Originally appeared at GMInsideNews.com on March 1, 2010.
GM: Give Cadillac The Product it Deserves or Kill it.
Another commentary on what Cadillac should be
by Mark Bono (ChevyRules), GMI Staff Writer
…continued from Part 1
Keep Cadillac Focused on RWD and the Germans
Now this is Cadillac’s 2004 mission statement. Focus on going out and beating the Germans.
This means the SRX needs to return, as a rear-wheel drive vehicle on the Alpha platform and the XTS needs to move to the Zeta platform. Though I have little faith that they will do this. With the new SRX’s success, I am concerned they will go and think, “ See front-wheel drive is the answer to Cadillac’s troubles” and continue on with front-wheel drive and accept Cadillac being a volume luxury brand. I have been hearing as well the biggest drawback to a Zeta based Cadillac is that, while the vehicle itself would be profitable, the required investment into making a proper full size Cadillac would result in GM never seeing a return on investment with the vehicle. I find this reason to be full of crap. The typical life of full size luxury sedans is seven years with a mild refresh three to four years into it. Is GM really saying that they will not see a return on investment with a vehicle that has a life span of seven years? Even if it is the case, GM should go through with it because the vehicle itself will be profitable so it isn’t a total money loser.
Now I know this is where it gets hard for GM. Trying to keep two premium brands separate from each other. But, it is easier then it looks GM. You already have the vehicles needed to complete Buick’s line up. You just need to transfer over the current SRX and XTS over to Buick. Buick should be a front-wheel drive based brand to go against the likes of the lower end Lexus, Acura, Lincoln, Volvo and now Saab models. While Cadillac is rear-wheel drive based and goes after BMW, Mercedes, Infiniti and Audi.
GM, if you cannot do the other two options listed above, I really do have to suggest just killing Cadillac. I wish it would be Buick that would be killed instead, but we all know Buick is already established as a global brand and is highly successful in China, while Cadillac is not. So it comes down to Cadillac now being the weaker of the two luxury marques at GM.
If you continue on the paths you have chosen for Cadillac and Buick, they will continue to trample on each others toes. You have the SRX and XTS going after models GM has given aim for Buick to take on. We also have rumors of the US getting the next generation Park Avenue which will trample on Cadillac’s feet by having a full size RWD sedan. Cadillac’s image will not recover where you want it to be if Cadillac goes after the volume market.
Those are the best options that are presented to me for Cadillac. If it were up to me, in a perfect world I would have Cadillac go after Rolls Royce and Bentley. But, the world isn’t perfect and I seriously doubt Cadillac will be able to climb that high on the ladder again. So realistically, I would have Cadillac go after the Germans, which was its original mission statement. Cadillac does have the ATS coming, which rumors say it will crush the F30 BMW 3 series. GM does have the DT7 on the shelf and just needs to dust it off and GM needs to make the decision now to move the SRX over to Alpha for the third generation to make the lineup complete with proper Cadillac’s.