago. But when a nameplate is dropped the owners of present models likely lose on their trade-ins. That's not a great way to treat loyal customers.
These days U.S. automakers are trying to tap into some of that remaining affection by reviving old nameplates. GM brought back the Impala name, and a Pontiac GTO is headed to our shores. Chrysler revived the 300 letter series, and the next Mercury minivan picks up the old Monterey nameplate. Customers will decide whether these 21st-century incarnations are worthy of their revered nameplates.
Anyway, my point is that the foreigners are on to something by sticking with one name and cultivating and refining the product. Detroit's nameplate engineering is a sign of weakness, not strength. It is easier to change the name into something different, and hope that people forget all the problems with the old vehicles.