Tuesday, August 11, 2009

New Cadillac succumbs to the blands

Saw a brand new Caddy yesterday, had to be new, the black paint was flawless and shiny. It bore a "DTS" badge (Caddy doesn't call them DeVilles anymore) and "V8" badge but no "Northstar" badge. Caddy never seemed to get the respect for it's highly advanced engine that Chrysler gets for the low tech iron pushrod Hemi. Leaving off the "Northstar" badge shows Caddy has given up selling the Northstar. Caddy marketing droids probably figure that nobody cares about engines anymore.
It's shorter and blander than my '99 Deville. All new sheet metal, but after spending serious money on the dies to make it, the new one is much less distinguished and less distinctive than the '99. Most people who spend $43K on a car, want something that looks like it cost $43K. The new DeVille doesn't look like all that much. And it lacks the cavernous trunk of the '99. I can get six people into the car and 6 bags, or all the stuff one college student brings to campus, into the '99's trunk. That never will happen on the '09 Caddy.
In short the Caddy marketing droids converted a distinctive luxury car with a world wide reputation into just another four door sedan. Somehow I don't think that's gonna make GM profitable.
Over at Ford, the Lincoln suffers from being nothing more than a Ford Crown Victoria with a different grille. It shows. But at least the Lincoln is still a big car, which appeals to a lot of people who might otherwise buy a SUV.

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