Cadillac on the whole is not a premium brand........yet!!
unfortunately when someone is told their expensive new toy is not considered premium, that statement may be deemed offensive to the person who doesn't want to hear it.
the reality is, premium luxury items are far from necessary, and usually you'll pay many times over for the premium item over even the better item at times. so why do they do it, because they can afford to pay to live in a slightly different world. a world where the concern is not a gallon of milk is $3.99 at Walmart and $4.99 at Vons but a world where who cares what the milk cost i want milk, and they go to Whole foods and buy it (even though it's $5.99), why because that's where they can rub elbows with people like them, where they can park their bmw in wider spots and worry less about whether or not the Mercedes parked next to them will door ding their car vs the beat up ford in the Walmart parking because they know the Mercedes owner thinks the same way about their BMW, whereas we already know by the state of the beater car it matters not to them if you ding their car or they ding yours. this is the saturday morning ooh aah at you car in the parking lot at the golf course world, if your car is incapable of generating these responses then premium it is not. the car that is probably the worst offender in the could be premium but is not is the Hyundai genesis.
Cadillac is knocking on the door of premium, in some cases they've arrived, escalade comes to mind, because many a premium buyer has a family and an escalade is parked next to their s-class.
ATS has a foot in the door, for the first time in a long time the press and people on the street take this car seriously, and many a 3 series owner has looked at this car and appreciate it, bought it or at least plan to cross shop it when their lease is up, this is a major win for Cadillac.
CTS it's too early to tell, but for now the press is on Cadillacs side
XTS is unique, there are really only 2 cars on the market like it, the RLX and the A6, all 3 are very nice cars, but only the Audi has premium status, but in spite of this status its not lighting up the sales charts like it supposed to; the 5 series and the E-class have been their Goldilocks models and A6 has not been able to dent that. the XTS V-Sport is a move in the right direction, my only wish is they never introduced the FWD model and made them all AWD, basically borrow the Quattro playbook and distance itself from the DTS any way they can, the iPad was a good move to, i wish they had not discontinued that for 2014
I'm rooting for Cadillac on their quest, and its my opinion that we as cadillac owners will benefit from their success, when they make it.
I enjoy reading your posts but you loose a bit credibility with me when you write "Cadillac is not a premium brand... yet"
Premium is a relative term and is a state of mind! The kid driving a honda with a rubber band muffler thinks of his ride as being premium. It's a person's opinion. You suggest the ATS has it's foot in the door as a premium car. .... and it so happens you drive an ATS! Surprise, surprise! I drive the STS and I think it has its foot in the door too! Surprise, Surprise. As I mentioned in a previous post, I'd just as well drive a honda or a toyota before an ATS or cts. That isn't intended to insult anyone who drives an ATS or CTS, it's just my personal feeling about smaller Cadillacs.
In my humble opinion, relative to ALL the cars on the market, I feel the Cadillac "on the whole" is a premium brand! Did I mention I drive a Cadillac? Surprise, surprise!
"Cadillac" certainly means something this is a product of having been the top dog, and thankfully hasn't been completely wrecked by GM offerings in the 70's, 80's, and 90's a good example of this is in the lyrics "We're driving Cadillacs in our dream" from a song called "Royals" by a 17 year old from New Zealand. for the word Cadillac to still have some significance in world pop culture is huge and Cadillac rightfully should aspire to their prior glory. and i understand that it could sound self serving to say ATS has a foot in the door owning one, i assure you i don't think the ATS is premium yet, why? because far too many people at gas stations and shopping ask me "what's that?"...i say Cadillac and they say "Whoa, that's a Cadillac?", that is a conversation i'm confidant would never occur had i chosen a C-class or 3 series, my personal experience in this car is car enthusiasts know and appreciate ATS other people don't, so i say foot in the door, so tantalizingly close. its a shame really, if you say BMW or mercedes to a random person they get a mental image of success or a moneyed jerk yuppie but say Cadillac and an old man in Deville comes to mind, and this is Cadillacs unfortunate reality due to them not offering anything but that for 30 years, think about that, thats 2 or 3 generations of new drivers mindshare squandered. I say escalade made it because you say that and tiger woods, basket ball players and paparazi red carpet photos and music videos come to mind, that car made it. I say cadillac is not there yet, because one model isn't the whole brand, and as they slip new cars through that door, the brands premiumness, if you will, will rise.
by the way STS is very nice, and one of the cars, that certainly brought Cadillac forward, i personally think Cadillac might have named the new CTS STS instead, it has grown so much.
Originally Posted by malatu
The fact that you put a premium on size, or the kid driving a Civic puts a premium on different things does not make your vehicles "premium" cars from an industry perspective
Cadillac is not viewed as top level premium brand yet. That level, like it or not, still belongs to Mercedes, BMW, Audi, and you can lump Lexus into that group too. You put value in size, but generally speaking less and less people value the large traditional Cadillac of the past. That is not my opinion, but that of the general buying public otherwise Cadillac would still be building Fleetwoods and Sedan de'Villes.
The first gen CTS began to break that mold, but the traditional Cadillac buyers still gravitated to cars like the DTS. Almost no one who was considering a Lexus, Mercedes or BMW would ever look at the Cadillac. The second gen CTS took it a step further with a bit more refinement and offering "almost" 5 series type of content and performance at a 3 series price.
In other words they offered value for those looking for it. The thing is that people shopping Mercedes, BMW or Lexus don't have "value" at the top of shopping list otherwise they would be driving loaded Buicks, Acuras or other near luxury brands.
When the 2nd gen CTS-V beat out a BMW M5 on the Nurbergring (sp?) and was declared the worlds fastest production sedan, it put the world on notice. It still didn't make Cadillac a premium brand, but showed that Cadillac (GM) finally built a car that could compete with the Germans, but it was not a car that was attainable by the masses.
The ATS was the first car that was a legitimate contender to a BMW. It recently beat out a Lexus IS F-Sport (not to be confused with the IS-F which is in BMW M3 category) in a comparison test. It can without apology or compromise be considered a true 3 series competitor.
The new CTS is being touted now as a true, no compromise competitor to the BMW 5 series. I recently drove a 5 series and I personally feel they have gone soft so it is possible that the CTS has arrived like the ATS did, and Cadillac now feels they no longer have to play the "value" card as their prices are now in BMW category.
History and the sales figures will show whether the general public agrees.
I do agree, Cadillac lost their way for a long period of time and are still paying the price in the form of the market's perception of the brand.
I have also driven the new 2014.CTS&the smaller ATS I have to agree with you I had to return the ATS because after an Hour driving it my back started hurting me, So in return they gave me a XTS as a loaner. The ATS seats are way to hard&the car is way to small for me, I felt very uncomfortable and annoyed while driving it, I would never buy one, I kept the CTS when I had it for a whole day because I wanted to assess the vehicle..Much better then an ATS.. Actually in my opinion That's what it is a beefier ATS But again it's way to small for me&drives to harshly. Looks wise it's absolutely stunning.but I did not feel like I was driving a 64k car. When I got back in my Black Beast I felt like I was home,much beefier&smoother i like that...I guess I am more the sport/Luxury guy...also the XTS is kinda bossy love that..
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Your post offers a lot of legitimate comments and observations, though I suggest it's your opinion based on generalities which are very logical observations of the industry. Though, logical doesn't always mean factual. Or supporting statements with logical rhetoric doesn't always mean the statements are factual or have anything to do with the facts, i.e., "Almost no one who was considering a Lexus, Mercedes or BMW would ever look at the Cadillac." It sounds logical, but it's an opinion and really doesn't support or prove any facts.
Here is a cut n past of an article/post of the top luxury cars from the Motor Trend Website. It's based on one person's opinion. At the end of the article, there is a link to the thread. It's a good read and many other posters offer their ranking of premium cars (of course based on their opinion.).
************* So a few rules, in order to be a luxury brand and not ultra luxury, must have more than half of their cars start under $100k. In order to be a luxury car brand and not just a sports car brand, must have at least 1 car with 4 or more doors. Models of cars, even if they have their own insignia, don't count either. So '300' or '///M' or 'Genesis' are not luxury brands.
By modern prestige perception, I'm talking about what the brand cache the brand has today. I don't care if Chrysler or Auburn was the cat's meow in 1948.
7) Infiniti (tie)
7) Cadillac (tie)
9) Volvo (tie)
9) Acura (tie)
11) Saab (no longer produced)
Feel free to post up your own rankings!
You write Cadillac is not viewed as a top level premium brand yet. May I ask, "Viewed by whom or what entity?" Also, what is exactly a top level premium brand? Is this an official term used in the industry? If it is an official term used in the industry is there a certification process manufacturers need to pass to qualify? You state as fact that Cadillac is not a top level premium brand yet. Where did you collect your data to support your statement? I get that a Cadillac ain't a BMW or a Mercedes. Though, where does a car of any brand have to be ranked to be considered top level premium brand? Exactly what is a top level premium brand anyways? Is there a book of criteria somewhere that offers a ranking to qualify as "top level premium brand? Is there a definition or generally accepted criteria that needs to be met to qualify cars as top premium brand" Seriously, who or what entity or recognized organization determines what is a top level premium Brand? Where or what is the cut-off... is there a cut off? Or is it just based on opinion? Ok, I"ll stop here, I think I'm getting redundant.... just trying to make a point. ;)
I'm not offended you suggest Cadillac is not a top level brand (I'm not that vain when it comes to what I drive). I won't even argue that Cadillac is a top level brand for the simple fact I don't know what a top level brand is! None the less, the term "premium car," whether I say it or the industry says it.... is perception based on opinion and it's very, very relative.
I kind of expected the "what I defines a premium brand" and I agree that there is no real definition and I agree that it is perception. I would say that the Motor Trend list you posted loosely supports what I was trying to say.Quote:
Originally Posted by malatu
You are right, there is no magic definition, it is a subjective opinion based on what comes to mind when people discuss competitors to cars like BMW, Mercedes and yes even Lexus.
Is it heritage? If so, Cadillac should be in the mix, but as we all have agreed, Cadillac did a good job of damaging that heritage with the products they foisted on the public in the last 20 or so years. It certainly isn't reliability otherwise Jaguar and to some extent BMW and Mercedes wouldn't be on that list.
Maybe it's performance combined with luxury which would explain most of those cars at the top of the list with the exception of Lexus. With maybe a few exception, Lexus was never viewed as a performance luxury brand.
I didn't intend to offend by saying Cadillac isn't a premium brand. Heck I have owned two in the last couple of years! I drove Acuras for 20 years and they are going through a similar identity crisis. I left the brand because I felt that they lost their way. They build reliable cars, but have gotten boring. They got away from who they were when the brand first came out.
I fell in love with the 2nd gen CTS, but more so with the CTS coupe when it was introduced and that was the car that got me back to the domestics after 20 years. In the end I wanted a V and pulled the trigger on that a month ago, it's definitely a different car than my parents '77 Coupe de'Ville (which I absolutely loved) or their '91 Brougham d'Elegance.
As for BMW, I always thought that people who bought BMWs were lemmings following a badge. Last year we finally decided to retire my wife's 2004 Toyota Landcruiser that served us faithfully for 8 years and 160K miles. We looked at a lot of vehicles, including the Cadillac SRX. My wife fell in love with a BMW X5. She literally didn't care that it was a BMW, she just liked the looks and the interior color combination.
After having driven that vehicle for over a year I have to say that I am impressed, it is a very fun to drive which is even more impressive since it's an SUV. Impressive performance and driving dynamics with decent electronics (iDrive has been improved) and decent reliability so far. Having said all that, I think their latest models have gone soft which makes the new Cadillacs a more compelling option.
I also try to refrain from speaking in absolutes, but at times I do falter. Instead of saying, "Almost no one who was considering a Lexus, Mercedes or BMW would ever look at the Cadillac", I should have said, "my guess is that most people considering a Lexus, Mercedes or BMW aren't even looking at a Cadillac". That perception would be based on reviews and comparisons that you see in the car rags like Car and Driver, Motor Trend, or any other publication. While not gospel, I think they tend to reflect the general opinion of the automotive community
According to Forbes the top new vehicles registered in the first half of this year in the 25 wealthiest zip codes are:
Tesla Model S
Jeep Grand Cherokee
My takeaway from this is in a few counties Off Road/Utility Vehicles are well regarded by premium buyers and Cadillac's principal competitors are well considered by these buyers as well, but not Cadillac. as far as defining Premium that is not an easy thing to argue, so i won't but i agree that Premium is a moving target, to someone starving in a drought stricken country a cracker and thimble of water is Premium and to a former KGB Russian oligarch gold dusted Caviar and Cristal might be premium. Premium is not easily defined, but it is something most people will know when they see it. when i see the top 25 zip codes where the median home price is between 3 and 6 million dollars i see premium buyers and when Cadillac cant crack the top 25 for those people well...it may not be a written in stone commandment, but it is a reasonable conclusion to premium buyers Cadillac is not near the fore of their thoughts.
here's a link to an article describing this:
Tesla Model S is the vehicle of choice in many of America's wealthiest zip codes
For what it's worth, I thought these three posts from the Motor Trend's forum were interesting. The discussion parallels the one we are having. Most of them support your your thesis that Caddy is not top premium. Again, it's relative: Compared to perceived top 5 cars it's not; compared to the perception of all cars... it is. Cars.... ya got to love em' and love talkin' about em'! I enjoyed your posts!
I don't think you can put them into a flat ranking. I'd say there is more of a tier arrangement.
1) MB, BMW, Audi, Land Rover
1.5)Jaguar, Porsche, Maserati... Prestigious but rather boutique.
2)Cadillac, Infiniti, Lexus
3)Volvo, Acura, Chrysler, Lincoln, Buick
Read more: http://forums.motortrend.com/70/9044...#ixzz2m4uzmD6H
I ranked them, from top level to low level in both categories.
Read more: http://forums.motortrend.com/70/9044...#ixzz2m4vjGrkV
If you look at average transaction price it's kind of interesting...
All above $80,000
All between $50-60,000
In the mid $40,000 range with a slight lead to Cadillac.
Originally Posted by musvlehead
I have been in a S Class, 2 of my buddies have them. They are nothing special, dime a dozen around here in Boston. I rarely see any XTSs and in my opinion the XTS is more of a head tuner.Quote:
Originally Posted by gohawks63
To me Cadillac started the premium market years ago and set the benchmark for other automakers. If you look at all the current technology in cars today 90% of the time Cadillac was the first company to debut it. Over the years they lost it and now they are trying to get there place back and they are doing a hell of a Job with there comeback. I have always been the type of person that likes to stick out in the crowd. I like to pull up in a Cadillac with a lot full of mb,bmws and Lexus'.
I'm 27 years old and have always been a Cadillac guy since I was a little kid. I always had a thing for them. I have owned Mercedes and BMW and after dealing with the high cost of repairs and so on I said screw it I will buy a Cadillac. I bought a Escalade and after owning the escalade for 3 years now I don't see myself leaving Cadillac in the near future. I have been trying to get my friends and business associates to ditch the German brands and buy a Cadillac. After my friends saw the XTS I bought last week they are considering leaving the Germans for a Cadillac. They couldn't get over the interior and the features etc.
Yes, most people will know Premium when they see it, unfortunately for the purpose of defining Premium, Premium is in the eyes of the beholder.
I wonder if we are the first to have a discussion of this nature about cars! :)
Not sure what year S Classes you're talking about, but not long ago I sat in a 2014 $174,000 S63 AMG and all I could say was Holy Crap that is serious luxury. I like the exterior more than ever with the new updates also.
But that's also crazy money. I'm not disagreeing with you about the XTS being a head turner. Heck even my shiny silver 06 STS-V still turns heads a lot when it's spotless. Partly because it's rare.
But I can definitely see why people who have the money go for MB. There are a lot of factors that go into why someone goes with a certain car, and head turning is only one.
A customer at the MB dealer I was at, who was buying his 5th S550, told me that he buys black and then purposely keeps it dirty to not draw attention. He's all about the interior. Personally that's crazy to me and I keep cars as clean as possible. To each his own.
Anyway I hope Caddy does end up having a true S Class competitor. I may never have one (or maybe I........), but it would be very cool.
Not a reason to get rid of the XTS though.
S Classes in Boston are a dime a dozen, I see 100 everyday (I'm exaggerating, probably at least 5-10) since the XTS came out I think I have seen 4 all together.Quote:
Originally Posted by carter's_sts
Regarding the interior, the 2014 S is a whole different animal than the current 2007-2013 S. I'm not too crazy about the new S exterior, it looks too much like the E class and the 2014 C class. They all look the same small,medium and large but back to the XTS. Besides the fwd issue I think the XTS holds Its own with the current S class regarding looks,size and technology and I think it has way better interior than the current S. The V6 issue isn't a big deal because they have a V6 S and a 740 bmw.