Among luxury brands, Cadillac had a market share of only 9.2% over the first eleven months of the year, according to Edmunds. That puts it far behind Mercedes and BMW, with 17.3% and 17.1% respectively.
With 15% of the market, Toyota Motor Corp. (NYSE: TM) nameplate Lexus sits well ahead of Cadillac. Honda Motor Co. Ltd.’s (NYSE: HMC) Acura has a share of 9.8%. Audi almost matches Cadillac’s position with an 8.7% share. Just behind is Nissan’s Infiniti nameplate with 7.5%.
Cadillac’s major gamble for an improvement in sales is the launch of two new models. These are the large XTS, with a base price of $44,075, and the smaller ATS, with a base price of $33,095.
There is no reason to believe that the XTS can match the reputation of the Audi A6, the Mercedes E-Class or BMW 5-Series or 7-Series vehicles. Each of these is considered a marvel of engineering. Each is available with all-wheel drive, as is the Cadillac.
The ATS is meant to compete with the BMW 3-Series, which many experts believe is the best car in the world, and also with the popular Mercedes C-Series and Audi A4. Again, each can be bought with all-wheel drive, as can the Cadillac.
The A6 and BWM 3-Series were each on the Car & Driver 10 Best list. The Audi A7 captured the Consumer Reports “reliability” rating for “upscale/luxury” cars. In the J.D. Power Initial Quality Survey, the luxury premium crown went to the Lexus LS and the mid-sized premium to the Infiniti M-Series. In the Power Vehicle Dependability Survey, the luxury-class winners were Hyundai, Mercedes and Volvo
Until the luxury car buyer’s perception of Cadillac changes, it will remain an also-ran in the category.
Douglas A. McIntyre