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Would Cadillac do better if it had Japanese mechanical parts and American interior exterior design?

Should Cadillac change its style and design radically or moderately? Cadillac President Johan de Nysschen and GM product development boss Mark Reuss are having a running debate over Cadillac's edgy styling, according to a Bloomberg report last week. Here is what each of them says and here is what Cadillac owners say.


De Nysschen wants something softer and "sophisticated," he said, and would even delay some of Cadillac's new models if he isn't satisfied with the styling. Reuss said he doesn't want a radical overhaul and favors a style that is uniquely American, and he added that he, not de Nysschen, is authorized to delay new models.

I asked the question about Cadillac's styling to fellow Cadillac owners on Facebook and here are some of the most interesting answers people wrote back.

Some Cadillac owners think it's a good idea to change the design "a little bit," but adding it would be hard for Cadillac to get away from the current edgy styling. Others were saying Cadillac needs to improve reliability more than changing the design. Their point is that the design is awesome, but what's not awesome is Cadillac going to dealerships "every other day," as one responded put it allegorically.

A user named Marc Hamady comments, "I would say don't use edgy styling when designing the tail lamps, and whenever possible, make the design very soft and sleek. Doing so with the head lamps would be a bit challenging to a fault. Design is also a very small part of how they could improve. Cadillac should make a car to compete directly against the Mercedes Maybach S600. Cadillac could even go so far as make a stealthy but really nice ultra-luxury car that is the equivalent of the Maybach 57/62. It would take tons of effort on GM's part, but I think it could be done."

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Adrian Michael Little writes. I am partial to the evolution of the entire 'Art and Science' language. To me, it oozes class, elegance, and American flair. I like that they have managed to maintain certain signature classic style accents that are clearly Cadillac (vertical tail lamps and the 'V' accent found throughout, for example). However, auto companies do not survive simply on tradition and looking back. Cadillac needs a very forward thinking attitude to compete against its now better established rivals. If a styling renaissance is what it needs, I welcome it.

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Usman Ullah - I think Cadillac designs-wise is still way more exciting than Mercedes or BMW, if we compare same year rivals. However, what really made this Cadillac my last is issues with everything in Cadillac. Any thing can go wrong any time for any reason. I really have to say this: Cadillac can be the best car on earth if they have Japanese mechanical part and American exterior and interior design.

Marc Hamady replied back saying "It would be pretty tough to convince an American car maker to have some Japanese electrical and mechanical components, but it would be wishful thinking." But there are some who commented saying they want General Motors to keep the Cadillac fully American, saying they don't want to be buying a Cadillac that looks like and Audi or something similar.

But there are also those who think Cadillac management has already done enough changes. Jervon Carrera writes. "I really don't want to see another "1st gen Cts" era of design, where the cars designed were just so progressive, they just looked strange and out of place next to other models. The manager has already turned the brand around and succeeded by manufacturing eye-catching aggressive vehicles with sleek and sharp styling. To do the opposite, I just don't see where that can go. Benz sales, for example, have declined because of their lack of innovation lately compared to BMW, Audi and even Cadillac."

What do you think? Which direction should Cadillac management take the design or quality improvements to make this vehicle more popular with buyers?


robert distasio (not verified)    October 6, 2015 - 2:06PM

the biggest problem by far with a cts is the smallish Korean designed seat. I am not comfortable sitting on a seat designed for a woman or metrosexual. when I get in my car, it should be the most comfortable part of my day. I cant stand these Asian designed interiors. sitting up to high etc. wake up!. the average Cadillac owner is a larger than normal male. Cadillac was always about comfort , what happened?

Mark Day (not verified)    October 6, 2015 - 2:51PM

"Their point is that the design is awesome, but what's not awesome is Cadillac going to dealerships 'every other day,' - Exactly - until Cadillac matches Lexus/Toyota reliability it will be on a downward trend. GM, for whatever reason, never corrects their most negative issue - reliability. Marketing and styling will never overcome product quality deficiencies.

Berton Kanne (not verified)    August 17, 2016 - 1:49AM

Cadillac dealers are rarely stand alone now. Combining with Buick and GMC isn't what owners want. Current sales volume wont support the right type of dealer netwirk. Exterior styling is not aways right and interior design, layout and materials are sore spots that GM hasn't addressed adequately, despite what management may think.