The Standard of the World – on Ebay

Caddy BLSFrom Robin M – a continuation of my campaign on the ongoing idiocy that is Cadillac in Europe.

This Cadillac BLS is now available for you to purchase. It’s a diesel, only one year old and has covered a mere 9,400 miles. What would you expect to pay?

It’d have to be at least a five figure sum, wouldn’t it?

Well, you can have that Cadillac in the picture, at the moment, for under £7,000.00.

Can’t sell ’em new and can barely give ’em away at one year old.

I would really, really love to know what GM’s spent on Cadillac in Europe. How much it’s costing them, for example, to compensate the UK distributor – Pendragon – for taking back the UK distributorship deal. Mind you, that’s a deal I’m sure they’d be happy to be rid of.

How much they’ve spent on vehicle development and marketing. If this is the result, surely someone in authority has to question the investment and how it could have been better spent.

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  1. I just checked the two largest used cars sites in Sweden. Remember, they sold 151 BLS here last year. Since the sale was so slow, I guess they sold MY06 the whole year. Otherwise, the number of sold MY06 is even smaller.

    Well, right now on those two sites, there are 25 used BLS MY06 for sale. So, adding the fact that there should be some more for sale elsewhere, about 20% of the buyers want to get rid of their BLS after one year.

  2. OK, hold your hats, this is going to be bumpy…..all things considered, that is a lot of car for the money – and when I see the Saab rear seats are retained, albeit not in leather, the familiar (and universally berated handbrake), there is clearly a fair bit of 9-3 carried across.
    I think this is a steal – if you don’t care about street cred. Given a choice between this and a 5 yr old Passat (yawn) or 2 yr old Vectra, I’d go for this. Just feel really sorry for the (clearly motor-illiterate) sucker who bought it new!!

  3. That is really cheap. It is easy to knock the product if you don’t like the brand. The fact that Cadillac does not work in Europe at all does not mean that the products are bad.

    Even as a long time Saab driver and fan I believe I am free-thinking enough to appreciate quality and design in other brands. In the case of the BLS this is of course made easy by the fact that it is a 9-3 with some new sheet metal and goodies.

  4. its all about brand awareness and caddi did not get enough money nor publicity to make an impact – more money would hurt Saab and more publicity would can not be gained through GM. If we think of Chrysler – they have been sold for quite a long time in Europe and after merging with MB the brand awareness grew to a level that had people bear these cars in mind when going for a new car. You need to clinch to a big European Brand [MB/BMW/Audi] in order to survive in this market or even get the publicity you need – even though Chrysler is done with MB – People eventually consider this to be an alternativ [we do sell 300C Touring with MB 3.0 CRDi Motor] – Caddi needs some bigger brother as well, otherwise it will never work and I doubt that they should take Saab as their Partner for the clients are in some way too similar [you need to be a bit more radical or less mainstream] – at least in Germany and obiously in the Rest of Europe as well!

  5. On the subject of the BLS Steve Shannon was explaining to me at the SOC that oftentimes a first attempt at a product from a company falls on its face. He points to the first Infiniti (Nissan’s luxury brand here in the States). He says the first model they offered was crap and didn’t sell. But Infiniti used it as a learning experience and now look where they are (doing very well).

    He also pointed-out another Japanese make which had a rocky start, but I’m sorry to say that I don’t remember who it was now.

    Jan-Willem Vester explained to me that though BLS sales have been disappointing, it’s a “foot in the door” product which cost them very little (since it’s basically a slightly re-engineered 9³) to make and it’s a first step in setting up a Cadillac dealer network in Europe. That’s the important first step for Cadillac, to set up the infrastructure they need in Europe.

    That being said, my personal opinion culled from what I’ve learned about Cadillac’s image overseas, is that Cadillac may never be able to shake its poor image. It’s seen as American (which isn’t really a great image right now), wasteful, boastful, and brutish (I did mention that it’s seen as American, right?). These are not the attributes someone with money wants to convey. Maybe you can get some wealthy sports figures or musicians into one just for its “rebellious” quality but overall sales of anything with a Cadillac badge are likely to be low in Europe. That would be like trying to sell something with a Daiwoo logo on it for USD40K in the States. It ain’t gonna’ happen.

    Look at VW, a much more highly respected marque in the U.S. than Cadillac is in Europe. They tried to sell the Phaeton and everyone balked. Nobody wants to spend that kind of money for a Volkswagen! An AUDI? Oh sure, in a second, but not a VW! This is the reason the Lexus marque was created. Toyota did their research and learned that though Toyota is highly respected for their build quality and reliability nobody wants to pay Lexus money for something with a Toyota logo on it. That’s why they started Lexus. “Oh, it’s a Lexus? Sure, I’ll pay $40K for that SUV!”

    It all comes down to what people identify with a brand and logo. Cadillac isn’t going to overcome that easily in Europe, if at all.

  6. I agree with mark_belfast. This would be the ultimate “round towner” I’d use. For the price you cannot beat it, and I would still have the smirk about me that I knew it was a Saab. Of course, it would NOT replace my Combi or 9-5, but I’d surely steal it to give my babies a rest once in a while. 😉

  7. It was good to see those eBay pix – it really shows through as a modified/rebodied Saab 9-3, but (butt?) ugly, that it is. I’m sure the European consumer has already seen though that & had decided to get a more sensible, more European “flavored” vehicle & purchase a Saab.

    “Foot in the door” is bull-hockey. I concur with saabologist (you can actually wash a keyboard out with water!). Your “spew” comment made me gaffaw out loud!!! 😉

  8. At least “they” have enough sense not to invert the logic and rebadge a Caddy and make it a Saab.

    How dreadful!

    Although, I still kinda think that they could have, if but only, with the SRX Crossover. That seems a more sensible ute than the Trailblazer creature, but… whatever! 😉

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