De Nysschen: Cadillac ATS & CTS "Will Disappear", XTS "Will Not Be Replaced", Cadillac Will Exit Livery Market

Ronnie Schreiber
by Ronnie Schreiber
de nysschen cadillac ats cts will disappear xts will not be replaced

In just a few years these nameplates will disappear from Cadillac showrooms

It got a little buried in the rush of news out of the New York Auto Show, but GMInsideNews reports that at the private introduction of the Cadillac CT6 last week, the night before the NYIAS media preview, Cadillac head Johan de Nysschen confirmed that the existence of the CT6 flagship will make the current XTS large sedan superfluous. That seems to have been a foregone conclusion, but somewhat surprisingly de Nysschen also said that when the time comes to replace the CTS and ATS models, not only will those nameplates die as the brand moves to the CTx nomenclature, the new cars won’t be direct replacements. De Nysschen also announced that with the exit of the XTS, Cadillac will be leaving the livery business.

It’s rumored that both of the smaller sedans will be somewhat downsized, positioning what will presumably be called the CT2 against the compact Mercedes-Benz CLA while the CTS’ replacement, the CT4, will move slightly downmarket to give more room for the CT6, while leaving space above that car for something range topping should Cadillac truly dare greatly and build something like the Elmiraj or Ciel concepts.

Concerning Cadillac’s bread and butter sedans, GMInsideNews quotes de Nysschen as saying, “As we move into the future refining our sedan portfolio, there will be no direct successor to the CTS. There will be no direct successor to the ATS. There is no point to renaming those cars because in the future those cars will disappear.”

Also disappearing from Cadillac’s lineup will be the XTS. Based on a platform that compromised both proportions and interior space, many saw the XTS as a stopgap product to give the brand something upmarket from the CTS. Assuming a normal product lifecycle, the XTS would likely have been replaced for the 2019 model year, but de Nysschen said that’s not going to happen. “Ultimately, a car like XTS when it reaches the end of its lifecycle, will not be replaced.”

Since the XTS is the only car in Cadillac’s current lineup that has the size and construction suitable for coachbuilders to convert to hearse and limousine use, when it goes out of production, Cadillac will likely stop serving that market.

I’ve written about how automakers supply the livery business and it’s not just a matter of making a car that’s the right size and shape. Both GM and Ford have certification processes to make sure that the conversion companies that they supply are capable of maintaining the structural integrity of their finished products and I have to presume that making sure the car’s architecture is up to the task is part of the process as well. My guess is that the new CT6’s architecture, which combines aluminum and high strength steel, cannot be cut up and stretched the way the XTS’ steel unibody can be modified. “We will not have a car that will lend itself to these kind of modifications and we will probably withdrawal from those markets,” de Nysschen told GMInsideNews.

Ronnie Schreiber edits Cars In Depth, a realistic perspective on cars & car culture and the original 3D car site. If you found this post worthwhile, you can get a parallax view at Cars In Depth. If the 3D thing freaks you out, don’t worry, all the photo and video players in use at the site have mono options. Thanks for reading – RJS

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  • Mjz Mjz on Apr 07, 2015

    Well, it's 4am, and I can't sleep, have to attend the funeral this morning of our 38 year old receptionist who died in her sleep after having a stroke. WTF? Anyhow, some great comments about Cadillac and their direction, or perhaps mis-direction. Some micellaneous thoughts: -Cadillac's attemps to out "out-German" the Germans have met with woeful acceptance in the marketplace Yet, they are are hellbent on continuing this ill conceived strategy. -The only models in their current line that are selling decently are the Escalade, XTS, and ancient SRX, none of which embody the "out-German" the German strategy. The ATS and repositioned CTS are sales disasters. -The new naming strategy is awful, especially when you have some great heritage names you could use instead. Imagine the use of DeVille or Seville instead of CT6. -Cadillac needs a new design direction. The new CT6 looks like a bloated ATS. The flagship is supposed to set the design direction, not the entry level model. -Their market focus should be on C/SUV's, where the market is headed, and where they stand a better chance of making inroads. -JdN is foolish to announce the demise of the ATS and CTS names prematurely, they are a hard enough sell as it is.

    • DeadWeight DeadWeight on Apr 08, 2015

      I'm starting something called the Audi A4 & A6 Challenge. Here's how it works. Have the average person look at an ATS & Audi A4 side by side, sit in them, drive them, operate the switchgear, take in the gauges, etc. Have the average person look at an CTS & Audi A6 side by side, sit in them, drive them, operate the switchgear, take in the gauges, etc. Okay. Ask them which look more attractive, inside and out, from every angle. Tell them to look at the prices - they'll be shocked to see how Cadillac is as much or more given what I'm about to state. 90% or more will state that the Audi looks, drives & feels like a much more sophisticated, mature, cohesive, quality vehicle, in every way. From the side profile and rear profile, the Audis look 1000% better. From the driver's seat or rear seat, the Audis look 1000% better. But it gets worse for Cadillac. The A4 & A6 will be refreshed or redesigned soon. This is why there's cash on the hood for both Audis (they usually don't discount them much but are doing so given the age). A person with good negotiating skills can get into an A4 for around 36k and an A6 for around 42k. Since the Cadillacs ride worse, have awful instrument panels/gauges, very cramped rear seats, have ratty dealership experiences, and are hideous & ungainly in terms of exterior aesthetics by comparison, and since Cadillac can't bother to put a standard V6 (or better yet, V8) in their car lot poison, the Audis positively SHINE by comparison. There's NO reason a logical person would pick the ATS or CTS. There's also the badge factor. And again, Audi will be coming out with a new A4 and A6 long before Cadillac refreshes either the ATS or CTS, yet the A4, especially, now looks absolutely stunning for a entry-level premium sedan.

  • Dr.Nick Dr.Nick on Apr 08, 2015

    Damn, American car companies have trouble committing to the same brand strategy for 4 minutes. How is this supposed to help them carve their own niche from the German? Silly.

    • John Williams John Williams on May 01, 2015

      It's important to remember that American car companies are usually looking for quarterly profits, often at the expense of brand longevity. The Germans, Japanese and Koreans got where they are today through long-term planning, consistency and persistence. GM, et al.? Not so much.

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