Has Cadillac lost momentum?

Jerry Flint over at The Car Connection is running one of his curmudgeonly rants again. Only this time, it is about Cadillac.

It seems that he is convinced that Cadillac has lost their momentum compared to the Lexus, Mercedes, and BMW’s of the luxury world. To see his sales numbers, you have to admit that Cadillac is not seeing double digit growth of sales.

However, I’d counter that Cadillac is still in rebuild mode. They do not have nearly the number of models of these companies (even counting all variants, Cadillac has 11 offerings to BMW’s 18, Lexus’ 10 – the only one on this list with fewer models, though they aren’t pumped up by counting variants like V-Series or the 3 version of the Escalade, and Mercedes’ 27), and they are still in a multi-year push to rebuild the brand image through competitive product. This all takes time to register with buyers (as a visitor to this site, obviously you are ahead of the rest of the market).

Cadillac has chosen to grow their image by _not_ chasing the easy way to additional sales, but rather to slowly rebuild their image as a true luxury player one impressive model at a time. The sales will come once the market recognizes the changes that have been made and forgotten the past transgressions (which Flint is more than happy to remind us all about).

This is not a sprint for Cadillac, but actually a shift in direction that will take many years. With each new release, they banish their old image a little more.

Unlike Flint, I’m not ready to write them off just yet.

The Car Connection
: Flint: Cadillac in the Slow Lane

  • John Martin


    Cadillac has been since their Art and Science design theme, accomplished what everyone thought was almost impossible just 3 years ago, that was to deliver world class luxury competitive cars, SUVs and trucks. I certainly do not believe their work is complete, refresh and new products need to continue. However it is a journey for Cadillac, not an event to rebuild the brand to an absolute jewel in the minds of luxury buyers.

    I happen to be a Cadillac owner and with transition from Lexus to Cadillac, I am a clear example that Cadillac is producing some of the most compelling luxury cars on the planet. I performed and extensive evaluation of Cadillac, Audi, Mercedes-Benz, Lexus, Infiniti, Jaguar, Acura and BMW for mid size luxury performance sedans and luxury performance roadsters. This resulted in two Cadillac purchases, the STS V8 and XLR. The one thing I learn from this process is that Cadillac is not only producing competitive world class products, but in many cases are best in class. That said, I would also say all of the other luxury modes reviewed, were wonderful as well, so Cadillac must continue its product focus.

    Marketing and Advertising, Dealership upgrades and consistent overall product upgrades, is key for Cadillac’s continued success and its improvement in positive mind share of luxury buyers. Once of the key elements in my review of these luxury cars prior to my purchase, was the fact that Cadillac was not associated in comparisons of Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Lexus when talking with friends and neighbors. Cadillac simply did not come to mind for most of the people I discussed my review and purchase decision with. Now that I have these wonderful luxury cars available for my neighbors to see, conversations are struck to discuss Cadillac and my experience has been absolutely wonderful. That said, the bottom line hear is very simple, people do not think of Cadillac as they do BMW or Lexus or Mercedes-Benz and that is key for the Cadillac brand to grow, in other words Cadillac is more the maker of the Escalade. Cadillac must get the word out regarding their world class line of luxury vehicles and it will take time and lots and lots of money. I for one hope the very best for Cadillac and based on my experience if the word can get out of how truly superb these products are, sales will take care of themselves.


  • I totally agree that Cadillac has only begun its transformation . It can only be done one vehicle at a time and still keep the rest of its line-up fresh . Having been fortunate enough to see what is coming down the pipe-line , it may take till the year 2010 until you see a truly competetive Cadillac division ready to take on the luxury market , and become what a ” Cadillac ” , used to mean.