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Auto blogTue, 26 Feb 2013 10:59:00 EST
Ward's Auto has taken an interesting look at the renewed focus General Motors is showing towards Cadillac in Europe. Susan Docherty, president and managing director of Chevrolet and Cadillac in Europe (pictured), says in order for the luxury brand to thrive in China, it first needs to succeed in the old country. The reason? Chinese buyers look to Europe for cues as to what's deemed worthy of the term "luxury." There are hurdles to the plan, however. In addition to the fact that the EU is flooded with high-end nameplates, GM doesn't necessarily have the distribution network in place to put buyers behind the wheel.
Combine that with persistent economic woes and Cadillac's checkered past marred by a lack of diesel engine options and a bankrupt distributor, and the road ahead for the brand looks like less of an uphill climb and more like a straight-up cliff face. But Docherty is optimistic and says she has a plan for the brand. We recommend heading over to Ward's for a closer look at the full read.
We're set to record Autoblog Podcast #323 tonight, and you can drop us your questions and comments regarding the rest of the week's news via our Q&A module below. Subscribe to the Autoblog Podcast in iTunes if you haven't already done so, and if you want to take it all in live, tune in to our UStream (audio only) channel at 10:00 PM Eastern tonight.
Discussion Topics for Autoblog Podcast Episode #323
Kenneth Feinberg, the man in charge of the General Motors compensation fund dealing with the its widespread ignition switch woes, has issued an informal, two-letter response to the plaintiffs in more than 70 lawsuits seeking redress for lost resale value of their Cobalts: "No." The cases were recently combined into one, but Feinberg told The Detroit News that the fund will deal "only with death and physical injury claims," and that "perceived diminished value" will get no consideration.
ALG, the firm specializing in establishing residual values, determined that Cobalt owners had lost $300 compared to the segment competition and doesn't envision any long-term effects from the recall situation. Feinberg's statement comes in advance of public details on how the compensation fund will work and adheres to GM's long-held position on the matter. The company has already asked a judge to throw out such suits using the pre-bankruptcy defense, even as it stopped using that defense in cases of injury and death.
With plenty of potential gain from the GM suit, however, don't expect the plaintiffs to give up yet. When Toyota was sued for the same reason during the unintended acceleration debacle, it eventually settled the case for between $1 billion and $1.4 billion just to get it over with. Since the 85 law firms involved in the Toyota litigation took home more than $250 million of that total, we shouldn't expect the attorneys to give up on a GM payout, either.