26 May 2007

The Cadillac Dilemma- Part One

It's been a full generation of vehicles since Cadillac has come back from the dead, and now the real questions start for General Motors. Where does the brand go from here?

As noted in a previous Mags Report exclusive, the next stage of the Caddy upheaval begins again with the CTS, this time in the form of the 2008 model. Upgraded, updated and slick interior details and materials, evolutionary changes to the exterior, and a new DI HF powerplant... and well, beats me what else they'll be bringing to the table that everyone in the luxury segment already doesn't do already. That being said, it is a step forward for the company. And a year from introduction, when the 4.0 HF is released and provides even more motivation, the brand would appear to be headed on its way up.

However, there's a white elephant in the room. And the name of the elephant is 'bankruptcy fears'. See, after all this new product and new GM brouhaha, the company is still in some serious doo doo- and how this doo doo will affect Cadillac, and more importantly in the long term, Chevrolet, Pontiac, et al is yet to be determined.

For one thing, even though new products are finally being given the time, attention and money they deserve, there are still huge problems company-wide for GM which stem from one important issue- there's not enough time, attention and money to spread across all the brands and models. To that end, the new GM wants to streamline operations by globalizing platforms, engines and styling- providing cost savings and more focused products; it's why you see Saturn and Opel joining forces, or Holden and Pontiac... but that runs counter to the idea of Cadillac being a 'luxury' brand... well at least to some snobs.

...to be continued

Next post... What Is Luxury?

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