By on March 29, 2018

Cadillac-Allante-747

Visually arresting, technologically complex, ultra luxurious, and undeniably trendsetting, halo cars sprinkle lustre all over a brand and ensure viewers of hip-hop videos know the artist is absolutely loaded with cash.

Cadillac’s not there yet. Give it time, says the brand’s president — a halo Cadillac model will indeed appear, just not until well into the coming decade. There’s a few things to take care of first.

Shoring up domestic sales through a streamlined sedan portfolio and diversified utility vehicle stable is top of mind for Johan de Nysschen. Speaking to Automotive News at the New York International Auto Show, the Cadillac boss said housekeeping takes precedence over glitzy, high-zoot playthings.

Between now an 2021, Cadillac plans to market the XT4 small crossover (which debuted late Tuesday in New York), a larger crossover, and a next-generation Escalade. On the sedan front, the XTS, CTS, and ATS will disappear, with two new models appearing below the XT6. With these holes filled, Cadillac can then reach for the sky.

The timeline for these introductions runs through the end of 2021, so any halo wouldn’t appear until 2022 at the absolute earliest, assuming Caddy sticks to the plan. By the middle of the coming decade, the brand — already big in China — wants to make inroads into Europe. It’s unlikely such a range-topping vehicle would be a sedan.

“I do not think that the world needs yet another large, three-box conventional sedan,” de Nysschen said. “We are going to produce a halo vehicle for Cadillac. When it comes, it will stun the world.”

2018 Cadillac CTS-V

If Cadillac’s going after tony continental types, an electric powertrain is a must, even if it’s just one of many variants. de Nysschen himself alluded to it when he claimed Cadillac would receive a “disproportionate share” of the electrified models coming to General Motors over the next five years. It makes sense to field the technology on a pricey vehicle, he said, adding that it will help elevate the brand.

Unlike other automakers, Cadillac isn’t afraid to heap some love on ICEs. Six- and eight-cylinder powerplants will remain in the lineup for the foreseeable future, de Nysschen said.

All of this halo and product talk has us wondering how the recent report of the late 2021 production of a car bearing the Escala name fits into Cadillac’s plan. From the sounds of it, the Escala could appear as just about anything — electric sport crossover, reborn XLR, conventional sedan, maybe even a glamorous coupe. Is the Escala the halo? Not in its concept form, that’s for sure. It makes sense, though, to use the name of a high-profile concept car for a production halo car.

[Images: Cadillac]

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60 Comments on “Cadillac Is Holding Out for a Halo...”


  • avatar
    Vulpine

    Hold out too long and the brand may not be able to be revived. They’ve done EVERYTHING wrong with the brand since 1990.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      Disagree. They haven’t handled the car end of their business succesfully, but aside from waiting too long to bring out a compact CUV, their crossover/SUV hand has been tough to fault.

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        As I said before, FM, they carry the name but not the prestige. I’ve driven a post-2000 Caddy (my mother owns one) and honestly they just don’t look or feel like a Cadillac should. Their ’79 Sedan deVille was a true Cadillac.

  • avatar

    product promises, same circle jerk…

    marketing destroys best efforts.

    JdN fail

    • 0 avatar
      CaddyDaddy

      Famous GM mantra. ………. “ oh oh oh but wait, next time we will get it right”. It got old about 15 years ago. Last Cadillac we bought was in 02’, Northstar self destructed in 32K miles. That was after brand new 99 Blazer 4.3L ate it self up at 8k with oil pressure issues. Blue oval ever since.

      Let’s try a nice big solid car with a 6.2L and 8 speed, full frame, rwd. Formal and uncluttered interior with simple great quality. To climb to the top you need to get the basics right and then the public will take interest.

      The Continental failed because it’s reallly just a Fusion. People are smarter than that.

  • avatar
    DEVILLE88

    they have a load of “halo cars” thier arsenal…………….they need someone with the balls to pull the trigger.

    • 0 avatar
      Detroit-Iron

      They need something like a convertible large enough to fit all of Master-P’s friends. They shouldn’t benchmark the Germans, they should benchmark an expensive leather sofa. Power should be “adequate” to borrow a term from Rolls, and it should be as quiet as a mausoleum. They have been barking up the wrong tree for decades.

  • avatar
    Spike_in_Brisbane

    Cadillac DOES have a few things to take care of like staying relevant.
    They NEED a halo car.
    These other vehicles are just Chevs with bling.

    • 0 avatar
      Peter Gazis

      Then what are Lincolns, Infinitis, Lexuses, Acuras, Audis, Genesis and BMWs but Fords, Nissans, Toyotas, Hondas, VW, Hyundais and Minis with bling?

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus

      One could hardly call the ATS, CTS, and the CT6 rebadged Chevys. The Alfa platform is used for Camaro, but your statement is highly erroneous.

      The only “Chevies with bling” in their lineup would be the XTS and Escalade, ironically their two most popular products.

  • avatar
    mmreeses

    Lexus did fine using its LS as a ‘halo’ for decades. And Lexus does fine now without a halo. (how many RX buyers know what a LFA is?)

    spend the marginal dollar on better interior materials (less glossy black) and better gauge clusters (see base XT5).

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      The LS430 was the best of the best when it came out, IMO.

      I always longed to be able to afford buying an LS430. It was everything that I wanted in a classy sedan, at that time, but I only could afford a ’92 TownCar Executive for the wife to show real estate properties.

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        It wasn’t “the best” from a strictly objective standpoint – Mercedes S-Class is, was, and always has been the best thing in this class – but it was a very, very good car at a sensational price.

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          As far as “value for the money,” the LS430 was my first choice.

          While the Towncar served my wife for many years (Jan1992-July2008) it required a lot of upkeep.

          I spent many a Sunday, all day, working on and fixing that Lincoln to get it ready for my wife’s trip to work the next day.

          Sometimes “The Best” is subjective when all things are considered, like maintenance and repair, ride comfort and handling, power to weight ratio, etc.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            A Mercedes of that vintage will literally last forever – as long as you have one hell of a repair budget.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            Yes, quite a few of those Mercedes around my area, of that vintage and earlier, all of them brought back by GIs who were stationed in Europe.

      • 0 avatar
        conundrum

        Well, if you longed after one in ’92, you were prescient. The LS430 debuted in 2000. Before that for a decade it was the LS 400.

        • 0 avatar
          JohnTaurus

          This is the guy who’s friend turned down a Mazda6 because it wasn’t sporty enough and bought an Avalon instead. Things don’t have to make sense, they just need to further his opinions.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            JohnTaurus, it doesn’t need to further my opinion. It really happened.

            I had nothing to do with that decision.

            Please skip over my comments if you find them objectionable.

            I read everyone’s comments with an open mind.

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          conundrum, yes, I screwed up.

          I should have stated that we were hoping to buy an LS in 1992 but could only afford a Towncar.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    “Unlike other automakers, Cadillac isn’t afraid to heap some love on ICEs. Six- and eight-cylinder powerplants will remain in the lineup for the foreseeable future, de Nysschen said.”

    Where are the V8s again?

    “adding that it will help elevate the brand.”

    Brand, brand, brand. I thought Melody left?

  • avatar
    Cactuar

    Shouldn’t the car be facing *towards* the wind tunnel?

  • avatar
    gasser

    Cadillac does NOT need a halo car; it needs a wooden stake through it’s heart.

    • 0 avatar
      Hydromatic

      It just needs to finally accept what it really is deep down and stop trying to be something it isn’t.

      Also, it needs a new guy running the division, not this Johann…whatever his name is.

  • avatar
    MrGreenMan

    Good idea to eliminate those names once people are finally getting used to the ATS, CTS, XTS labels.

    I don’t know if the Bundy Bounce can save them.

  • avatar
    redapple

    If i were to buy a premium vehicle, it would NOT be a Caddy. The brand is comical. My peers would laugh at it. Lexus, Audi, a Benz would be ones.

  • avatar
    ceipower

    Nobody hold your breath! Cadillac’s tried this before and failed miserably. Lipstick on a pig isn’t enough anymore.. Take away the Escalade numbers and Cadillac is clearly a failure. This “New GM” seems to try harder , but clearly not hard enough.

    • 0 avatar
      Peter Gazis

      The Escalade only accounted for 40,000 of the 356,000 vehicles Cadillac sold last year.

      Clearly your an Idiot.

      • 0 avatar
        ernest

        Cadillac delivered 156,440 units in 2017. Of those,

        84,587 XTS/XT5 (54% of the total!)
        37,694 Escalade/Esc ESV (24% of the total)
        13,100 ATS
        10,542 CT6
        10,344 CTS

        173 unit balance ELR + SRX

        http://gmauthority.com/blog/2018/01/cadillac-sales-figures-numbers-results-december-2017-united-states/

        In other words, SUV’s and CUV’s outsold cars by a margin of almost 4:1. With the advent of the CT4, that’s bound to increase. Cadillac isn’t toast by a long shot, but they’re rapidly morphing into an American Land Rover, with Lincoln following suit.

        • 0 avatar
          jack4x

          Ummmm, the XTS (large FWD/AWD sedan), and the XT5 (crossover, SRX replacement) are not the same and should not be combined.

          Bring back the real names.

          • 0 avatar
            ernest

            Edit that to read SRX. You know, the mid-size crossover thingie. I hate that friggin’ alphabet soup nomenclature more than anything.

        • 0 avatar
          Peter Gazis

          Cadillac delivered 356,000 units worldwide in 2017. 156,440 in the U.S. alone.

          The XTS is a sedan not a crossover. Making Cadillac’s U.S. sales mix:
          50,278 cars. to 106,162 crossover/SUVs, or about 1/3 Cars.

          GM builds alot of vehicles in all shapes and sizes. Some do better than others. Cadillac hasn’t stopped bringing new vehicles to market. Some will do better than others.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            “Cadillac hasn’t stopped bringing new vehicles to market. Some will do better than others.”
            —- But ALL are doing worse than their predecessors.

  • avatar
    jack4x

    Let’s hope it’s something actually worth waiting for.

    Cadillac has the biggest gap between amazing show cars and disappointing product of any brand and I don’t think it’s particularly close. Let’s see something in production that aspires to actually be the Standard of the World, not another 4 cylinder sedan for Corvette money.

  • avatar
    ernest

    Cadillac doesn’t need a halo CAR. How about a 700HP Escalade, upgrade the hell out of the interior and the chassis. Something that could at least keep up with a GC Track Hawk. Go ahead and charge $150K for it- it’s not a price sensitive segment. There’s your Cadillac Halo.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    Caddy has been around for eons and now they want a halo car?

    I thought you needed reputation and brand image for a halo car to have any real impact on the brand.

    Even Ford with its fantastic GT didn’t get as much halo value and reputation as it could of.

    How the hell will Caddy value add with a halo car?

    Yup, a waste. First build the business, Caddy has left it decades too late for a halo car.

  • avatar
    el scotto

    I has a case of the sadz. Cadillac needs some young hipster designer to make the next “60 Special” Unabashedly American and totally bad ass; think Kid Rock designing a Cadillac sedan. Send the young hipster to Bowling Green. Let the ‘Vette engineers go bat caca crazy designing an S Class defeater. Have test mules show up at Kentucky Derby 2020. With panache and attitude, it would an rousing success. Instead, we get GM; the company that brought you, it’s almost as good as Japanese, Chevy Cobalt. GM will make every wrong decision on a Caddy halo car that they can.

  • avatar
    Robbie

    Cadillac’s death watch is sure taking long

  • avatar
    Luke42

    As an EV fan, it’s hard for me to accept anything with a plain old gas engine as a “halo” car.

    They’d best put some modern technology under the hood.

    An electric Escalade, with three rows and it’s tow rating intact, would be a halo car. Heck, even I would want one!

  • avatar
    hifi

    “There’s a few things to take care of first.”

    Like what? What business does Cadillac think it’s in? Are they going to solve world hunger first… or balance the national debt? How many more generations are we going to wait for a legitimate class-leading car from Cadillac? Any class category will do! Cadillac hasn’t had a legitimate luxury car since the 1960s. That’s about a HALF CENTURY! I’d say that pretty much no one is holding their breath waiting for Cadillac to take care of a few things and then build a car that’s appealing beyond the strip clubs of New Jersey.

    • 0 avatar
      DEVILLE88

      I disagree with you on that, what about the 1975 seville or the fleetwood broughams of the 70’s and 80’s? they need to go back to the 1957 eldorado brougham to see what a true “halo” car is.

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    Here are some correlations I’ve calculated between the success of car brands and certain factors:

    – Halo cars – ZERO (see Nissan vs Toyota)
    – Ring tuning – ZERO
    – Good product – ONE
    – Good dealer network – ONE
    – Catering to the market rather than the opposite – ONE

    Naturally JdN doubles down on the zero correlation factors while scoffing at the 100% correlation factors…….. “why isn’t our plan working???”

  • avatar

    Cadillac needs to go back to about 1933 for its Halo inspiration.

    Then ask themselves what to do in the 2020’s that will elicit the level of awe and respect those 1930’s V16 models did.

    Then do that. And do it better than anyone in the world.

  • avatar
    2000ChevyImpalaLS

    You can set your watch by it, almost. TTAC posts an article about Cadillac, and out come the knives from the B&B.

    This is by no means a defense of Cadillac’s management or their decisions. But one might as well post that .gif of Trump repeating “wrong” in the comments sections of anything to do with Cadillac on this site. It’s just as tiresome.

    I will grant, though, that they should get away from the alphanumeric naming system and use names again. Regardless of the make, nobody knows and fewer care about what assortment of letters and numbers you can string together. But you say Deville, Impala, Mustang, Roadmaster… you know exactly what that means.

  • avatar
    Ultraviolet Thunder

    Cadihack has had over a decade to get its act in gear after the so-called Renaissance that brought in the ear of pre-dented sheet metal and cheap interiors and 1980’s movie theatre aisle lighting accents on the front end.

    No longer can this company be given an ounce of latitude. Aside from the V-Series, they build junk. There is no luxury to these products and the once laughable Lincoln is now producing superior products to Cadihack and are making a mockery of Cadihack SUV’s in the process.

    Cadihack needs fewer models – it needs to learn how to build a luxurious product, and please stop thinking you can build a superior product to Europeans. Go back to building American luxury and understand that you are fooling yourself into thinking anyone cars about rear wheel drive anymore.

    Even with the infection of all these name plates they now offer, they still have not beaten Cadillac from 1990. And that proves this is all a joke.

  • avatar
    Jagboi

    If they want to go after the European market do they have a good diesel? Last time I was in London, every single S Class and Range Rover I saw (and there are a lot of them in Central London) was diesel. Jaguar has said that 95% of their European sales are diesel.

    If Cadillac doesn’t have a diesel than can compete with Mercedes they shouldn’t bother.

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