martes, 1 de marzo de 2011

Cadillac sighting, episode one, a 2009 or 2010 black CTS

I saw a Cadillac last Friday, and I feel like I want to track down how many of these babies I see. I do already know they are extremely rare in Catalonia, especially outside Barcelona and suburbs, but I think it's worth checking.

If you ask anyone here what do they know about Cadillac, you'll get the right answer "American luxury car". Everybody knows Cadillac here, but no one seems to buy them. That's why I think GM has been absolutely wrong in Europe for the last twenty years or more.

Let's start with the model range. CTS and STS are quite good, but they lack diesel engines. The SRX has seen some mild success within soccer players, although it also lacks diesel engines. Finally, the top of the range Escalade is useless in our roads. It isn't fast, it doesn't handle, it can't go offroad, it doesn't fit in any car park. It doesn't even look good, or badass, or stylish.

Carmakers usually build their top of the range models not to sell them. Think of them like ads. You get into a showroom, and there is this spectacular car with lots of features and witchcraft engineering. That's the one you would like to buy, but you buy the car you need or can afford instead. That flagship was there to show you how powerful the company is, to make you think the car you are actually buying is just the first step. They give you something to dream about. Of course, they sell them from time to time, but the core business is on more mundane cars.

GM should stop importing the Escalade. This is step one. Step two is build some proper diesel engines. How come GM, the biggest car manufacturer until 2009, has never had diesel engines of their own? Opels and Vauxhalls use Fiat diesel engines. So did Saab when it was under the GM umbrella. No wonder why Toyota is #1 today. They have the guts to develop their own engines. Even a small company like Infiniti has diesel engines. And for good reason: in Europe, three out of four cars sold have a diesel engine as the main power source. If GM wants to get back to the top, diesel engines are a must.

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