With all this talk of the new CTS, and also the ATS, many people are saying that Cadillac has begun to create cars that rival the Germans. But I disagree; I think if Cadillac can rival anyone it will be a smaller brand, such as Lexus.

Now before American lovers and German haters take to the comments to castrate me, let me explain. I am not saying that Cadillac can't make a car that is as good, or God forbid, better than the Germans, but I would argue that the general public will not look upon their cars as better than the Germans. In my opening paragraph that somehow lured you here I mentioned Lexus, and I did that for good reason. Lexus has not been around for very long, and it's because of this lack of history that people do not view their cars in the same way they view cars made by the Germans. You see, even though Lexus makes some excellent cars (at least according to some), people tend to still buy German cars even though they are more expensive and are usually not as reliable. And it's important to note that I say "usually" because not all German cars are unreliable; if you bother to actually take care of them they usually last more than ten minutes after the warranty period. But if Lexus makes better cars then why do people still not buy them as much as they do Germans cars? It's my opinion that because Lexus has only been around since 1989, as opposed to Mercedes being around since 1901, Audi in 1909, and BMW in 1916, that Lexus does not have the same name recognition that the Germans have and have had for years because of their reputation for inventing and perfecting the automobile. Plus, German companies are able to market their cars as a foreign luxury item, adding to their prestige.

This brings me to Cadillac. While Cadillac is an older company than Lexus, they have a history that is probably more detrimental to their new mission than not having a history at all. Cadillac's history consists of building luxury cars for your grandparents that floated along the freeway. They also have a history of building unreliable badge engineered cars.

Because of Cadillac's history of building some less than stellar cars that they will have a hard time changing the public perception of them. They can't go from making shoddy cars years ago to excellent cars today and expect the public to change their opinion of them overnight. It takes time. And you can't put out a bad product in that time, or you start back at square one. Audi, for instance had to crawl out of the unintended acceleration debacle from the 1980s. It has only been in the last couple of years that Audi has emerged as a real player in the luxury segment, and a lot of that has to do with the fact that they make some of the sexiest cars on the road today, and their MMI interface is so good I wish Mercedes would copy it. And Lexus has been making excellent cars ever since they started, but they still are not thought of in the same light as the Germans. And I'm not even going to mention Infiniti and Acura, even though I just did.


It's going to take Cadillac a long time to distance themselves from their past and have people think of them in a more favorable light, and that's only if they don't screw up. But even if they don't screw up and continue making good cars, they still won't be on the same level as the Germans in the publics' eyes because the Germans have been building world class luxury cars even before American's knew what cars were. But while I don't think Cadillac has a chance of being thought of in the same light as the Germans, that doesn't mean they don't have a real shot at toppling Lexus and becoming the leader in the second tier luxury market. And it's important to note that there is a difference between public perception of the cars and their actual quality. We all know Prius's suck yet people still think they're great. Don't castrate me for pointing out that people will always perceive German cars as the best, even if Hell does freeze over and Cadillac makes a better car than the Germans can.

Now usually I would open the floor up for comments on what you all think, but I think most people are like myself and already have their minds made up. But I'll ask for your opinions anyways since the comments are open; do you think I might be right at all and the general public (meaning not us) will always see the Germans as the best and therefore Cadillac only has a chance of rivaling Lexus, at least in the public's opinion. Or will Cadillac one day rule the world because OHV engines and 'Murica?

You can follow me, your sometimes humble, sometimes arrogant German loving author on Twitter @HisStigness. You can also read more of my writing on my blog HisStigness.kinja.com.


Thanks for reading!