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Cadillac will develop entry-level sedan, de Nysschen says
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Automotive News
January 12, 2015 - 5:37 pm ET

DETROIT -- Cadillac President Johan de Nysschen said sales of the ATS compact sedan have been hurt by the Mercedes CLA and other lower-priced recent entries, and he plans to respond with an entry-level sedan of his own.

The ATS "is being compared to the new entrants that have come on in this exploding market segment populated by CLA and the Audi A3 sedan," de Nysschen said on the sidelines of the auto show here. "Suddenly, you have access to a Mercedes-Benz at $30,000, whereas the ATS is starting several thousand dollars higher."

De Nysschen said Cadillac is developing an entry level sedan slotted below the ATS to fend off those rivals, calling it a "big priority."

ATS sales sank 22 percent last year, to 29,890 cars sold, amid the more intense competition. The CLA came close to that in its first full year on sale: 27,365. Audi sold 22,250 A3s in about eight months.

The ATS starts at $34,985, including destination fee. The CLA’s base price is $31,750. The A3’s base is $31,690.

Cramped rear seats

De Nysschen also said he believes that some buyers are turned off by the ATS' cramped rear seat room. The next-generation ATS, he said, "must address some of the criticisms on the rear seat accommodations. And it will do so."

Cadillac is developing a car that would fit below the ATS, de Nysschen said, declining to put a time frame on its arrival.

Unlike the front-wheel-drive layout of the CLA -- which is less expensive to develop and typically allows for more interior space -- Cadillac plans to build its future entry-level sedan on the same rwd platform that underpins the ATS, codenamed Alpha.

"The cost and packaging advantages of front-wheel drive are appealing. But Cadillac is the challenger brand," de Nysschen said. "We want to build our reputation as a purveyor of high-performance drivers' cars … so it's better that we do it off a rear-wheel drive architecture."

You can reach Mike Colias at [email protected].
 

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De Nysschen said Cadillac is developing an entry level sedan slotted below the ATS to fend off those rivals, calling it a "big priority."

It sounds like Lincoln should be developing a $31k sedan below the $35k MKZ.

Unlike the front-wheel-drive layout of the CLA -- which is less expensive to develop and typically allows for more interior space -- Cadillac plans to build its future entry-level sedan on the same rwd platform that underpins the ATS, codenamed Alpha.

"The cost and packaging advantages of front-wheel drive are appealing. But Cadillac is the challenger brand," de Nysschen said. "We want to build our reputation as a purveyor of high-performance drivers' cars … so it's better that we do it off a rear-wheel drive architecture."


What more may be the case is that Cadillac developed a platform for the ATS that is not selling well, and using it for a less expensive sedan with expected higher volume is more cost effective. But building an already compact luxury sedan with a platform offering even less interior space may not be the best direction to go in.

A Lincoln compact sedan would naturally be based on the new c-segment FWD platform. I wonder if the technology of the new AWD Focus RS will make it to a Lincoln compact sedan. Thinking of the RS, could this be our first use of the new c-segment platform????
 

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Cadillac: "The competition hurt us selling cheaper compact cars that has more room than our ATS. So, we will make another compact RWD car, but with less interior space"

Oh my God!
 

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...De Nysschen said Cadillac is developing an entry level sedan slotted below the ATS to fend off those rivals, calling it a "big priority."
It sounds like Lincoln should be developing a $31k sedan below the $35k MKZ....
actually-imho
the Z needs to & WILL start at $39,900 in the NEAR future


...Unlike the front-wheel-drive layout of the CLA -- which is less expensive to develop and typically allows for more interior space -- Cadillac plans to build its future entry-level sedan on the same rwd platform that underpins the ATS, codenamed Alpha...

-- subA has the original passenger compartment but shortened trunk and firewall forward downsized for Only turbo 4s and probably a 3



550x275

&
-- long wlb keeps the existing front & rear and just lengthens the passenger compartment


650x275



...A Lincoln compact sedan would naturally be based on the new c-segment FWD platform. I wonder if the technology of the new AWD Focus RS will make it to a Lincoln compact sedan. Thinking of the RS, could this be our first use of the new c-segment platform????
from Mission:LINCOLN...
-- MKE ('lectric & 'nergi) based on the Grand C-Max
-- LincStang!! ('nuf said)
-- maybe... a fun, little 2seater with MID-ENGINE based on a backwards RS

I really do NOT believe Lincoln needs to 'populate' its lineup below $39k ... with anything more than the base MKC


edit: LINK to facebook gallery page
in case fb stops loading my pix again
 

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"The cost and packaging advantages of front-wheel drive are appealing. But Cadillac is the challenger brand," de Nysschen said. "We want to build our reputation as a purveyor of high-performance drivers' cars … so it's better that we do it off a rear-wheel drive architecture."[/B]
I think there is some validity to this line of thinking. People are buying CLA/A3/1-Series largely because of the badge on the nose and less about whether the vehicle actually lives up to the reputation of the brand behind the badge. The CLA has been panned and yet it sells well because buyers can own a Mercedes when they otherwise couldn't.

Given the reasons these cars are successful is largely due to the badge then it makes sense to say neither Lincoln nor Cadillac would be particularly successful competing in that market without offering something more. In Cadillac's case they want to be seen as a purveyor of sporting vehicles it makes sense to not water that down with a FWD, Chevy based car, but actually offer an honest sporting sedan/coupe in a class of FWD family transportation. If a buyer leans towards a more sporting ride they will likely see value in the Cadillac offering and hopefully for Cadillac that will pay off with ongoing buyer loyalty.

I'm not suggesting this is a recipe for great success, only that I believe it gives them an opportunity for success that a CLA/A3 clone would not. For the record, given I think these sales are brand driven I don't think Lincoln nor Cadillac should be sniffing around anytime soon.

Edit: When I mention the 1-series I'm thinking of that silly FWD mini-wagon looking BMW, not their true 3-Series successor the RWD 1-Series.
 

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actually-imho
the Z needs to & WILL start at $39,900 in the NEAR future
Yes, the Z will move the $39k price point when it's redesigned to target directly at C-Class. With the New MKS at $49k waiting for the Continental at $89k.

Lincoln will go through a bit of product replacement as they build out the lineup with new models:

Compact Sedan: Open
Compact CUV: MKC

Performance Sedan: Open(until current MKZ is replaced)

Midsize Sedan: Open (Until New MKS arrives)
Midsize CUV: New MKX
Midsize SUV: Open (Until Aviator arrives)

Large Sedan: Open (Until Continental arrives)
Large SUV: Navigator (Until New Navigator arrives)

And that's before adding a coupe and convertible based off the new performance sedan.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I think there is some validity to this line of thinking. People are buying CLA/A3/1-Series largely because of the badge on the nose and less about whether the vehicle actually lives up to the reputation of the brand behind the badge. The CLA has been panned and yet it sells well because buyers can own a Mercedes when they otherwise couldn't.

Given the reasons these cars are successful is largely due to the badge then it makes sense to say neither Lincoln nor Cadillac would be particularly successful competing in that market without offering something more. In Cadillac's case they want to be seen as a purveyor of sporting vehicles it makes sense to not water that down with a FWD, Chevy based car, but actually offer an honest sporting sedan/coupe in a class of FWD family transportation. If a buyer leans towards a more sporting ride they will likely see value in the Cadillac offering and hopefully for Cadillac that will pay off with ongoing buyer loyalty.

I'm not suggesting this is a recipe for great success, only that I believe it gives them an opportunity for success that a CLA/A3 clone would not. For the record, given I think these sales are brand driven I don't think Lincoln nor Cadillac should be sniffing around anytime soon.

Edit: When I mention the 1-series I'm thinking of that silly FWD mini-wagon looking BMW, not their true 3-Series successor the RWD 1-Series.
I think for Cadillac to be successful with an ATS or smaller luxury sedan, they will need to rethink their design concept. Their large sedan does lot look like a performance luxury sedan, but an older persons car with bigger wheels, larger engines and giant chrome bits. So making a smaller version of the older person's car does not help, because it is directly connected with the larger older person's car.

Take MB for example. The S-Class is beautiful and really anyone would want to drive it, young or old. The younger person wants that S-Class, but can't afford it, so MB created a smaller version called E-Class. But they can't afford that either. So MB created the C-Class...but they can't afford that either. So now MB crated the CLA.....Bingo...they can afford that and buy it because it is their version of the S-Class they can't afford, but their car is related.

Lincoln needs to be able to do the same thing. But this all hedges on how desirable the new MKS and Continental is. If Lincoln makes a stuffy old world luxury car that the younger generation does not want or aspire to own, making smaller versions won't help. A new MKS needs to be badass, powerful, aggressive looking, muscular/athletic in design and loaded with tech and price outside the range of the entry luxury buyer. And then Lincoln can build a new MKZ performance sedan as a smaller version of the badass MKS. Then Launch the Flagship Continental just as muscular/athletic and even more powerful and more loaded with tech than the MKS. Then launch the entry luxury sedan based on the same design theme and it will sell.

This is the model that MB and BMW are using and have used for decades. The problem with Cadillac and Lincoln is that they never made the Flagship the younger buyer wanted, just a big car older people would buy. Deign in isolation. But Buick does offer a hint of getting the point with their new flagship concept. I just hope Lincoln has paid attention and will follow suite.
 

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I think there is some validity to this line of thinking. People are buying CLA/A3/1-Series largely because of the badge on the nose and less about whether the vehicle actually lives up to the reputation of the brand behind the badge. The CLA has been panned and yet it sells well because buyers can own a Mercedes when they otherwise couldn't.

Given the reasons these cars are successful is largely due to the badge then it makes sense to say neither Lincoln nor Cadillac would be particularly successful competing in that market without offering something more. In Cadillac's case they want to be seen as a purveyor of sporting vehicles it makes sense to not water that down with a FWD, Chevy based car, but actually offer an honest sporting sedan/coupe in a class of FWD family transportation. If a buyer leans towards a more sporting ride they will likely see value in the Cadillac offering and hopefully for Cadillac that will pay off with ongoing buyer loyalty.

I'm not suggesting this is a recipe for great success, only that I believe it gives them an opportunity for success that a CLA/A3 clone would not. For the record, given I think these sales are brand driven I don't think Lincoln nor Cadillac should be sniffing around anytime soon.

Edit: When I mention the 1-series I'm thinking of that silly FWD mini-wagon looking BMW, not their true 3-Series successor the RWD 1-Series.
agree, the CLA and A3 sedan sells well because they have the German Badge in front but neither Caddy or Lincoln are that tough now
 

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Discussion Starter #11
agree, the CLA and A3 sedan sells well because they have the German Badge in front but neither Caddy or Lincoln are that tough now
I think it's less the German badge, but what it represents. For BMW it's the 7-Series, 5-Series, Z4, X-5, X-6, for MB it's the S-Class and SL, that buy buying a entry model with the logo, they are by association getting some of the flagship sedan. That's why the better the flagship sedan is, the better the lower lineup sales are.
 

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...to target directly at C-Class...


Yes, the Z will move the $39k price point when it's redesigned........... With the New MKS at $49k waiting for the Continental at $89k...
*ahem*
from what I've heard about ATPs,
the Z didn't need to wait for anything to re-do its features to raise its base price at least $2k per year ...or NOW just go half way to $40k ASAP
&
since I don't 'grok' the re-sizing, I'm ok with
$40k minus a Benjamin = base Z
$50k minus a Benjamin = base S(wic)
$60k minus a Benjamin = base Conti

of course there's great gobs of "it depends on" for the last 2

...
5-passenger UV: New MKX
7-passenger UV: notOpenenuf (Until Aviator arrives)
fixed ^



...People are buying CLA/A3/1-Series largely•• because of the badge on the nose and less about whether the vehicle actually lives up to the reputation of the brand behind the badge. The CLA has been panned and yet it sells well because buyers can own a Mercedes when they otherwise couldn't.

Given the reasons these cars are successful is largely•• due to the badge then it makes sense to say neither Lincoln nor Cadillac would be particularly successful competing in that market without offering something more...

...For the record, given I think these sales are brand driven I don't think Lincoln nor Cadillac should be sniffing around anytime soon.

Edit: When I mention the 1-series I'm thinking of that silly FWD mini-wagon looking BMW, not their true 3-Series successor the RWD 1-Series.
last-first^ isn't the smallest RWD BuMble(w) going to be called the 2-series??
&
•• other reasons being stoopidity & poseur-hood
&
"...without offering something more..." That's why imho any smaller than MKZ vehicles need to be specialty** models, Not cheaper!!***
(( Yes, I still have misgivings about keeping the MKC in its current price slot any longer than absolutely needed ))

** electrified, sport, mid-engine
*** not "Not just cheaper" BUT
NOT cheaper = Lincoln has Titanium/PlatTanium Fords for lower prices (and hopefully soon, "AMP" for smaller Lux)
 

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An entry level Cadillac below the ATS or its CT successor is a terrible waste of resources. The CT6, the CT8, and a luxury coupe not to mention new crossovers are more important. I don't want Lincoln to develop a sedan below the MKZ either.
 

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Bloggin said:
I think for Cadillac to be successful with an ATS or smaller luxury sedan, they will need to rethink their design concept. Their large sedan does Not(sp correction) look like a performance luxury sedan, but an older persons car with bigger wheels, larger engines and giant chrome bits. So making a smaller version of the older person's car does not help, because it is directly connected with the larger older person's car...
the ATS needs to be re-skinned,
they've already got the stretched chssis in China
so
just minimize the current US-car's engine compartment (shrink) = 4 & 3 cyls only for the under-A/"A-minus"


btw
*I* do not find the S-class good-looking (esp its overdone interior) + I'd NEVER want to drive anything that big myself


"Lincoln needs to be able to do the same thing. But this all hedges on how desirable the new MKS and Continental is. If Lincoln makes a stuffy old world luxury car that the younger generation does not want or aspire to own, making smaller versions won't help. A new LincStang needs to be badass, powerful, aggressive looking, muscular/athletic in design and loaded with tech and price outside the range of the entry luxury buyer..."
fixed ^^^
seriously I see the LS & Conti as the start of a true ReachHigher Lincoln




"Buick does offer a hint of getting the point with their new flagship concept. I just hope Lincoln has paid attention and will follow suite..."
the pairing ALWAYS was the FORD THUNDERBIRD against the Riviera
 

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Discussion Starter #15


*ahem*
from what I've heard about ATPs,
the Z didn't need to wait for anything to re-do its features to raise its base price at least $2k per year ...or NOW just go half way to $40k ASAP
&
since I don't 'grok' the re-sizing, I'm ok with
$40k minus a Benjamin = base Z
$50k minus a Benjamin = base S(wic)
$60k minus a Benjamin = base Conti
OK, your smileys are great.

Now...the same price point issue with the MKC and MKZ is a problem. This is because the C-Segment MKC is in it's right segment, but the MKZ is a segment above(C/D Segment) but priced and trying to be marketed in the C-Segment below. Lincoln has to fix this with a New MKZ in the new for Lincoln Performance Segment(where E-Class/3-Series live). With the new MKS in the D segment, followed by a new entry luxury sedan as a sibling to the MKC in the C-Segment.

C-Segment: New MKC/missing sedan
Performance C/D Segment: Missing
D-Segment: New MKX/New MKS/missing Aviator
Premium Large: Missing Continental/New Navigator
 

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last-first^ isn't the smallest RWD BuMble(w) going to be called the 2-series??
&
•• other reasons being stoopidity & poseur-hood
&
"...without offering something more..." That's why imho any smaller than MKZ vehicles need to be specialty** models, Not cheaper!!***
(( Yes, I still have misgivings about keeping the MKC in its current price slot any longer than absolutely needed ))

** electrified, sport, mid-engine
*** not "Not just cheaper" BUT
NOT cheaper = Lincoln has Titanium/PlatTanium Fords for lower prices (and hopefully soon, "AMP" for smaller Lux)
Regarding the 2-Series you are correct, I was thinking they also had a sedan version which then would have been a 1-Series.

Regarding "More", that was a poor choice of words I think. You and I are on the same page here in that Caddy/Lincoln will fail miserably trying to match the CLA/A3 in form and function, they need some unique reason for existing, they need to be able to stand apart from those two vehicles while remaining generally in the same class and price range. That is what I meant to say, and what I believe you're saying above.
 

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^ SP, they HAVE HAD a 1-series RWD sedan but they're changing names again
&edit
re: more (that's a FINE word imho) yeah we agree... ...with the proviso that I don't want any more Lincolns (other than the MKC) for less than $39k
my MKE & 2-seater also start at $39,900
the LincStang sportsedan would start at $49,900 = Nano-EB + Ewd
...


^^ Bloggin, I'd have an easier time saying the lower Z's compete with the upper Regals & LaCrosseses...
...of course upper Z's go after the A6/S6/RS6/lmnop6

C Segment: must be SPECIALTY, not just cheap OR small ...imho LincStang sportsedan, MKE, Lycan-etc
Performance C/D Segment: ^LincStang coupecabrio, also Z+{RedPortfolio}, X-Sport / X / Aviator-Sport
D Segment: New MKS/missing Aviator
D+ Segment: Missing Continental/New Navigator
 

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I'm pretty convinced that while Caddy is very competent at making German cars, they are very bad at making customers to buy them. And what's growing abundantly clear now is that they don't understand the real problem.

I'm not saying Lincoln understands the business any better than Caddy, but Detroit luxury is jus not making up any ground and I have a really hard time imagining a time when that really changes, the culture just isn't there to turn this tide. Neither Caddy or Lincoln have an original idea between them and they are simply playing me-too in a business that innovates and interates CONSTANTLY, but at least Lincoln understands it's just there to catch Ford customers from leaving. It's just bad business, throwing this much money after something that has already been done by other carmakers. Ultimately Lincoln isn't doing anything wrong by not spending billions creating the next BMW.
 

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De Nysschen said Cadillac is developing an entry level sedan slotted below the ATS to fend off those rivals, calling it a "big priority."
Return of the Cadillac Cimarron!?!



So they will squeeze in an entry level Cadillac model between the ATS and Buick Verano?
 

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I'm pretty convinced that while Caddy is very competent at making German cars, they are very bad at making customers to buy them. And what's growing abundantly clear now is that they don't understand the real problem.

I'm not saying Lincoln understands the business any better than Caddy, but Detroit luxury is jus not making up any ground and I have a really hard time imagining a time when that really changes, the culture just isn't there to turn this tide. Neither Caddy or Lincoln have an original idea between them and they are simply playing me-too in a business that innovates and interates CONSTANTLY, but at least Lincoln understands it's just there to catch Ford customers from leaving. It's just bad business, throwing this much money after something that has already been done by other carmakers. Ultimately Lincoln isn't doing anything wrong by not spending billions creating the next BMW.


Complete Nonsense
 
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