As Cadillac keeps working to gain traction against the imports Lincoln continues to fall further behind of everyone in the California luxury market. The numbers are clear and Lincoln needs a rear wheel drive platform more than ever but still no word on when this is going to happen. Cadillac is still behind the likes of Mercedes and BMW but with new offerings like the sleek and nimble Cadillac ATS that brand has a real change to increase sales for the General. Either way at some point Cadillac and especially Lincoln need to break out in the luxury market soon or it will start getting much harder to build any momentum.
FORTUNE — Cadillac and Lincoln are two of America’s most storied car brands, with more than 200 years of automotive history between them. But in the country’s largest and highest profile luxury car market — California — they are regularly trounced by Europe’s upscale automakers and even the Japanese. Both domestic brands are spending hundreds of millions of dollars to catch up, but they have a long way to go.
Spend some time cruising the eight-lane freeways of Southern California as I did recently, and you will find yourself surrounded by fleets of Mercedes-Benz’s and BMW’s, sprinkled with an assortment of Audi sports cars, Range Rover SUVs, Jaguar sedans, and Porsches. These are mostly high-trim models, too, with AMG and M-sport badges in abundance. Black is the favored color. The Cadillac Escalade appears to be the most favored domestic offering — popular with hotel shuttle services — but you search in vain for a Cadillac CTS or any passenger car with a Lincoln’s in-your-face bow-wave grille.