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Susan Docherty Has a Great Idea How To Kill Cadillac
The Truth About Cars ^ | February 25, 2013 | Bertel Schmitt

Posted on 02/26/2013 4:39:33 PM PST by jjotto

Uh-oh: Susan Docherty, dispatched from China to Europe to teach the Eurotrash the proper appreciation and respect for Chevrolet and Cadillac, has come up with a strategy that assures the destruction of Cadillac outside of the U.S. Cadillac’s global aspirations hinge on its success in Europe, Docherty told WardsAuto. Again:” To be successful in China, Cadillac must first be successful in Europe. No blond jokes please, show some respect.

“If a luxury brand is successful in Europe, whether that brand is Chanel or Prada, or Mercedes or BMW, people in parts of Asia look to see what Europeans validate as true luxury,” Docherty told Wards. “So we have to get Cadillac rocking and rolling in Europe to get it going in China.”

Auto execs in Europe think this is hilarious. Everybody knows that Europe is overflowing with premium brands (the Euros avoid the word luxury, they think it’s gauche). They also know that to establish a new one, you need lots of time and lots of money, both of which GM does not have in abundance. Just ask Infiniti or Lexus how they are doing. Audi took about 30 years and a Ferdinand Piech to become relevant in the field, and it had the heritage that is so important in the EU.

In the parts of Europe that count, Cadillac is associated with Elvis, and it is given as much chance for a return. The European buyer of a premium car is conservative and married tighter to his brand than to his wife.

If Cadillac’s success in China hinges on Europe, then Cadillac is doomed. Last year, Cadillac delivered 2,274 vehicles in Western and Central Europe, “including Russia,” as WardsAuto snidely reports. The Chinese won’t be impressed with Russian tastes and want to know how Cadillac is doing in Paris, Berlin and Rome. There, the brand isn’t even on the radar of the European manufacturers association ACEA. It says that GM imported all of 299 cars from the U.S. to Europe in 2012, across all brands.

What’s less, now may be a very inopportune time to launch any car brand in basket case Europe, especially a luxury brand. Doherty is not concerned: Europe is “still a hell of a big market. I say to my team that ‘14 million people are going to be out there buying a car. We just need to get our fair share.’”

Frau Docherty has another grand idea: She wants to integrate Opel with GM’s other brands in Europe and “eliminate duplicate work in areas such as back-office administrative functions and front-office areas such as aftersales,” as WardsAuto reports. “It’s worth millions,” Docherty said. Good idea, but it does not work that way. One of the secrets of Volkswagen’s very successful brand separation is that the company wittingly has work duplicated across all twelve brands. It costs billions, but it gives them that own true identity.

P.S.: Most of all, the Chinese aren’t stupid. They will tell you: “Cadillac? We’ve been there. Even their taxis are Benzes. That’s why we want Audi and BMW.”


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Miscellaneous; Travel
KEYWORDS: autos; generalmotors
Your tax dollars at work.
1 posted on 02/26/2013 4:39:41 PM PST by jjotto
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To: jjotto

I wouldn’t purchase a GM product, evah. Screw you, Pres 0.


2 posted on 02/26/2013 4:43:58 PM PST by Zuben Elgenubi
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To: jjotto

Buick is already a big deal in China so why is this woman prattling on about a very expensive and time-consuming effort to build European cred before Cadillac would be accepted there? Market it as a super-premium Buick and don’t let those who buy it on that basis down.

GM also already has numerous brands in the European market as well. Sounds like they’ve managed to damage Opel somehow, when not so long ago it was a credible mid-level executive car.

I had such high hopes for GM prior to the bailout when Bob Lutz was there, he was a car guy, product was looking better and better, the bean counters and the dingbat diveristy-hire brand manager mentality were on the wane.

He’s gone and they’re back doing what they’ve done for decades to put GM where it is today, I guess.


3 posted on 02/26/2013 4:54:09 PM PST by RegulatorCountry
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To: jjotto
Cadillac committed suicide.

When Japan started making cars that lasted, where Quality just wasn't an advertising buzz-word; American motors laughed. They made cars with built-in obsolescence in mind. "Why build a car to last more than 4 years; we want to sell them another car in 4 years!"

They never asked themselves if THEY would prefer a car that lasted 10-15 years for the same money. Turns out the world isn't full of idiots.

I've left American cars; because they deserted me along the side of the road with my Chevy. I have owned 2 Toyota vehicles, both with over 300,000 problem-free miles - I will NEVER go back to American cars.

I don't care if the Toyota costs $50,000 and the American car costs $50 - I don't like being lied to, I don't like being abandoned and I hold a grudge. I will NEVER buy an American car again.

That said ... the NEW American car company - Elio Motors (www.eliomotors.com) has my attention.

4 posted on 02/26/2013 4:54:56 PM PST by Hodar (A man can fail many times, but he isn't a failure until he begins to blame somebody else.- Burroughs)
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To: Hodar

Impressive list of features.
My prediction is they will miss the $6800 price target by at least 100% and likely much more.
Compare their component content with the price of an equivalent motorcycle and then add in the body cost.


5 posted on 02/26/2013 5:03:16 PM PST by nascarnation (Baraq's economic policy: trickle up poverty)
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To: jjotto

she is going to do for cadillac what that last woman did for oldmobile.

the new S.U.X. from government motors.


6 posted on 02/26/2013 5:04:06 PM PST by longtermmemmory (VOTE! http://www.senate.gov and http://www.house.gov)
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To: longtermmemmory

'Cuz' she's a blonde (yeah-yeah-yeah-yeah)...

7 posted on 02/26/2013 5:09:20 PM PST by jjotto ("Ya could look it up!")
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To: nascarnation

We will see; they are taking pre-orders at the $6,800 price point right now.

Given the quantities and the fact that this is a mass production of a very specific body type (in 6 colors, I believe); and that the accessories are all made to fit into the chassis (cruise control, AM/FM radio) - it’s an exercise in near static mass-production.

Same body, same frame, same engine, same everything. Accessories easily install, and very few options available.

With a target release date of just ~14 months away, over 95% of their supplies are contractually signed (so prices are locked in) - not a whole lot can go wrong.


8 posted on 02/26/2013 5:11:16 PM PST by Hodar (A man can fail many times, but he isn't a failure until he begins to blame somebody else.- Burroughs)
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To: Hodar
Well, I am open to new things and I'm something of a car nut, but it's butt ugly. The color choices don't help.

To the positive, 84 mpg, creature comforts including air conditioning for two passengers in an enclosed passenger compartment and apparently crash tested so it's not a death trap, for $6,800.00?

If they actually manage to get to market with that retail price point and it's not a piece of crap they'll sell every one they can make.

That's as fair as I can be.

9 posted on 02/26/2013 5:14:57 PM PST by RegulatorCountry
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To: Hodar; All
The whole Front End ( suspension too ) screams Lotus Super 7.

Colin Chapman must be smiling from Heaven.

With a career in a technical area, over 20 years ago I have a pile of sketches of it's side by side sister from my fertile mind, simliar to the "Tri-Hawk" that Harley had design rights too but did nothing.

I am curious who's engine they are using. Polaris? I can't think of another American Made one that will plunk right in, to much development time to do one from scratch.

10 posted on 02/26/2013 5:23:02 PM PST by taildragger (( Tighten the 5 point harness and brace for Impact Freepers, ya know it's coming..... ))
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To: jjotto

I have no idea how well-built new Caddys are, but a friend of mine has one about ten years old and in that time he has never gone 3 months without having to bring the car into the dealership where he bought it new. He is damn lucky he bought the extended warrantee, I am sure they groan when they see in drive in. His latest thing is there’s a leak around the windshield; water has seeped in, stained the headliner, and smells moldy. Neat stuff.


11 posted on 02/26/2013 5:24:46 PM PST by Attention Surplus Disorder (This stuff we're going through now, this is nothing compared to the middle ages.)
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To: taildragger

The rest of it screams AMC Hornet that has been clamped in a vise. With fender skirts.


12 posted on 02/26/2013 5:26:12 PM PST by RegulatorCountry
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To: Hodar

All I can do (with 35 yrs experience engineering vehicles) is to compare it to motorcycles with similar content. Made around the world by very efficient manufacturers who have been in the business for many decades.

Then add on the estimated cost of things like a full composite body.

As another reference, a robust 25hp gasoline engine lawn tractor like a John Deere or Dixie Chopper is in the $6000 range with far less content than this 70hp NHTSA/EPA certified road vehicle.


13 posted on 02/26/2013 5:27:03 PM PST by nascarnation (Baraq's economic policy: trickle up poverty)
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To: taildragger

Their FAQ says that they will be announcing their supplies in May ... so we will know in less than 3 months.


14 posted on 02/26/2013 5:27:10 PM PST by Hodar (A man can fail many times, but he isn't a failure until he begins to blame somebody else.- Burroughs)
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To: RegulatorCountry
The rest of it screams AMC Hornet that has been clamped in a vise. With fender skirts.

LOL! I am old enough to remember that color!

Although I never knew any ladies with one or "parked" in one :-) !

15 posted on 02/26/2013 5:31:45 PM PST by taildragger (( Tighten the 5 point harness and brace for Impact Freepers, ya know it's coming..... ))
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To: RegulatorCountry
If they actually manage to get to market with that retail price point and it's not a piece of crap they'll sell every one they can make.

My concern is that the feds will regulate the price up over 10k with safety features. My guess is the reason it can be so cheap is that it has a motorcycle classification. Change that to car and all of a sudden it'll need all kinds of safety things it doesn't have now. However, if they can actually sell that thing for $6800, they'll sell like hotcakes.

16 posted on 02/26/2013 5:47:43 PM PST by old and tired
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To: taildragger
Louvers and a brushed aluminum targa bar might actually help, lol:

http://www.carnutdirect.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=57&Itemid=74

Speaking of targa, I've been kicking the idea around for a while, too, but mine would be side-by-side two seater, rear engine exposed on the side just ahead of a much wider race bike wheel/tire combo, rear wheel drive, with the whole vehicle elongated to help mitigate the gangly “pressed in a vise” thing that I was picking on this one about.

More sport oriented but definitely a more economical commuter as well, with a literal targa inspired by the original 911. Functional exposed chrome like a nice retro cruiser bike, tapered rear but not so completely tapered down like this, think Citroen SM. The whole thing would be fairly low-slung. I waver on the front end but you're looking at essentially a teardrop from above, cropped on the rear, “outrigger” wheels in front.

17 posted on 02/26/2013 5:48:18 PM PST by RegulatorCountry
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To: jjotto

How does Cadillac deliver 2274 cars to Europe while GM only imports 299?


18 posted on 02/26/2013 5:50:01 PM PST by SoothingDave
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To: SoothingDave

I believe the 299 is to the EU and the larger number is mostly to Russia.


19 posted on 02/26/2013 5:51:59 PM PST by jjotto ("Ya could look it up!")
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To: old and tired
My concern is that the feds will regulate the price up over 10k with safety features. My guess is the reason it can be so cheap is that it has a motorcycle classification. Change that to car and all of a sudden it'll need all kinds of safety things it doesn't have now.

From their website ....

Each Elio comes equipped with a Safety Management System that includes three airbags – a reinforced roll-cage frame, Anti-Lock Braking System, and 50% larger crush zones than similar vehicles. Preliminary safety tests on computer models anticipate a 5-Star safety rating.

I don't see how the US Gov't can screw this up, at least from the Safety Checklist point of view.

20 posted on 02/26/2013 5:53:51 PM PST by Hodar (A man can fail many times, but he isn't a failure until he begins to blame somebody else.- Burroughs)
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To: nascarnation
Found this engine information ... hopefully it makes more sense to you than it does me. I'm an Electrical Engineer - while I "diddle" with cars; I am far from a car expert.

An inline, 3 cylinder, 1 liter, 70 HP, fuel-injected, DOHC gas-powered, liquid-cooled, automotive engine.

21 posted on 02/26/2013 5:56:57 PM PST by Hodar (A man can fail many times, but he isn't a failure until he begins to blame somebody else.- Burroughs)
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To: jjotto

This is the same European market where auto sales declined something like 15% last year?


22 posted on 02/26/2013 5:58:47 PM PST by PGR88
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To: Hodar

LOL! You would never be able to see that thing if you parked it on the 18th green.


23 posted on 02/26/2013 5:59:24 PM PST by Lancey Howard
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To: Hodar

24 posted on 02/26/2013 6:01:13 PM PST by PLMerite (Shut the Beyotch Down! Burn, baby, burn!)
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To: jjotto

25 posted on 02/26/2013 6:04:09 PM PST by Lancey Howard
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To: old and tired

If the site is accurate it has safety equipment and is being crash tested with an “anticipated” five star safety rating. But, there are no bumpers at all, so it’s not really classified as a car. The fighter jet seating, one front, one behind argues for it being classified as a motorcycle.


26 posted on 02/26/2013 6:08:10 PM PST by RegulatorCountry
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To: Lancey Howard
a real car. You could run that thing into the side of a fast moving freight train and all you need do is spray the blood off the dashboard and she was good to go.

Now if you hit a grocery cart at slightly over 5 miles an hour in these new plastic fake cars you just about total them.

27 posted on 02/26/2013 6:08:23 PM PST by Mad Dawgg (If you're going to deny my 1st Amendment rights then I must proceed to the 2nd one...)
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To: Hodar

Yeah I saw that. Road bikes with 70hp water cooled engine would be in the 8 grand and up price bracket.


28 posted on 02/26/2013 6:11:27 PM PST by nascarnation (Baraq's economic policy: trickle up poverty)
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To: Lancey Howard

I commute about 28 miles to and from work each day. My Tacoma goes through about a $45 tank of gas every 4-5 days. As a primary vehicle - this just ain’t gonna cut it. But as a commuter car - it’s pretty hard to say “no”; at least for me.

Off the lot, taxes and tags I’m looking at ~$7500 for a vehicle that will set me back about $30 every 2 weeks for gas.

Comparing that to ~$90 every 2 weeks for gas for my truck, that’s a savings of ~$60 every 2 weeks or about $120/month. On a 4 year loan, that’s a monthly car payment of ~$165/month - discounting gasoline, that works out to a net payment of ~$50/month.

Now calculate wear/tear on the truck, tires and whatnot ... it does look attractive.


29 posted on 02/26/2013 6:12:02 PM PST by Hodar (A man can fail many times, but he isn't a failure until he begins to blame somebody else.- Burroughs)
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To: Hodar

It depends on how you prioritze the numerous downsides - - safety (collide with a Harley and it’s about a tie), cargo space (picking up cement and lumber at Lowe’s?), and passenger capacity and leg room. My primary concern would be safety. I simply would not want my wife or one of my kids driving around in something that small.


30 posted on 02/26/2013 6:29:55 PM PST by Lancey Howard
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To: Lancey Howard

Oh, not going to REPLACE this with my car/truck - for exactly the reasons you list. But for 65mph drives on a freeway to/from work - it’s pretty attractive. And with 3 airbags, a composite body and steel frame and more crumple zone than other vehicles in it’s class - it’s not that bad. We will see, but they are anticipating a 5-Star Safety rating; which is as good as it gets.

But, at it’s price point and 84mpg it’s a reasonable commuter vehicle; which I believe is it’s intent.


31 posted on 02/26/2013 6:35:55 PM PST by Hodar (A man can fail many times, but he isn't a failure until he begins to blame somebody else.- Burroughs)
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To: taildragger
Looks like a variation on the Can Am Spyder, made by Bombardier. Cheapest model starts at $16,700.
32 posted on 02/26/2013 6:42:44 PM PST by Cboldt
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To: jjotto
I've been to China 4 times in my life...all to the same city,Guangzhou,a huge city an hour north of Hong Kong.The two most recent visits have been in the last couple of years and both times I was stunned to see how many Buicks (yes,BUICKS) I saw there.More Toyotas and Kias to be sure but many,many Buicks.GM must be doing something right in China to have that large a market share there.
33 posted on 02/26/2013 6:44:36 PM PST by Gay State Conservative ("Progressives" toss the word "racist" around like chimps toss their feces)
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To: jjotto

Good grief, whoever that is, they look like they should be wielding a fighting axe in a post apocalyptic thriller...


34 posted on 02/26/2013 7:39:37 PM PST by Axenolith (Government blows, and that which governs least, blows least...)
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To: Mad Dawgg

My roommate in school got a really nice 1959 Pontiac Catalina (around 1989/90). Another friend opined that it was the first car he could enter the rear door and walk to the other side (albeit stooped). The dash”board” was like 12 gauge steel, with a skull-melon exploding leading wing edge to it... It was AWESOME :-)


35 posted on 02/26/2013 7:46:13 PM PST by Axenolith (Government blows, and that which governs least, blows least...)
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To: RegulatorCountry

When I was 16, I took my Driver’s License Test in my Mom’s 63 Caddy Coupe Deville. It was 19 feet long.

When I pulled up to pick up the guy doing the Test, he shook his head and said, you’re kidding, right? My Mom was standing there cracking up.

The steering wheel seemed like it was 3 feet across, and with the 390 V-8 and three 2 barrel carbs, it hauled a$$.


36 posted on 02/26/2013 7:53:01 PM PST by Kickass Conservative (New Tagline Under Construction, Use Alternate Sarcasm Until Further Notice)
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To: jjotto

I saw a Cadillac Escalade on Kreschatic street in Kiev last summer, but I doubt that would impress the Chinese.


37 posted on 02/26/2013 8:00:17 PM PST by Paleo Conservative (Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they're not really out to get you.)
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To: Gay State Conservative

http://finance.yahoo.com/blogs/daniel-gross/why-buick-big-beijing-elsewhere-china-175445476.html

...GM Shanghai has two plants elsewhere in China, where it makes Buicks and Chevrolets, and has a total production capacity of 1.2 million cars. While it employs about 8,000 people in China, only a few are Americans...

...Having been deprived of so much for so long, China’s consumers accept clogged roads and bumper-to-bumper traffic as a sign of progress. And that’s keeping the assembly lines in Shanghai busy turning out Buicks. The plant runs two 10.5 hour shifts per day, nearly seven days a week, and can produce nearly 90 cars per hour...


38 posted on 02/27/2013 4:46:13 AM PST by jjotto ("Ya could look it up!")
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To: jjotto

cause she’s a blonde ,,, b...l....a....n...d...e.......


39 posted on 02/27/2013 9:08:05 AM PST by longtermmemmory (VOTE! http://www.senate.gov and http://www.house.gov)
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