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Noddaz
Noddaz PowerDork
6/8/24 8:55 a.m.

I am old enough to remember the Catera  and it's hype. It was a flop here.  I have never driven one and ignored them when they were new.

Were the cars that bad or is history just unkind?

I did not want to distract from the current thread about these.

 

Purple Frog
Purple Frog Dork
6/8/24 9:01 a.m.

The one i got involved with had engine issues.  Great difficulty trying to get it to run correctly.  It was a bit pricey, so one could get a lot more car for less buying alternatives.  Also, the average Caddy buyer at that time probably thought the car should be 20 feet long.

stuart in mn
stuart in mn MegaDork
6/8/24 9:13 a.m.

I always thought the marketing wasn't very good.  They had that silly "the Cadillac that zigs" slogan, and you hardly ever saw ads on TV or in print media.

SKJSS (formerly Klayfish)
SKJSS (formerly Klayfish) UltimaDork
6/8/24 9:23 a.m.
Noddaz said:

I am old enough to remember the Catera  

Were the cars that bad?

 

Yes 

Steve_Jones
Steve_Jones UltraDork
6/8/24 10:10 a.m.
stuart in mn said:

I always thought the marketing wasn't very good.  They had that silly "the Cadillac that zigs" slogan, and you hardly ever saw ads on TV or in print media.

They actually had a character on the show Chicago Hope named Lisa Catera that was paid for by Cadillac hoping people would Lease A Catera. 

clutchsmoke
clutchsmoke UberDork
6/8/24 10:24 a.m.

In reply to Steve_Jones :

No way. Get outta here.

CrustyRedXpress
CrustyRedXpress Dork
6/8/24 10:34 a.m.

It's true. Marketing for the Catera was unhinged. 

QuasiMofo (John Brown)
QuasiMofo (John Brown) MegaDork
6/8/24 10:38 a.m.

The real issue I felt was that it was underpowered, auto only and felt chintzy for the money they were asking. The Omega (Europe) and Commodore (Australia) cars were equally crappy but priced and marketed properly and got a variety of engines including diesels plus manual transmissions.

3.0L engine was not quite ready for prime time in North America. By the time the Catera became the Catera Touring Sedan (CTS) the 3.0 and 3.6 started being quite decent. Add the new CTS interior then the addition of the Victory performance option (CTS-V) with its LS engine and available manual transmission made the car special. 

Personally I would love a perfect low mile Catera and the ability to make it a 4.8L 6L80e locking diff cruiser.

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
6/8/24 10:47 a.m.
racerfink
racerfink UberDork
6/8/24 10:48 a.m.

Drop a LGX wTremec 6spd in one, and you'd have a pretty good car.

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
6/8/24 11:11 a.m.

Product evolution.  Interesting correlation that not a single one was marketed correctly.  

 

CrustyRedXpress
CrustyRedXpress Dork
6/8/24 11:22 a.m.
John Welsh said:

Product evolution.  Interesting correlation that not a single one was marketed correctly.  

Dang. That's crazy-wonder what the common thread is here.

SKJSS (formerly Klayfish)
SKJSS (formerly Klayfish) UltimaDork
6/8/24 11:39 a.m.

chandler
chandler MegaDork
6/8/24 11:39 a.m.
CrustyRedXpress said:
John Welsh said:

Product evolution.  Interesting correlation that not a single one was marketed correctly.  

Dang. That's crazy-wonder what the common thread is here.

They didn't expect to sell a million of them so why bother? It should have been sold as something other than a Cadillac like it is on other continents.

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) MegaDork
6/8/24 12:06 p.m.

In reply to QuasiMofo (John Brown) :

The Catera (2.8, no?) had a SAAB engine, same as in some Saturns.  And some SAABs too, I guess.

The 3.6 was a North American design.

I liked the SAAB engine myself.  They were not particularly powerful or peppy, but this was the company that ten years earlier was putting asthmatic 4.1l V8s in 5000lb cars.

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) MegaDork
6/8/24 12:10 p.m.
CrustyRedXpress said:
John Welsh said:

Product evolution.  Interesting correlation that not a single one was marketed correctly.  

Dang. That's crazy-wonder what the common thread is here.

Not Invented Here syndrome. 

John DeLorean book was an interesting read on the corporate politics at GM.  Like, the Vega was half-assed because JZD brought the project with him from Pontiac to Chevy, and the Chevy guys didn't care if it lived or died because it was someone else's.

QuasiMofo (John Brown)
QuasiMofo (John Brown) MegaDork
6/8/24 12:19 p.m.
Pete. (l33t FS) said:

In reply to QuasiMofo (John Brown) :

The Catera (2.8, no?) had a SAAB engine, same as in some Saturns.  And some SAABs too, I guess.

The 3.6 was a North American design.

I liked the SAAB engine myself.  They were not particularly powerful or peppy, but this was the company that ten years earlier was putting asthmatic 4.1l V8s in 5000lb cars.

Cats all got the 3.0, I was in Cadillac dealer hell at the time. 

The CTS got a 2.6, 2.8, 3.2, 3.6, 5.7 and 6.0 over the years. For some reason I falsely remembered the 3.0 as well but I was wrong. 

1988RedT2
1988RedT2 MegaDork
6/8/24 12:28 p.m.
SKJSS (formerly Klayfish) said:

Was gonna ask "is now a good time to mention the Cimarron?"  But I see you have beaten me to it.  laugh

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
6/8/24 12:28 p.m.

Same Catera 3.0L was also added to the first years of Saturn Vue and the Large Sedan Saturn known as the LS.  The engine was a flop in both.  

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) MegaDork
6/8/24 12:33 p.m.

In reply to QuasiMofo (John Brown) :

Definitely confusing.  For some reason I had it in my head that the Catera got a 2.8 version of the engine while the front drivers got 3l engines.    (I was at Saturn when the L300 existed, and before they used the Honda V6 in the VUE)

Either way, another reason the Catera (and CTS) failed was because they assumed people would want a 5-series sized car at a 3-series sized price.  The typical GM "if you want better you want bigger" mentality.  They did studies when those cars flopped and the studies reported back that no, people who want a 3 series aren't settling for a smaller car, they WANT a smaller car.

 

I note that the Catera and CTS are almost 200 inches long.

ShawnG
ShawnG MegaDork
6/8/24 12:43 p.m.

Cadillac buyers didn't want a V6 in their Cadillac. 

Same as when GM started the corporate engine program in the 70s. Cadillacs were being returned to dealers because Cadillac buyers paid for a Cadillac, not a Cadillac with a Chevrolet engine.

Buyers also got the impression that it was the "girly" Cadillac. 

Every time GM tries to build a car that buyers of European cars would like, it ends up being a flop.

Remember the Allante?

JG Pasterjak
JG Pasterjak Production/Art Director
6/8/24 1:31 p.m.

Wrong for Caddy at the time. Not cushy enough to be  luxury car. Not sporty enough to be a sports sedan. Marketed terribly. Might have made a decent Buick/Pontiac combo with a semi-sophisticated variant going to Buick and a sporty version going to Pontiac, but instead it went to Caddy for... reasons?

NickD
NickD MegaDork
6/8/24 1:52 p.m.

People did like the later Cateras, quite well, especially with the supercharged LSA. What am I talking about? Well, the Catera was replaced with the CTS, and the name CTS stood for Catera Touring Sedan. 

QuasiMofo (John Brown)
QuasiMofo (John Brown) MegaDork
6/8/24 1:54 p.m.

GM had an excellent opportunity during the bailout to completely revamp their company. 

If they had stopped the brand and model dilution and focused on what was working they could have: 

Create Passenger Vehicle, Truck and Service Vehicle, Luxury Vehicle and Performance Vehicle divisions.

Passenger Vehicles are Chevrolet, Buick. Chevrolet is a no frills high economy FWD and AWD model in sedan and long roof hatch (wagon) Gas, diesel and hybrid electric available. Buick is a high content larger sedan and tall long roof hatch (similar in size and execution to the original Cadillac SRX but more Buick) Gas, Diesel, Hybrid and Plug In Electric versions of them available.

T/SV makes GMC trucks like the Sierra, Canyon, WT, truck based SUV and G type van and Chevrolet based mini van with FWD and AWD variants. Gas, Diesel, Hybrid drivetrains.

Luxury Vehicles are the Cadillac sedan, luxury variations of the Truck based SUV and the Buick SUV with Gas, Diesel, Hybrid and PIE.

Performance gets Corvette, a small coupe and a larger high volume pony sized car. Gas, Hybrid and PIE makes economies of scale work.

​​​All models available at every dealer. 

But they fumbled that job.

NickD
NickD MegaDork
6/8/24 2:00 p.m.
QuasiMofo (John Brown) said:

GM had an excellent opportunity during the bailout to completely revamp their company. 

But they fumbled that job.

"Snatching defeat from the jaws of victory" should be GM's slogan.

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