Tesla has won. Not in the sense that the Silicon Valley electric vehicle maker has taken over the industry because they haven’t and probably won’t. But in the sense that the ultimate goal of the founders was to push the industry to electrification. Regardless of whether Tesla’s share price goes to $4,000 or zero, virtually every major automaker is or will soon be selling very compelling zero emissions vehicles. Joining the party this week is Audi with its new e-Tron quattro which got its global reveal today in San Francisco.
Earlier this decade, Ford had to make some tough decisions about the future of the Lincoln brand. Over at least the past ten years, the entire brand has consistently been outsold by most of the Ford nameplates including Mustang. The powers that be in Dearborn decided not abandon the brand, but to focus on a theme of quiet luxury rather than taking on the German heavyweights directly. The latest weapon in Lincoln’s battle to bring serenity to the world is the refreshed and rebranded 2109 Nautilus.
Since the turn of the current century, Cadillac has struggled mightily to transform its brand image from a purveyor of old-school American land barges to a creator of engaging drivers cars. In that time, particularly the last half decade, GM’s premium brand has created some excellent cars. Unfortunately, the market is increasingly disinterested in sedans. In response, Cadillac is expanding its crossover utility lineup, slotting in the compact XT4 at the leading edge of the spear. Is it sharp enough to win over customers?