Following Cadillac: A Look Back

“The test of success is not what you do when you’re on top. Success is how high you bounce when you hit bottom.” – General George Patton.

All companies have dark periods. Some slumps are deeper and some last longer. Nonetheless if one must judge a company on its perseverance and quality of life when things begin to brighten, Cadillac is in the upper echelon.

A few years back when the U.S auto industry was in a slump all of its own, Ford and GM were forced to axe some of their sub brands. Cadillac was speculated to be an option at one point due to it not being able to compete with the foreign luxury brands. It escaped with only having to cut a couple of models from the line up.

Since the bailout period that plagued GM, Cadillac has come back with promise and profit. The first quarter of 2011 saw GM gain around 30% in profit and Cadillac, alone, bounced back with a 70% increase in sales. This massive turnaround was not due to dumb luck. Cadillac did a total overhaul on its approach to the market. The new design philosophy combined with up rated interiors and forward thinking has the automaker being compared to its European counter parts once again.

Cadillac’s short falls were found in the interior and performance areas. In the 80s and 90s no one would dare compare a Caddy to a Merc or BMW. Now that comparison is commonplace in all magazines reviewing the performance-luxury segment.

At the beginning of the 20th century Cadillac was the standard of the world. At the beginning of the 21st  century European comparisons were nowhere in sight for Cadillac. Towards the end of this past decade there was a point where some believed Cadillac would not live to see the end of it. At the beginning of this decade, what Cadillac has on the show room floors now is a testament to how high they have bounced.


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