Why did the XLR fail?
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Cadillac XLR Forum Discussion, Why did the XLR fail? in Past Cadillac Vehicle Discussion; It's such a beauty and a rarity in the world of PRHTs. Did sales just completely fizzle? Maybe the niche ...
  1. #1
    bwv565 is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Why did the XLR fail?

    It's such a beauty and a rarity in the world of PRHTs. Did sales just completely fizzle? Maybe the niche was wrong, or the car overpriced? Were there mechanical problems that made it go away?

    True pity, it's such a beautiful car.

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  3. #2
    JimD is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: Why did the XLR fail?

    Quote Originally Posted by bwv565 View Post
    It's such a beauty and a rarity in the world of PRHTs.
    What is a 'PHRT' ?
    Did sales just completely fizzle? Maybe the niche was wrong, or the car overpriced? Were there mechanical problems that made it go away?
    None of the above.
    The XLR was conceived/designed/built/intended as a 'limited production" vehicle.
    A "unique" Cadillac of the period.
    Kmariebox likes this.

  4. #3
    cadillac kevin's Avatar
    cadillac kevin is offline Cadillac Owners Master
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    Re: Why did the XLR fail?

    I'm gonna guess PRHT is production roadster hard top?

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    bwv565 is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Re: Why did the XLR fail?

    Quote Originally Posted by cadillac kevin View Post
    I'm gonna guess PRHT is production roadster hard top?
    Power Retractable Hard Top

    ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by JimD View Post
    The XLR was conceived/designed/built/intended as a 'limited production" vehicle.
    A "unique" Cadillac of the period.
    Then that makes it even better for people who were lucky enough to have the money to buy one when they came out. I've looked at Autotrader and there are only 3 available in Canada, the prices ranging from $35 to $59K, depending on model year.

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    creeker is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: Why did the XLR fail?

    I found 8 for sale in Vancouver b.c., I dont know where you are in N. america.

  7. #6
    06XLRV13CTS is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by bwv565
    Power Retractable Hard Top ---------- Then that makes it even better for people who were lucky enough to have the money to buy one when they came out. I've looked at Autotrader and there are only 3 available in Canada, the prices ranging from $35 to $59K, depending on model year.

    I have one

    ----------

    That's why mine will be a collector only 127 made in 06 my color combo

  8. #7
    fittvrjr is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Why did the XLR fail?

    I have one as well. A 2007 Platinum edition painted liquid amethyst. Only seven were painted this color out of 1085 produced and I have one. I love it!!!!!!! I have owned 4 Corvettes and I wanted a hard top convertible and that ruled out Corvettes. Glad I found this beauty.

  9. #8
    slider is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Why did the XLR fail?

    I had a 05 XLR. Quality, engine, look - just great.
    I sold it because I was totally dissapointed that already six years after mycar was built several parts were not available anymore.
    For example the DSCC (control for speed control). What will happen tomorrow or in a few years?
    This is inacceptable for a premium car producer.

  10. #9
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    Re: Why did the XLR fail?

    Did not the XLR follow the same road to oblivion as the Allante? I do not believe low number (in this color) greatly enhances the value of the car. It did not for the Allante.

    Of course these cars are going down in value, not up. Maybe a quarter of a century down the road they may begin to rise in price, but doubtful they shall equal the original MSRP in most current owner's lifetimes?

  11. #10
    buki is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Why did the XLR fail?

    Buy, beg, borrow or steal a copy of John Mccormick's book XLR and see why these cars will become very important in the future.
    Here is the real deal:

    1. The XLR was designed to rebrand Cadillac from your grandfather's cruiser to the symbol of a whole new approach to luxury. The XLR led directly to the success of the CTS and ATS.

    2. Unfortunately the XLR, as it began to mature, ran head on into 2008 and the bankruptcy of GM. $100,000 cars became very rare to say the least. Whats more, Cadillac was losing money on every unit. They obviously considered the manufacturing losses as 'marketing' and they were right.

    3. Currency devaluation made the price far too high in the foreign markets.

    4. GM saw the XLR as an intrusion on the corvette plant's operations. They never adapted the lines in Ky. for mass production and chose to keep the X as their 'halo' car. By building the CTS line as equally high tech and fast for $30,000 less they hit a major repositioning home run.

    5. Just be glad you got one. Like land they don't make them any more.

  12. #11
    pure zen is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Why did the XLR fail?

    Quote Originally Posted by buki View Post
    Buy, beg, borrow or steal a copy of John Mccormick's book XLR and see why these cars will become very important in the future.
    Here is the real deal:

    1. The XLR was designed to rebrand Cadillac from your grandfather's cruiser to the symbol of a whole new approach to luxury.

    2. Unfortunately the XLR, as it began to mature, ran head on into 2008 and the bankruptcy of GM. $100,000 cars became very rare to say the least.

    Whats more, Cadillac was losing money on every unit.



    4. GM saw the XLR as an intrusion on the corvette plant's operations. They never adapted the lines in Ky. for mass production and chose to keep the X as their 'halo' car. By building the CTS line as equally high tech and fast for $30,000 less they hit a major repositioning home run.

    5. Just be glad you got one. Like land they don't make them any more.
    1. I'll agree with that opinion.....it was to be the 'flagship' of the Cadillac line

    2. I don't think it was so much the GM filing of bankruptcy that hurt,,,,it was the 2008-2009 economy going into the crapper that did it in. Not many buyers in the middle $80K range, when the economy is hurting. I personally don't think Cadillac was losing money on each unit built......but I doubt they were making money on them either. Also, the dealers always like a model that they can pack-on additional mark-up on for increased profit.

    4. I toured the Bowling Green plant, and didn't see the XLR as an intrusion of the Corvette assembly line. The XLR's were not built on a assembly line, but were assemblied in 'rooms' via a more 'hand-built' type of construction process,,,,as I witnessed. The Corvettes move steadily through a production line process, with several hundred per day being built. [summer of 2006 visit]

    5. Yes,,,I'm glad I got one. Awesome car!

  13. #12
    aaron.hudacky's Avatar
    aaron.hudacky is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Why did the XLR fail?

    I think XLRs are beautiful cars, but as slider said, GM doesn't seem to care about customers once the warranty is up unless a class-action lawsuit is involved, and Cadillac has had enough major engine follies since 1981 that they don't have the trust and admiration they once did. This is bad for new production totals or value retention from an MSRP point of view, but great if you are a current XLR shopper. Compared to a Mercedes SL, with the Mercedes you get a car that the manufacturer still wants you to maintain, and a manufacturer that didn't sell the Olds Diesel, 6-8-4, 4100, Northstar engine mistakes, one that didn't make the Cimarron or $50k "Chevrolacs", but did build bulletproof diesels and gas engines throughout the 60s-80s. Cadillac thinks that once the warranty is up, no one cares about how durable a car is or when new if the engine is the same thing that comes in a base Camaro for $25k less. Wrong. That's why I have an 08 STI and 70 and 79 Cadillacs. The Cadillacs will outlast the Subaru, but sadly, the Subaru will likely outlast the newest Cadillacs except for CTS V-series cars and Escalades (with Chevy engines), and this is reflected in newer Cadillac value retention, or more appropriately, lack thereof.

    I don't believe Cadillac expected the XLR to fade away any more than they expected the Eldorado Brougham, Allante or Cimarron to disappear. Each model just did because they weren't that competitive in their segment and/or cost GM a lot of money. Plus, like pure zen mentioned, GM's bankruptcy didn't do the XLR any favors.

    Regardless of Cadillac's mistakes, I still love the ones I have and I REALLY want an XLR-V. Ever since the Evoq concept appeared in 1999 I wanted a car that looks like the XLR.

  14. #13
    Johnxlrv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aaron.hudacky
    I think XLRs are beautiful cars, but as slider said, GM doesn't seem to care about customers once the warranty is up unless a class-action lawsuit is involved, and Cadillac has had enough major engine follies since 1981 that they don't have the trust and admiration they once did. This is bad for new production totals or value retention from an MSRP point of view, but great if you are a current XLR shopper. Compared to a Mercedes SL, with the Mercedes you get a car that the manufacturer still wants you to maintain, and a manufacturer that didn't sell the Olds Diesel, 6-8-4, 4100, Northstar engine mistakes, one that didn't make the Cimarron or $50k "Chevrolacs", but did build bulletproof diesels and gas engines throughout the 60s-80s. Cadillac thinks that once the warranty is up, no one cares about how durable a car is or when new if the engine is the same thing that comes in a base Camaro for $25k less. Wrong. That's why I have an 08 STI and 70 and 79 Cadillacs. The Cadillacs will outlast the Subaru, but sadly, the Subaru will likely outlast the newest Cadillacs except for CTS V-series cars and Escalades (with Chevy engines), and this is reflected in newer Cadillac value retention, or more appropriately, lack thereof. I don't believe Cadillac expected the XLR to fade away any more than they expected the Eldorado Brougham, Allante or Cimarron to disappear. Each model just did because they weren't that competitive in their segment and/or cost GM a lot of money. Plus, like pure zen mentioned, GM's bankruptcy didn't do the XLR any favors. Regardless of Cadillac's mistakes, I still love the ones I have and I REALLY want an XLR-V. Ever since the Evoq concept appeared in 1999 I wanted a car that looks like the XLR.
    GM is still missing the boat unless they put up a replacement soon. I will occasionally take mine to local shows...basically to engage with fellow enthusiasts, but the XLR never fails to draw a crowd. The public is ready for the successor.

    Living in the Houston area, I see multitudes of land rover sports, AMG, M-class and A8 examples with some V cars...so one might guess the economy has recovered?

  15. #14
    ccclarke's Avatar
    ccclarke is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Re: Why did the XLR fail?

    "Living in the Houston area, I see multitudes of land rover sports, AMG, M-class and A8 examples with some V cars...so one might guess the economy has recovered?"
    --
    I wouldn't judge the state of the economy by what people drive or the size of the houses they live in - that was a good indication of part of the cause of the Recession, just before the economy tanked. --People over-extended themselves financially as long as they could, due to easy credit.

    While it may be recovering, the Recession is far from over, and it's possible we won't see growth like the early part of the 2000's for a decade or more. When unemployment drops, housing starts REALLY rebound, and government subsidies like welfare drop, I'll be a little more optimistic, but until then, we're just in limp-home mode. We still have a crushing deficit, and it isn't going to go away soon, if ever in my lifetime.

    But I digress, back to the XLR and GM in general. . . .

    GM will go where the money is, and right now, that's China.

    Their sort-of Halo car at the moment is the ELR and sales are more or less, terminal. If they don't drop the MSRP (rebates and tax incentives don't count, I mean MSRP) by at least $20k to clear out the existing inventory, things could go from bad to worse. They (GM and the present owners who over-paid) are going to take a loss on it anyway id sales don't improve. GM has to cut the price eventually or it will go the way of the XLR. Nice idea, but waaaaay over-priced, and lacks basic functions that less-expensive Cadillacs have enjoyed. I don't think many dealerships will be placing orders for 2015 models. I hope I'm wrong, because I'd like Cadillac (& GM) to succeed with an electric vehicle. Their engineering is too far ahead of their marketing division. The Europeans didn't buy the Volt in convincing numbers, and it's being discontinued over there.

    So for the moment, GM still lacks a true Halo car that sells in sufficient quantity to bring attention to the Cadillac brand. My XLR still draws people to ask me about it - especially salesman at dealerships who constantly ask if I want to sell it. Not bad for a turn-of-the-century design that ended production five years ago!

    CCC

  16. #15
    aaron.hudacky's Avatar
    aaron.hudacky is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Why did the XLR fail?

    John, I agree with you and I wish Cadillac would create a replacement or successor to the XLR. They are beautiful.

    I agree with you also CCC regarding the ELR. As of May, Automotive News said Cadillac had a 725 day ELR supply with only 1,700 units in inventory, and Cadillac was paying dealers $5,000/unit to convert inventory into demonstrators by early June. They called it a $5,000 test drive; I call it a plea to help thin their two-year inventory. I aspire to own an XLR someday regardless of how the market accepted it because they are great cars. I never want to own an ELR. If it looked good and was full electric like a Tesla or even hydrogen powered, I'd be very interested, but as it is it isn't compelling.

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