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?

20 May 2007

An Encounter That May Only Interest Me

I'll be posting a review of the 2008 Lancer fairly soon, once I get more than 15 minutes to actually write things down in a coherent manner.

In the meantime, let me regale you with a snippet of the conversation I had with the salesperson at my local Mitsu dealership- bear in mind that I actually WAS looking at the Lancer as a possible purchase for my mother, who is on the verge of trading in her Civic sedan-

Salesperson: So what other vehicles are you cross shopping?
MF: The usual; Civic, Corolla, 3, Sentra, Caliber, G5, Cobalt. You know, the compact class.
Salesperson: Well one thing we've got over the GM and DCX vehicles is our warranty and the fact that we are a stable company with no dangers or worries about bankruptcy.


Did I miss something along the way here? This is the same Mitsu that was on the verge of losing it all in North America not even two years ago?

Salespeople are so stupid sometimes.