By on August 1, 2015

2015 Cadillac XTS Vsport front

Automotive News reported earlier this month the death of the Cadillac XTS — expected to happen when the new, range-topping CT6 arrived at dealers — has been stayed until 2018 or 2019 thanks to the livery market and sales in China, sourcing “three people familiar with General Motors’ plans.”

Sorry, Mike Colias, but you are about 3-and-a-half months too late and have the narrative all wrong.

The CT6 is the first model in Cadillac’s lineup to sport the brand’s new nomenclature and will also trigger similar changes to other models; the next Cadillac to be renamed will be the Cadillac SRX when the XT5 is introduced later this year.

At the media preview of the CT6, a model widely rumored to be the death knell for the front-wheel drive XTS, I was able to ask Cadillac head honcho Johan de Nysschen exactly what the new CT6 meant for the similarly sized, large, front-wheel-drive sedan.

“Ultimately, a car like XTS when it reaches the end of its lifecycle, will not be replaced,” de Nysschen said of the XTS at the CT6 preview event.

Speaking of the livery market specifically, de Nysschen continued, “We will not have a car that will lend itself to these kind of modifications and we will probably withdrawal from those markets.”

This narrative makes the most sense as Cadillac looks to position itself as a more premium offering against the likes of BMW and Audi. Offering up a model from the Cadillac range for stretch limousine and funeral service would only contribute to prolonging the brand’s image of building vehicles for the Florida snowbird set.

While Automotive News is reporting Cadillac will “XTend” life of its XTS into 2018 or 2019, the fact of the matter is 2019 is the planned end-of-life for the large sedan anyway — and when it dies, Cadillac’s livery business will likely die along with it.

Automotive News does highlight one worry, however, and that’s where the Cadillac XTS will be built after 2016. Currently, the large sedan is built in Oshawa, Ontario, and we all know how secure that facility’s future is these days.

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

43 Comments on “Automotive News Late, Wrong On Cadillac XTS De-Livery News...”


  • avatar
    Compaq Deskpro

    I don’t understand why anyone would leave behind fleet sales. Sounds like the Escalade will continue to be the only real Cadillac going forward.

  • avatar
    RideHeight

    All this death, death, axe, axe talk… look at that poor thing, trying to hide out in Shantytown.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    Wait an minute, didn’t Johann tell us the exact opposite? Who is really in charge at the swanky Soho HQ?

  • avatar

    The XTS is a BIG seller here in NYC for livery.

    It’s spacious (no complaints from me)
    It’s professional looking
    It’s luxurious looking
    It’s good on fuel ( 3.6-L V6 with AWD gets over 20 mpg)
    It’s less than $60,000

    The problem I see is that nothing about the CT6 looks worth paying more than $80,000 for (not even that much in fact).

    If they had some kind of ridiculous engine power in a sport version: mayyyyyyybe) But as is…The XTS is a good deal for a city car.

    Too bad CUE IS A TERRIBLE INFOTAINMENT SYSTEM and the interior luxury isn’t as good as a Mercedes C-class.

    Let me help GM design this car and we’ll build real “Cadillacs”.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      I’m surprised that you find the XTS spacious.

      I think you are a decent bit larger than me, but I found the XTS (EPA says 104cuFT of passenger volume) slightly cramped in all seating positions compared to the 300 (106) and Genesis (108). Plus it feels WAY smaller than the Equus (111), DTS (113), or old-school Fleetwood Brougham (125).

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        Depends on how many passengers there are, ajla.

        For four, the XTS is incredibly roomy – there’s a crazy amount of rear seat legroom. But it’s comparatively narrow (endemic to the whole Epsilon platform), so five is a pinch. The narrow body explains the less-impressive volume figures.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        “But as is…The XTS is a good deal for a city car.”

        “But as is, the Malibu is a good deal for a city car.”

        Fixed it for you. NO Cadillacs are a “good deal.” Value is simply not in their wheelhouse.

    • 0 avatar
      mcs

      >> It’s less than $60,000

      Do you think any of the 2.0L versions will leave the dealership with the owners paying more than $60k? Actually, who else other than fleet owners would be willing to pay $60k for a 2.0L? You’d figure that the buyers of these cars would like to have at least a couple of extra cylinders over their maid’s CLA.

    • 0 avatar
      bd2

      Actually, based on the last available fleet data (2013) – only about 14% of XTS sales went to fleet with 4% being commercial fleet (the other 10% being rental).

      The problem with the XTS is that it is FWD-based (and transverse at that), which gets little respect from the automotive press and enthusiasts.

      The XTS starts at around $44.5k, which isn’t that much different from where the CTS starts, but the CTS goes much higher with the CTS V-Sport and esp. the CTS-V.

      The CT6 will start aomewhere between $55k and $60k – a good bit higher than the XTS (with a more luxurious interior), but at the same time, undercut the SWB German flagships.

      Anyhow, Colias wasn’t totally off-base, as ’17-18 would have been the end to the XTS in a normal 6 yr life-cycle, but pushing it out to ’19 is probably largely due to the China market where the XTS is also produced.

  • avatar
    Johnster

    In Europe, Mercedes-Benz sells lots of cars to livery duty and they seem to be doing fine.

    Also, I don’t see what would stop the livery aftermarket from purchasing and using Cadillacs, and the CT6 in particular, for livery duty.

    • 0 avatar
      bd2

      There’s a big difference in the livery duty that say, an S Class does and what the LTC did.

      One can find a row of S Classes, 7 Series, etc. (along with Escalades) parked along Park Ave. or Lincoln Center – waiting for their high-powered passengers.

      These top-end flagship sedans (along with an increasing no. of luxury SUVs) serve in the high-end livery market and only no. a few hundred in NYC.

      The LTC, otoh, was eponymous with thousands cruising NYC streets.

      Cadillac will still continue to sell some of the CT6 (and the upcoming CT8) – along with the Escalade to the high-end livery fleets, but Cadillac will abandon the mass market livery business (GM may substitute the larger and more luxurious next gen LaCrosse or launch an even more luxurious Buick model which can be used for such duty).

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        Cadillac has such good brand recognition (still) from their glory days, that I think they just need to pull it together and get some good product. Midwestern executives here, when they get their company car options – head right down to the Cadillac dealer for a DTS (not anymore, clearly) CTS, or Escalade.

        But constantly going back on their promised new products is not getting them anywhere. The only thing they’ve actually executed since 2008 is a new Escalade.

        • 0 avatar
          bd2

          Cadillac got the handling down with the ATS and CTS sedans but in their zeal to do so, they messed up in what counts more for the US luxury market – interior space.

          Simply cannot have the tightest interior space for the class and the ATS is that and the CTS is pretty much there as well.

          This problem won’t be rectified until the ATS and CTS replacements are ready.

          Even worse has been Cadillac’s incredibly slow response to expand its crossover lineup beyond the aging SRX, which despite being somewhat subpar, is still selling amazingly well.

          The same underlying problem with regard to interior room in the ATS and CTS is also responsible for the delay in expanding the crossover lineup – the Alpha platform was (idiotically) developed so that it could not also serve as the basis for crossover models.

  • avatar
    Spartan

    I don’t understand why Cadillac won’t just make the XTS a fleet vehicle and sell it for livery purposes since the Impala will still be in production. It seems like a bit of a foolish idea to leave all that money on the table when the XTS is a very profitable vehicle.

    Black cars, limousines, hearses, etc. Cadillac has been serving this market for years and they’re just going to give it up? It’s not like Benz doesn’t have livery vehicles in Germany, to include E-Class hearses, so why Cadillac wants to leave this industry is beyond me.

    • 0 avatar
      bd2

      There will still be Cadillacs serving livery fleet duty, just in smaller nos. (as Mercedes, BMW, etc. do in the US market) and hence, more exclusively.

      JDN wants Cadillac’s lineup to eventually go all-RWD, including the CLA/1 Series/A3 competitor (we’ll see if that’s realistic).

      GM likely will offer a larger/more luxurious Buick model for more mainstream livery duty.

      • 0 avatar
        heavy handle

        “JDN wants Cadillac’s lineup to eventually go all-RWD”

        That’s got to be the dumbest thing from Cadillac yet. If anybody has legitimacy selling a FWD luxury car, it’s Cadillac. They invented the market, and built cars that their competition could only dream about.

        Sure, auto journos (if any are left) have idiotic fantasies about canyon-carving with a 2 ton sedan. Why should Cadillac care what they think? They never buy any cars, never mind expensive ones. The real customers would rather have the extra leg and trunk room, and the effortless traction of a FWD architecture.

        Has Cadillac learned nothing from the humiliation of the “BMW inspired” CTS and ATS? Every time they do one of those me-too cars, they get their asses handed to them, and they end-up having to put 5 figures on the hood to get the damn things off the lot.

        That whole generation of Cadillac executives has been sent-off to micro-manage the urinal pucks at a Lada plant, and their replacements come in thinking “the problem is that Cadillac isn’t cynically copying the competition enough!” Does anybody believe this has a chance in hell of working-out? It’s been a complete disaster the last 8 times they tried it.

        • 0 avatar
          George B

          Heavy handle, the real problem with FWD in a luxury sedan is profile appearance, not driving dynamics. A BMW has wheels pushed out to the corners and BMW currently sets customer expectations on what a “real” luxury car looks like. Cadillac could probably go the Audi route of FWD with the transaxle designed to move the wheels forward, but Cadillac needs to do something to get RWD luxury car proportions if they expect to be able to charge luxury car prices.

          • 0 avatar
            heavy handle

            George,

            There we go again with the idea that Cadillacs should look like the German Big 3, or at 2 out of 3. The A8 is on a FWD platform.

            That’s playing by the competition’s rules, on their turf, using their refs. That’s is how Cadillac got in this jam in the first place.

            They can put the gearbox ahead of the motor if it’s a big problem. They don’t need to make space for a manual gear linkage, and any rear wheel power will be provided by a hybrid axle. The idea that “BMW does it this way, so we have no choice” is a sign of weak management.

            In the meanwhile, BMW isn’t feeling constrained, so they have front/front, front/rear and rear hybrid cars on offer. Nobody in Munich is waiting for Cadillac to show the way before they design their next platform.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            @heavy hander:
            “That’s playing by the competition’s rules, on their turf, using their refs. That’s is how Cadillac got in this jam in the first place.”

            No, they got in this jam by not refusing to play in the segment that was actually growing (i.e., RWD sedans) and stuck with FWD snooze mobiles. That segment’s pretty much dead.

            Or was the DTS – the last “proper” Cadillac – some kind of grand success? Was its successor, the XTS, a success? No.

            Did Lincoln succeed with the MKS? No.

            Did Acura succeed with all their FWD based sedans? God no.

            Now look at all the top selling sedans in the luxury car segment…all RWD. That’s the game Cadillac wants to play in. The one it used to play in is over now, at least if you want to sell a car that costs more than a Lexus ES.

            Audis aren’t really on “FWD platforms” – they’re all sold here as AWD.

        • 0 avatar
          Maintainer

          Hot damn someone gets it!

        • 0 avatar
          derekson

          The only way Cadillac could sell FWD luxury would be to do it with longitudinal drivetrains like Audi use, because in the US in 2015, most luxury cars are expected to have a (real) AWD system. Even more of the Mercedes C-classes and BMW 3-series I see are AWD at this point, and other than the S65 I can’t remember the last new S class I saw without AWD. Maybe it isn’t so extreme outside of the Northeast, but up here it’s nearly gotten to the point where luxury = AWD.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            “The only way Cadillac could sell FWD luxury would be to do it with longitudinal drivetrains like Audi use”

            In no way would this happen given current platforms and existing engineering.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            The average person doesn’t know the difference between front-wheel drive and a frontal lobotomy. Ditto with transverse vs. whatever.

            Outside of the interwebs, these things make zero difference.

          • 0 avatar
            heavy handle

            “In no way would this happen given current platforms and existing engineering.”

            Isn’t that the problem in a nutshell? Cadillac isn’t even allowed their own platform! They are ridiculously under-armed in the global luxury market. They are wearing frumpy threadbare hand-me-downs in a world of bespoke Savile Row suits.

            Pch,

            Agree with you 100%. It’s funny that some people think Cadillac’s problems are caused by FWD platforms. If anything, FWD-based cars are the only thing moving right now. They would be absent from the car market if all they had to offer were the RWD ATS and CTS.

          • 0 avatar
            derekson

            “Isn’t that the problem in a nutshell? Cadillac isn’t even allowed their own platform! They are ridiculously under-armed in the global luxury market. They are wearing frumpy threadbare hand-me-downs in a world of bespoke Savile Row suits.”

            Well considering the fact that they have two platforms that are basically unique to the Cadillac brand now (save for sharing Alpha with the Camaro), this is completely false. Only the SUVs and the XTS share platforms with “plebeian” cars in GMs lineup, and the SUVs sell like crazy and the XTS’s days are numbered as the article at the top of the page explains.

            Cadillac has plenty of issues, but a lack of their own platforms is NOT even REMOTELY one of them.

            “The average person doesn’t know the difference between front-wheel drive and a frontal lobotomy. Ditto with transverse vs. whatever.”

            The average buyer doesn’t know to attribute it to FWD, but most luxury car buyers who shop cars like the 5 series and the E class would drive a FWD car and it wouldn’t “feel like a luxury car to them”. They certainly don’t know that this feel is due to RWD or a longitudinal, rearward-biased AWD system but most drivers can at least notice broad differences in driving dynamics like that. The car doesn’t need to handle like it is on rails, but a boat-like FWD cruiser like modern version of a 90s DeVille would not sell as a luxury car in modern America. It would be considered a farce.

          • 0 avatar
            heavy handle

            Derekson,

            The average driver can’t tell if their car is on fire, or if their tires are flat. They can tell if there’s not enough room in the back, or if the trunk is too small.

            The way you describe FWD cars implies that Cadillac would make a bad FWD, like a 21st Century Chevy Celebrity. You are correct about that, but that’s not a problem with FWD, it’s a problem with GM.

            Cadillac’s only exclusive platform is the SRX, and that’s gone next year.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            “but a boat-like FWD cruiser like modern version of a 90s DeVille would not sell as a luxury car in modern America. It would be considered a farce.”

            Um the Cadillac XTS is in the relative sense, a smaller, crappier, 21st version of the K-body Deville and it sells. The fact the departure date has been “delayed” means the model will continue to be sold until buyers cannot be found or the tooling is exhausted. Knowing GM, this model/platform could even go fleet only.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            This FWD vs RWD fixation is something that comes only from car enthusiasts on the internet. I see no evidence that those who buy (or I should say, lease) these cars particularly care.

          • 0 avatar
            RideHeight

            This FWD/AWD/RWD handling folderol makes me muse upon “handling” being an anachronism from olden days when roads were narrow, twisty and barely supported with shoulders.

            Of what pertinence is it to driving in the 21st Century USA? Every car made today will safely carry you to work and the mall. Hence the ostentatious canyon-seeking pursued by adolescent drivers of all ages.

        • 0 avatar
          bd2

          Cadillac sold a large FWD sedan, the XTS and it was never taken seriously by the auto press and never commanded the price of the RWD flagship sedans.

          Basically, FWD sedans in the luxury segment are priced a size segment DOWN (XTS, MKS and RLX priced alongside the midsize segment) or even 2 segments down as is the case for the Lexus ES.

          Furthermore, the A8 (and A7) are only available in Quattro form here in the US (Audi USA determined that FWD-only simply would not do) and Audi uses a longitudinal layout and has the added benefit of the “sheen” of being a German brand.

          Even so, the A8 and A7 don’t command the prices that the RWD BMWs and MBs do nor the sales.

          The problem with the CTS (and for that matter, even more so for the ATS) is that Cadillac got the sizing/packaging all wrong.

          The ATS and CTS needed to offer class-leading interior room (or at least be somewhere near the top in that respect), but instead, they offer the tightest interior space.

          Cadillac execs also bungled the nomenclature by keeping the CTS nameplate for a model that was a whole price segment up.

          2G CTS owners were shocked at the priced of the 3G CTS and then when they looked at the Cadillac sedan offering in the same price range as their 2G CTS, they were turned off by a sedan, the ATS, which offered a lot less interior space.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    What I really want is a 2010 DTS with a reliable engine.

    • 0 avatar
      SC5door

      It’s called the Buick Lucerne.

    • 0 avatar

      Why? They still had that cheap-feeling FWD every GM car had from the first Citation ’til only a few years ago as these old-gen platforms were replaced.

      The Sonic I drove last fall felt more planted and solid than any DTS I ever drove. My wife’s 2011 Equinox LTZ has a similar solid feel.

      I’ll take the XTS. Or an Impala LTZ w/the 300HP V6 and pocket the difference.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        You know I’ve sort of liked the DTS as well, even in old man white pearl like Dan, with Performance package color key grille. She’s a looker in that trim.

        But getting up close with one at a lot, it all fell apart pretty quickly. And as I pulled on that door handle shared with a 2001 STS, and felt the cheapness in my hand…

        Disappointment spread over me, in an awesome way.

        EDIT: Thought – I wonder what the take rate would have been on a DTS-4. I feel like that could have done pretty well, and certainly would have been most of them sold up here. Most of the CTS models I see around are 4’s.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          GM G-body wasn’t built for AWD. I imagine if it had been, the AWD result would have been similar to the amount of Mercedes you see with 4-matic.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            I forgot it was also the Bonne and the Lucerne, for a sec. I see lots of 4MATICS! Most of the E and S models I see driving about have it.

            PS. I’m already noticing 2010-era E-Class models looking ratty with hazed headlamps as well.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            That’s because heaven forbid the lenses are glass.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            I was just thinking they probably cheaped out on the plastic. Because I see plenty of older cars with plastic lenses that don’t have such issue!

            I notice the 05+ RL has common clouding issues too.

        • 0 avatar
          derekson

          “EDIT: Thought – I wonder what the take rate would have been on a DTS-4. I feel like that could have done pretty well, and certainly would have been most of them sold up here. Most of the CTS models I see around are 4’s.”

          At least here in the Northeast, almost all luxury branded cars I see are AWD now, even BMW 328i and 535i models. I really don’t think people consider a car without AWD a true luxury car anymore, in one sense.

          This might be different in the sun belt.

  • avatar
    John

    This “We’ll show our fancy pants car in a bad neighborhood” advertising is designed to convey the message “Buy our car, and you’ll be the ONE PERCENTER in your ‘hood”, instead of the real message “Lease this car, and you’ll LOOK like a one-percenter for four years, until you have to give it back, and own nothing”.

Read all comments

Recent Comments

  • SCE to AUX: Yes
  • TimK: I will never buy a vehicle with a turbocharged engine. Twin turbos and reliability are mutually exclusive. CAFE...
  • roadscholar: Does Tesla make money on the cars they sell?
  • roadscholar: I’m seriously considering a new Elantra N as my stick-shift practical toy. GTI and BRZ just...
  • Luke42: “As the this recall, it can’t be possible because Hondas are perfect. /s” I’ve been...

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Who We Are

  • Adam Tonge
  • Bozi Tatarevic
  • Corey Lewis
  • Jo Borras
  • Mark Baruth
  • Ronnie Schreiber