General Motors CFO, Dan Ammann, while discussing Cadillac’s position vs their German rivals has confirmed that they are approaching the luxury market differently.
While BMW, Mercedes, and Audi are slicing and dicing the luxury market in a battle to sell the most cars at all costs, Cadillac is – to hear him tell it – being more strategic in their approach.
While the cynical might say that GM isn’t willing/able to produce all the products in all the same segments that the others compete in…it can also be read that Cadillac will attack only the most important and profitable segments. The potential up-side to this approach is not cheapening the Cadillac brand with moves downmarket (something Mercedes and BMW specifically must do to meet mileage and CO2 requirements). Audi would be the only other company in this list that has the same flexibility because it gets to share the burden with its more volume-centric brands (VW here in the US) as Cadillac can with Chevrolet. BMW’s MINI and Mercedes’ smart simply do not sell in sufficient volume (again in the US) to raise their corporate numbers to meet the regulatory requirements.
Audi, however, is committed to being the volume leader in the luxury market – so they may not possess the will to do the same as Cadillac.
It would be a smart move on Cadillac’s part to stake out a unique position as more of an aspirational brand in ways that their competition might not match.
Then again, it will be years before we see how they play this out.
Over at Carscoops.com (previously CarScoop on Blogger)…we have this picture, that appears to have been taken at a recent presentation, giving clues into the look of the next ‘Slade.
Combining aspects of the ATS and CTS lighting with a wrap of the light into the fender line, we can also see strong connection to the current Escalade Platinum LED lighting. Could this suggest a move to standard LEDs on the next Escalade?
We should see the new flagship SUV later this year with an expected on-sale date in the first half of 2014.
We have been speculating lately about the nature of a coupe offering from Cadillac on the Alpha chassis and how they might choose to follow the Audi model of building a model sized between Alpha (ATS) and Alpha+ (CTS) to allow the styling of the current CTS coupe to continue. The assumption we were going on was that ATS was too small to support the rakish lines of the CTS coupe and the new CTS is too large to carry a coupe offering without looking somewhat cartoonish.
Now we have this spy shot of what seems to be an ATS coupe in the flavor of a BMW 3-Series coupe with a unique roofline, but maintaining the headroom of the sedan. In other words, trade the show-car good looks and roofline of the CTS coupe for the practicality needed in an ATS-sized model.
Of course, we will need to see further spy shots in the future to help dial in if this is merely a coupe-ified ATS or a more unique model. Given the level of finish on this car, we’d expect a coupe to hit next year, possibly as a 2014.
The folks at C&D have spotted the ATS-V undergoing testing.
Peering through the heavy camo, you can make out the more aggressive grill and bumper treatments (likely mesh-filled as is the V-Series trademark). Out back are wider wheels and tires as well as quad exhausts.
We fully expect the ATS-V to carry a version of Cadillac’s new 3.6 DI twin-turbo engine. Given the ATS-V’s M3-beating mission, we’d expect the car to have this engine putting out north of the CTS VSport 420hp. 450 certainly sounds like a nice round number, doesn’t it?
We’d also expect both manual and automatic transmission options for what might be our new favorite Cadilac.
Tuesday night, Cadillac unveiled their latest CTS at the 2013 New York Auto Show.
This car marks the first full re-think of the CTS with an all new chassis (Alpha+ making it a stretched version if the new platform that underpins the new ATS) as well as dimensions that, for the first time, pit the car directly against its German competition.
And what of this car’s dimensions? 5″ (127mm) longer than the 2nd gen car with a 1.2″ (approx 30mm) longer wheelbase, the CTS now matches nicely against the BMW 5, Mercedes E, and Audi A6. Additionally, the new CTS has a one inch (approx 25mm) lower roof and cowl that combine with the longer body to give a slimmer look than the car it replaces.
The light-weight story told by the ATS continues in the CTS with a drop of 244 lbs from the smaller 2nd gen car and undercuts the 528i by nearly 200 lbs (90kg) while also having a near 50/50 front/rear weight distribution. Contributing to the lower weight are such Cadillac firsts as aluminum doors that help keep mass to a minimum.
But, size and mass are not the only measures of competitiveness.