Cadillac optimistic for 2012, Lincoln still struggling

The Cadillac 2013 XTS is unveiled during the LA Auto Show on November 16, 2011 in Los Angeles, Calif. The brand is hoping to get a foothold in overseas markets this year with its ATS model. At the same time, Ford's Lincoln brand is looking to reinvent itself.

Stacey Vanek Smith: Next week, carmakers unveil new models at the North American International Auto Show. Cadillac hopes to make a strong showing in the luxury category. It's a different story for Ford's struggling Lincoln brand, though, as Michigan Radio's Tracy Samilton reports.


Tracy Samilton: Cadillac is well on the road to reinventing itself, at least in the U.S. After the success of its CTS model, Cadillac will unveil the ATS, which aims to compete head to head with the Mercedes Benz C-Class and the BMW 3 Series. Aaron Bragman is with IHS Automotive. He says the ATS is Cadillac's push into the global market.

 

Aaron Bragman: Look at us, we're serious, we're a serious competitor for the established German brands, and here is the proof of it.

Still, making Cadillac a global brand won't be easy. It has only a small foothold in China and virtually none in Europe. But Lincoln should have such problems. Michelle Krebs is an analyst with Edmunds.com. She says Lincoln suffered from Ford's habit of buying other luxury brands.

Michelle Krebs: They owned Jaguar, Land Rover, Volvo, Aston Martin. So they put money into those brands, transforming them, and Lincoln basically got ignored.

Now, Ford is investing a billion dollars in Lincoln and the brand has its own design studio. But executives admit the reinvention of Lincoln could take a decade. In Detroit, I'm Tracy Samilton for Marketplace.

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