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Old 10-29-2007, 01:35 PM   #1
AVANTI R5
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Default Cadillac planning RWD small car for Europe

Cadillac planning RWD small car for Europe





GM’s efforts to boost the image of Cadillac in Europe has been thwarted by the poor performance of the FWD only BLS, especially up against segment leaders like the RWD BMW 3-series and Mercedes-Benz C-Class. That’s why for its replacement Cadillac may switch to GM’s new RWD Alpha architecture.


CEO Rick Wagoner is keen to improve Cadillac’s image in Europe and the key to its success will be small models. Speaking with Automotive News, Wagoner explained that Cadillac “will need smaller vehicles if it’s serious about markets outside of the U.S. and Middle East.”
Officials have confirmed the new Alpha small car platform will be developed at the Lordstown plant in Ohia, with the first Cadillac based version hitting the U.S. market by the 2011 model year.


An inside source revealed that it would “be a luxury entrant to compete with the BMW 3-series and the Mercedes C-Class.” Wagoner wasn’t willing to confirm whether Alpha would be headed to Europe but given his previous comments it seems highly likely.
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Old 10-29-2007, 07:20 PM   #2
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With the CTS sized to fight the 5-series, this makes sense for a 3-series fighter.
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Old 10-29-2007, 09:16 PM   #3
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RWD is one of the many things the BLS lacks. Establishing Caddy in Europe's luxury market will be a long uphill battle and I'm not convinced GM really is prepared for it.
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Old 10-29-2007, 10:55 PM   #4
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...I'm not convinced GM really is prepared for it.
I don't think they have a choice. They were the 'Standard of the World' not the 'Standard of Upper-class Italian-Americas and some rap stars'.

It will definitely be tough - very tough - but they pretty much have to do it, if they want the same level of cachet as Mercedes and Lexus.
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Old 10-29-2007, 11:00 PM   #5
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Haz, THANK YOU for using "cachet" appropriately!

Rebadging a Saab while doubling it's price didn't really help Cadillac's assault on Europe. So who knows, maybe rebadging a Holden will work better...
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Old 10-30-2007, 12:01 AM   #6
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I don't think they have a choice. They were the 'Standard of the World' not the 'Standard of Upper-class Italian-Americas and some rap stars'.

It will definitely be tough - very tough - but they pretty much have to do it, if they want the same level of cachet as Mercedes and Lexus.
That's correct, they don't have a choice. Globally the 5-series outsells the STS like 7:1 for example. Basically, for every $1 mil Caddy spends on R&D BMW can spend $7 mil, and in the long term this will make it difficult to compete head to head.

The problem is, GM isn't known for making smart long-term investments in brands. They introduce a new model name, spend a lot to market it, fail to keep the product up-to-date, then axe it because of the bad stigma associated with it and start all over again while losing potential return buyers.

Lexus needed 18 years to capture 0.3% of the Euro market (BMW 5.4%, Mercedes 4.9%, Audi 4.3%) and I really doubt GM (being focussed on monthly sales and quarterly results) has that kind of patience.
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Old 10-30-2007, 06:47 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bal00 View Post
That's correct, they don't have a choice. Globally the 5-series outsells the STS like 7:1 for example. Basically, for every $1 mil Caddy spends on R&D BMW can spend $7 mil, and in the long term this will make it difficult to compete head to head.

The problem is, GM isn't known for making smart long-term investments in brands.
They introduce a new model name, spend a lot to market it, fail to keep the product up-to-date, then axe it because of the bad stigma associated with it and start all over again while losing potential return buyers.

Lexus needed 18 years to capture 0.3% of the Euro market (BMW 5.4%, Mercedes 4.9%, Audi 4.3%) and I really doubt GM (being focussed on monthly sales and quarterly results) has that kind of patience.
Oh, I am not doubting that part in the slightest bit... it's not just GM either that has a very short-sighted view, but most American companies in general.

And in the luxury car market it's bad, but in the bread-and-butter segments like 4-door family sedans and small cars it's even worse. Detroit can bitch and complain about the cost of Union labor till the cows come home, but the fact remains that GM is selling cars in runs of XX,000 cars per year, while Toyota and Honda are amortizing their costs over XXX,000 cars per year in the same market segments. Try as they might, if Detroit doesn't raise their volume, they will always be behind.
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Old 10-30-2007, 08:53 AM   #8
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will be developed at the Lordstown plant in Ohia
Ohia.

--kC
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Old 10-30-2007, 08:58 AM   #9
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Looks like a Ford Fusion.
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