Cadillac ATS Eating Into CTS Sales

As we mentioned in our review of the October sales numbers, CTS sales are significantly down in the face of the new ATS and XTS. This certainly makes sense as Cadillac shoppers essentially had just the CTS to choose from for close to a year now and offering new sedans would certainly take some customers away from the CTS (either because those shoppers were looking for something slightly smaller or bigger or just newer than the current CTS).

tCE CTS Rocky Mountains

tCE CTS Rocky Mountains

Automotive News, quoting some research data from Edmunds.com is suggesting that the ATS is largely to blame for the lower CTS sales.

Of interest is that Cadillac is being smart about how they will play this lower demand. They plan to cut production of the CTS variants rather than continuing to build cars that don’t have buyers and then having to discount them or put them in rental fleets. This is a good move as it preserves resale value and avoids cheapening the CTS or Cadillac brands.

This should be temporary blip as a larger, more expensive CTS is due in 2013 as a 2014 model and will do to the BMW 5-Series and Mercedes E-Class exactly what Cadillac has done to the 3 and C with the new ATS.

Time will tell if this new strategy works in the long term.

Source: Automotive News

How Will Cadillac Expand its Lineup?

Cadillac has mentioned, through their North American head of Marketing, Don Butler, that they plan to continue to offer coupes and wagons (sticking with some of the expansion they started with versions of the CTS in the past few years). What isn’t completely clear is if coupes and wagons will be versions of the CTS going forward.

Since this opens the floor for us to play what-if, let’s look at what Cadillac has said and what they may be doing to meet the competition head-on in these and other segments.

2013 Cadillac ATSFirst of all, we have a Cadillac that is moving to a brand new rear-drive architecture for most of their mainstream cars. Alpha is the new chassis that underpins the ATS as well as (in stretched Alpha+ form) the CTS. So, no matter what Cadillac decides to do, these will all live on the same basic architecture (a boon for volume/cost). This also marks the end of Sigma, the platform developed in the late 90′s and early 2000′s as part of Cadillac’s first re-birth. Continue reading

Cadillac XLR cancelled

Rumor has it that GM has decided to cease production of the XLR and XLR-V roadsters this spring. This is the latest in a series of cost-cutting measures.

The XLR has never been a great seller, though it did bring Cadillac’s new Art & Science design theme, first shown on the Evoq concept, to production form. It and it’s supercharged, V sibling both served as halos for the Cadillac brand.

We would have loved to see what a second generation XLR would have been like – though with the recent delay of the C7 Corvette on which the XLR is based, it would have been several years of potentially ever decreasing sales.

XLR not to get redone down the road

The good folks over at LLN are reporting that the current freshening of the XLR might be the end of the line for the top Cadillac.

Built as a production version of Cadillac’s Evoq concept car (the concept that debuted Cadillac’s current styling language) and to compete against the Mercedes SL, the XLR has never lived up to Cadillac’s expectations. This could be attributed to an interior that never lived up to the car’s price tag as well as debuting at a time when Cadillac was unwilling to spend the money required to truly compete with the big dogs in the industry.

The XLR’s platform-mate, the Chevy Corvette, is due to be re-designed as a 2012 model – the XLR is not expected to come along for the ride. This suggests that 2011 may be the last year for the XLR.

Here’s hoping that Cadillac gets its head out of its rear and brings the same magic and focus to its redesign that gave us the new CTS and re-designs the XLR as a true SL competitor and a car worthy of its high pricetag.

Read more at:

Leftlane News: Insiders: Second-generation Cadillac XLR unlikely

Will MPG requirements hurt the future of Cadillac

With rising gas prices and increases in CAFE (Corporate Average Fuel Economy) standards set to take effect in the coming decade, the future of Cadillac’s products is in doubt.

Rumors are swirling that the STS/DTS replacement (both cars were to be replaced with a single uber-model to compete against BMW’s 7-series and Mercedes S-Class), expected to be built on a premium version of GM’s new Zeta rear-drive chassis, has been canceled. The next Escalade is up in the air. Smaller products are being considered that might never have been before.

This casts doubt onto the direction Cadillac might take in the future. Will they continue on their quest to go toe-to-toe with the luxury industry heavyweights model for model (and with the new regulatory climate, what does that mean)? Will they dial back their ambition and compete with the second tier of the luxury market? Will they find their own, distinctive, path?

Let’s take a look at what will and might happen at Cadillac in the near future: Continue reading