new symbol of bold success

Phuti Mpyane

Phuti Mpyane

Entering the township of Soweto sometime last year, I made the most wonderful discovery at one of the commonly used exits or entrances; the Baragwanath Hospital end.

There stood an advertising billboard of the Cadillac BLS with the catch phrase "The new measure of success".

My joy was not a result of seeing either this particular car or the brand but the changing mind-set, the new way of thinking, particularly from the at times unwilling-to-change car makers and their advertising agencies, who now realise that townships have come of age. People don't necessarily subscribe to that old, patronising "seen-in-town-guess-it's-good" mentality. This GM initiative is spread wide and many people have seen the cars through various other strategic placements. A hearty congrats to them then.

Quite recently, Cadillac added another car to its local line-up that includes the BLS and SRX. It is called the STS and though its imposing size suggests it as a natural rival of the BMW 7 Series and Mercedes S-Class, its minders have squared it alongside the BMW 530i, Audi A6 3,2 and Mercedes E350.

Now wrap your mind around this fact first. It costs in the region of the 530i BMW, A6 3,2 and Mercedes E350, yet it packs a 237kW and 510Nm V8 motor. So who should look at the STS? What rider profile suits the horse? In short, it's none of the typical buyers of the German car tag. They are likely to find it rather too bold for their somewhat cool, thinking-man personas. The STS will appeal to guys or girls who look at Chrysler's 300C with a wicked smile and think: "Imagine being seen in this". It is of the same ethos and American bling factor but it does its thing much better than its comrade. It is priced at less than R500000.