Is it the "truth"?
Or just more hokum from one of the nattering nabobs of automotive negativism?
A certain blog that asserts that it tells the “truth,” as though the truth were a secret visible only to its author, has come out with a blast at Cadillac.
But, what it ended up with is, at best, a half-truth.
Calling the Cadillac DTS “a fat, ugly, front-wheel-drive pile of crap,” the blogger is all in favor of killing it off, sales of over 33,000 DTSs this year notwithstanding. To him, it is “a gussied up Buick” appealing only to buyers too old to be fashionable in his Cadillac world.
But he doesn’t want an entry level, lower-priced Cadillac, either. This blogger says that Cadillac “flunks history,” that an entry level car priced at $28,000 will cheapen the brand, and claims Cadillac started cheapening the brand when they targeted black buyers during the depression. To him, the Escalade was just another example of the same thing.
So, what should Cadillac instead do? “[t]hey should make the right-sized (i.e. big) STS better.” This is the STS. This is the car whose sales this year, to date, are barely over 13,000 – about a third that of the DTS.
So, here’s the “truth” about Cadillac, at least as this blogger sees it: kill the DTS, dump the Escalade and don’t introduce an entry level car, make the STS bigger, and sell it alongside the CTS.
The only cars in the line with sales worse than the STS are the SRX and the XLR. So, this guy thinks Cadillac should build the division around a failure. The best selling model in the line is the DTS, and this guy wants to kill it off.
Maybe he just wanted to make GM’s management look intelligent by the comparison.
Here’s the real truth about Cadillac:
- The 33,000 plus people buying a DTS this year are buying it for the same reason they’ve bought deVille’s and DTSs since the current model was introduced in 2000: it’s a good car at a very good price. A DTS gives you the size and luxury of an E Class or 5 Series at the price of a C Class or 3 Series. It also provides reliability superior to that of the German manufacturers (it is, after all, an E Class that was one of the bottom ten in reliability ratings from Consumer Reports and it is Cadillac that’s always in the top five in any J.D. Powers survey), service in even the smallest towns, and still has enough prestige to pass muster with the doorman when you pull up to the Ritz.
- The efforts made by Cadillac to copy German manufacturers reveal a deep-seated corporate inferiority complex, an envy which has lead Cadillac to ignore its bread-and-butter model while trying to prove that it is as good as the Europeans, market segment by market segment. Cadillac has succeeded with the deVille/DTS despite itself. The STS and SRX have been failures, as was the first generation CTS. Every time Cadillac has tried to emulate BMW and Mercedes, it has failed.
- The name “Cadillac” signifies in the public’s mind a very different image than the name “BMW” or “Mercedes-Benz.” To those who want the image conveyed by a German car, there can be no substitute. But the reverse is true, as well. There are a lot of us that don’t have any desire to park a Bimmer in the driveway – too complicated, too costly, too demanding – the automotive equivalent of a trophy wife. Some of us just want the automotive equivalent of the servant that has that perfectly mixed and chilled martini waiting when you walk through the door. That’s what Cadillac has always done better than anyone else.
The pedant who pretends to portray the “truth” is actually caught up in his own fantasy world, one in which Cadillac competes, but in which he’ll still drive a BMW.
The world is filled with people like him, people who have a vision that they insist others must share.
There are those among us – at least 33,000 this year alone – who want a Cadillac, like a Cadillac, and are much more interested in driving one than in driving one of those invitations to warranty hell that are called BMWs and Mercedes-Benz. And, some of us even prefer the appearance of a DTS. Sure, it’s old. But the BMW is ugly. It’s like Churchill’s remark to an ostensible “lady” at a formal dinner, when she took exception to the amount of brandy he’d consumed and accused him of being drunk: “yes, but in the morning I’ll be sober, while you’ll still be ugly.”
The real truth is that the guy that wrote that blog doesn’t tell you what he drives.
But I will.
My daily driver is a 2002 DTS, with 150,000 miles on it.
And, yes, I did look at a Mercedes-Benz before buying it.