Blog: Dave LeggettA Europeanised Caddy

Dave Leggett | 9 May 2008

This week I have been driving around in a press fleet Cadillac BLS 1.9 CDTI Wagon. I wanted it to coincide with the interview I did with Jonathan Nash (below link). It's a pretty good piece of kit - the 1.9 litre diesel engine is turbocharged, there's plenty of load space, nice interior finish, subtle but definitely not bland styling (the Cadillac 'origami edges' figure). And the handling is sharp on what is a fairly sizeable car. No complaints and an easy car to live with. Comments in the office on the styling were pretty favourable, too - plenty thought it resembled a Saab (BLS is also made in Trollhattan).

In short, it deserves a fair hearing amongst its mainly German peers here in Europe. But will it get one or more accurately, will there be enough customers who are attracted to the idea of a Cadillac badge on their status symbol? 'Do different' might make an appropriate brand tagline. One thing though - I certainly don't think Cadillac will be emphasing Teutonic-like peer values, as per Citroen C5. This is an American brand and there's a project ahead on communicating or maybe even reinterpreting Cadillac values for Europeans. But hang on, it's built in Sweden...but there again Saabs will be built in Germany with the next 9-5, BMWs are built in the US etc. Place of final assembly is perhaps less important if other associated brand values are very strong. It's a question of balance.

Just realised re Jonathan Nash. We are a similar age, but he's ginger and has a good hair spread that has a lot less charcoal grey than me. Fair play: ginger upside. And, also, he sounds a wee bit like Chris Evans, too (listen to the embedded audio file on the below link...). Wait a minute, he actually looks like Chris Evans! Someone needs to ask him what he's doing in the Radio 2 drivetime slot.  

THE EDITOR’S INTERVIEW: Jonathan Nash, MD Saab GB and GM UK's Caddy man


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