Here is my take after I did a semester-long project on the CTS. Cadillac is a LUXURY car company. According the the US government a luxury car is a car which retails for more then $40,000. Caddilac is currently the second most pure luxury brand, they trail lincoln which is about 80% pure.
The biggest problem they are facing is what all other luxury brands are facing. They are tryng to get people into "near-luxury" cars such as the CTS or Lincoln LS. These cars are canibalizing the brands which they come from. If Cadillac wants to survive they should be more of a luxury brand, sure, a $30,000 Cadillac is great! But with the $30,000 you get a car which didnt have as much time or QUALITY materials put into it. In doing my research I test drove and thouroughly (sp?) went over a base CTS. After 10 min in it, I relaized it felt ALOT like every other CHEVY on the road. Yes, it had Cadillac logos all over it, but in the end It felt like i was sitting in a Chevy. There leather was hard, the dash was plastic, and there was no wood trim.
Compared to my 8 year old Eldorado: the dash is plush, the wood is pronounced and REAL, and the leather is soft.
Yes, the CTS is increasing sales and bringing in younger buyers, but it is sacrificing the cadillac name. Younger people dont have the money for a $42,000 Cadillac, but they do have the money for a $30,000 CTS. I dont think Cadillac should have brought out a near-luxury car. This is no better then the "keeping up witht he Jones's theory". They should have put more time into making the true luxury cars into better cars. Give use more luxury RWD cars with real power and features people want.
On the other hand, a lower priced Cadillac may be what they need. However, selling a near luxury car makes them Buick, they are treadding on thin ice and have to be very careful about which direction they take their near luxury cars. If people have this one, I can garuntee they will want more choices at this price, that my friends, will destroy Cadillac.