DETROIT — The redesigned Cadillac CTS sedan is fetching higher transaction prices, appealing to younger buyers and attracting more conquest customers than its predecessor, according to General Motors data.
Those trends are strengthening Cadillac's overall image, said Liz Vanzura, the luxury brand's global marketing director. But she warned that Cadillac still must overcome the perception that it is a brand for aging consumers.
"People didn't really understand our products," Vanzura told Automotive News. "They thought the brand was for older people or someone else. And they had old perceptions of Cadillac."
But preliminary sales data for the 2008 CTS suggest that "we are starting to make some improvements," Vanzura said.
-- Since the redesigned CTS launched last August, the entry-luxury sedan has stayed on dealership lots an average of 17 days, according to J.D. Power and Associates' Power Information Network. Over the same period, Power says, the retail "turn rate" for all vehicles averaged 44 days. For luxury vehicles, Power says, the average rate was 33 days.
-- The average transaction price of the 2008 CTS is in the high $30,000s, compared with the low $30,000s for the CTS it replaced.
-- The average buyer of the 2008 CTS is 55 years old. The average buyer of its predecessor was 60, about the same age as for the Cadillac brand overall.
-- About 20 percent of sales of the 2008 CTS are to buyers who do not own GM vehicles. The conquest rate for the previous CTS was about 14 percent.
Between September 2007 and January 2008, sales of the 2008 CTS total 28,091 units, Cadillac said. In January Cadillac sold 5,534 CTS sedans — nearly twice as many as sales of the 2007 version in the year-ago month.