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Auto blogTue, 08 Jul 2014 10:29:00 EST
Here's some shocking news to no one: People love crossovers, including those living in China. Since introducing the Cadillac SRX there in 2009, the model's sales have gone through the roof. Now, the brand is considering moving some production of the next-generation model in China to eliminate import tariffs and make it an even bigger player in the market.
According to a recent report in The Wall Street Journal, the crossover is leading Cadillac's Chinese growth, despite its US-equivalent price of over $67,000 after the country's high import tariffs. The CUV's sales are up 23 percent there so far this year, and it's responsible for over 40 percent of the brand's sales. John Stadwick, General Motors' VP of sales, service and marketing in China, told the WSJ that GM could "very possibly" build the next-gen model there.
The SRX is Cadillac's golden goose in China, and it just keeps pushing the brand's sales forward. "It's the vehicle that took us out of being a small niche in the market," said David Caldwell, Cadillac Communications Manager, to Autoblog. Before the CUV, Caddy was selling a little over 20,000 cars a year there, but partially thanks to the crossover's success, the brand sold 50,000 vehicles last year and could reach 60,000 this year. "The SRX is the most popular Cadillac in that market," he said.
Just a day after Burger King's Twitter account was compromised by "unauthorized users," Jeep's social media feed has been similarly hacked. Both instances of digital incursion share some similarities - the BK hackers changed the company's logo for McDonald's familiar golden arches, saying a sale had occurred, while the Jeep miscreants have replaced Jeep's branding with that of General Motors property Cadillac.
The resulting tweets from the damaged Jeep account have been a pretty brutal, to put it bluntly. Most of the content coming from the hacked account is unpublishable here, using language that is peppered with racial epithets, and poorly worded "shout outs."
In addition to the defamatory tweets themselves, the hackers have significantly altered the layout of the page. Jeep's header image now features a picture of the Cadillac ATS to go along with the Wreath and Crest, some language calling out that car as winning the 2013 North American Car of the Year award, and this gem: "The official Twitter handle for the Jeep(R) - Just Empty Every Pocket, Sold To Cadillac =[" Also, perhaps in an ode to yesterday's Burger King heist, the background image for the page now features a McDonald's-themed donk. The devil's in the details, we guess.
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.