There are two great ironies in this world.
The Cadillac name, throughout the ages of its existence, has survived as a stand-in for luxury, even as the cars themselves have lost much of their cachet over the years.
Today we see and hear “the Cadillac of such-and-such,” over and over, as the name stands for the highest attainable levels of quality.
That’s great irony number one. Today’s Cadillac models, while fine cars, aren’t associated with the best of the best.
Great irony number two is this:
There’s isn’t currently a “Cadillac of Cadillacs.”
However, that is about to change.
The New York Times this week said,
While luxury competitors have been scaling down their offerings, Cadillac announced on Friday that it would add a new, larger sedan to its lineup next year, which it hopes will lure wealthy trendsetters.
G.M. did not release specifics of the yet-unnamed flagship sedan, but the automaker described it as a “top end, high technology” car intended to compete with the best from German rivals.
Those German rivals are the current “Cadillacs of cars” and include the BMW 7 Series, Audi A8 and Mercedes-Benz S-Class. Putting out a vehicle that will surpass, or even compete, with those stalwarts of class will be no easy task.
The same article says Cadillac sales through August dipped 5 percent while the luxury auto market as a whole in the United States rose 14 percent. Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz all posted increases.
Can a new large Cadillac reverse the trend? The small entry-level Cadillac ATS is a terrific car and competes nicely with the BMW 3 Series, but sales on that little firecracker are down a whopping 20 percent.
Executives at GM hope the aspirational effect of a new large luxury car spreads down to the lower-tier models and generates some sales. I’m not sure that it’ll work. If buyers want a large luxury sedan, there are plenty of new ones on the market, and even more on the used market. Could a brand new Cadillac sedan even compete with a used Lexus LS 460?
Would you be interested in checking out a new top-of-the-line Cadillac?