By on July 28, 2017

2017 Cadillac CT6 - Image: Cadillac

Lately, it seems everyone wants to talk about Cadillac sedans. Too bad few people want to buy one. The future of the storied brand’s traditional passenger car offerings was recently called into question by a report claiming two Cadillac sedans, including the CT6, are slated for execution.

Hashtag fake news, brand president Johan de Nysschen responded. In a reply only slightly less vague than the initial report itself, the brand president said no sedan models were on the chopping block. Nope, the Cadillac lineup will strut into the 2020s with three sedans, he said, making no mention of the fact Cadillac has four sedans.

Okay, so we knew the aging (but facelifted for 2018) XTS had no long-term future. But what about the survivors? In a recent interview, de Nysschen spelled out the plan.

First off, the only real survivor will be the newest passenger car in Cadillac’s lineup — the flagship CT6. Speaking to Reuters, de Nysschen enlarged on comments made at the beginning of the year, explaining that the struggling ATS and CTS nameplates will die. The “repositioning” he spoke of in February means two new models, only one of which currently carries a name.

“We have to rebalance our sedan portfolio,” de Nysschen told Reuters.

According to the big boss, 2019 will be the last year for the ATS, CTS, and XTS. In their wake, Cadillac has a price-based strategy planned for its lineup. A new sedan, called the CT5, will serve buyers in the $35,000 to $45,000 price range, de Nysschen said.

Built in the same Lansing, Michigan factory that currently builds the lesser two sedans, the CT5 will eventually gain a baby brother for lower-end buyers. For this segment, de Nysschen anticipates an Audi A3 fighter. At the top of the model ladder, the CT6 will spawn “new” variants — something mentioned in the past — but it seems the proliferation of new CT6s could go in both directions; further upscale and, perhaps, a lower-cost entry.

The CT6 will soldier on for those wanting a large sedan in the $50,000-and-up price range, de Nysschen said. Hmm. The 2018 CT6 carries an after-delivery entry price of $55,090 — is the Cadillac president simply describing the boundaries of a broad price segment, or hinting at a lower-priced full-size Caddy? Given that the base CT6 is already a comparative bargain, outfitted with rear-wheel drive and a turbo 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, it’s not easy imagining Cadillac pushing the model downmarket. Unless, of course, it’s willing to take a financial hit by offering a lower base price on a relatively unchanged model.

Whatever the eventual makeup of the brand’s passenger car lineup, Cadillac’s future lies mainly in big-profit, hot-selling crossovers and SUVs. A smaller XT4 should arrive next year, with a three-row SUV slotted between the XT5 and Escalade following in 2019.

[Image: General Motors]

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54 Comments on “Cadillac Boss Lays Out Brand’s Sedan Strategy; Is a Stripper CT6 on the Way?...”


  • avatar
    dmoan

    I look at Cadillac product lineup and i get confused, their vehicles are constantly get renamed, relaunched with a new name or cancelled i can’t keep up with it.

  • avatar
    Speed3

    Wow Cadillac really missed the crossover boat. By the time their second hits the market BWM will have Xs 1-7. Lexus will have 6 SUVs/crossovers.

    Cadillac should have gone all in on the Escalade brand; look at how well Land Rover has done. Shame on them for not giving us an Escalade Sport, Escalade Evoq, Escalade Velar, etc.

    Instead we have XT5; probably some rebadged Chevy Trax crap. Is the CT5 the redesigned Buick Verano we never got? You can just call it the Cimmeron II.

    • 0 avatar
      dmoan

      They should have it called escalade or something with some product recognition.

      I went shopping for Lux CUV to replace my 4runner which is near end of life and i didn’t know what the heck was XT5 what happened to SRX? I recognize Lexus RX, Acura RDX/MDX, BMW X3/X5 so even though XT5 looked nice and priced attractively i didn’t buy it because it has no product recognition and chances are it will be renamed again in 5 years.

    • 0 avatar
      TW5

      It doesn’t matter. I’d take an XT5 over the new RX350 any day. The new Lexus is hideous in the photo studio and the DRG are even worse. XT5 or MDX. QX60 is okay, but it’s not really selling.

      German cars are scrap metal. If Cadillac wants to compete for their customers, that’s fine, but they ought not emulate German manufacturing processes. If someone manages to knock the branding sheen from the German luxury automobile industry, they are going to fall hard.

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        I agree with you in that Lexus screwed the pooch with the predator maw, and they’re making some other questionable decisions now, also, but be that as it may, well-heeled, educated buyers will still gravitate towards Lexus CUVs because of a far better reputation for reliability, durability, resale value, totally incredible treatment by Lexus Dealers in sales and service terms, etc.

        Face it, Cadillac will sell many XT5s because an automaker would have to totally, almost intentionally sabotage their product producing to miss the easy lay-up on CUV sales right now.

        I’ll even go so far as to say that the XT5 is class competitive (assuming one gets the upgraded gauge cluster and a few other extras), but THAT’S ONLY BECAUSE THE MAJORITY OF CUVs ARE SO UNREMARKABLE, really.

        • 0 avatar
          dmoan

          XT5 sales are not bad but they are not great either. In 2015 SRX was no 2 in sales in mid size lux segment but brand new XT5 is on pace to sell less and barely holding on 2nd spot.

          • 0 avatar
            bd2

            Cadillac is selling every XT5 they make – which is why they are adding another shift.

            The XT5 is on pace to sell 72k which bests the best sales year for the SRX (68.8k).

        • 0 avatar
          TW5

          @ DeadWeight

          True. If you don’t have a visceral loathing of the RX350’s styling, it’s still the smartest buy. They last forever and hold their value better than most.

          I guess luxury CUV’s are unremarkable, but unremarkable cars in unremarkable segments don’t really draw my ire. Vehicles like the RX350, which are appliances attempting to be remarkable (and ugly), should warrant the most eye-rolls.

    • 0 avatar
      bd2

      That’s on the previous regime as the Alpha platform is unsuitable for crossover duty.

      Hence, de Nysschen having to abandon his wish for RWD-based Cadillac CUVs (albeit, we might see an Omega-based one) – and the FWD-based Cadillac CUVs having to wait until GM’s new FWD crossover platforms were ready.

  • avatar
    IBx1

    S55SS5S5S5S

  • avatar
    Truckducken

    A three-cylinder turbo would be an elegant entry-level choice.

    But seriously, they’re just rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic. Sedans are (to my consternation) over. Wonder when the news will hit Soho?

  • avatar
    Fred

    After WW2 Packard had a cheap and expensive model that looked alike. That and poor management became the end of Packard. Good luck Cadillac.

  • avatar
    Lou_BC

    “Is a CT6 for strippers on the Way?”

    Fixed the headline for you!

  • avatar
    DeadWeight

    SoHo Cadillac’s soon-to-be-unveiled plan to try and keep assembly lines running, inventory levels on every car in their lineup below 120-200 days, and the cheddar flowing fromGeneral Motors (incompetent, clueless) HQ in RenCen (Mary Buggin’ Bares cutting those checks to Johan amounting to 12 billion for a failed division, which literally advertises imaginary, unavailable vehicles such as the Escala in actual commercials and promoted the imaginary, unavailable El Miraj in Hollywood flicks such as that dope ‘Entourage’ movie, yo!):

    ATS $249 per month/$0 down, sign and drive

    CTS $279 per month/$0 down, sign and drive

    XTS $299 per month/$0 down, sign and drive

    CT6 $309 per month/$0 down, sign and drive

    XT5 $319 per month/$0 down, sign and drive

    Escalade – do whatever is working now.

    Johan, Uwe & Melody = Corporate, Product, Marketing, Revenue Malpractice, oh my!

    • 0 avatar
      DeadWeight

      Ooops, better make that:

      ATS $219 per month/$0 down, sign and drive

      CTS $249 per month/$0 down, sign and drive

      XTS $279 per month/$0 down, sign and drive

      CT6 $289 per month/$0 down, sign and drive

      XT5 $299 per month/$0 down, sign and drive

      • 0 avatar
        Adam Tonge

        You get me a CT6 sign and drive for under 300 a month and I will go sign the paperwork tomorrow.

        • 0 avatar
          danio3834

          Ditto. Though that’s not for the CT6 Platinum that I would want. I had a chance to spend some time with one and really liked it. I wish for more truly big cars. Something with the interior space of a crew cab truck but in a sedan. The CT6 delivers pretty well on interior bigness.

          • 0 avatar
            DeadWeight

            I spent a little time in one and the interior fit/finish is worse then an E Class, anything from Lexus or Audi (it feels Korean in the bad way), it has that stupid base 2.0T motor (though to be fair, everyone’s heading this way in this segment with base-trim motors), and the ride, in any area with less than stellar road quality, is unnecessarily harsh.

            It has tons of rear head and legroom, though, and the optional Panaray stereo sounds very good, so there’s that (I’m trying to be fair and objective, sheeP.

            Let’s be honest, though; it’s going to be a depreciation monster even by premium car standards, and the first adopters out there now are going to have a nightmare getting a CT6 to ever be “true” again if they get into a significant accident with one (check out the limited number of DEA,ers even officially authorized to work on body/chassis repair).

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        I like your world, this would actually move some metal.

  • avatar
    TW5

    Johan de Nysschen is a product guy. I doubt he cares about the exact MSRP’s of his models from year to year. He has pricing wonks for that. Therefore, I doubt he’s signaling a stripper trim level. If the CT6 becomes cheaper, surely Cadillac has learned to use efficiency of optioning, packaging and assembling; not decontenting the vehicle and wrecking the brand?

    The important inference to be drawn from this article relates to de Nysschen’s comments about the ATS replacement. He said it will be a competitor to the Audi A3. He did not mention the similarly sized BMW 2-series. This means, imo, that the new compact Cadillac sedan will be front wheel drive. I think this decision, if true, is the correct choice. Based upon the size and wheelbase of the CT6 and CTS, the ATS will be larger and more spacious than the Audi A3, and if the new vehicle uses transverse engine and FWD/AWD, it will also be more spacious than the BMW 2-series. If Cadillac want to be really really smart, they will make the new CT2/3 AWD-only to put pressure on Audi Quattro, but I think the GM bureaucracy is too in love with the value proposition of entry-level Cadillac trim. Too bad. GM could make Audi gasp in horror, if GM had any decent strategy people.

    Anyway, the news about the CTS replacement was relatively straight-forward, though it’s nice to know that the midsize sedan will be called the CT5. That tells you the wheelbase and overall size will indeed be about the same as the CTS.

    On an unrelated note, Cadillac need to build the Ciel and Elmiraj. Now is the time to go over the top as the unsuspecting Germans scramble to get out of CAFE hell. Plus, CAFE is already going to hurt profitability in the US b/c R&D can be expensed. Let the R&D hit all at once, and we can all buy the dip.

    • 0 avatar
      Speed3

      Exactly, the Buick Verano was cancelled for US (China has a new model) to make way for the new Cimmeron, or CT2 is what they are going to call it I guess.

      In a parallel universe somewhere Cadillac is a desirable coachmaker building Ciels and Ciens that do laps around any RollsRoyce or Bentley. One can wish…

      • 0 avatar
        TW5

        If Cadillac can build the concept vehicles, they can build the real thing, imo. They should commit to scaling-up their bespoke hand-built manufacturing and integrating it with a traditional assembly line to achieve S-Class volume.

        I guess they thought the money was better spent revamping the existing lineup. Maybe that was the only play with CAFE on the horizon.

        Whatever. Like you said, we can wish/hope/dream for a day when aspiring to own an American luxury sedan is commonplace again. Who knows if/when it will happen.

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      CTCimarron!

  • avatar
    dwford

    Cadillac shouldn’t even be selling crappy little A3 fighters. A Cadillac is not some compact (probably FWD) 4 cylinder sedan. It’s not $55k 4 cylinder sedans either.

    Cadillac needs to move upmarket, with bigger more expensive sedans and SUVs. Let Buick have the mid price market, especially since they are in the same showroom at so many dealerships. When Buick Encores are over $30k, no Cadillac should be priced below $40k. The XT5 should be the smallest CUV Cadillac sells. There needs to be 2 between the XT5 and the Escalade, with maybe a CUV coupe in there too. Then only have 2 sedans, with maybe 4 door coupe versions. And get rid of the 4 cylinder turbos. That just doesn’t say Cadillac at all.

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      I agree with this. Buick exists. Push Cadillac into full premium high price territory. Cadillac’s downfall was when they went full downmarket.

    • 0 avatar
      TW5

      Can Buick compete with BMW and Audi? Do you really want to cede the A3/2-series segments completely to the Germans?

      • 0 avatar
        Hummer

        No Buick cannot compete in no way with them. No one knows what the heck Buick is. It was an old persons brand, now it’s a?? A what? They have some crappy Chinese crossover, a bunch of Opels, and Traverse. Literally the most boring lineup of any automaker in the world. Selling to old people was a much better strategy than trying whatever the hell it is they’re trying now.

        Stop chasing Euro brands, unless your going to buy out BMW; caddy needs to make American cars for Americans. Not PC Chinese copied cars. The CT6 should be the companies smallest car and it should come with an actual engine that doesn’t scream Malibu. Screw the turbo V6 crap. Large and outrageous.

        • 0 avatar
          dwford

          GM has the luxury of taking a world view on these brands, not just a USA view. Buick is very successful in China, and Cadillac is having success there too. For sedans, Buick needs to be in the $25-$45 range and be FWD/AWD, while Cadillac needs to be in the $45-80 range with RWD/AWD, with maybe an EV range topper. For the crossovers.

          The current Cadillacs are nothing that anyone thinks of when they think of Cadillac – except Escalade. Every Cadillac needs that Escalade bravado. Merely making weak copies of BMWs is not going to cut it.

    • 0 avatar
      ttiguy

      Ugh you’re living in the past. Cadillac has been trying your approach for a while now by not discounting their product and its not working. Look at all the others in the lux segment and you’ll see growth is at the low end. Most consumers are dumb and broke and don’t really care about quality but about the badge and the image it carries. Sad but true.

      Anyways the next 3 years or so are simple and its amazing to me the “know it alls”on this site (the B&B lol) can’t figure it out

      CT4 = Next gen ATS plus V series with a lower price and no coupe (2020)
      CT5 = Next gen CTS plus V series including a manual tranny with a lower price (2019)
      XT4 = Epsilon derived smaller CUV (BMW X3 competitor) (2019)
      XT6(7) = 3 row shorter wheel base C1xx Traverse derivative priced and contented above the XT5 (2020)

      Write it down, tattoo it on DW’s forehead or whatever but thats the deal.

  • avatar
    S2k Chris

    Give me a CT5 the size of the old (2008) CTS that’s RWD, has a nice engine (that 3.6L V6?) and I can get with leather and nav and a good stereo and a/c seats for around $45-50k (so, you know, a street price of $38k) and this millennial will step into your showroom for a look, Cadillac.

  • avatar
    stingray65

    A $50,000 (or less) CT6 is probably the market price, since I’m sure no one pays retail on that unpopular model even at those shady dealerships that Bark keeps writing about.

  • avatar
    LS1Fan

    Cadillac’s core problem is they’re not considered a premium brand,which is a natural consequence of a decade of unreliable products. Frankly ,a GMC Denali has more premium cred then any Cadillac without an Escalade badge.

    They have to start from scratch; meaning better then Lexus quality at (loaded)Chevy prices. When the price tag says “BMW” and the interior quality says “Junkyard Seville” ,the sales charts will say “weaksauce revenue”.

  • avatar
    BrentinWA

    It’s looking like my current Cadillac is my last Cadillac.

  • avatar
    Hummer

    Maybe they can make a base model with a 6.2L for $50k, that way the BMW types can buy the 2.0T version for $80k.

  • avatar
    bd2

    Basically, the new Cadillac sedan lineup will try to undo the damage done by the previous regime which based the ATS and CTS on the Alpha platform which, while a great platform for driving dynamics, was a horrible one when it came for allowing passenger room – which is a far more important factor for the majority of luxury buyers.

    For all intents and purposes, the new CT5 is modern replacement for the 2G CTS (which was replaced by the smaller ATS).

    So instead of having the least amount of passenger room, Cadillac’s offering in the compact/entry-level segment will once again more passenger room than the norm (up there with the Infiniti Q50).

    The CT6 was always meant to replace the XTS and now looks like that it will serve duty to replace the 3G CTS, serving as Cadillac’s “super-sized” midsize entrant (while also serving as it’s flagship sedan entrant for the present – more on that later).

    The CT4(?) will be Cadillac’s sub-entry model – which ironically, likely will have close to the passenger space of the ATS (which was more akin to the CLA in passenger space than the C Class, a major problem).

    Cadillac has not abandoned plans for its true flagship sedan, the CT8, but just has placed it on hold.

    Probably will do a “flagship” in a different body-style first (probably an Omega-based crossover to sit above the FWD-base 3-row CUV).

    This resizing of Cadillac’s sedan lineup, along with the new Escala design language should help Cadillac sedan sales (already prospective buyers walking into Cadillac dealers looking for the Escala).

    But still, the best thing for Cadillac would be to fill out its crossover lineup ASAP.

  • avatar
    A4kev

    I for one hope that Cadillac can really get its act together.I am from an era when that name really meant something – 60’s early 70’s.It’s a shame to see a worldwide recognized brand withering on the vine.Get at it people, you sent a man to the moon really or should I say “bigly” !

  • avatar
    A4kev

    I for one hope that Cadillac can really get its act together.I am from an era when that name really meant something – 60’s early 70’s.It’s a shame to see a worldwide recognized brand withering on the vine.Get at it people, you sent a man to the moon really or should I say “biggly” !


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