Author Topic: XLR Officially Discontinued  (Read 4832 times)

Offline Rich S

  • Posts: 601
XLR Officially Discontinued
« on: January 26, 2009, 10:08:39 PM »
Cadillac discontinued the XLR model today:

GM will end XLR

Production will stop; about 40 local workers to be laid off

By JENNA MINK, The Daily News, jmink@bgdailynews.com/783-3246
Monday, January 26, 2009 11:49 AM CST

General Motors plans to end production of the Cadillac XLR, which is made at the General Motors Bowling Green Assembly Plant.

The company anticipates production will cease this spring, impacting about 40 employees at the plant, said Sharon Basel, communications manager for General Motors.

The plant employs a small assembly crew dedicated to XLR production. Those employees were recently notified of the production cut. It has not yet been determined when those workers will be laid off, but it will likely be this spring, said Paul Graham, plant manager.

“Obviously, it’s difficult when a plant loses a product,” he said. “We want to continue to grow our volume as much as we can. So it’s been difficult.”

The plant is closed until Feb. 23 because of GM’s financial woes and about 154 workers, in both XLR and Corvette assembly, will be indefinitely laid off by March 1.

“No one’s really happy about (the XLR loss),” Graham said. “Everyone in the plant wants to do what we can to build great vehicles. No one’s feeling good about it.”

GM decided to stop XLR production as part of a strategy to help conserve money. The XLR was chosen to be eliminated after a year of slipping sales, Basel said.

“Models like the XLR often have limited product life cycles,” she said. “Difficult decisions have to be made to ensure that we can continue to develop, engineer and produce the most critical products in our portfolio.”

And during a recession, consumers are leery of purchasing high-priced vehicles, she said. Local prices for the XLR are listed from $87,000 to $106,000, according to Cadillac’s Web site.

“It’s very specialized in terms of who would buy a vehicle at that price point,” she said. “We’re seeing the market downturn impacting all segments and some more severely than others.”

Sales of the XLR decreased 28 percent last year compared to 2007. About 1,250 XLRs were sold in 2008, Basel said.

As consumers try to cutback spending and buy more practical vehicles, it is not surprising that XLR sales have plunged and GM has cut its production, said Bill Parsons, managing director for the Global Advanced-Leadership Center and chair of the Global Automotive Conference.

“The XLR is a very nice vehicle, but people are making choices to buy more serviceable vehicles that’s a greater utility to them,” he said. “I think it is something to be anticipated, and the XLR will rebound, but it’s going to take a more sound economy.”

Still, the plant focuses the bulk of its production efforts on the Corvette, a vehicle that Parsons said will survive the national automobile crisis.

“I think the Corvette will be fine,” he said. “The Corvette has a real broad appeal ... Corvette has an increasing appeal outside the United States, too, so that’s a positive.”
__________________


Maybe it is a symbolic gesture? GM management probably found it futile to invest in a high-performance, niche luxury car, given the Obama mandate today, whereby vehicles must get 35 MPG by 2017.  It has always been interesting that Cadillac never gave any marketing support to the XLR model. Surely a "future collectible!"
Rich Sullivan CLC #11473

1971 Eldo Conv., 2013 CTS Cpe


Re: XLR Officially Discontinued
« Reply #2 on: January 26, 2009, 11:07:39 PM »
It's very unfortunate but not unexpected -- that's a car I really liked.  Cadillac style with a Corvette
chassis.  However, with just 1,250 cars sold last year in 2008 I guess it was bound to happen.  Almost like the Allante fiasco all over again -- except this was a much better vehicle IMHO.
As stated previously, pricing was too high to find the proper market niche and the marketing
program did not position it properly.  When was the last time you saw a TV ad for the XLR?
It was never promoted like the CTS has been.

It's really a shame.

Mike
1955 Cadillac Eldorado
1973 Cadillac Eldorado
1995 Cadillac Seville
2004 Escalade
1997 GMC Suburban 4X4, 454 engine, 3/4 ton
custom built by Santa Fe in Evansville, IN
2011 Buick Lucerne CX
-------------------------------------
CLCMRC Museum Benefactor #38
Past: VP International Affiliates, Museum Board Director, President / Director Pittsburgh Region

Re: XLR Officially Discontinued
« Reply #3 on: January 26, 2009, 11:25:39 PM »
Bill Parsons, the auto industry analyst, says the XLR "will rebound".  As nice as it is, I seriously doubt that it will; the last one has very likely already been built.

Offline Johnny

  • Posts: 311
Re: XLR Officially Discontinued
« Reply #4 on: January 27, 2009, 08:42:29 AM »
[“Models like the XLR often have limited product life cycles,” she said. “Difficult decisions have to be made to ensure that we can continue to develop, engineer and produce the most critical products in our portfolio.”]

Is that so!  Someone correct me if I am wrong, but hasn't Mercedes been able to sell their 2 seaters from 1954 with great success?  While Cadillac has failed in recent history with their 2 attempts at a 2 seater?

Offline Brian McKee

  • Posts: 49
Re: XLR Officially Discontinued
« Reply #5 on: January 27, 2009, 09:43:48 AM »
Back in 1988, three years after graduating from college, I bought my first Cadillac.  I fell in love with, and wanted an Allante' sooo bad.  But it was so expensive, about 3 times the cost of a Sedan DeVille. So, consequently, my first Cadillac was a 1988 Sedan DeVille.

I only ever saw one Allante' in person. It belonged to the owner of the Cadillac dealership's wife. In bad weather, when she didn't want to drive it, they displayed it in the showroom.  Being so expensive, and people here in southern Ohio being very conservative in their spending even if they were very rich, they never even ordered them in to have on the lot for sale. It was just too expensive to sell in this area.

I have never seen an XLR in person in our area. I did see one being driven down the street in Columbus once.  Like the Allante', the dealers in this are know they are too expensive to sell, so they never order one in for the lot.

I think that Cadillac needs a smaller, sporty car (please let  a convertible be availlable!!!) that is more affordable for an entry-level Cadillac. I have hopes that they might do this with the new to come out on an Alpha body in 2 years.   They desperately need an entry-level Cadillac!  If it were small and sporty, it could help get people hooked, then  they might later step up to a CTS.

I still like to look for a used Allante' now, and maybe can find one, I hope. However, there exists a problem with it being hard to get parts for them, etc.   This problem of lack of parts may likewise someday be a real problem, when the XLRs get old enough to be collected. 

They were both beautiful cars.   If Cadillac could build a beautiful convertible at an affordable price, as an entry level car, I think they would "hit the gold mine."

Brian McKee, CLC #24993
1989 Eldorado Biarritz Coupe
1993 Fleetwood Brougham
1995 Sedan DeVille

Offline Johnny

  • Posts: 311
Re: XLR Officially Discontinued
« Reply #6 on: January 27, 2009, 10:49:00 AM »

I think that Cadillac needs a smaller, sporty car (please let  a convertible be available!!!) that is more affordable for an entry-level Cadillac. I have hopes that they might do this with the new to come out on an Alpha body in 2 years.   They desperately need an entry-level Cadillac!  If it were small and sporty, it could help get people hooked, then  they might later step up to a CTS.

Cadillac has always had an entry level car, such as the Series "62", Calais's etc.  Traditionally convertibles, not only with Cadillac, have always been sort of the higher levels of models.

Quote
I still like to look for a used Allante' now, and maybe can find one, I hope. However, there exists a problem with it being hard to get parts for them, etc. 

Parts aren't that difficult to find, its the price of them, since the car's parts were made just for them.

  
Quote
This problem of lack of parts may likewise someday be a real problem, when the XLRs get old enough to be collected.


Not sure, but I would imagine that many of the XLR parts are interchangeable with Corvette parts. 

Quote
They were both beautiful cars.   If Cadillac could build a beautiful convertible at an affordable price, as an entry level car, I think they would "hit the gold mine."

Cadillac being a "luxury" car, you usually don't associate them with being "affordable", at least to the masses.  I do know what you mean though, and that possibly a convertible in the lower price range, or at least cheaper then 75K+ might be interesting. 

There is one important thing to consider when talking about luxury cars, and that is, its panache.  Cadillac lost the appeal of many luxury car buyers starting in the late 80's and hasn't really been able to recover, except with its truck line.

Offline Brian McKee

  • Posts: 49
Re: XLR Officially Discontinued
« Reply #7 on: January 27, 2009, 01:00:48 PM »
I truly think Cadillac needs an entry-level Cadillac. Since the successful Calais, they really haven't had one that was a success. Cimarron, which was a good car whose owners adored them, got bad publicity. Catera also suffered from some initial bad publicity, which hurt the model even after some of the orginal problems were solved.

They truly need a small entry-level Cadillac especially in these tough economic times.  I personally think an entry-level car is needed to get the younger generations interested in Cadillacs.

In the area where I live, there are lots of teenagers driving DeVilles from the 1990s.   These younger kids seem to really like Cadillacs.  Local dealers tell me older DeVilles are really easy to sell to the younger kids today.  Why not have a new entry-level Cadillac that they could buy after they get out of college and have some disposable income? Cadillac might gain some customers for life.

If Cadillac wants to survive I think they need  cars at greater price ranges.   They pulled it off back in the 1960s and 1970s.  I think that with tough market conditions they need to diversify a bit.

The CTS is a wonderful car.   Its base price is  actually not too bad.  The trouble is that on all the lots in our area, you can't touch one for less than $50,000 with all the expensive options they order them in with; and quite frankly, they aren't moving them.   Young professionals, a group Cadillac should target, can't afford an expensive car like that right after graduation.

Just my thoughts, and some common sense.............I may or may not be right.
« Last Edit: January 27, 2009, 01:03:09 PM by Brian McKee »
Brian McKee, CLC #24993
1989 Eldorado Biarritz Coupe
1993 Fleetwood Brougham
1995 Sedan DeVille

Offline Johnny

  • Posts: 311
Moving up the ladder.
« Reply #8 on: January 27, 2009, 01:30:40 PM »
I truly think Cadillac needs an entry-level Cadillac. Since the successful Calais, they really haven't had one that was a success. Cimarron, which was a good car whose owners adored them, got bad publicity. Catera also suffered from some initial bad publicity, which hurt the model even after some of the original problems were solved.

Lets define "entry level"  It appears as though some associate entry level with price, while basically true, its really not the definitive answer.  In the past and even now "entry level" cars in GM's lineup have been Chevrolets.  GM's philosophy was that with their 5 main marquess, they would have a consumer for life.  They had the "entry level" Chevrolet as a first step toward eventually obtaining the "Holy Grail" a Cadillac.  Basically each step in the ladder of the GM brands, was priced a little higher then the lower run of the ladder.  All things being equal, the cheapest Cadillac was always a few dollars more then the most expensive Buick or Oldsmobile.

Lets not lose sight of the meaning of luxury.  Its basically something a consumer buys that offers more then lower priced items that do the same thing.  Owning a new Cadillac, like the Marines is something that not everyone can do.






Offline Barry

  • Posts: 325
  • Name: Barry Norman
Re: XLR Officially Discontinued
« Reply #9 on: January 27, 2009, 01:48:46 PM »
I personally liked the XLR--the problem is GM's interior designers. I think they were hired from the companies who design colors for caskets ! A black XLR with Red leather ???
Barry Norman
1958 Biarritz
1961Biarritz
1976 Bicentennial
1976 Fleetwood Talisman
1961Continental Convertible

Offline Johnny

  • Posts: 311
Re: XLR Officially Discontinued
« Reply #10 on: January 27, 2009, 02:05:20 PM »
I personally liked the XLR--the problem is GM's interior designers. I think they were hired from the companies who design colors for caskets ! A black XLR with Red leather ???

Whats wrong with black with red leather?  It's always been one of my favorite color combinations for a Cadillac.

Offline Brian McKee

  • Posts: 49
Re: XLR Officially Discontinued
« Reply #11 on: January 27, 2009, 02:31:04 PM »
I don't think that XLR found a wide following, any more than the Cimarron or the Catera did, or they would still be making them. Perhaps, it was too much like the Corvette with a Cadillac emblem.

GM has a problem in that it provides too much competition for itself with 4 brands now. Oldsmobile is gone. Back in 1982, my economics prof predicted that one day GM would have to cut back to only Chevrolet and Cadillac.   He already appears to be right with Olds gone. 

The CTS is doing very well for Cadillac.  The truth is that there is just something "magical" that happens with certain models in which the buying public likes them and they become a really good seller. The designer who came up with the CTS has been Cadillac's savior in a way.

Cadillac hasn't had luck trying to imitate other cars with their emblem on them. The Cimarron was an a fancier version of a Cavalier, and didn't make it; the Catera was an imitation of a European car, and didn't make it;  the XLR was a Corvette with a Cadillac emblem.  The Cimarron, the Catera, and the XLR all had owners who loved them and will always love them.  But unfortunately, none of them had that special "magic" that translates into profit/good sales for GM.

I hope that Cadillac finds that something magical in the new smaller car it is currently developing.

The Calais was always a good entry level car, similar to but slightly more affordable than a DeVillle, yet more expensive than the other brands.   Hopefully, for GMs profitability, and so Cadillac will survive (because I do love their cars - all of them, pretty much), they find a new magical car that will do well in what will increasingly become a smaller car market.

And if the Cadillac brand survives, they need to atract a younger generation. I hope they can find another model, perhaps a little smaller than CTS, that can be an entry level Cadillac for young professionals.   Its a shame to see this group of society always driving Hondas, etc., etc.  Many of them could afford an entry level Cadillac, is an exciting one existed.
Brian McKee, CLC #24993
1989 Eldorado Biarritz Coupe
1993 Fleetwood Brougham
1995 Sedan DeVille

Offline David #19063

  • Posts: 256
Re: XLR Officially Discontinued
« Reply #12 on: January 27, 2009, 04:44:14 PM »
I thought the CTS was supposed to be the entry level Cadillac?
David #19063
1996 DeVille Concours

Derek

  • Guest
Re: XLR Officially Discontinued
« Reply #13 on: January 27, 2009, 04:56:13 PM »
Only ever seen one myself.  Sharp looking vehicles but luxury or no, what the car companies need is to move product, not dedicate a lot of time and effort to models that will sell a couple of thousand a year.  I looked at the new Caddies hard and ended up getting a Dodge.

Offline Barry

  • Posts: 325
  • Name: Barry Norman
Re: XLR Officially Discontinued
« Reply #14 on: January 27, 2009, 05:29:33 PM »
I was saying that if some interesting color combinations-such as black with red leather were offered, the cars would have stood out more in the public eye--hopefully gaining more acceptance. Who wants to drive a car that costs what the XLR did ,that blends into everyone else's ? :)
Barry Norman
1958 Biarritz
1961Biarritz
1976 Bicentennial
1976 Fleetwood Talisman
1961Continental Convertible

Offline Chris Conklin

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  • CLC Number: 25055
  • Name: Chris Conklin
Re: XLR Officially Discontinued
« Reply #15 on: January 27, 2009, 06:05:07 PM »
I was saying that if some interesting color combinations-such as black with red leather were offered...

I'm the odd man out here, I've been trying to avoid the typical black/red or white/red Caddy in my searches. But your point is well taken. Too bad about the XLR, it's become one of my favorite cars and I've recently begun toying with the idea of owning one. The prices on an '05 are pretty reasonable considering the car's amenities and abilities. Guess I should act fast before they get tagged with the "instant classic" moniker and requisite price hike!

Simply comparing sales numbers you could almost consider all modern Cadillac models to be in a niche market. It wasn't too long ago that selling only a couple thousand units a year of a high-end model in your product line was a good thing (read Eldorado). But for Cadillac, is a true sports car that model? In today's world? Oddly enough, I think they could have done better going even more pricey and more exotic with the offering... a mid-engine configuration. Probably with the same end result, however. This is one case where the Chevy buyer (Corvette) would not trade up to the Cadillac line.

Hey! Where's my jet pack now, anyway!?!!
Chris Conklin

Offline Bob Hoffmann CLC#96

  • Posts: 5104
Re: XLR Officially Discontinued
« Reply #16 on: January 27, 2009, 06:24:15 PM »
Gee Barry, you got me going for a minute! Black/Red! Wow, I love it. Johnny & I actually agree on something. LOL   GM interior colors suck. Grunge & brunge. Read that as grey & brown. How boring.  Bob
1968 Eldorado slick top ,white/red interior
2015 Holden Ute HSV Maloo red/black interior.
             
Too much fun is more than you can have.

Offline 76eldo

  • Posts: 6650
  • CLC Number: 22443
  • Name: Brian Rachlin
Black and Red is My Choice
« Reply #17 on: January 27, 2009, 06:50:37 PM »
Nothing shines like black paint on a Cadillac, accented by nice whitewalls, a generous helping of chrome, and a deep red leather interior.

But, that's why they make cars in lots of colors...

Brian
Brian Rachlin
Huntingdon Valley, Pa
CLC # 22443
I prefer email's not PM's rachlin@comcast.net

1960 62 Series Conv with Factory Tri Power
1970 DeVille Conv
1970 Eldo
1970 Caribu (?) "The Cadmino"
1973 Eldorado Conv Pace Car
1976 Eldorado Conv
1980 Eldorado H & E Conv
1993 Allante with Hardtop (X2)
2008 DTS
2012 CTS Coupe
2017 XT
1956 Thunderbird
1966 Olds Toronado

Offline Brian McKee

  • Posts: 49
Re: XLR Officially Discontinued
« Reply #18 on: January 27, 2009, 06:53:38 PM »
Brian:

What a beautiful Eldorado. Thanks for sharing the pictures!

I always thought it was one of the saddest things when Cadillac discontinued the Eldorado.
What beautiful and distinctive cars they were right up to the very last model!

Brian
Brian McKee, CLC #24993
1989 Eldorado Biarritz Coupe
1993 Fleetwood Brougham
1995 Sedan DeVille

Offline Art Director

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  • CLC Number: 11513
  • Name: Tim Coy
Re: XLR Officially Discontinued
« Reply #19 on: January 28, 2009, 10:08:25 AM »
I always thought it was one of the saddest things when Cadillac discontinued the Eldorado.
What beautiful and distinctive cars they were right up to the very last model!

I totally agree about the Eldorado. My friends are envious about my 2001 ESC. Despite the cramped rear seating area, it's a comfortable ride and I get close to 30 mpg on the highway.
Tim Coy
CLC Southwestern Regions Vice President
Art Director, The Self-Starter, International Membership Directory
Life member, Rocky Mountain Region
CLCMRC Benefactor #102

1963 Six-Window Sedan de Ville
1972 Fleetwood Brougham - RIP
1988 Sedan de Ville - RIP
2001 Eldorado ESC - RIP
2003 DeVille DTS - sold

 

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