Three editors from Autoweek are gushing over the 2010 Cadillac SRX Turbo and, as usual, their Detroit bias is showing. Not that this isn’t a big improvement over the first SRX version: more power and torque from the Saab/Holden-derived engine; sharp design, inside and out; good handling. Associate Editor Wong did note that the brakes were “disappointing.”
The car also has been praised by other reviewers, some of whom noted that the price (starting at $52,185) was high and the fuel economy (18/17.6 mpg) low. GM’s tactic with this car is evidently to go after the competition from Europe and Japan, in particular the Lexus RX 350. They should: The consensus is that the Lexus is a very good car.
The problem, as always, is to get buyers in this price category to forgo BMW and Lexus et al. and consider Cadillac. The company is producing far better cars today, but is not marketing them with much success. Its monthly sales (according to Automotive News, subscription) are down 15 percent since bankruptcy—twice the decline in Buick and Chevrolet sales.
So Cadillac is now welcoming back its dealers—which constitute a good proportion of the 661 recently sent letters of reinstatement—because they can bring more sales to the hinterlands at little additional cost. GM’s original plan to concentrate on the coasts with fewer dealers, as the competition does, is thus kaput and the company rolls the dice once again.
The Converj, Caddy’s luxo-hybrid coupe concept based on the Volt, was recently axed in order to concentrate resources on the Volt and its derivative, the Opel Ampera. That is a bad decision, in the opinion of yrs trly, as the Converj offered a unique marketing opportunity to pull Cad up by the bootstraps. Instead, GM as usual is playing it safe.
However, there is the 2012 Cadillac XTS Hybrid (the Platinum concept, above), shown at Detroit and using a rather different hybrid system from the Volt’s. This car is to be Cad’s flagship sedan, beginning production in early 2012. But that could be a long time to wait.
Give us your thoughts on how Cadillac can break into the high-end crossover market with its new SRX Turbo. I think they will need more than reinstated dealers. What do you think?