Cadillac Is Holding Out for a Halo

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems

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.”

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 nam e 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]

Steph Willems
Steph Willems

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  • Jagboi Jagboi on Apr 03, 2018

    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.

  • Veleza48 Veleza48 on Dec 22, 2023

    Dear folks, here in the U.S. some of us know that America knows more about cars than anyone else. If this country made cars that lasted forever it would cost the consumer too much. America has the knowhow but does not have to use it. And another thing we are the only country to have put man on the moon , think about that. Yes, it is true NASA got help from the Germans in the form of Dr. Wernher Von Braun but we still are on top in some areas.

  • 1995 SC PA is concerning, but if it spent most of its life elsewhere and was someone's baby up there and isn't rusty it seems fairly priced.
  • CanadaCraig I don't see ANY large 'cheap' cars on the market. And I'm saying there should be.
  • 1995 SC I never cared for the fins and over the top bodies on these, but man give me that interior all day. I love it
  • 1995 SC Modern 4 door sedans stink. The roofline on them is such that it wrecks both the back seat and trunk access in most models. Watch someone try to get their kid into a car seat in the back of a modern sedan. Then watch them try to get the stroller into the mail slot t of a trunk opening. I would happily trade the 2 MPG at highway speed that shape may be giving me for trunk and rear seat accessibility of the sedans before this stupidity took over. I ask you, back in the day when Sedans were king, would any of them with the compromises of modern sedans have sold well? So why do we expect them to sell today? Make them usable for the target audience again and just maybe people will buy them. Keep them just as they are and they'll keep buying crossovers which might be the point.
  • Kwik_Shift_Pro4X As much problems as I had with my '96 Chevy Impala SS.....I would love to try one again. I've seen a Dark Cherry Metallic one today and it looked great.
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