I took some automotive design and marketing classes. We did a case study showing focus groups on the first CTS.
The badge was covered and people had great things to say about the car. When it was revealed it was a Cadillac everyone kind of cooled off to it. People said things like well if it was a Lexus or BMW I would have been a more interested buyer.
I think this stigma is still there, only less severe.
Fact is the ATS was the ONLY other car on my radar when looking at the F30.
'98 Dinan/RMS stage 2+(VAC cams, CES Cutring etc)
'11 Saab 9-3 XWD tuned(wife)
'06 Saab 9-5 Combi 5mt tuned(Aero interior/Konis etc)