The first of several new utility vehicles to roll into Cadillac dealers won’t carry the name many expected.
Recent spy photos show a heavily camouflaged compact crossover due to launch next year, part of Cadillac’s bid to boost sales by going all-in on the SUV craze. The automaker has offered a name for this looming profit machine, and it doesn’t stray far from place-holder we’ve used for some time.
XT4. Okay, so it’s not the XT3 we were expecting, but that moniker — trademarked by General Motors in late 2014 — will likely find its way onto a smaller crossover in the near future.
“A new compact crossover called XT4 will debut in 2018 in the US and subsequently in Europe, with an entirely new series of efficient and powerful engines,” said Johan de Nysschen, Cadillac president, at the Geneva Motor Show. “Starting with the launch of XT4, a new Cadillac will be brought to market every six months, a total of five carlines in the space of two years.”
The XT4 is expected to land in mid-2018 as a 2019 model. The automaker also expects to fill the gap between the popular XT5 crossover, introduced last year, and the range-topping Escalade SUV.
A buying public increasingly enamored with utility vehicles has left the traditionally car-heavy automaker struggling in its home market. Not only has the brand’s ATS and CTS sedans languished amid sinking sales, but Cadillac never regained the U.S. sales strength of its pre-recession glory days. February sales were the worst since 2010, while January’s tally marked a five-year low for that month. New product can’t come soon enough.
While it churns out crossovers for a hungry America, plans are afoot to squeeze more sales out of its existing lineup. The aging XTS front-wheel-drive sedan was spared from execution thanks to its steady sales, and should receive a styling refresh. Meanwhile, the CT6 flagship is due to branch out. Last month, de Nysschen said Cadillac plans to offer “higher positioned derivatives” of the stately sedan.
[Image: General Motors]