James Ricci, director of Grant Thornton LLP, an automotive industry analysis firm, in a presentation to the Automotive Press Association, has made the following claims about GM’s rear drive platform strategy…
The Alpha chassis, that was originally envisioned to be the basis of a Holden, Pontiac, and small Cadillac (ATS to you and me), has been either re-thought by GM or we had it wrong all along.
According to our analyst friend, GM has conceived of the Alpha platform as a very flexible architecture that will allow Cadillac to not only build the new ATS (in sedan, coupe, wagon, and convertible forms) but also the next CTS which will be larger than the current car to better go head-to-head with the 5-series/E-class/A6. Additionally, the next Chevy Camaro will move off of the Zeta chassis (which was a bit big for a pony-car in the first place, making the Camaro at least 300 lbs heavier than the Mustang) and onto Alpha as well.
This would mean the end of Sigma as well (currently under the, not long for this world, STS/SLS and the current CTS line).
This suggests, if true, that Alpha is much more sophisticated an architecture than originally thought and a good successor to Sigma. This certainly suggests that Cadillac is investing heavily in their future and will continue to be a force in the luxury class.
Troubling, though, is that the predicted dates for the CTS and ATS are, at least in this report, calendar years 2013 and 2014, respectively…significantly later than the previous predictions of an ATS debut in 2011 as a 2012 model.
We’ll be keeping our fingers crossed for the earlier dates.