There is much more to this discussion then has been said (unless I missed it).
I currently have a 2004 CTS-V that I purchased the day it hit the dealers floor. I even foolishly paid a premium over MSRP which I will never do again for ANY car. This was my first Cadillac (at 31) and my 6th new GM vehicle. I have always been a die-hard US-made vehicle purchaser..."buy American!" I did compare the CTS-V to the BMW M3 and still chose the Cadillac CTS-V over the BMW M3.
My top reasons for choosing the CTS-V over the BMW M3 in order:
2. American made
3. Perceived better value
Recently I have decided to purchase a 2006 BMW M5. I had many factors in my decision making process. I considered keeping my 2004 CTS-V, getting a Mercedes (various models), getting an STS-V.
Here were my top reasons for deciding to not keep the CTS-V:
1. GM releasing a car with terrible wheel hop.
2. GM's poor response to the wheel hop.
3. GM's decision to spec a rear-end not designed to handle the power the motor puts out.
4. GM's response to rear-end problems.
Here were my top reasons for deciding to not get an STS-V:
1. It is made by GM and I have lost faith in GM due to the response to CTS-V issues.
2. I think it is an old man's car (forgive me...this is my perception).
3. Not enough performance.
4. No auto shifting manual option (BMW SMG).
5. I don't see the price justification.
Here were my top reasons for going with the 2006 BMW M5:
3. SMG III
4. Interior quality
5. Friend's experiences with multiple M3's (good).
6. I like it better then anything out there in its class.
7. Unbelievable treatment by the BMW dealer
I think the comparison between the CTS-V and the STS-V is a silly one to make. I don't believe many true performance enthusiasts would choose the STS-V. Yes you will have the executives that will choose the STS-V because of its power but when you are in that price range if you were truly considering performance and luxury you would most likely choose a Mercedes or a BMW. The target market is the executive that wants an American
luxury 4 door large sedan with power.
What should be most concerning to GM is why did I decide this year to move away from American made vehicles when I wouldn't have even have considered it three years ago?
1. I feel that GM pisses on the customer. Look at the wheel hop and rear-end problems on the CTS-V.
2. We are now a global economy. GM's vehicles are using parts made in China so what is the real difference.
3. Dealer attitudes. I was trying to purchase two 2005 Cadillac Escalades and a 2006 Corvette Z06 and the dealer wouldn't deal with me on price (the Escalades were selling too well I guess). I was willing to pay MSRP on the vette but wanted dealer invoice on the Escalades. I ended up getting a couple Toyota Sequoia Limiteds and now the M5.
4. When doing side-by-side comparisons I felt there was a much better value for my $ in the Toyota's.
There is much more to a luxury sedan then the HP ratings!