We’ve long held that Cadillac is one of two “core brands” for GM that should be preserved (along with Chevy) at all costs. To compete with the big boys of luxury (Hyundai, anyone?) Caddy needs new product, and unlike Pontiac it’s going to get it. But will Cadillac’s product pipeline be filled with unique, desirable products or cannibalistic also-rans? I know, let’s ask that font of balanced coverage and journalistic integrity, Motor Trend! In fairness, MT admits that “It’s been four or five decades since Cadillac built a car that came close to being ‘The Standard of the World.'” “But” comes the now-customary about face that emerges any time a mainstream journo discusses the failure of an American automaker, “with the new CTS, and especially the world-beating CTS-v sport sedan, (Cadillac’s) rehabilitation is well underway.” Oh really? Let’s take a look.
The first new Cadillac products to be highlighted are the CTS Coupe and Wagon. Admitting that both are quick-and-dirty ways to leverage the existing CTS platform, MT goes on to hype both as fundamental to Cadillac’s turnaround despite their niche-within-niche status and cannibalistic tendencies. Specifically, MT reckons the CTS Wagon will be less popular than the otherwise quite similar SRX, also expected (by MT) to help turn Caddy around. By switching it to a front-wheel drive platform. Because that went well for Cadillac in the past. Cannibalism and intra-brand positioning worries don’t stop when we hear that the Escalade is downsizing to the Lambda platform, creating the fifth Lambda-based CUV in GM’s portfolio, and the third wagon/crossover in the Caddy stable. Oh, and then there’s the DTS replacement which is set to turn Caddy around by… languishing in development hell. The only ray of light anywhere? The RWD-compact Alpha, which GM is said to want to keep “lean” and “nimble.” Of course, for that GM needs to develop a whole new platform. This doesn’t look promising.