With so many low-priced, "nearly new" Cadillacs and Lincolns on the market, it is small wonder that many working-class families started to buy them.
With that trend came the loss of prestige, so that the more affluent, better-educated demographics began to shop elsewhere: Mercedes, BMW, Audi, Jaguar brands that were more expensive, arguably of higher quality, and, most of all, in limited supply.
The nadir came in the late 1990s when the annual sales race between Cadillac and Lincoln for the dubious honor of "America's No. 1 Luxury Brand" ended with Cadillac the winner. The Lincoln folks, smelling a rat, did some digging and discovered that Cadillac had counted some sales that were never made. Cadillac had to apologize publicly and hand the crown to Lincoln, which, not knowing it was the kiss of death for a luxury brand, accepted it with joy.
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