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November 13, 2016

I ran across this article which was posted on the Consumer Guide automotive blog. Not my typical source for information, it does present an interesting comparison of offerings from Cadillac and BMW, for the 2015 model year. The premise is that model disparity contributes to Cadillac selling only 50 percent of what BMW does, in the U.S.

In the article, they use product line to refer to what I call models, and models to refer to the various configurations within a product line. For model year 2015, BMW had 14 product lines compared to Cadillac’s 6; BMW had 91 models compared to Cadillac’s 79, 24 of which fell under the ATS alone.

2015 BMW vs Cadillac product breakdown

(The ELR is missing on a technicality, there was no 2015 model; it was only available as a 2014 and 2016.)

In the article, there are additional breakdowns for each of the brands’ product lines that lay bare Cadillac’s needs and makes me wonder why it is taking so long to fill those gaps. SUVs are the hot segment and BMW already has the X1, X3, X5 and X6, in addition to 3 and 5 Series Grand Tourismos. I used to laugh at the overabundance but their bases are covered. Cadillac has the XT5 and Escalade, which happen to be their two best sellers.

There is some opinion in the article, most of which I can agree with, including Cadillac’s need for SUVs and some sort of passion-motivated halo model. I only take exception to the tired, stereo-typical association made between the Escalade and the “hip-hop culture” which certainly exists but hardly defines it, as most shopping center parking lots will attest.

Moreover, for BMW, there is no telling what the long term ramifications to the brand’s image will be after stretching it to these once-unheard-of lengths.

In any event, it is a good read, if not for the tables alone. The title is a loose reference to BMW’s 91 model variations.

Read the article here: 90 Reasons BMW Outsells Cadillac

Do you agree with the theory, or maybe have your own?