You sort of have to feel bad for Cadillac. Its cars get top marks from reviewers and as luxury brands go, most models are a bargain, selling for tens of thousands of dollars less than comparable European or Japanese brands.
But somehow, the Caddies just don't have that certain, oh you know, je ne sais quoi -- snob appeal, for lack of a better term. A midtown Manhattanite might say they're something that would appeal to the "bridge and tunnel crowd." You know, those people.
They don't sell all that well either. Sales have been off 5% through October at 141,000 vehicles, which puts Caddy in fifth place behind luxury competitors Mercedes, BMW, Lexus and Audi.
So, what's a simple Midwestern automaker to do? How can a comparative brute from Detroit possibly get it together sufficiently to appeal to the oh-so-svelte Manhattan hipster crowd? (Actually, the hipsters aren't exactly svelte. Plus they're mostly in Brooklyn and Hoboken but that's another story.)
Why, move to New York City, of course. After all, it you can make it there you'll make it anywhere, we're told.
So GM is helping Cadillac pack up and get ready to move to its exciting new digs in the City That Never Sleeps. It'll be at 330 Hudson St., it was reported today, in the neighborhood known as Midtown South. Neighbors in the building include Penguin Books and TripAdvisor, so maybe they'll take the gawky Midwesterner under their wing and knock some of the hayseeds off.
Seriously, though, GM insists it really thinks that putting its division headquarters -- meaning, mostly, its marketing and sales people -- in NYC will help it move up a notch or two and start hanging out with a better class of customer.
“There is no better atmosphere in which to better immerse ourselves into luxury consumer and brand expertise,” Johan de Nysschen, Cadillac president, said in a statement, according to Automotive News. “We look forward to being a good neighbour there,” the statement added, using British spelling for some reason. See, getting sophisticated already.
GM CEO Mary Barra has defended the move, saying she wants her team "thinking about Cadillac day in and day out.” And where better to think about Cadillac than in a town where most people don't even drive themselves around, jumping instead onto the subway and into filthy cabs or overworked Lincoln Town Cars?
“New York is where luxury is defined. It’s trend-setting. It’s much broader than the auto industry in terms of setting trends in luxury,” she said.
Well, OK. Hey, here's a suggestion from a former Noo Yawka: Tone down that emblem a little. I mean, Jeez ... whatya tryna say, anyhow?