About Me

My photo
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
My passion is also my business, as I am with the Toronto based Hav-A-Kar Auto Group. I sell or lease any make of car, van or truck available in Canada. My interest in all things "car" has helped me with my many clients in Ontario over the past 20+ years. Please give me the opportunity to assist you.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Aug 31: Cadillac ATS - a little background

I could start this blog by saying, "here we go again", but I won't.

A little background info for you.......

The car on the left is a 1980's Chevrolet Cavalier, while the one on the right is a 1980's Cadillac Cimarron (I don't think the different shade of paint on the front fender is intentional). These cars look similar? They should, since they are exactly the same car with minor trim differences. Kinda scary that Cadillac felt the need to counteract the imports with a Chev Cavalier clone. Nobody was fooled. Not surprisingly the Cimarron did a lot for Cadillac's image  -  all negative.

Lesson learned after a very few years of poor sales and even poorer reviews. Next up was the Catera, like this one......

Imported from Europe where it was an Opel Omega. Should have been a minor hit, but the quality was terrible. I had considered getting one for a second or two, but thank god, sanity prevailed.

What was going on here? Well, as the imported entry level luxury models (ie BMW's 3 series, Audi A4, Benz C class) started selling quite well in North America, Cadillac felt the need to give them some direct competition. Caddy had the big boats which sold to an older generation, whose next ride would be in the back of a Cadillac hearse. With a demographic that was quite literally dying off, Caddy needed an import fighter that would get the younger yuppies into a GM car. Good idea, but whatever were they thinking by simply rebadging junk?

Finally they got it right with the CTS, but it was midsize and although it was a very good car, Cadillac still needed a direct 3 series competitor. So after a few false starts, here they go again.......

The 2013 ATS is finally real BMW competition, if you can believe all the pre introduction reviews. It is almost exactly the same size as the 3 series, but crucially a bit lighter. Finished well inside and out, Cadillac believes this car will get them the clientele that they have coveted. A key to being a real competitor in this segment is the handling and apparently the ATS nails it. It is also available with three engines, just like the BMW and all wheel drive. Styling is a personal thing, but I feel that it blows the Benz and the BMW out of the water, while giving the Audi A4 a run for its money. This is a car, I could go for.

Just being introduced as you read this, it will be very interesting to see how it stacks up against the imports in the most important way  -  sales. And just how will it be perceived against the 3 series?

This race will be intersting to watch. The 3 series has a lot of history on its side, all good, so ATS vs 3 series could be an epic battle or maybe a David and Goliath. Look, Caddy is not going to de-throne the champ, but can it at least make it look over its shoulder?

Until next time.......


  1. So the ATS isn't a Cruz with leather and extra-tight bolts? Nice.

    I do like the the straight lines on a Caddy - the same reason I like the Acura TSX and other recent Acura models.

  2. No Cruze for sure, since the ATS is rear wheel drive.