I read last week that General Motors has decided not to build a range-topping ultraluxury sedan for Cadillac.
That's too bad. I think every brand should try to have some sort of halo car to lead its product lineup.
Mercedes-Benz tried and ultimately failed to execute a superluxury alternative with the Maybach brand. But Mercedes still has a 12-cylinder superluxury vehicle that is the superstar for the brand. Mercedes also is supposed to introduce a stretched-wheelbase premium version of the S class to fill the void left by the discontinuation of Maybach.
It would also be great to see an ultraluxury derivative coming from Ford Motor Co. for Lincoln. Certainly it would help Lincoln's resurgence.
It always helps to have a special car for a brand.
Oldsmobile had the Toronado, Buick had the Riviera, and Ford had the Thunderbird. All those models helped their brands over the years.
You could even argue that Chrysler Group has not only the Viper but also the Ferrari brand as halos for Chrysler and Fiat.
I don't think the sales volume of ultraluxury and halo cars matters. As long as they are not sales disasters, they are good for the brand.
If done well, such cars don't need much advertising support. They'll garner a lot of publicity for the brand and quite often drive people into the dealership. Even if they are only aspirational vehicles, it would be nice for every brand to have a wish list from customers -- something that would be a high-water mark for customers and dealers.
If we're talking about a real halo car, the fewer units the better.
Some might say the investment is too high to justify the project, but a few halo cars turned into great money makers over the years.
As everyone celebrates this year's 60th anniversary of the Chevrolet Corvette, you can't ignore how hugely successful it is and just how much it has added to the Chevrolet franchise over the years.
We need more halo cars and ultraluxury vehicles. Car companies should unleash some engineers and designers on new projects. Even if it's a breakeven proposition, it would be a worthwhile investment.
We'll just have to wait and see.