Cadillac Boss Lays Out Brand's Sedan Strategy; Is a Stripper CT6 on the Way?
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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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" !