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March 2018 Cadillac Sales

March 2018 Worldwide Cadillac SalesLet’s touch base again with Cadillac’s sales.  This is the last time for the foreseeable future that we will be able to dissect the sales on a month-by-month basis now that GM has switched to quarterly sales reporting.  But, let’s see what March tells us about the state of the Cadillac brand.

Sales are up in both of the brand’s largest markets.  US sales were up 12.7% (1633 units) while China saw a massive spike of 45.6% (5638 units).  Only the, still humorously named, ‘Rest Of World’ saw a drop.  But it’s 11.9% fall only equates to a drop in sales of 258.

It may change in the coming years as more crossovers hit the Cadillac stable, but for the time being, I think we can safely say that the US is no longer Cadillac’s biggest market and may never be again.

March 2018 US Cadillac SalesLet’s take a deeper dive into the home market to see how things are looking.4

Excluding the discontinued SRX (which somehow still sold a single, leftover on the lot somewhere, unit in March 2018)…all models were up for the month.

XT5 is still the run-away sales champ with well over 6000 units sold in the month.  An improvement of 17.2% (908 units).

Second best-selling are the variants of the Escalade (total sales between the standard and ESV version) was up 401 units (14%).  It is this strength of the utility segment that is larger than just Cadillac that is driving their feverish pace of developing and launching new crossovers/utilities to increase sales.

On the sedan side, it seems we may have finally gotten through most of the drop in sales and now we are comparing apples-to-apples looking at 2017 vs 2018 numbers.  Top sales in the sedan segment goes to the XTS with 1735 units sold.  This marks an increase from last year of 251 units (16.9%).

The other 3 sedans also saw small gains, the represent changes that might have to do with numbers of sales days in the month (28 in March 2018 vs 27 in March 2017).  So, all things being equal you would see sales as flat if the increase was not more than about 3.7%.

ATS was up 52 units (3.8%) – so flat.

CTS was up by 12 units (2.7%) – also flat to a tiny bit down when adjusted for selling days.

CT6 was up 26 units (1.4%) – same as the CTS.

We would view that as a positive result only because sales of sedans have been dropping so much for so many months.  Stopping the bleeding is a positive move for the brand.  Given the imminent release of the XT4 to dealers, I would expect sales to move upward significantly more than the results we have been seeing – though sedans will likely stay flat for the foreseeable future.

Cadillac XT6 Crossover Spied

Cadillac XT6 Spy ShotThe good folks over at C&D have spotted a larger Cadillac crossover undergoing tests in Michigan.

Built off the C1XX chassis (née GM’s big unibody Lambda platform) that underpins the Chevrolet Traverse and Buick Enclave.  This means a 3.6l V-6 as the base engine is practically a lock.  A V-Sport model with turbo V-6 power is also something that wouldn’t be out of place with a Cadillac badge.

This model is expected to bow within a year and may also be a good indication how committed Cadillac, as a brand, is to the current move to the CT# and XT# naming convention.  Given that the cross-town rivals at Lincoln have rediscovered the value of true names on products (something even Cadillac has been flirting with given recent rumors that a production Escala might see production and keep the Escala name).

Along with the recently debuted XT4 – Cadillac sales are sure to surge with this new product in showrooms.

Source – Car and Driver

Johan de Nysschen Out!

Johan de NysschenSuddenly, as of yesterday (April 18), former Cadillac head Johan de Nysschen is out.

Replacing him for now will be, former head of GM-Canada, Steve Carlisle.

de Nysschen was recruited to run Cadillac after a short stint heading Nissan’s Infiniti division where his most significant fingerprints were the change to the confusing Q and QX naming convention. Before this he headed up the VW group’s Audi brand in the Americas.

While at Cadillac since 2014, he pushed for a controversial move of the headquarters to New York. He also quashed the positioning of Cadillac’s Omega chassis sedan as a flagship. It became the CT6 and plans are in the works for something even better above it.

Speaking of CT6, he will be remembered for pushing a new CT and XT naming convention that may be scrapped now that he is gone.

It does seem that GM management never can allow Cadillac to execute a complete vision before getting cold feet and removing the brand’s top executive.

We will regret not getting to see Johan de Nysschen’s vision for the brand fully developed.

GM Announces Switch to Quarterly Sales Reporting

As of March 2018, GM has announced that they will be switching to a quarterly reporting of sales.  Before this, as you can tell from our recent posts, GM reported sales monthly.  This change is GM taking a step away from a long-standing industry tradition.  The reason given was that month to month changes are more volatile and a quarterly report will help even out the variations and give a better view of the company’s performance.

However, they have always reported a month compared to the same month the year before – which handles most seasonal changes.  But, they are correct that there are differences year to year that don’t get adequately explained.  For instance, a month in one year may have a small increase or decrease in selling days – which might impact the numbers.  Of course, this is also true of quarterly numbers.

As likely is that GM worries that they are spending too much time looking at the very short-term and how that may impact decisions they would make (it is hard to experiment with marketing methods or incentives to dealers if you only have 4-ish weeks and a mistake could look very bad for a model or brand or the company).  Additionally, as models launch – this change would allow GM to roll out a new product as it is ready without as much worry about how slow initial sales would be reported in the media.

So, while we will attempt to report on sales changes in a relatively timely way – our sales reporting posts might slack off as a result of this change.

Despite this change, our report of Cadillac’s March 2018 sales will hit soon.  But expect us to also spell out how the entire first quarter looks – since that is how the sales will be reporting going forward.

Cadillac Announces Refresh of CT6 and New V-Sport Trim

In addition to the 4.2L twin-turbo V-8 and the new XT4 crossover, Cadillac had one more new thing up their sleeves.

For 2019, we get an Escala concept influenced refresh to the CT6.  In addition, a new V-Sport model will serve as home to the 550hp twin-turbo V-8.

It is likely that, like the XTS, the CT6 will make do with V-Sport as its top model.  It is doubtful that Cadillac will decide to make a more hard-core CT6 than this, much like BMW refrains from building an M7.

Differentiating the new CT6 from those that have come before are front and rear styling that borrows heavily from the Escala concept with the V-Sport trim possessing a V-Series mesh grill.

Let’s compare:  Front end (the white car is the current CT6)

2017 Cadillac CT62019 CT6 V-Sport

 

 

 

 

 

 

The primary headlight units are horizontal, much like the Escala with slender vertical light elements.

Around back, we see similar lighting that Cadillac debuted on the XTS refresh.  This is similar in theme to the Escala, but with the horizontal element moved to the top vs along the bottom edge of the trunk lid.  Again, current car in white:

2017 Cadillac CT6

2019 CT6 V-Sport

 

 

 

 

 

2019 CT6 CUE DisplayInside, the CT6 carries the updated CUE display much like what we have seen in the XT4.  In this application, the display is a 10″ 1080p display that appears to be set directly into the center stack surface.  Cadillac has also increased usability with a navigation dial in the center console and hard buttons to commonly used features – minimizing the need to hit touch targets in a moving automobile (a common complaint levied against the old CUE system).

 

Expect the new 2019 CT6 to head dealerships later this year.

 

 

Press release below: (more…)

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