Skip to comments.Susan Docherty Has a Great Idea How To Kill Cadillac
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. Cadillacs 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 its 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 Cadillacs 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 wont be impressed with Russian tastes and want to know how Cadillac is doing in Paris, Berlin and Rome. There, the brand isnt 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.
Whats 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 GMs 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. Its worth millions, Docherty said. Good idea, but it does not work that way. One of the secrets of Volkswagens 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 arent stupid. They will tell you: Cadillac? Weve been there. Even their taxis are Benzes. Thats why we want Audi and BMW.
I wouldn’t purchase a GM product, evah. Screw you, Pres 0.
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.
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.
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.
she is going to do for cadillac what that last woman did for oldmobile.
the new S.U.X. from government motors.
'Cuz' she's a blonde (yeah-yeah-yeah-yeah)...
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.
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.
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.
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.
The rest of it screams AMC Hornet that has been clamped in a vise. With fender skirts.
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.
Their FAQ says that they will be announcing their supplies in May ... so we will know in less than 3 months.
LOL! I am old enough to remember that color!
Although I never knew any ladies with one or "parked" in one :-) !
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.
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.
How does Cadillac deliver 2274 cars to Europe while GM only imports 299?
I believe the 299 is to the EU and the larger number is mostly to Russia.
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.