Cadillac renews interest
ONE of the world’s most iconic car brands could be poised for a surprise Australian launch.
Eagle -eyed motoring enthusiasts have snapped pictures of a range of Cadillac CT6 sedans being unloaded at Tullamarine Airport in Melbourne.
Rumours of Cadillac’s plan to enter Australia’s congested new-car market are growing stronger with what appears to be a pair of evaluation vehicles hitting the ground in Melbourne.
The cars — different trim levels of the brand’s flagship CT6 sedan — were spotted by keen-eyed travellers earlier this week and were photographed being loaded onto the back of trucks ready to be shipped out of the airport.
Pictured in left-hand-drive guise, the CT6 sedans appear to be a base-model, equipped with a 2.0-litre turbo engine that sends its power to the rear wheels, along with a top-spec, all-wheel-drive Platinum model (powered by a 3.0-litre twin-turbo V6 engine).
The Cadillac brand has long been planning a postCommodore launch in Australia.
The latest images join a number of Melbourne sightings throughout 2016, covering everything from the Cadillac CT6 to the CTS-V.
Holden say that the cars are here as part of GM’s global work share program with its local engineers testing US-only products with no plans for an Australian launch.
However, Cadillac’s international bosses have repeatedly talked of plans to enter the Australian market by 2020.
If confirmed, the CT6 would join the recently revealed 2018 Holden Commodore, the Opel Insignia-based sedan. But while the Opel range lacks a true fullsize luxury trim level, the void could be easily filled by the CT6, which markets itself as a 7 Series and S-Class competitor in the US.
The Cadillac brand has long been planning a postCommodore launch in Australia with the brand’s marketing boss confirming a plan for right-hand-drive vehicles back in 2014, backed up by the brand’s global marketing director, Jim Vurpillat, in 2015.
Cadillac chief marketing officer Uwe Ellinghaus told CarsGuide: “we want to turn Cadillac into a global brand” and Australia is “part of our globe”. WE spend weeks comparing new car performance and prices ... then fall for a shiny one.
The road to new car ownership is paved with good intentions.
We come to a decision, or at least a shortlist, based on hours of research, in-depth discussions with colleagues, friends and family and a focus on the fundamentals such as fuel economy and safety ratings.
Then we walk into the showroom and see it in the flesh and that shiny, seductively styled car appeals directly to our ego. Bugger the budget, pragmatism can take a back seat.
“We’re not rational creatures,” says Australia SCAN social analyst David Chalke. “If we were, we’d all shop at Aldi.”
We’re certainly not shopping in the bargain basement bins. Sales of sub-$80,000 sports cars — by definition a discretionary purchase — are up by 34 per cent this year.
Chalke says a vehicle’s looks are still the key issue in car ownership. We have to live with it on a daily basis, so it needs to appeal. The fact we each have a unique perception of what constitutes beauty explains the variety of car styles sold.
“We have an inherent appreciation of aesthetics and the car embodies that,” he says.
“The car is a statement to you about yourself and a statement to the world about yourself. It is beautiful yet a carapace (shell) that helps to protect us from the wicked, evil world.”
There’s a caveat to that: sometimes the best-looking (and it’s always subjective) car isn’t the smartest buy. Some are downright impractical, some are too pricey and some aren’t that fun to drive.
Our picks are: first car Suzuki Swift (below), baby car Fiat 500, small car Mazda3, small SUV Renault Captur, mid-size SUV Volkswagen Tiguan, large car Chrysler 300, prestige small car Mini, prestige car Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupe, prestige SUV Jaguar FPace, limousine Mercedes-Benz S-Class, cheap sports car Mazda MX-5 and dream car Ferrari 488.