We've previously told you the tragic tale of the Cadillac Cimarron. A half-baked attempt at badge engineering a small Caddy out of the not-very-good-to-begin-with J-car, the Cimarron lives in infamy as one of GM's most heinous offenses against its own brand equity.
How bad was it? Let's put it this way: one of Cadillac's executives had a picture of a Cimarron prominently placed in the design offices--as a shining example to all of what not to do.
Ignoring that object lesson, Cadillac tried the same trick again fifteen years later, badge-engineering another new small Caddy out of a car from a more pedestrian GM division. The car that resulted when history repeated itself wasn't quite as tragically flawed as the Cimarron, but what seemed like a promising little ride at first glance quickly became a farce involving a duck, a supermodel, a lot of warranty claims, and a doctor on TV.
I'm talking about the Cadillac Catera, introduced in 1997 as "The Caddy that zigs."