By on May 8, 2018

Cadillac ATS-V.

Last December, Cadillac’s smallest four-door staged a disappearing act on a VIN decoder document sent to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration from General Motors for 2019 model year vehicles. While the ATS coupe lived on in all of its variations, the sedan seemingly ceased to exist. Naturally, GM was loathe to discuss it.

As Cadillac adjusts to an abrupt change in leadership, there’s additional evidence that the brand’s entry-level sedan won’t make it to the 2019 model year.

As TTAC contributor and online sleuth Bozi Tatarevic discovered Tuesday, clicking open GM’s fleet order guide fails to turn up an ATS sedan on the list of 2019 vehicles. The ATS Coupe and ATS-V Coupe remain, as do the CTS and CTS-V sedans and their larger stablemates.

GM didn’t respond to an inquiry from TTAC by publication time, but even if the ATS sedan does leave this earth with the 2018 model year, the model itself won’t be around for long. Last year, former Cadillac President Johan de Nyyschen said three Caddy sedans would die in 2019. The discontinuation of the ATS, CTS, and aging XTS would pave the way for two new sedans, he said, with the XT6 remaining as the brand’s traditional flagship.

“We have to rebalance our sedan portfolio,” de Nysschen told Reuters in July 2017.

It looks like Cadillac’s trimming the herd before sending the rest to the slaughterhouse. Come 2020, Cadillac plans to lure sedan buyers in the $35,000-$45,000 price range with the midsize CT5, with an unnamed model tentatively positioned below it. It’s unknown whether newly minted president Stephen Carlisle has any plans to tinker with the product pipeline left behind by de Nysschen.

The ATS ran into trouble soon after its 2012 introduction. Steep incentives offered in the hopes of stemming falling sales led to low residual values that hurt the brand. Meanwhile, Cadillac sought to boost interest (and exclusivity) by axing the base 2.5-liter four-cylinder and adding a hot ATS-V variant. That model’s twin-turbocharged 3.6-liter, which returns for 2019 in the coupe, makes 464 horsepower and 444 lb-ft of torque.

Sales last quarter showed a slight improvement over Q1 2017. While sales fell to just 13,100 units in the U.S. last year, the model’s fourth consecutive yearly drop since its 2013 peak (when Americans bought over 38,000 ATS vehicles), the first three months of 2018 brought an 18.4 percent year-to-date sales gain.

April’s sales tally remains a mystery, thanks to GM’s move to quarterly reporting.

[Images: General Motors]

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36 Comments on “New Evidence Points to Cadillac ATS Sedan’s Discontinuation...”


  • avatar
    ajla

    “with an unnamed model tentatively positioned below it.”

    No one wants a Cruzillac, especially not during CUV mania.

    Do this:
    0. CT6
    1. XTS (rename it CT5)
    2. Send ATS to hell and CTS to heaven.
    3. Build no other cars for now.

    • 0 avatar
      PrincipalDan

      Cruzillac – can we get one with a “Parthenon” style grille and a stand-up hood ornament? :-P

    • 0 avatar
      bd2

      Actually, this is what’s going to happen with regard to Cadillac’s sedan lineup.

      1. ATS to be replaced by the larger CT5.
      2. CTS also to be discontinued and replaced by the repositioned CT6.
      3. Escala/CT7 or CT8 to be the new Cadillac flagship.
      4. Also plans for a CT4 to slot underneath the CT5 as a (RWD) competitor to the A Class sedan, 1 Series and A3.

      The ATS and CTS were fundamentally flawed from the start due to packaging restraints of the Alpha platform.

      • 0 avatar
        ajla

        “due to packaging restraints of the Alpha platform.”

        So what platform is the CT5 (and all that other stuff) going to be on?

        Anyway, that plan sounds expensive and doomed. They should do mine instead.

      • 0 avatar
        Varezhka

        Given the increasingly niche status of sedans and coupes in the US market and GM’s competitiveness (or lack there of) in that market, the above plan sounds like a waste of engineering resources.

        Killing off ATS sedan is a good start, as with killing CTS.
        Now they just need to re-position ATS coupe and CT6 at a competitive price and update them at a reasonable interval.

        The rest of their resources should be on their CUV line-up. No need for additional sedans.

      • 0 avatar
        RSF

        I hope you’re wrong with what the names of the cars will be…

    • 0 avatar
      Peter Gazis

      “Send ATS to Hell”

      If the ATS could speak, I’m sure it would say”Been there done that”

  • avatar
    DeadWeight

    A Reanimator Roger Smith v2.0 Cadillac XT3 – a jacked up CUV Cruze – will replace the ATS (a vehicle that was should have never been birthed as a Cadillac in the 1st place; EPIC #FailGreatly).

    It will feature the 1.5 turbo Chevy motor and every bother Guangzhou Motors parts-bin components, and it be billed as The Standard of The World.

    On a more positive note, Clack-i-lack is even further nuking resale/residual values of the ATS, CTS, etc., so that they soon may reach fair value of a 5-year old Honda Accord LX.

  • avatar
    DearS

    I don’t see much of a reason to buy a new car but a used ATS or CTS are on my list to replace my old BMW.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      They’re a ridiculously good deal used. I can pick up one in my neck of the woods with 25-30,000 miles, CPO for +/- $20,000.

      I thought my next car would be a GTI, but for the same bucks, a lightly used ATS, 3-series or A3 begins to look mighty appealing.

    • 0 avatar
      RSF

      Used Caddy’s are great values.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    Bad news: residuals on this car suck.

    Good news: they’re a steal used. Seriously, at twenty grand or so, with 25-30,000 miles, certified, these cars are a smokin’ good deal.

    (Of course, this assumes nothing blows up.)

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      I want to say the last time I looked at the resale numbers they had improved, if even slightly.

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        I gotta say, it’s tempting, if for no other reason than to trigger DW.

        Seriously, whatever problems this car might have, “sucks to drive” ain’t one of them. It’s a terrific performance sedan – in fact, I’ll go right out on a limb and call it best in class.

    • 0 avatar
      Peter Gazis

      @FreedMike

      Using KBB as my source.

      3 year old ATSes are holding there value better than the German Sedans.

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        Well, the resale value on every car in this class is awful.

        But in my area, you seem to be able to pick up a nice ATS for a bit less than, say, a 328 or C300. That’s anecdotal, of course.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    OLD GM Rule #28: Fix the troubled model and discontinue immediately afterward.

  • avatar
    readallover

    Like its` previous generation Malibu and Regal Alpha platform cousins it was doomed by its tourniquet back seat leg room.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      Those cars were not on the same platform. But, yeah, the tight rear seat does the ATS no favors.

      • 0 avatar
        jkross22

        During the Takata airbag recall, Enterprise offered me an ATS sedan to drive. Cool! I thought.

        Then I tried sitting behind myself.

        The fact that the ATS sedan has 4 doors is GM’s idea of a joke. My 10 year old kid couldn’t sit behind me.

        The CTS has the same problem. Interior back seat size is the same as my 07 328i. That’s ridiculous.

        If you want a used Cadillac sedan (because let’s face it – you’d have to be a rube to buy one new), get the CT6 or XTS if there is a possibility you will need the back seat for more than a parcel shelf.

  • avatar
    Peter Gazis

    Sonic – Back for 2019
    Impala – Still Alive
    Buick – Double digit growth
    ATS – blowing the doors off everything else, decides to lose 2 of its own.

    I think GM just loves to make the automotive press look stupid.

    Enjoy your Camrys guys. (Sarcasm)

    • 0 avatar
      Peter Gazis

      Forgot to mention. I got a chance to drive a number of the newer Cadillacs, at a Cadillac Truth or Dare event. Loved the cars.
      Didn’t have any trouble with CUE either, I think anyone of average intelligence could quickly adapt to it.

  • avatar
    el scotto

    Those scamps at GM. They’re trying to convince that people younger than the 65-to-dead age category would want to buy a new Cadillac. “The Standard of the World” has devolved into a great used car buy. Until you look at CPO Lexus/Infinity.

    • 0 avatar
      Peter Gazis

      @el scotto

      Lexus has the oldest buyers in the business. Anyone who still has 20/20 vision can see their nothing more than bedazzled Corollas & Camrys.

  • avatar

    Cadillac doesn’t belong in this market.

    The ATS is fundamentally everything a well-executed Pontiac G6 should’ve been.

    Fight Me.

    • 0 avatar
      DeadWeight

      “Fight me” is my MO but you can use it b/c you’re cool.

      #carmine-is-a-snowflake-and-whiney-b!tch

    • 0 avatar
      Dan

      Fully agree that small, cheap Cadillacs reverse-halo the rest of the lineup no matter how well executed.

      Got to be kidding that this car is fundamentally a well executed, well, anything. It’s a 2+0 without any of the style of a 2+0.

  • avatar
    Johnster

    This was a good idea that, like so many cars from GM, was not executed very well. The CUE system is horrible.

    Still, one of these equipped with a V-6 would be a decent set of wheels, especially considering the comparatively low purchase price for a low-mileage used example.

    • 0 avatar
      Peter Gazis

      Johnster

      Lexus still uses a mouse
      Mercedes just got a touch screen
      BMW gesture controls beyond horible

      CUE IS FANTASTIC THE AUTOMOTIVE PRESS IS HORRIBLE! ! !

  • avatar

    another good car destroyed by lousy marketing.


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