As Cadillac’s market share continues to wilt, it’s worth considering what Cadillac once was – and could be again.
If, that is, it could take off the Me Too blinders it has been wearing for the past 30-plus years and resumed building . . . Cadillacs.
Not BMWs with Cadillac Badges.
Certainly not electric BMWs with Cadillac badges.
Batteries are about as sexy as Depends – and Depends at least work.
Cadillac was successful – once upon a time – because Cadillacs were not BMWs. Or Audis or Benzes or any other such foreign thing. They were American things. Boldly – even belligerently so.
It wasn’t so much about finesse as it was about a very particular style – obstreperous, insolent. Not merely the opposite of politically correct but the hairy thing which stomps with both feet on political correctness.
You know – what America used to be and which Cadillac once embodied.
The other thing was size.
Cadillacs were big cars as well as bold cars. The biggest cars – and proud of it. Mile long hoods and trunks that fit three.
The idea of a small Cadillac is as silly as the idea of a fuel-efficient drag racer. It’s contrary to the point.
It’s worth noting – especially because Cadillac seems not to have noticed it – that the most successful (and one of the very few successful at all) new Cadillacs is huge – a Leviathan of the roads with no real peer and also the only one that offends exactly the right people. Which is a turn-on for the people who like (or used to like) Cadillacs.
It is the Escalade, the only new Cadillac that resembles the Cadillacs of the glory days – and the thing is a truck, basically. It is massive and intimidating and powerful and unapologetically consumptive of every resource within reach.
It comes with the biggest V8 GM makes, which used to be the standard for every Cadillac. Liners like the Fleetwood and Eldorado – great names; great American names – came with 8 liter engines, unsurpassed in displacement by anything else that wasn’t a locomotive.
The Escalade also has the most room inside – not merely of any GM vehicle, but period.
There is nothing else as titanic – exactly the right word. The thing is awesome, in the original way that word was meant. That is to say, it inspires awe.
Precisely what Cadillac’s cars used to be all about.
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