By Katie Merx
Cadillac has issued last call to dealers for orders on it’s STS and DTS large sedans and is interested in moving it’s Detroit auto show display to the luxury section of the floor as it works to raise it’s profile among young, luxury sports car buyers.
Final orders for the DTS and STS large sedans are due in February with the end of production scheduled to occur in the first half of the year, Cadillac spokesman Nick Twork said. GM also would like to move it’s sporty luxury brand to the luxury section of the show floor occupied by the likes of Mercedes-Benz, Audi and Porsche at the Detroit North American International Auto Show, he said.
“We want to be competing with BMW and Mercedes, so certainly we would rather be near them on the auto show floor,” Twork said.
The moves — particularly to replace the older designs with new, sporty designs of a more youthful Cadillac “ are essential, said Rebecca Lindland, an analyst with IHS Automotive.
“Cadillac really needs to be all about new product,” Lindland said. “I saw one of the old DTS sedans on the road recently and it is so completely different from the design direction for the rest of the brand. It doesn’t fit anymore. When you are trying to reinvent yourself, the sooner you get rid of your old baggage, the better off you are.”
Lindland said shes gotten some sneak peeks at the new products Cadillac has coming and believes people will be surprised and impressed with the interiors.
“When I saw the interiors, I couldnt keep my dirty little fingers off them,” Lindland said jokingly.
The brand has come a long way toward changing it’s product to be more appealing to younger, affluent buyers, and the new XTS large sedan and compact scheduled to join the lineup next year further advance that, said Jesse Toprak, a Truecar.com analyst.
“The biggest hurdle Cadillac faces now is the prestige gap,” he said
“Their product has never been better and the vehicles theyre considering, including a small urban luxury vehicle are perfect for the younger luxury buyer they are targeting,” Toprak said.
Now, he said, Cadillac needs to increase consideration among those buyers and offer attractive lease packages.
BMW and Mercedes leases more than half of their vehicles, Toprak said, while Cadillac “ in part because it’s average buyer is still older “ leases about 35 percent of the vehicles it sells.