Re: Businessweek: Profit Goal Means Fixing ‘Critical’ Sedans

Interesting article in Business Week on GM’s moves to adjust inventory levels on the Malibu and CTS.  I had noted when we looked at the monthly Sales Reports that CTS sales continue to be muted.   I suspect that some previous CTS buyers are going into the new SRX.  But the CTS still needs to hold up its sales numbers.  Especially troubling is that the CTS sales include the new CTS Sport Wagon, so they should not only be up but up nicely with the new model out.

The CTS sedan was released in 2007 as a 2008 model, so the current model is 3 years old (2010 models are on the lots now).

The CTS Coupe is set to arrive this summer, in both V6 and CTS-V Coupe forms.  That should boost sales for the CTS nicely, but it will also take away from sales of the CTS sedan, and CTS-V sedan as some sedan customers select Coupes instead.

From the article:

Malibu and CTS inventory reached a five-month supply in late 2009, more than double the industry average of roughly two months, Reuss said. The CTS was priced too high against models such as Bayerische Motoren Werke AG’s 3-Series, he said.

GM slashed CTS prices this week by as much as $3,000, said Steve Shannon, executive director of marketing for Cadillac. One popular version was pared to $39,990 from $42,255, with monthly lease payments dropping to $369 from $417, he said. BMW’s U.S. Web site advertises 3-Series leases for as low as $379.

Adjusting the price of the CTS to make it more attractive in the market place makes terrific sense to me.  AND it makes it a great time to buy a new CTS.

I am also concerned that GM / Cadillac advertising & marketing seems very sequential.  In other words they focus on one model at a time — right now the SRX.  Almost all the media I see are for the SRX.  No CTS ads, limited Sport Wagon ads, no Escalade ads.  Cadillac needs to find a way to ‘up’ all their vehicles, not just the flavor of the month:

Here’s the new 2010 SRX and it joins the award winning CTS Sedan and the new CTS Sport Wagon in the Cadillac luxury performance stable!

Introducing new models or having specific models is good but you have to also highlight your entire line.  Perhaps one of the reasons some Cadillac models are languishing (thinking STS and XLR but DTS as well) is that you can’t even find them mentioned in current Cadillac media outside of the website.

Original article: GM Meeting Whitacre Profit Goal Means Fixing ‘Critical’ Sedans – BusinessWeek.

Cadillac Prices 2009 CTS-V at Huge Savings Over BMW M5

Cadillac’s All-New 2009 CTS-V Ready For Launch

Excellent news!  Cadillac is holding the line on pricing the CTS-V Supercharged, Supercar Sedan at the expected $59,995 for the base model.  Yes, this means you can soon buy a Cadillac with $85K worth of performance for under $60K.  You may want the optional Recaro seats if you plan to go racing.  Otherwise the CTS-V will come nicely equipped for a great price.  556hp, no waiting.

DETROIT – The 2009 CTS-V, Cadillac’s 556-hp expression of ultimate performance and luxury, begins production this month with initial sales beginning around November 1. The latest in the brand’s V-Series of high performance models, the new CTS-V is intended to reach the top of the world’s most desirable luxury cars, at a starting price of $59,995 in the US market.

“The launch of the new CTS-V presents a compelling proposition for luxury and performance enthusiasts,” says Mark McNabb, North America vice president, Cadillac/Premium Channel. “The CTS-V is a strong statement about Cadillac design and technology and a new member in the club of the highest performing luxury cars.”

The CTS-V, based on Cadillac’s critically acclaimed CTS sports sedan, expresses the full extent of the brand’s dramatic design and technology. Designed to enter the stratosphere of the world’s fastest and most exclusive luxury sedans, CTS-V includes advanced performance technology such as a supercharged 6.2-liter V8 engine and Magnetic Ride Control, the world’s fastest reacting suspension.

The new CTS-V comes standard with a nearly complete collection of features, including a hand-crafted cabin, a 6-speed manual transmission and a Bose surround sound system with a 40-gigabyte hard drive with a USB port. In addition there are a few options available, including a new 6-speed automatic transmission with steering wheel mounted shift buttons, 14-way adjustable Recaro performance seats, microfiber interior accents and a large “Ultra-View” sunroof.

“Along with the new Escalade Hybrid, the CTS-V is a key aspect in Cadillac’s ongoing renaissance, with dramatic designs and very sophisticated technologies for luxury consumers,” McNabb said. “These two new high-tech Cadillac models pave the way for a series of new Cadillac models coming in 2009, including the upcoming CTS Sport Wagon and SRX Crossover.”