Cadillac’s Future Involves More Cars — And a Lot More Crossovers

Turnarounds are Johan de Nysschen’s specialty. He steered Audi of America back from the brink, he was instrumental in reshaping Infiniti, and now he is on a similar mission at Cadillac, which continues to trail the leading luxury nameplates. De Nysschen, named president of the high-end GM subsidiary in 2014, plans “to reinstate exclusivity, reinvent luxury, and add crossovers to make sure that Cadillacs are parked in the right driveways again.”

The means to this end are familiar: Reduce exposure to fleet markets to ensure higher transaction prices and fewer rebates, maintain smaller inventories, and — crucially — build more desirable products. Here, de Nysschen is pushing an evolutionary design change, a massive quality boost, and a second-to-none ownership experience.

To get his message through loud and clear, Cadillac will invest $800 million in its U.S. retail organization by 2020, paving the way for progressive alternative forms of vehicle use. De Nysschen

... read more at:

2018 Infiniti QX80 First Drive Review | Automobile Magazine

CHARLESTON, South Carolina – Big three-row SUVs have become de facto flagships for certain luxury brands. Think Cadillac Escalade, of course, and the all-new Lincoln Navigator. Or, in our case today, the Infiniti QX80. While these brands have struggled to compete with their sedans against the flagship of flagships, the Mercedes-Benz S-Class, their body-on-frame SUVs offer much of the luxury of the S-Class, throw in high-level towing and some off-road capabilities, and return huge profit margins.

Infiniti unveiled a 2018 model-year facelift of its relatively low-volume, high-profit QX80 recently at the 2017 Dubai International Motor Show because the Middle East, along with Russia and the U.S., is one of this model’s most important markets. In fact, Infiniti sells the QX80 in just 27 of the luxury brand’s 50 markets, so 23 go without this

... read more at:

If You Want Your Business to Win in the Long-Term, Don’t Take Shortcuts

Startups are for the impatient, so conventional wisdom goes. As programmer and author Paul Graham wrote, “Instead of working at an ordinary rate for 40 years, you work like hell for four” to “solve the money problem in one shot.” Sounds pretty good, right?

While the quick wins do happen from time to time (people win the lottery, too), working 80-hour weeks, starving relationships and pushing teammates to the limit is more likely to result in depression than a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

Related: 7 Mental Shifts That Allowed Me to Become a Millionaire at 22

Experienced founders will tell you that the true path to success is long, winding and full of ups and downs. It takes an average of nine long years for a software-as-a-service company to go public. Nine years.

... read more at:

2020 Cadillac Escalade and Escalade ESV: What to Expect

Lincoln is just now launching the third Navigator to be equipped with an independent rear suspension, and yet we’ve got a couple years before Cadillac finally responds with IRS and/or air suspension in its much-anticipated fifth-generation Escalade. Despite having most of the decade to develop the ’20 Escalade—the “all-new” 2015 model was more an evolutionary update of the ’07, hobbled by General Motors’ 2009 bankruptcy —it is rumored that company brass approved ditching the solid rear axle on its most profitable model late in the program. So the Escalade, its long-wheelbase ESV variant, and the less-expensive Chevrolet Tahoe/Suburban and GMC Yukon/XL brethren finally will offer a flat cargo floor. No more lifting out the heavy third seat before you head to Target.

The change to IRS came so late, in fact, that the Escalade has been

... read more at:

2016 Lexus RX 350 comforts, but doesn’t innovate

The 2016 Lexus RX 350 (I give it four out of four stars) is likely to continue the luxury SUV’s track record of sales leadership.

When it went on sale in 1998, the first RX defined a new kind of upscale SUV intended for on-road use rather than towing and off-road excursions. Lexus has sold 2.1 million RXs, a figure that makes other luxury brands envious. Competitors focus obsessively on the RX when they develop new luxury SUVs.

The new, fourth-generation RX is likely to remain the best seller, thanks largely to high fuel economy and Lexus’ seemingly permanent position atop studies of quality and customer satisfaction.

Still, I was struck by a distinct lack of technical and design leadership in the loaded, all-wheel-drive RX 350 F Sport that recently carried me in comfort more than 600 miles from the hills of Appalachia to the shores of the Great Lakes.

With the exception of

... read more at:

Auto insurer asks to raise rates of Maine seniors based solely on age

In an unprecedented move, insurance provider Progressive Corp. is seeking state approval for rate changes that would allow the company to charge older Mainers higher auto insurance premiums based solely on their age.

The proposal by the Ohio-based company would apply to new customers in Maine who had reached a certain age, according to documents filed with the state Department of Professional and Financial Regulation’s Bureau of Insurance.


A hypothetical example that Progressive provided to the bureau shows a 65-year-old being charged 6 percent more than a 64-year-old based solely on the customer having reached age 65.

Increasing rates for seniors based on their age alone would be a major departure from the way most insurance companies operate nationwide and in Maine, which has a population that leads the states in average age. Traditionally, healthy drivers with flawless driving records see their premiums decrease as

... read more at:

West Gardiner man gets 20 months behind bars for driving SUV into 2 people

AUGUSTA — A West Gardiner man accused of deliberately running his SUV into two people last April pleaded guilty Wednesday to two felony-level charges of reckless conduct with a dangerous weapon.

Dakota L. Brann, 21, who also has an address in Augusta, was indicted in July on two counts of elevated aggravated assault and two counts of aggravated assault, which say he caused serious injuries to two people with his vehicle, and one count of leaving the scene of an accident involving personal injury.


On Wednesday at the Capital Judicial Center, those charges were dismissed and the reckless conduct charges were added.

No explanation was offered in court for why the altercation occurred, and District Attorney Maeghan Maloney said afterward there was no clear information about to why it happened, but it might have involved a former girlfriend.

“The defendant claimed it was an accident,” Maloney said, “but obviously

... read more at:

Nearly 2000 attend Oktoberfest in Gardiner

GARDINER — Bryce Royal hasn’t shaved in more than five years. Throughout the early afternoon, person after person walked up to Royal and asked for a picture, and he was happy to oblige.

Royal was one of more than a dozen entrants in the Annual Gardiner Beard and Mustache Competition during the city’s eighth Swine Stein Oktoberfest.

Bryce Royal, left, and Zachary LeClair talk with other members of the Maine Facial Hair Club on Saturday afternoon during the eighth annual Swine  Stein Oktoberfest in Gardiner.


“This is just a freestyle, and it took me a few hours this morning to get it the way I wanted,” said Royal, 38, of Windham. “It’s just a lot of fun.”

The event featured craft beers from a dozen Maine brewers under a big tent, as well as live music, children’s games, a petting zoo, food

... read more at: