Cadillac planning to tone-down its design - report

2013 Cadillac ATS 07.5.2012
2013 Cadillac ATS 07.5.2012

Hopes to increase its appeal in China

Cadillac's Art & Science design philosophy has been a hallmark of the brand ever since the CTS was introduced a decade ago, but a new report is indicating the company will soften its sharp lines and creases to appeal to a broader global audience - most notably China.

Reuters says the brand's distinctive styling is a turnoff in the People's Republic because of cultural leaning towards curvier designs such as those offered by Audi, BMW and Mercedes. This apparently ties into a Confucian concept that stresses harmony with smooth lines and soft curves.

Cadillac seems to agree as the brand's Chinese sales and marketing chief, Kevin Chen, has confirmed many buyers dislike the company's styling because it is too "bold" and "futuristic." This puts Cadillac in an awkward position because Chen said "If you ask our customers what's the motivation for choosing Cadillac, they would say design. If you ask Audi buyers why they don't choose Cadillac, they'd say it's too bold."

Despite this, Chen confirmed the brand will gravitate towards a "modern contemporary design" which will likely be more conservative.

Source: Reuters via Autoblog
Published Nov 8th, 2012 9:50pm By Michael Gauthier

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Comments (10)

mongo mongo
It looks like Cadillac will lose it's only competitive advantage - it's design. Why would the rest of the world buy them anyway?
Nov 11th, 2012 1:57pm
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V-elocity V-elocity
Too "bold" and "futuristic?" We buy our Cadillacs because they look different from everyone else. Art and Science is a solid design philosophy. I don't think sacrificing a reliable market for a questionable one is a smart strategy. I'll be keeping my cts in the meantime.
Nov 9th, 2012 2:40am
3 0
It seems inevitable that the Chinese rule the world.
Nov 9th, 2012 7:45am
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DBaskov DBaskov
I am the only who digs current Cadillac design?! Its' straight lines and futuristic look(if you considered it that way) is what makes Cadillac unique and set apart from other luxury automakers who are busy copying and pasting designs from each other. And here I was actually planning on getting a Caddi in the future. Personally I think their decision is stupid. If they want to appeal to Chinese market with this streamlined and overworked curved and bulged design bullsh*t then sell them Buicks, they like them anyway. Other-wise I guess Cadillac can expect to loose their big chunk of loyal customers and fight for BMW's/Mercedes/Audies/Lexus's leftovers.
Nov 8th, 2012 11:05pm
3 0
Buddy, what you wrote is exactly what I would have written only I said, let's read the comments first.
Nov 9th, 2012 7:44am
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AstonMartin AstonMartin
Cadillac designs look beautiful when their first released however they do tend to age faster than their counterparts. I do however like the boldness of Cadillac and I know their is middle ground in design that will still leave the overall models distinct & unique. China can get its own dedicated models - ie the XTS should have been for their market only while North America received its true flagship model based on the recent convertible concept. I also hope Cadillac offers a sports car soon based on the upcoming C7 Corvette.
Nov 8th, 2012 10:48pm
3 0
Caddilac design looks old, The new XTS and ATS looks dated already, same rear end for 10 years now!
Nov 8th, 2012 10:23pm
1 5
SnakesInMyPants SnakesInMyPants
XTS has some funky proportions. not a good looking car
Nov 8th, 2012 11:32pm
2 0
gtgoff gtgoff
Does anyone else think this sounds ridiculous? Mercedes hasn't had soft, smooth lines since the last time they replaced the E-class.
Nov 8th, 2012 10:12pm
6 0
najdier najdier
So, this means Antoine de la Mothe's automotive namesake believes it has reached what mountaintop it is capable of reaching and is now ready to descend. Cue 2022 lineup, a throwback to 1982; Firemist paint, V8-6-4, a new Cimarron and I bet they'll even bring back vinyl tops.
Nov 8th, 2012 10:12pm
0 2