By on October 12, 2016

2017 Cadillac XT5

As its lineup of traditional luxury sedans struggles, sales of Cadillac’s 2017 XT5 show why automakers everywhere are scrambling to field as many crossovers as their budgets allow.

The XT5’s popularity and the level sales performance of the redesigned GMC Acadia prompted General Motors to add a third shift at its Spring Hill, Tennessee assembly plant. For Cadillac, it’s a ray of sunlight breaking through the clouds.

GM says the move adds an extra 650 workers to the plant, with boosted production expected to begin in January. Spring Hill collected more than $2 billion in upgrades during GM’s post-recession investment spree.

Naturally, GM tested the limits of corporate fanfare in announcing the new shift. The mayor, governor, and a senator had a nice day in Spring Hill, it seems.

September XT5 sales in the U.S. totaled 4,608 vehicles, while GMC moved 6,795 newly downsized Acadias. The new Cadillac crossover, which replaced the SRX, went on sale in April and saw its monthly sales stabilize at just under the 5,000 mark this summer. That easily places it ahead of the brand’s second-best-selling model, the full-size Escalade SUV.

In fact, last month’s XT5 sales came in just eight units shy of the combined total of all of its rear-drive cars. During the month of September, the brand moved 1,770 ATS sedans and coupes, 1,503 CTS sedans, and 1,343 units of the quasi-flagship CT6, which bowed in March. The front-drive XTS posted 1,948 sales, more than enough to keep the model alive.

In the CT6’s defense, sales of that model have risen each month since its debut, making its eventual peak a matter of guesswork. Certainly, full-size cars aren’t the draw they once were.

Barring a sudden resurgence in ATS and CTS sales, the folks at Cadillac are no doubt crossing their fingers and hoping XT5 sales stay healthy, as there’s a long way to go until the next new model shows up. Surprise! — it’ll be a crossover. The compact XT3 crossover is expected to arrive in 2018 as a 2019 model.

[Image: General Motors]

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31 Comments on “Cadillac Looks on Gratefully as GM Adds Third Shift to XT5 Assembly Plant...”

  • avatar

    I hadn’t an image in my mind of what the new Acadia looks like, as I haven’t seen one in person yet. After looking at the following photo, I have the term in mind I can use to describe it from now on.


  • avatar

    For now, I’d say that the CT6 is successful and the XTS is middling. If the CT6 can settle in at 1600-1900 a month it should probably be considered a surprise hit for the brand.

    The ATS and CTS are not successful. Really I’d call this generation of the CTS a sales failure. GM had a bit of momentum with the 2G CTS, but pi$sed that away with the dual-pronged upmarket approach.

    • 0 avatar

      Isn’t the XTS slated to die after this model year? I could swear that was decided already on an article I read here.

      • 0 avatar

        They wanted to kill it, but Johan most recently said the XTS is set for a “major” refresh in the next year.

        GM can’t kill the XTS, sales have generally been steady for its whole life and the profitability of the Impala Platinum Brougham subsidizes the Alpha debacles.

        • 0 avatar

          I like your trim level names.

          I see them occasionally, probably as often as the Impala I guess. Neither seem particularly popular around here, often seemingly rentals. I hope they do something about the awful styling – so ugly.

          Also find them much MUCH too expensive for the benefit over an Impala or equal price CT6, but maybe that’s just me. Used, they hold their value much better than the MKS.

          • 0 avatar

            I need to get a XTS, remove all of the name badges, and replace it with “Delta 88 Royale Brougham.”

          • 0 avatar

            Instead of Platinum, get a script Grande badge for the front fender. The fenders on that car are entirely without lights or ornamentation.

          • 0 avatar

            You know the lot at the local Buick dealer has 5 or 6 new LaCrosses lined up in the front row. That car would wear the Park Avenue name very well.

          • 0 avatar

            I think it’s not the right shape for a Park Avenue, it’s too upright like the XTS. The interior isn’t fitting either, it’s a bit half-baked in there IMO. Longer and lower is what the Park needs to be, which would be a CT6 restyle. Park Avenue won’t happen though.

          • 0 avatar
            Zero Cool

            Sorry, I hate this comparison. In what world is an XTS equal to an Impala? I’ve rode in both, (disclaimer; I have a CT6, but almost went with the XTS) and they’re (XTS and Impala) really not comparable what so ever in real life, and I scratch my head everytime someone says something as such . Anyhow, the fit, finish, interior architecture, suspension, just about everything besides the platform meme, is different. No one confused the two cars, ever. You also rarely see brand new Cadillacs in SoCal, period, rental or not. I see Impalas everywhere, all the time, everyday. I can count the amount of XTS I’ve seen on one hand in the past 3 months. And I still haven’t seen a CT6 on the road, besides mine. Anyhow, I wanted a large car (CTS, ATS backseat space made them out of the question), both the CT6 and XTS were beautiful (yes the XTS does’t photo well), but the XTS looks best at night/dusk looking very classy. I first considered an XTS and took it home for the day. I went to two different locations and got compliments on it and those people wanted to check it out, that was just one day of having it. I was very surprised, that never happened in the Merc and Audi I used to own. I’m more than sure that’s not going to happen in an Impala. Small stuff like that matters. Anyhow, the CT6 is a bad boy as well, and a looker and in the end I decided on it.

        • 0 avatar
          heavy handle

          The XTS is a Cadillac’quered (Cue and crease) version of the Saab 9-5/Opel Insigna, so it was a free platform. They may as well follow the Opel refresh if sales numbers are decent.

          It appeals to Cadillac’s traditional country club/Florida retirement community demographics.

          • 0 avatar

            It’s also been a godsend to the private car business after the death of the Lincoln Town Car. Certainly it has more style and panache than the rejiggered MKT’s that I see in Beverly Hills/W. Los Angeles pressed into limo service with added “Town Car” badges.

          • 0 avatar

            My 85 year old FIL just bought one, after his first gen CTS was crashed out by a kid who hit him in the rear….He looked at the CTS, not at all at ATS, and my MIL could get in and out of the XTS…sold.

          • 0 avatar

            With the current Impala and up to 2016 LaCrosse sharing, Cadillac is not losing money on the XTS.

    • 0 avatar

      Just as an aside, I had a CT6 pass me on the highway yesterday driving home from work, that is a genuinely handsome automobile looking at it from the rear. The red color it was painted in worked very well. I haven’t followed closely enough as far as how much Caddy is trying to sell these for and whether or not they have been successful.

    • 0 avatar

      In reference to this line – “As its lineup of traditional luxury sedans struggles…”, aside from the ATS (which has severe packaging issues), the rest of Cadillac’s sedan lineup is doing OK or well.

      Cadillac sold a combined 4,794 of the CTS, XTS and CT6 – sedans in the mid-price to upper price segments.

      BMW sold 1,521 of the 5 Series, 276 of the 6 Series (including the 2-door) and 1,201 of the 7 Series for a combined 2,998.

      Audi sold 1,599 of the A6, 541 of the A7 and 335 of the A8 for a total of 2,475.

      Lexus sold 1066 of the GS and 345 of the LS for a combined 1,411.

      The constant refrain is “struggling” Cadillac sedan sales but aside from the entry level price-point with the ATS, Cadillac is doing better than most of the competition (in fact, a good deal better).

      As for the 3G CTS, it suffers from the same packaging issues as the ATS on being based on the Alpha platform (it’s replacement will get a significant bump in rear passenger and trunk space), but still, despite sharing the segment with the XTS, has been outselling the GS – and there hasn’t been even close to the amount of talk about struggling Lexus (RWD) sedan sales, esp. at the mid-upper price segments.

      • 0 avatar

        The GS has had terrible numbers for years so I can’t imagine that was GM’s target.

        You really think GM is happy with the CTS and ATS sales volume?

        • 0 avatar

          No, GM expected to sell more of the ATS and CTS (don’t know why they did considering that they messed up the one thing that is most important for American buyers).

          But within its segment, the CTS does fairly well (the E Class and 5 Series are way ahead of the pack in sales) and that’s even with another (roomier) Cadillac sedan at the same price-point.

          The ATS, however, has been an unmitigated failure (driving off a good chunk of the previous G1/G2 CTS buyers who were used to a roomy back seat for the compact segment).

      • 0 avatar

        It would be extremely helpful if the WORLDWIDE sales numbers of all these vehicles were posted. Who cares if they only sell 2000 ATS’s here if they are moving ten times as many in China, for example.

        And how many A6’s does Audi sell WORLDWIDE compared to CTS’s?

        I fully expect the Germans to handily exceed the sales of Cadillac worldwide but the scale at which they do so would be interesting and give us a better handle on the potential level of profitability of the models in question.

        • 0 avatar

          Worlwide Cadillac sales August YTD:

          ATS/ATS-L : 36,987
          CTS : 12,715
          CT6 : 6,695
          XTS : 33,179

          Total Cadillac sales (including CUV/SUV) at 182,188. Biggest markets are 103,918 from the US and 64,489 from China.

          I couldn’t find a breakout by model but total Audi sales at August YTD were 1.2M. 385,734 from China, 572,450 from Europe, and 134,562 from US.

    • 0 avatar

      The ATS is a great $20k car….low mileage examples all over.
      The CTS lost the thread, I think. The 2G should have been mated with a corvette, instead they mated it with an XTS…it went the wrong way in the Caddy tree to compete with a 5/E class, stylistically speaking.

      Unfortunately, all the ATS-V I see are 50k plus cars……and unicorns.

  • avatar

    The BMW X3 was released in TWO THOUSAND THREE. Cadillac will have a competitor sometime in 2018. Geniuses!

    • 0 avatar

      I would think the XT5 is small enough to be in the same segment as the X3. Seeing them in person, and considering the size of the SRX – they’re about the same as the X3?

      • 0 avatar

        Agreed. The namebers aren’t equivalent. The segment seems to balance between namebers starting with 3 and 5, with 4 showing up occasionally.

        BMW X3/X*coughuselesscough*4
        Audi Q5
        Cadillac XT5
        Lexus RX350/400
        Mercedes GLK350
        Infiniti QX50

      • 0 avatar

        The XT5 is a 2 row midsize CUV (like the RX), but being based on a FWD platform, is priced alongside the X3 and GLC.

        The XT3 will be Cadillac’s compact CUV offering.

        The inexcusable delay in Cadillac expanding their CUV lineup from the SRX/XT5 is on the shoulders of the previous regime at Cadillac.

        The Alpha platform from the very start had packaging issues, including not being suitable for crossover duty.

        JdN wanted Cadillac’s CUVs to be RWD-based, but that would have resulted in an even longer delay until the replacement for the Alpha platform was ready (still the possibility of an Omega-based high end CUV).

      • 0 avatar

        Different size class. The XT5 is 190″, the new X3 is closer to 180″. That’s not to even mention the X1, which Cadillac will likely not be able to respond to until 2047.

        The XT5 is sized against the X5, the RX, (the NX is Lexus’ compact crossover) and the GLE.

        Infiniti, which has never been on the ball with anything, now has FOUR crossovers in its lineup. Cadillac has ONE. WTF has this company been DOING for the last decade?

  • avatar

    I know the Acadia and the XT5 are on the same (or similar) platforms, but I drove both over the same stretch on an extended test drive. The Acadia really had a noticeably more refined ride. The XT5 was unnecessarily firm as it didn’t handle any better either. And it did not seem worth its $45k price besides. The interior wasn’t any nicer and actually had some noticeable flaws, but it was an early build model, I suppose.

  • avatar

    Cadillac XT5: for when your GMC store is out of Terrains, and your trade in wont make it to the Lexus dealer. Accept no substitute.

  • avatar
    Edsel Maserati

    I’m encouraged about Cadillac’s progress after a week in a CT6. I really liked it. Well, most of it. The Cue system might be better but it still makes me yearn for an Audi. The driving dynamics of the CT6 really got to me, though. I saw vast improvements in the brand.
    I do wonder why they chose a name so similar to the CTS.
    And why didn’t they keep SRX name? As I recall it was a big seller. Or is “XT5” part of some nomenclature scheme cooked up in the new Manhattan office?

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