Category: SRX

Whither Sedans? – ATS/CTS/XTS Replacement News

What a difference a decade makes.


When Cadillac started on its journey to relevance in the luxury market, they charted a course that resulted in a bespoke rear-drive platform that would bring world-class offerings to go up against the most popular offerings from the German brands.  This platform (Sigma) underpinned the first CTS in 2003, the original SRX shortly thereafter, as well as the second generation CTS and a new STS in 2008.

CTS and STS came to market to go against BMW 3, 5, and 7 series (though positioned, size-wise, in between 3 and 5 (CTS) as well as 5 and 7 (STS).  This positioning was close, but not quite right.  The strategy was adjusted in ‘the aughts’ (200x) to attack the competition dead-on.  This resulted in the ATS, third generation CTS, and finally the CT6.

However the market has moved yet again.

The bulk of volume in the luxury segment is no longer dominated by sedans and coupes.  Buyers have discovered utility vehicles like BMW’s X’s (1, 3, 4, 5, and 6) as well as the Audi Q’s (2, 3, 5, and 7) and Mercedes with their G series (GLA, GLC, GLE, and GLS).  Cadillac has very little to compete in these segments with only the XT5 mid-sized crossover.  Before you think that Cadillac isn’t a player in the crossover market – realize that the XT5 is by far their most popular model and is one of the most popular offerings in its segment (only Lexus’ RX crossover outsold XT5 in recent months).  There is no reason to believe that their announced but not yet on-sale crossovers below (XT4) and above (XT6) won’t also sell as well.  But, those new products won’t hit the roads until 2018-2019.

To see what a lack of significant product in the crossover segments has done to Cadillac, you need look no further than the most recent month of sales.  XT5 (Cadillac’s lone crossover) sold 5504 units in the US market.  In comparison the ATS, CTS, XTS, and CT6, combined, sold 2994 units.  It isn’t a viable business plan to sell 4 models, with all the development and marketing costs they entail, to sell 60% of the number of a single crossover.  So, it should come as no surprise when Cadillac’s Grand Poobah, Johan de Nysschen, in an interview with Reuters – admitted that Cadillac’s next line of sedans would be combining ATS, CTS, and XTS into a single offering that would sell alongside the CT6.  The new sedan will be built at Cadillac’s Lansing plant, which suggests the new car will be built on GM’s Alpha platform that underpins the ATS and CTS.

Additionally, Cadillac will offer a new small-car to compete with the Audi A3.  This suggests a smaller offering than the ATS, though given that de Nysschen also stated it would be built at the Lansing plant suggests that the sub-ATS car would also be rear-drive based.  That may make this car more a BMW 2-Series competitor than a true front-drive based competitor to Audi’s A3 and Mercedes GLA.  It is possible both products will share the relatively new Alpha platform that currently serves as the basis for the current ATS and CTS.

ATS-VWhy not base some of these off of the CT6?  Well, CT6 just came to market and required significant investment in a new platform (Omega).  This platform will easily handle flagship sedan/coupe duties – but is likely much too expensive to build lower-priced sedans from.

So, Cadillac finds itself crossover-poor and with too many sedans of which to support development and marketing.  The final plan appears to merge ATS and CTS back into a single offering that would more closely match the BMW 3-Series/Audi A4/ and Mercedes E-Class.  A new, smaller sedan to compete in the entry-level sedan space occupied by BMW 2-series/Audi A3/Mercedes GLA – likely with rear-drive.  Then, XTS finally goes away in favor of a value-priced CT6 derivative that would help pay for all that expensive Omega-chassis development.

The remaining question will be how good a product the new ATS/CTS replacement might be.  Will it directly compete with the A4/3-Series/C-Class and A6/5-Series/E-Class products or will this be a return to the ‘in-between’ product that Cadillac didn’t have great success with before.  Of course, with the importance of crossovers in today’s luxury market, even a sedan that tries to play in both classes might not matter while the utility vehicle offerings bring in more than their fair share of customers and profit.

We should know much more in 2018/2019 when these new products debut.

Source: Reuters

June 2017 Cadillac Sales – The Story of a Two Market Company Continues

Cadillac has released their sales numbers for the month of June 2017.

Of note: US sales are down again by 11.8% (1683 units).  This is offset by an increase in Chinese sales by 3334 (an increase in that market of 34.9%).  This places China as the #1 market for the brand for yet another month (if only by 306 units).

Combined with an increase in RoW sales (Rest of World) by exactly 200 units results in a world-wide sales increase of 7.2% (1851 units).

Year to date, worldwide sales are up 27.1% and Chinese sales are up 75%.  US sales are largely flat (down by 1.6% this year).

The XT5 remains the brands best-selling model with sales of 10900 (back of the envelope calculations give us that the single model makes up over 39% of the brand sales), again highlighting why Cadillac is rushing to get other crossovers to market to cover the loss in sales of sedans.

Brand President Johan de Nysschen: 

Cadillac continues to grow globally, despite the shift away from sedans in the U.S. market.  The success of the XT5 and the increase in sales of the CT6 shows that we are attracting unique buyers to the brand, building momentum for our incredible product offensive beginning next year.


Let’s take a quick look at the US market sales, specifically to see how the XT5 is bolstering sales in the Cadillac home market:

Here we can see that the ATS, CTS, and XTS are all sharply down over last year by a total of 1549 sales.  XT5 sales are up 906 units.  Escalade sales are up 460 units.  CT6 is the only sedan with a sales increase though only by 52 units.  This could be due to increased awareness and likely was at the expense of CTS and XTS sales that would have occurred if the new flagship sedan had not been introduced.

As we have said before, and Cadillac no-doubt knows, the XT3 and XT7 can’t get to market soon enough.

Sorry for the delay getting this post out – the US Independence Day holiday and a vacation delayed our post.

Cadillac Releases Details of New XT5

2017-Cadillac-XT5-004Today Cadillac released details of the brand new XT5 crossover. Replacing the SRX and competing directly with industry standards as such the Lexus RX and Audi Q5, the XT5 continues Cadillac’s recent tradition of bringing out new product at industry leading low weight – a move that contributes to Cadillac’s class-leading driving dynamics.

The new XT5 cuts 278 pounds over the SRX that precedes it and is 100 pounds lighter than the Audi Q5 while being a larger vehicle overall. Compared to the best-selling Lexus RX350, the XT5 comes in 223 pounds lighter in front-drive guise, 110 in all-wheel drive form. The XT5 also bring a significant 3.2 inches more rear seat legroom than its predecessor while also offering a sliding and reclining features as well. Unfortunately we don’t have the specifics yet to compare against the competition. This information likely will drop when the XT5 debuts at this month’s Los Angeles Auto Show.

Power will come from the latest version of the 3.6l V-6 with start-stop and cylinder deactivation in the US market. This latest 3.6 will supply 310hp. Chinese consumers will also be able to choose an XT5 powered by Cadillac’s 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder. Both engines put power to the front or all-wheels through an 8-speed automatic. Fuel economy figures will be announced closer to the on-sale date.

Production begins in spring 2016 as a 2017 model year.

Press release below:

XT5 to Debut at Both Dubai and LA Auto Shows

IMG_4773-0.jpgCadillac has confirmed that the replacement for the SRX, the first utility vehicle to carry Cadillac’s new XT nomenclature, the XT5 will debut at the Dubai auto show in November.

Shortly after, it will see its North American debut at the Los Angeles auto show.

The XT5 will be badged a 2017 model, meaning it will hit showrooms during 2016. It is likely to reach production in the first half of the year. A firmer date should come with its official showings on the auto show circuit.