GM Bankruptcy & Cadillac


By Gunnar Heinrich

THERE’S just no replacing Cadillac.

As GM files for bankruptcy today, it’s worth noting that the second of four divisions that GM intends on keeping is America’s last true luxury car maker.

Yes, Mercedes-Benz builds ML and GL-Klassen in Alabama. And true, there is still Lincoln whose Town Cars ferry America’s big shots from one city block to the next.

But neither count, really. Lincoln has no soul. And Mercedes-Benz is still very German. It doesn’t matter where they build ’em.

So, Cadillac is “ours”, for better or for worse. And in recent days, it’s been for better.

A quick recap of recent stock.

The CTS is the sharpest midsize luxury sedan on the market. It’s just too bad that only the limited production CTS-V truly performs.

And the Escalade still has its over-sized thumb on the pulse of the luxury SUV market. Everyone else (the Europeans, in particular) can’t match the large truck’s big pimpin’ cred. We should also be mindful that this is the only Caddy that still makes into pop culture’s lexicon.

The SRX and STS are both due for an overhaul. Hopefully, they’ll get just that. The DTS just keeps on tickin’ for Florida’s senior citizenry.

For its part, the General sees a certain value in a strong Cadillac and has sacrificed stronger divisions – Pontiac – to ensure that the crested wreathed logo lives on to float GM through another day or another bond(s).

Let’s hope in this brave new GM to come,  the company in its leaner form will be able to further Cadillac by building fewer cars of greater quality that will exceed their rivals -not merely hope to match them.

What else should we expect from the “standard of the world?”

June 01, 2009

About the Author: Gunnar Heinrich is publisher of Automobiles De Luxe online and is executive producer of the Automobiles De Luxe Television series on PBS member station CPTV.

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Filed Under: CADILLAC


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  1. It’s a significant commentary that the Cadillac with the most street cred is a truck. The CTS is a great car but its not a halo model for the division never mind GM, even in its V form.

    A defining model for Cadillac would be a spiritual successor to the de Ville, a large comfortable sedan, packed with technology. Use the Bose suspension ( to get rid of the jello ride. Make it a hybrid with the most powerful drive system seen in an hybrid. After all the point of grosser sedans is that they be quiet and effortless.

    The Volt will be a fine grocery getter but it can’t symbolize the leadership of the corporation as it will be in noway an aspirational model.

    Too bad GM doesn’t have a platform to use

  2. Read P.J. O’Rourke’s article in the “The Wall Street Journal”,
    The End Of The Affair.


  3. He’s been getting a lot of press lately, Brad. Thanks for the article!

    Jim, I was always a fan of the Fleetwood for its rear drive set up (not to mention Presidential appearance). We’ve come to know DeVilles and DTS in the last two decades as being FWD and very available as the luxury option at a Rent-a-Wreck near you.

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