TTAC’s GM Brand Bash hits Caddy

The Truth About Cars is doing a series on GM’s various brands. Given that Robert Farago, the site’s Swami, has penned over 130 editions of a series called GM Deathwatch, you can probably guess that this one’s not being written from a complimentary perspective.

Today they’ve written up Cadillac and amongst the backhanders present in the sentences, there’s some interesting history there for those of you who, like me, aren’t that familiar. Americans are sometimes accused of being ignorant about things outside their own borders, but I don’t mind admitting that I don’t know much about one of their most iconic automotive brands. I hear the word Cadillac and aside from thinking “get out of Europe” I also think Elvis and pink cars with huge fins.

If TTAC’s article is historically accurate then there’s some interesting stuff in the brand’s history. And maybe there’s a key as to why I get so cheesed off about them encroaching upon Saab’s ground in Europe.

According to what I’ve just read, Caddy is supposed to be well above Saab in the pecking order, and it certainly doesn’t seem that way right now for the bulk of their range.

So Caddy: get the heck out of Europe or at least get back to where you once belonged.

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  1. There will be few, if any Cadillac fans here but I write this from the perspective of they are going to do it, at least do it well.

    I am struck by the similarities of early Cadillac to 1970s and 80s SAAB. They built quality innovative products. If the article is accurate then GM has shamefully treated BOTH brands.

    I fully accept the argument about resources being wasted on Cadillac but maybe if both brands are developed sensibly in line with their core ethos it would be possible to have two complimentary premium/luxury brands sold alongside each other – SAAB as small, sporty and innovative (small hatch, roadster/coupe, 9-3, 9-4x and 9-5) and Cadillac as large, luxurious and innovative (large Saloon, large Coupe, big off roader).

    GM would need to supply the funds to do it right (ie: not take money from SAAB) and Caddy would need to produce product that would sell. If you think Caddy would never sell, look at Alfa. They were dying on their arses in the 80s and 90s with rubbish badge engineered tat. Then they launched the 156 – an attractive car that was well built and priced and it flew out of the show rooms.

    Cadillac has a heritage hidden away somewhere. The BLS is NOT the way to uncover it.

    One last thought from the TTAC article,

    “Among enthusiasts, the Cadillac is probably the most underrated car in the world”

    Could this statement about 60s Caddy could just as easily apply to SAAB now?

  2. Jon, there’s definitely more than one Cadillac devotee here :p

    My grandfather had a mid-80’s Cadillac ElDorado coupe (basically the Caddy version of the Chevy Monte Carlo/Buick Regal). Besides the fact that the instruments were all digital when they really shouldn’t have been (every few minutes my grandfather had to whack the dash to get the readings back to normal because they tended to go nuts every so often), that car was beautiful. It gave him no trouble at all (ODD for a Cadillac of that era) and drove like a dream. Unfortunately, after he died, a major problem presented itself in the brakes and the car had to be scrapped. That car is the reason I love Cadillac so much. I would really like to see it back where it belongs: the stratosphere. I want it to compete with Benz and Lexus and Maybach and Rolls-Royce and Bentley and BMW 7-series’, not low-end Beamers and Acuras. They should be Buick’s fodder. This is why I also hate what GM is trying to do in Europe. I love Cadillac, but it doesn’t belong in Europe (at least not until GM puts them back on top of the automotive world where they belong…THEN they can bitchslap Mercedes on its home turf).

    Cadillac and Saab definitely have similarities in their innovations and underratedness among enthusiasts, and it sucks on both counts.

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