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Trim: Seville Fleetwood Cadillac
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Auto blogThu, 05 Dec 2013 10:00:00 EST
If you've taken even a cursory look at GM's European strategy and wondered how it can target the market there with both Chevrolet and Opel/Vauxhall, you're not alone. In fact General Motors itself has found it difficult to justify the two-pronged approach. That's why it's essentially pulling Chevy from the European marketplace.
Instead of trying to ply European buyers with what are mostly former Daewoo products rebadged as Chevys, GM will now let Opel (or Vauxhall in the UK) represent its mass-market aspirations. Chevrolet will keep its presence in Russia and other former Soviet markets, and will continue selling certain niche products in Eastern and Western Europe. The Corvette, for example, has long been sold in Europe through Cadillac dealerships, which for its part is currently "finalizing plans for expanding in the European market".
While the shift in strategy is expected to help GM get a stronger foothold in the European market in the long run, in the short term the restructuring will cost it dearly: between $700 million and $1 billion, according to its own estimates, split between the last quarter of this year and the first half of the next. Jump into the full press release below for more.
Automakers always face a difficult decision when it comes to styling their cars. Design them too blandly and nobody will get excited about them. But style them too aggressively and they'll often end up turning off potential buyers.
Cadillac, for its part, is no stranger to aggressive design, but when it came to the new ATS Coupe, it elected to tone things down a bit. Speaking with The Detroit News in a wide-ranging interview, Cadillac design director Bob Boniface revealed that the original design for its compact coupe was edgier - closer to that of the CTS Coupe - with a wedgier profile, a more steeply raked beltline and a more severe grille. But potential customers surveyed in clinics apparently didn't like it. They found it looked heavy, inefficient and not fun to drive. So Boniface and his team literally went back to the drawing board and "took as much visual mass out of the car as [they] could." The resulting coupe, while handsome, looks far more similar to its four-door companion than did Cadillac's CTS.
What do you think, does the new ATS Coupe look just right, or is it too conservative? Voice your opinion in our quick online poll.
Well, this is awkward.
A few years ago, Audi Of America's boss Johan de Nysschen went on record describing the Chevrolet Volt as "a car for idiots." Fast-forward to earlier this summer, and the well-regarded executive suddenly found himself in a new office with new business cards bearing the title: President, Cadillac. That means that among other challenges, de Nysschen is now tasked with selling the ELR, a car that is, at its core, a Volt in a sportier, less utile frock wearing a price tag that's twice as expensive.
Frankly, it's not a prospect we imagine the South African executive and recent Infiniti boss relishes. Just about nobody is buying the ELR - Cadillac has sold but 774 examples of its plug-in hybrid coupe this year and it presently has an almost a 200-day supply according to Automotive News. What's more, those numbers actually represent big improvements over just a few months ago, before GM started heaping on the incentives. The cynic in us says that the bad news for De Nysschen is that he's got a borderline sales-proof car in his new corporate garage. The good news? Cadillac customers apparently aren't idiots.