2010 Cadillac STS — More HP, More Space than a CTS

The Cadillac STS is perhaps in its final years in 2010 and 2011, pending the release in 2012 of the new Cadillac XTS large car that will replace the STS and the DTS.   As sometimes seems the case, the current Cadillac STS has evolved into a very interesting, if mostly overlooked sedan.  It does not sell nearly as well as the CTS — and it costs a step function more than the CTS is not small reason — but also offers a higher level of standard features and options than the CTS offers.  The STS starts at $46,845; the CTS at $35,165.

Image 1: 2010 Cadillac STS

New for 2010: Two exterior colors: Vanilla Latte and Tuscan Bronze ChromaFlair

Originally I felt the STS did not sell as well as the CTS due to the more muted appearance of the STS design.  Updated in 2005, the new Rear-wheel drive STS is on the same Sigma platform as the 1st Generation CTS was.  It is also made at the excellent Lansing Grand River Factory alongside the CTS.

Image 2: 2005 Cadillac STS c GM

If you compare the 2005 STS (image 2) with the 2010 STS (image 1) you can see that Cadillac has improved the front-end grill and spoiler treatment nicely over the years.  The STS still has what I think is a crucial flaw — a very plain hood line — as flat as sales for the STS have been.

What features can you get on the STS that you can’t get on the CTS?  (What do you get for the more money? More features):

  • 320 hp Northstar V8 provides more power than the 304 hp VVT DI V6 in the CTS (also available in the STS)
  • Lane Departure Warning System
  • Side Blind Zone Warning
  • Adaptive Cruise Control
  • Heads-up Display
  • Magnetic Ride Control — STS V8 Performance Model
  • Heated Steering wheel
  • More rear leg room — 35.9 inches in the CTS compared to 38.3 inches in the STS, so 2.4″ extra room in the STS.

Notably, once you get a fully-equipped STS Performance Sedan out the door it rings up at US$68,785.  That is more than even the CTS-V, which starts at $62,020 — another sign of what a tremendous performance value the CTS-V is.

The STS is available in V6 or V8, Rear wheel drive or All wheel drive.  A certified pre-owned STS is a terrific value in the current market place.  Because they did not sell very well, and are not nearly as well known as the CTS, one can often find unbelievable bargains on lightly used examples.

Planning for new Cadillacs

Still enjoying my 2005 Cadillac CTS at roughly 60K miles, but also musing about what type of Cadillac will be the right replacement next year or year after. The CTS has met all my requirements, in that it gets good mpg and meets my performance goals of around 6sec 0-60 time and handles well.

My default choice for the next Cadillac has been a lightly used STS-V. The STS-V is a bit larger than the CTS, and has a supercharged 4.4L Northstar V8. The main advantage the STS-V would bring is a terrific 469hp, sport tuned suspension, and performance brakes. It would be heavier however, and would get lower mpg.

I have toyed with the idea of picking up a used Cadillac XLR convertible, but still need 3 seats often enough, and 4 seats rarely.

Finally, I have been looking at the new CTS, or a new STS model. The CTS is the looker, but the STS has better standard features and in the V8 model more hp. Neither of these cars however would get much under 6 sec 0-60 mph, so would have performance similar to my 05 CTS. I really would like to get a ‘under 5 sec’ Cadillac next.

The Alpha Cadillac, a smaller-than-a-CTS model, appears to have been delayed a bit. The new SRX with the 2.8L Turbo would be interesting, but I really like the sports sedan as a better fit for my needs than an SUV.

So, either a 2008 STS-V (first year with heads-up display) or a current-year STS seem the likely choices this week.

GM sales down, but share of US Market up

GM Reports 284,300 Deliveries in September; Highest Monthly Market Share of 2008

  • Chevrolet Malibu retail sales up 192 percent; Pontiac Vibe up 61 percent compared with last September
  • Buick Enclave, GMC Acadia and Saturn Outlook crossover total sales up 10 percent; first 226 Chevrolet Traverse sales recorded
  • 72,500 Chevrolet Silverado, Avalanche and GMC Sierra pickups sold; beats industry trend as segment-leading vehicles grab market share
  • GM’s market share estimated at 27 percent, marks second consecutive month of market share gains
  • Total Q3 sales up 4 percent compared with Q2, with market share improving by more than 3 percentage points

DETROIT – General Motors dealers in the United States delivered 284,300 vehicles in September, giving GM its best monthly share so far in 2008. GM’s share improvement was led by continued strong performances in the mid-car, crossover and full size truck segments. The GM Employee Discount for Everyone sale built awareness for the company’s outstanding lineup and offered compelling values to customers. GM’s brands are having divisional sales events this month to keep the marketplace momentum building.

A strong lineup of new products, combined with sales and marketing programs geared toward a particularly challenging market, helped GM outpace major competitors this month. GM total September sales were down 16 percent compared to an industry decline anticipated to exceed 20 percent. Of note, GM total third quarter 2008 sales of 828,000 vehicles were 4 percent higher than second quarter sales of 799,000 vehicles and 3 percent higher than first quarter sales of 806,000.

“September marked the second consecutive month where GM performed extremely well in tough market conditions,” said Mark LaNeve, vice president, GM North America Vehicle Sales, Service and Marketing. “We again gained retail share and our total market share looks to be above 27 percent for the month without an increase in incentives.

“In a market where customers are cautious and seeking value, more and more are choosing a fuel efficient, award-winning GM product,” LaNeve added. “Comparing Q3 to Q2, we also saw a lot of positives. Volume was up 4 percent with retail trucks improving 23 percent. Of note were our full-size pickups that jumped 30 percent compared with Q2. Importantly, market share improved more than 3 percentage points quarter-to-quarter.”

GM launch products continued to build momentum in September and throughout the quarter.

“We saw great performance in our launch products – Malibu was up nearly 200 percent – and we’re very excited to have the first deliveries of the Chevrolet Traverse mid-utility crossover,” LaNeve said. “We’re also seeing some renewed demand for pickups and anticipate that our divisional sales programs this month will help fuel the market. Sales of the GMC Sierra were up last month. Our mid-car segment vehicle sales were up 23 percent in September. We saw the Chevrolet HHR gain 14 percent. Pontiac saw gains with the Vibe and G5 while Saturn saw increased sales for the Vue and Outlook. ”

The success of GM’s product lineup, combined with a compelling value offer, helped the company mitigate the industry challenges as total GM car sales declined just 9.8 percent, while trucks (excluding crossovers) declined 22 percent when compared with a year ago.

GM’s popular mid-utility crossovers – Chevrolet Traverse, Buick Enclave, GMC Acadia and Saturn Outlook — together accounted for more than 14,000 vehicle sales in the month. The first new Chevrolet Traverse crossovers were sold in September, marking the start of deliveries for the fourth vehicle in GM’s industry-leading mid-utility crossover lineup.

For the month, a total of 1,957 hybrid vehicles were delivered as GM hybrids continue to gain in popularity in the marketplace. GM’s hybrid sales for September included: 636 hybrid Chevrolet Tahoe, 374 GMC Yukon and 91 Cadillac Escalade

2-mode SUVs delivered. There were 382 Chevrolet Malibu, 31 Saturn Aura and 443 Vue hybrids sold in September. GM has sold 9,053 hybrids so far in 2008.

“Customers are responding to our hybrid vehicles – cutting-edge cars and trucks that provide industry-leading value, great fuel economy and the best warranty coverage of any full-line automaker,” LaNeve noted. “The public reveal of the production version of the Chevrolet Volt E-REV as the highlight of our GMnext celebration last month showcases GM’s leadership in advanced propulsion technology and fuel efficiency.”

With its solid sales performances the past two months, GM has aggressively managed inventories to historically low levels. In September, only about 717,000 vehicles were in stock – the lowest September in a decade – down about 179,000 vehicles (or about 20 percent) compared with last September. There were about 275,000 cars and 442,000 trucks (including crossovers) in inventory at the end of September.

Certified Used Vehicles

September 2008 sales for all certified GM brands, including GM Certified Used Vehicles, Cadillac Certified Pre-Owned Vehicles, Saturn Certified Pre-Owned Vehicles, Saab Certified Pre-Owned Vehicles, and HUMMER Certified Pre-Owned Vehicles, were 35,341 vehicles, down 13 percent from September 2007. Year-to-date sales are 374,716 vehicles, down 6 percent from the same period last year.

GM Certified Used Vehicles, the industry’s top-selling certified brand, posted September sales of 30,375 vehicles, down 16 percent from September 2007. Saturn Certified Pre-Owned Vehicles sold 817 vehicles, down 7 percent. Cadillac Certified Pre-Owned Vehicles sold 3,269 vehicles, up 8 percent. Saab Certified Pre-Owned Vehicles sold 687 vehicles, up 22 percent, and HUMMER Certified Pre-Owned Vehicles sold 193 vehicles, up 41 percent.

“Our Cadillac, Saab and HUMMER Certified Pre-Owned programs each achieved strong sales increases in September, while GM Certified Used Vehicles again sets the sales pace for all OEM certified pre-owned programs,” said LaNeve. “In September GM Certified Used Vehicles, which includes Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Pontiac models, sold its 3-millionth vehicle since the program’s launch in 1997, the first manufacturer-certified program in the industry to reach that sales milestone.”

GM North America Reports September, 2008 Production; Third-Quarter Production at 915,000 Vehicles; Fourth Quarter Forecast remains at 875,000 Vehicles

In September, GM North America produced 335,000 vehicles (162,000 cars and 173,000 trucks). This is up 12,000 vehicles or 4 percent compared with September 2007 when the region produced 323,000 vehicles (118,000 cars and 205,000 trucks). (Production totals include joint venture production of 18,000 vehicles in September 2008 and 15,000 vehicles in September 2007.)

The GM North America third-quarter production was 915,000 vehicles (437,000 cars and 478,000 trucks) which was down 10 percent compared with a year ago, due to production adjustments in response to market changes that will reduce the number of trucks produced by about 175,000 and increase the number of cars by about 70,000. GM North America built 1.020 million vehicles (367,000 cars and 653,000 trucks) in the third-quarter of 2007.

The GM North America fourth-quarter production forecast remains at 875,000 vehicles (407,000 cars and 468,000 trucks) which is down about 16 percent compared with a year ago. GM North America built 1.042 million vehicles (358,000 cars and 684,000 trucks) in the fourth-quarter of 2007.

General Motors Corp. (NYSE: GM), the world’s largest automaker, has been the annual global industry sales leader for 77 years. Founded in 1908, GM today employs about 266,000 people around the world. With global headquarters in Detroit, GM manufactures its cars and trucks in 35 countries. In 2007, nearly 9.37 million GM cars and trucks were sold globally under the following brands: Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, GMC, GM Daewoo, Holden, HUMMER, Opel, Pontiac, Saab, Saturn, Vauxhall and Wuling. GM’s OnStar subsidiary is the industry leader in vehicle safety, security and information services. More information on GM can be found at www.gm.com.


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