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As a parent company, General Motors is smart to cover all angles in the marketplace, but doing so with each of its many brands has gone bad in the past. Caddy needs to pick a plan and stick with it. Sales are down at a time when Lexus and BMW are posting strong growth. Lexus' CT hybrid hatchback came within 200 units of outselling the CTS in August.
John Goreham Contributing Writer, GM-Trucks.com 9/11/2015 Has Cadillac lost its way? Today, Automotive News reports that Cadillac's Chief Marketing Officer Uwe Ellinghaus said the company's goal with its newest vehicle, the XT5 "... is to gain the attention of fashionistas, rather than cater to car buffs and auto journalists. Because in his view, younger customers are less interested in the technical details of cars, and don't read car magazines as often as they used to." We're not sure anyone reads any "magazines" anymore, but Mr. Ellinghaus at least seems to have a direction for the struggling luxury automaker to head in. Except that Cadillac is not heading that way according to Motor Trend's Jonny Lieberman, who reports that the next car-buff Cadillac will be an Escalade powered by the same engine as the Corvette. This follows the new CTS-V, which is targeted at car buffs and is powered by an engine like the one in the Corvette. As a parent company, General Motors is smart to cover all angles in the marketplace, but doing so with each of its many brands has gone bad in the past. Caddy needs to pick a plan and stick with it. Sales are down at a time when Lexus and BMW are posting strong growth. Lexus' CT hybrid hatchback came within 200 units of outselling the CTS in August.
John Goreham Contributing Writer, GM-Trucks.com 6-1-2017 General Motors announced its May 2017 sales this week and the news overall is strong. GM is continuing to focus on profitability globally and in the Americas with positive results. One GM fact that supports this is that "...GM’s incentive spending as a percentage of average transaction prices (ATP) was 11.6 percent in May. That is equal to the industry average and lower than our 2016 calendar year average, and lower than any domestic and many Asian competitors." In other words, the huge discounts Chevy has been offering on trucks and sports cars is either settling down, or Ford and FCA US are using equally heavy discounts to move trucks. One negative effect of which is lower reported resale values since the data relies on MSPR as a starting point. Overall, GM was down about 1% for May and is down about 1% for the calendar year as well. Buick is up solidly now that it has reinvented itself as a crossover company. The Chinese-built Envision is now adding a solid 4,400 units per month to the Buick Sales totals and is its second-leading seller behind the not-made-in-the-USA Encore. LaCrosse had a strong month but is still down double digits over 2016. Buick overall is up about 30% year over year. Subtract out the new model (Envision) and Buick would be about 10% behind for the year. In the truck category, the Colorado flat compared to last year with a respectable 9.091 units sold. Silverado is down about 3%, Sierra down about 8%, and Canyon down 26%. However, one "fact" struck us as odd, and upon checking it, we feel it is intentionally misleading. GM reported, "Cadillac XT5 — up 110 percent." While this is in a way true, the XT5 this month is up that amount compared to the XT5 from 2016, it does not mention that the XT5 was relatively new to the market at that point and the SRX it replaced was also still on sale. Combine the SRX and XT5 sales (SRX sold in this past month as well since GM can't seem to completely kill it off for some reason) and the combined sales are up about 32%. However, that is also misleading as an indicator of the model's success. The XT5 has not surpassed the SRX' sales rate yet. For example, in December of 2015 Cadillac sold 7,031 SRX crossovers, significantly more than its current sales rate. The XT5 is starting to take the place of the SRX, but we can't see any strong evidence that it is more successful in the marketplace than the Cadillac model it replaced. One last footnote; GM opted to use an image of a city skyline and its logo for the sales report this month. In every past month for many years the company chose a model image as its highlight. Perhaps the message is "The individual models don't matter, it is the company that is most important..." Or maybe we are overly sensitive.
Cadillac says that the streaming video mirror improves field of vision by an estimated 300 percent, or roughly four times greater than a standard rearview mirror. A couple years back we tested a Tesla Model S and its rear-view backup camera was obscured by rain, rendering it useless. Chevrolet tackled that by adding A water-shedding hydrophobic coating applied to the camera to keep it clean to maintain visibility regardless of the driving conditions. If for any reason the driver prefers a "normal" rear view mirror she can simply flip a toggle and the mirror becomes a traditional mirror.