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View Poll Results: Most improved Luxury Brand.
Cadillac 22 41.51%
Lincoln 5 9.43%
Infiniti 10 18.87%
Acura 1 1.89%
Jaguar 15 28.30%
Voters: 53. You may not vote on this poll

 
 
Old 03-15-2011, 08:54 AM
 
Location: Oslo, NO
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1. Jaguar. Thank God they got rid of X-Type and S-Type.
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Old 03-15-2011, 09:02 AM
 
14,777 posts, read 34,490,118 times
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Originally Posted by hoffdano View Post
I think Cadillac's low spot was not so much due to lack of quality but they had nothing anyone under 60 years old wanted to buy. Even the kinda-cool XLR was bought by old guys. I think the Escalade was the beginning of the makeover. Someone at GM got the bright idea that they needed vehicles that appealed to younger buyers. The DTS buyer was dying away, and the over 60 crowd with real money had switched to Lexus.

I despise the blingmobile Escalade but would happily drive a CTS-V.
I think that's a very good point. The late 80's and into the 90's marked a big turning point in the demographics of luxury car buyers. This is something the American brands failed to realize and failed to capitalize on until well into the 2000's.
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Old 03-15-2011, 10:56 AM
 
Location: Scottsdale, AZ
4,486 posts, read 14,918,052 times
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Cadillac is definitely my pick for the most improved luxury brand.

We can all argue the merits and demerits of each luxury automaker but the numbers game is what truly matters- sales, sales, sales. NO luxury automaker makes their money on the upper-echelon models such as the Mercedes S-Class or BMW 7 Series; they make their money on the entry-level and mid-level models. You want to know the most popular vehicles from luxury manufacturers, sales figures for 2010:

Cadillac SRX - 51,094 (next was CTS at 45,656...total Cadillac sales were 146,925 for 2010)
Mercedes-Benz E-Class - 60,922 (next was C-Class at 58,785...total MB sales were 216,448)
BMW 3 Series - 100,910 (next was 5 Series at 39,488...total BMW sales were 265,757)
Lexus RX - 95,790 (next was ES at 48,652...total Lexus sales were 229,329)

Manufacturers make their money on the entry-level luxury cars, mid-level luxury cars, and crossovers. Out of the two models I listed for each manufacturer, the TOTAL of those two models is almost or great than HALF of their entire sales for the year. Cadillac was smart in redesigning and focusing attention on the CTS first and then redesigning and focusing on the SRX because these two are the bread and butter models which will be able to generate revenue. The flagship models of any company are not the ones bringing in the money, Cadillac doesn't NEED a true flagship model until it is successful with the entry-level CTS and SRX (which by the numbers...it is).

By the numbers, it's very easy to tell who owns what part of the market. The 3 Series has consistently been the most popular entry-level luxury/sporty car you can buy, the Lexus RX has consistently been the best luxury crossover SUV, and Mercedes has dominated with their E-Class as appealing to the mid-level executive type. Cadillac is slowly but surely trying to slice away at BMW's dominance with the 3 Series and has its sights squarely aimed on the Lexus RX with the redesigned SRX. The coming years should be interesting to see how the market changes and evolves.
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Old 03-15-2011, 11:04 AM
 
14,777 posts, read 34,490,118 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SpeedyAZ View Post
Cadillac is definitely my pick for the most improved luxury brand.

We can all argue the merits and demerits of each luxury automaker but the numbers game is what truly matters- sales, sales, sales. NO luxury automaker makes their money on the upper-echelon models such as the Mercedes S-Class or BMW 7 Series; they make their money on the entry-level and mid-level models. You want to know the most popular vehicles from luxury manufacturers, sales figures for 2010:

Cadillac SRX - 51,094 (next was CTS at 45,656...total Cadillac sales were 146,925 for 2010)
Mercedes-Benz E-Class - 60,922 (next was C-Class at 58,785...total MB sales were 216,448)
BMW 3 Series - 100,910 (next was 5 Series at 39,488...total BMW sales were 265,757)
Lexus RX - 95,790 (next was ES at 48,652...total Lexus sales were 229,329)

Manufacturers make their money on the entry-level luxury cars, mid-level luxury cars, and crossovers. Out of the two models I listed for each manufacturer, the TOTAL of those two models is almost or great than HALF of their entire sales for the year. Cadillac was smart in redesigning and focusing attention on the CTS first and then redesigning and focusing on the SRX because these two are the bread and butter models which will be able to generate revenue. The flagship models of any company are not the ones bringing in the money, Cadillac doesn't NEED a true flagship model until it is successful with the entry-level CTS and SRX (which by the numbers...it is).

By the numbers, it's very easy to tell who owns what part of the market. The 3 Series has consistently been the most popular entry-level luxury/sporty car you can buy, the Lexus RX has consistently been the best luxury crossover SUV, and Mercedes has dominated with their E-Class as appealing to the mid-level executive type. Cadillac is slowly but surely trying to slice away at BMW's dominance with the 3 Series and has its sights squarely aimed on the Lexus RX with the redesigned SRX. The coming years should be interesting to see how the market changes and evolves.
I agree with everything you said. However, Cadillac is now in the process of moving the CTS more upmarket as a direct competitor to the E-class and 5-series allowing the new ATS to slide in at the entry level and take on the C-class and 3-series. A lot of people are wondering exactly how Cadillac is going to deal with the dynamic of turning their bread and butter car into the higher end model, especially if it loses its current advantage of 5-series size for 3-series money. The ATS needs to be a grandslam for Cadillac to continue with its resurgence.
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Old 03-15-2011, 11:16 AM
 
Location: Scottsdale, AZ
4,486 posts, read 14,918,052 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NJGOAT View Post
I agree with everything you said. However, Cadillac is now in the process of moving the CTS more upmarket as a direct competitor to the E-class and 5-series allowing the new ATS to slide in at the entry level and take on the C-class and 3-series. A lot of people are wondering exactly how Cadillac is going to deal with the dynamic of turning their bread and butter car into the higher end model, especially if it loses its current advantage of 5-series size for 3-series money. The ATS needs to be a grandslam for Cadillac to continue with its resurgence.
Thanks, I've ALWAYS been a numbers/facts/statistics guy....maybe that's why I'm an engineer. But I too am curious about HOW Cadillac is going to make the CTS an upmarket competitor to the 5 Series/E-Class especially when the CTS has really been a VALUE car for Cadillac. The CTS offered the size, comfort, technology, etc of a mid-level luxury sedan at an entry-level price...now with the ATS being a DIRECT competitor...the CTS is really going to have to improve on a few things to become an EQUAL of the 5 Series/E-Class. My dad just bought a CTS Coupe for my mom, I was ecstatic (because I want one myself) but there are a few things that Cadillac needs to improve on in the next generation CTS to become a true competitor. Less hard plastic, more soft touch material, more attention to details.

I'm very interested to see the ATS when it comes out and exactly how it rates with the BMW 3 Series CONSIDERING that by the time the ATS is a production model, the 3 Series is going to be due for a redesign and if the ATS will compete with the next-generation 3 Series or simply fall in the dust. Only time will tell.
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Old 03-15-2011, 11:19 AM
 
3,129 posts, read 5,141,528 times
Reputation: 1588
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpeedyAZ View Post
Cadillac is definitely my pick for the most improved luxury brand.

We can all argue the merits and demerits of each luxury automaker but the numbers game is what truly matters- sales, sales, sales. NO luxury automaker makes their money on the upper-echelon models such as the Mercedes S-Class or BMW 7 Series; they make their money on the entry-level and mid-level models. You want to know the most popular vehicles from luxury manufacturers, sales figures for 2010:

Cadillac SRX - 51,094 (next was CTS at 45,656...total Cadillac sales were 146,925 for 2010)
Mercedes-Benz E-Class - 60,922 (next was C-Class at 58,785...total MB sales were 216,448)
BMW 3 Series - 100,910 (next was 5 Series at 39,488...total BMW sales were 265,757)
Lexus RX - 95,790 (next was ES at 48,652...total Lexus sales were 229,329)

Manufacturers make their money on the entry-level luxury cars, mid-level luxury cars, and crossovers. Out of the two models I listed for each manufacturer, the TOTAL of those two models is almost or great than HALF of their entire sales for the year. Cadillac was smart in redesigning and focusing attention on the CTS first and then redesigning and focusing on the SRX because these two are the bread and butter models which will be able to generate revenue. The flagship models of any company are not the ones bringing in the money, Cadillac doesn't NEED a true flagship model until it is successful with the entry-level CTS and SRX (which by the numbers...it is).

By the numbers, it's very easy to tell who owns what part of the market. The 3 Series has consistently been the most popular entry-level luxury/sporty car you can buy, the Lexus RX has consistently been the best luxury crossover SUV, and Mercedes has dominated with their E-Class as appealing to the mid-level executive type. Cadillac is slowly but surely trying to slice away at BMW's dominance with the 3 Series and has its sights squarely aimed on the Lexus RX with the redesigned SRX. The coming years should be interesting to see how the market changes and evolves.

Actually that is far from the truth in regards to profit. Usually the higher priced the car, the bigger the margins. The cheaper the car, the smaller the margins. The Escalade for example is by far the biggest profit maker for Caddy.

I mean Caddy benefited greatly from the GM BAILOUT, its not like it was a level playing field. In comparison the other brands have a much better business model.

Caddy has done a tremendous job with the Escalade, CTS and SRX. The DTS still has its core audience (sad they are dropping it) and the STS just needed to be made into a true flagship. Instead they want to combine both into a V-6 FWD (AWD option) XTS. Dumb.

The ATS is coming which should help but not sure people want to see the CTS price continue to climb.

Also AUTONEWS has reported that GM/Caddy incentives are highest around with Nissan/Infiniti and Lincoln. So they are throwing tons of money at people to buy the vehicles. Also remember they dropped leasing and now have it back, which has helped sales.

Sadly in Europe Caddy wanted to sell 20k a year and sold around 1,800.
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Old 03-15-2011, 11:46 AM
 
14,777 posts, read 34,490,118 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RandyWatson13 View Post
Actually that is far from the truth in regards to profit. Usually the higher priced the car, the bigger the margins. The cheaper the car, the smaller the margins. The Escalade for example is by far the biggest profit maker for Caddy.

I mean Caddy benefited greatly from the GM BAILOUT, its not like it was a level playing field. In comparison the other brands have a much better business model.

Caddy has done a tremendous job with the Escalade, CTS and SRX. The DTS still has its core audience (sad they are dropping it) and the STS just needed to be made into a true flagship. Instead they want to combine both into a V-6 FWD (AWD option) XTS. Dumb.

The ATS is coming which should help but not sure people want to see the CTS price continue to climb.

Also AUTONEWS has reported that GM/Caddy incentives are highest around with Nissan/Infiniti and Lincoln. So they are throwing tons of money at people to buy the vehicles. Also remember they dropped leasing and now have it back, which has helped sales.

Sadly in Europe Caddy wanted to sell 20k a year and sold around 1,800.
While you are right that the higher the price, generally the bigger the margin, it comes down to sheer numbers. If I'm BMW and sell 10,000 7-series at a $15k profit (about what it is), I make $150 million dollars. If I sell 100,000 3-series and make just $3,000 profit on each, I earn $300 million. Volume cars are more important overall than individual models with high margins.

As for the XTS, I happen to think that it is the right move for Cadillac. The car as designed should allow them to retain STS and DTS buyers while maintaining a good margin on the car, do to its shared platform. Of course, the only reason I'm cool with it is that Cadillac will supposedly be rolling out a true RWD flagship in the 2014 timeframe.

Your leasing point is very valid as a large percentage of most new car deliveries in the luxury segment are leases. When GM lost the ability to competitevely lease, it almost signaled the death of Cadillac.
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Old 03-15-2011, 11:49 AM
 
14,777 posts, read 34,490,118 times
Reputation: 14278
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpeedyAZ View Post
Thanks, I've ALWAYS been a numbers/facts/statistics guy....maybe that's why I'm an engineer. But I too am curious about HOW Cadillac is going to make the CTS an upmarket competitor to the 5 Series/E-Class especially when the CTS has really been a VALUE car for Cadillac. The CTS offered the size, comfort, technology, etc of a mid-level luxury sedan at an entry-level price...now with the ATS being a DIRECT competitor...the CTS is really going to have to improve on a few things to become an EQUAL of the 5 Series/E-Class. My dad just bought a CTS Coupe for my mom, I was ecstatic (because I want one myself) but there are a few things that Cadillac needs to improve on in the next generation CTS to become a true competitor. Less hard plastic, more soft touch material, more attention to details.

I'm very interested to see the ATS when it comes out and exactly how it rates with the BMW 3 Series CONSIDERING that by the time the ATS is a production model, the 3 Series is going to be due for a redesign and if the ATS will compete with the next-generation 3 Series or simply fall in the dust. Only time will tell.
Cadillac has been somewhat price constrained on the current CTS as they simply couldn't price it higher without anything to slot below it. I don't doubt that GM has the ability to make the CTS the equal of the E-class or 5-series in terms of materials and feautres if allowed to charge more for the car. What remains to be seen is if people are going to pay the money and whether or not people are going to be cool associating the former mass market model as the new more premium offering.
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Old 03-15-2011, 01:15 PM
 
Location: Scottsdale, AZ
4,486 posts, read 14,918,052 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NJGOAT View Post
Cadillac has been somewhat price constrained on the current CTS as they simply couldn't price it higher without anything to slot below it. I don't doubt that GM has the ability to make the CTS the equal of the E-class or 5-series in terms of materials and feautres if allowed to charge more for the car. What remains to be seen is if people are going to pay the money and whether or not people are going to be cool associating the former mass market model as the new more premium offering.
Cadillac doesn't need to necessarily imitate the business model of Mercedes/BMW as in:

Entry Level Luxury
Mid Level Luxury
Flagship Sedan

I almost want to say that the Cadillac ATS will compete with the likes of the BMW 1 Series, Lexus IS250, Acura TSX/TL, and Infiniti G-Sedan. I think Cadillac almost will market the ATS as a larger vehicle with comparable pricing to these vehicles listed above but following the CTS model, will offer size/comfort of a 3 Series and C-Class. I think the next generation CTS will move upmarket but I'm not sure if the price will increase dramatically. I could see Cadillac dropping the base 3.0L V6 version in favor of a 3.6L ONLY version and keep the price at around $41K. Maybe Cadillac would make a "base" 3.6L version with a price $2K-$3K below the current 3.6L to compete with the E-Class/5 Series but still have a slightly lower base price. This is a possibility in my eyes.
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Old 03-15-2011, 02:35 PM
 
Location: Guangzhou, China
9,620 posts, read 12,783,261 times
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My opinions...

Cadillac - probably the most improved. They went from frumpy, boring, old-guy-in-Bahama-shorts cruisers to exciting and athletic designs like the CTS. Ten years ago, if you would have said they'd have a RWD sports sedan that would give a BMW M a run for its money, you'd have thought it was absurd. Now, it's reality!
Lincoln - the least improved by a wide margin. Do they sell anything other than Town Cars as fleet vehicles for limo companies? Oh, right... that thing that's based on the Edge that no one buys. And that thing based on the Taurus - or was it the Fusion - that no one buys either. And the Navigator: the truck with a Mercedes price tag and a Hyundai interior.
Infiniti - They've improved quite a bit, too. The original Q45 was a gem, and the G20 was a solid car, but since it was FWD and looked exactly like the Nissan Primera it was derived from, it was in the wrong bracket. The original M coupe/convertible was already six years old when launched. The J30 was a good car, it was just poorly marketed and looked too similar to the way-downmarket Altima that was released at the same time. Subsequent Q45's failed to match the first, and the introduction of the I30 - a thinly-veiled Maxima - was a step in the wrong direction. They did it right with the G35; the first M45 was a cool car IMHO but was a bit off in terms of most Americans' taste. The following M35/45 have been good, and the new G37's hit the mark, too. The first generation FX did great, and the second one is pretty good, too. The EX is a nice crossover, and I see a lot around SF and LA. They're doing good and are taken seriously in the entry-level luxury market; now, they just need a new halo car.
Acura - They're doing about as good as they always have. Some of their designs are a bit radical, but they're good cars with good peformace. Their SUV's have done well. They, like Infiniti, need a new RWD flagship; Acura needs to get some RWD cars out there, themselves.
Jaguar - They're no longer the most expensive POS' in the world, so that's an improvement. I like the new flagship alright. They haven't made a good-looking coupe in nearly 20 years now, though... they really need to get on that!
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