By on April 12, 2016

2015 Cadillac ATSs at Lansing Grand River Assembly

A small Cadillac is coming in about three years, but it won’t be built in Michigan.

General Motors is scrapping a $245 million investment in its Detroit-area Orion Assembly plant in favor of moving a future Cadillac’s production to its Fairfax plant in Kansas City, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Orion’s plant communications manager Chris Bonelli, confirmed the move, but stated, “We’re not confirming the brand or type of product yet.”

Fairfax, which received $174 million in upgrades last year, has three shifts working on the Chevrolet Malibu and Buick LaCrosse, while Orion makes the Chevrolet Sonic and Buick Verano. Chevy Bolt production begins this fall at Orion, which, until today, was expecting a small Cadillac model in a few years.

Now, Michigan’s loss is Kansas City’s gain. To make room for the mysterious Caddy, LaCrosse production will move from Fairfax to Orion this spring.

What of this new Cadillac? GM is staying tight-lipped on the subject.

There are rumors floating around of a sub-ATS sedan, but that makes little sense considering the current smallest Cadillac’s recent sales performance. Of course, the ATS could move up in size, allowing for a Mercedes-Benz CLA competitor below it.

The general consensus at TTAC is that Cadillac will go for a more surefire way of making money, meaning a crossover.

h/t to Mike

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54 Comments on “Small Cadillac Coming to Kansas, GM Won’t Say What it Is...”


  • avatar
    MrGreenMan

    What the world needs now is another pseudo-lux CUV with an underpowered engine.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    We will strive to include even less passenger room than in the ATS.

    -JdN.

    ———

    Seriously though I’m calling it now: it will be GM Gamma II and it will blow dogs for quarters. You will pine for a Cimmaron instead after you buy it.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GM_Gamma_platform

    • 0 avatar
      ttiguy

      Clearly you have no idea what your talking about. The vehicle in question is going to be a smaller sub XT5 crossover based on the epsilon II platform which underpins the Malibu also built in FFX. Instead of making ignorant statements try doing even a little research first.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Johann?

        Perhaps, I don’t really know any more than you. However it is worth noting the ultra small “CUV” segment is popular and growing and Cadillac already fielded a Gamma II concept:

        “2010 Cadillac Urban Luxury Concept”

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GM_Gamma_platform

  • avatar
    Cactuar

    I bet it will be the Urban Luxury Concept they showed in 2010, but with black plastic trim and a raised suspension. Most likely on the next Encore platform.

  • avatar
    laserwizard

    Just what Cadihack needs – another cramped, non-luxurious product to steal sales from the ATS which stole sales from the CTS.

    Cadihack’s revival has not happened despite adding trucks and SUV’s and this generations Cimmaron. Since the advent of Arts and Scientology (!) design language, Cadihack has not sold as many products as they did in 1990.

    • 0 avatar
      NormSV650

      Cadillac doesn’t have to be the sales dominate. But mix in Buick and they both,combined, rule the $30,000+ on up in sales by close to 50,000 units in N.A. over BMW, Mercedes, and Lexus. Especially since the latter has come so far down market.

      This platform sharing has GM going to the bank with wheel barrows full!

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    A smaller, sub-XT5 crossover would be a smart bet.

    • 0 avatar
      FromaBuick6

      So they’re going to kill off the Encore and replace it with a Cadillac?

      They’re not? Well, then that’s the exact opposite of a smart bet.

      Anything model expansion other than a three row CUV or a V8 CT6 is just more wasteful stupidity from GM. Either commit to using Buick as the entry level luxury brand or kill it and roll everything into Cadillac. I’m sick of the redundancies and half measures.

      • 0 avatar
        NormSV650

        The Encore, and it’s little brother the Trax both, rule the segment in sales. Look at Honda HR-V floundering in that segment.

        Is there room in moving up from the $20,000-30,000 bracket where Buick is to $30,000-40,000? The X1/Q3/GLA/NX do not have enough sales to keep Cadillac out of the game. Acura RDX is not luxury.

        • 0 avatar
          FromaBuick6

          You’re confusing “floundering” with “supply constrained.” Honda’s only problem with the HR-V is that it’s cannibalizing the Fit and this is not a problem unique to Honda; Mazda didn’t even bother importing the new 2 for this very reason.

          GM owns this segment now by default, selling twice as many compact CUVs as Honda with two body styles and 5x as many dealers is not much of an accomplishment.

          Cadillac could certainly compete in this segment, but it would be competing with Buick. Which is stupid.

          • 0 avatar
            thornmark

            The HR-V is looking to pass the near worst in class Encore in sales:
            http://www.goodcarbadcar.net/2016/04/usa-small-suv-crossover-sales-stats-march-2016-ytd.html#more

            The granny/klown car Encore sold just 28 units more than the HR-V last month in the US.

            And when you add Canada, the HR-V outsold the Blue-hair special Encore by about 450 units last month.
            http://www.goodcarbadcar.net/2016/04/canada-small-car-sales-figures-march-2016-ytd.html

    • 0 avatar
      Richard Chen

      Automotive News mentions two smaller than XT5 CUVs, arriving in early 2018 and late 2019, and a larger CUV is under consideration. FWIW, GM has trademarks for XT1-9.

    • 0 avatar

      Agreed. It just has to be exclusive, NOT too obviously related to a lower level GM offering.

  • avatar
    VoGo

    Rumor has it that Melody Lee herself has designed a new post-urban textured crossover. It derives from the construct of a Trak, but with a more flowing and primitivistic take on the Arts and Science thematics.

    The interior has been shrunk to aid the sense of wonder and coziness. Power comes from a 0.8 liter 3 cylinder engine through a CVT tuned for a passionate and resilient confluence.

    Special attention has been paid to the instrument cluster, which builds on the success of the ATS, but strips down the adornment in favor of a more agricultural pragmatism. Rear seat legroom has been eschewed to enrich the sense of fantasy and fatalism.

    The name? xDW.

    • 0 avatar
      PrincipalDan

      Wewwww…

      Close call. I almost spit a mouthful of late afternoon coffee all over my keyboard.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      Well played.

    • 0 avatar
      Kenmore

      Jesus… that was choice.

      All that’s missing is some reference to Indonesian blacksmithing.

    • 0 avatar
      DeadWeight

      My thoughts have been sufficiently covered* by VoGo above.

      +1, good sir.

      *I reserve the right to make fun of Melody Lee, Johan de Nyschenn & Uwe “Pen Boy” Ellinghaus at a later time of my choosing, however, just because.

    • 0 avatar
      NormSV650

      Acura, let alone Honda, can’t compete in the in this upscale market.

      • 0 avatar
        thornmark

        Said the guy w/ TWO Buicks.

        That’s doubling down on stupid.

        Buick and Cadillac wrote the book on how formally aspirational but now non-aspirational brands become dead brands no matter how much government money is thrown at them.

        Opel, the genesis of so much that is called Buick and even Cadillac, is similarly a non-aspirational also-ran marque in its home market.

        The passed over Orion plant makes the Sonic and Verano so owners of both will have something to move up to. And moving that other moribund Buick, the LaCrosse, to Orion is hardly a vote of confidence in either the plant or the model.

        Both the Buick LaCrosse and Encore do share something in common: their Chevy twins, the Impala and Trax, are considered better vehicles than the Buicks. Calling Alfred Sloan.

      • 0 avatar
        sportyaccordy

        Judging by the plummeting sales and huge incentives, neither can Cadillac :)

        And you can’t talk about Acura not being luxury and champion Buick. Buick is just top of the line Opels rebadged and overpriced.

    • 0 avatar
      tresmonos

      Well done, VoGo. A great bit of humor to start this morning with.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    Gen 2 ELR anyone?

    • 0 avatar
      VoGo

      The dealers near me still haven’t sold the 2014s in stock, despite taking like $30K off list.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      Sure, stuff a supercharged four in it, give it AWD, sell it for $40,000, and I’m there.

      Best looking Caddy in a LONG time…saddled with the Volt engine and that acid-trip price.

    • 0 avatar
      mcs

      There is an ELR II of sorts. The imported from China Chinallac CT-6 plug-in hybrid.

      http://insideevs.com/cadillac-ct6-revealed-plug-hybrid-version-confirmed/

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      Or maybe a Model 3 competitor.

      They could wrap the Bolt EV in Cadillac clothes, similar to the relationship between the Volt 1.0 and the doomed-from-day-one ELR.

      Except that a Bolt morphed into a Caddy will cost $65k, which would put it into a netherworld between the Bolt and the Tesla Model S, meaning it has less range than a Model S, but better seats than a Bolt.

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        If they do a Tesla competitor, then I’d say they need to go all the way with it, skip the Bolt/Volt guts, and just make a true, purpose-built EV that would run with a Model S. Otherwise, it’s Son of ELR, and like you say, we know how that turned out.

        But in fairness, Lexus tried a similar vehicle twice (the HT and CT), and hasn’t found success with either, despite both being probably half the price of the ELR. And if Lexus failed, with all that Toyota hybrid tech, I think pretty much anyone will fail.

        I think there isn’t market for EV luxury cars unless they want to do something like a Tesla.

  • avatar
    bball40dtw

    Did Deadweight read this and have an intracranial aneurysm? That’s the only reason he hasn’t commented yet. Well, or he’s working on translating his stream on consciencousness into a James Joyce length tome.

  • avatar
    seth1065

    hey if caddy wants to make a CRV size vehicle got for it, at least that is where the market is, who ever thought Buick would have a hit on its hands with their small CUV.

  • avatar
    dont.fit.in.cars

    F all that. Get me that caddy 400 hp Twin screw pump, magnetic shocks, flappy paddles aand rear drive on my 2015 Impala the slap SS badges on it and call it good.

  • avatar
    Robbie

    Caddilac is basically dead.

  • avatar
    derekson

    This car is almost assuredly an XT3 built on the same platform as the Envision and the next generation Equinox. Market competitors would be things like the NX200t, GLC300, and RDX.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      I think you have the wrong size there…the XT5-whatever-the hell is the size of the Equinox. I think you’re thinking of something more the size of a Buick Encore.

      If they could make that decent looking, and give it some performance cred, it could go up against the cars you’re talking about.

      My money’s on that being the deal.

      • 0 avatar
        derekson

        XT5 is bigger than an Equinox. And the next Equinox will be smaller as GM splits the CUV line into more sizes. The XT5/Acadia size is in between the old Lambdas and the Thetas.

        If Cadillac makes all the possible sizes on GM platforms, you’re looking at: XT1 (Gamma or G2XX, whatever), XT3 (D2UX, what I expect they’re referencing here), XT5 (SWB Chi), XT7 (LWB Chi)

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    Truthfully, I think this is what Cadillac actually needs, though it remains to be seen how well it will do. Q5, RDX and NX all handily outsold the ATS/CTS and were probably significantly more profitable too. I said it before but if Cadillac really wanted to reverse its fortunes it should have doubled down on its CUV portfolio FIRST, following up with a smattering of new sedans later. Now the lil CUV market is getting saturated and mature, and it’s going to be harder for them to make inroads.

    I STILL think GM should just submit and spin off Escalade as a sub brand…. keep the XTS and CTS and kill the rest. This experiment has been a huge failure

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      I disagree. The main reason the ATS and CTS are down sales-wise is that the whole market for small and midsize sport sedans is down overall. Look at GCBC.

      Without a credible sport sedan entry in these segments, Cadillac becomes Acura.

      They need to work out the product flaws in the ATS and CTS and flesh out the CUV lineup. They are an established player in that segment with the SRX (or CT-whatever-the f**k it is now), which is the #2 seller in its segment. As much as I think the whole CUV thing is silly, that’s what sells.

  • avatar
    TMA1

    The Koreans are going to be pissed that they’re not building the new Cadillac Encore.

  • avatar
    RHD

    Whatever the new Caddy model might be, what will its name be? Reply to this post with your ideas!

    Cadillac BHS (Blue Hair Sedan)

    Cadillac CHC (Convalescent Home Coupe)

    Or maybe a 4-cylinder mini-Escalade, the Cadillac GFS (After the divorce, he buys his new, younger lady a shiny, blingy Girl Friend Special).


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