By on June 23, 2018

2016 Cadillac CTS grey

That “someone else” might be a Chinese buyer. At least, that’s what former Cadillac president Johan de Nysschen implied in March, shortly before packing his bags and hitting the road.

The premium sedan market stands to grow along with the rest of that country’s appetite for high-zoot models, he said, even though the overall take rate might shrink.

American buyers, however, have made it clear what they want. And what they want isn’t what Cadillac’s planning for its Lansing Grand River assembly plant, if sales stats tell us anything.

Earlier this week, General Motors announced $175 million in retooling funding for the Michigan plant, a key bit of cash to keep sedans rolling out of the Cadillac brand. The money’s earmarked for creation of two strategically priced sedans aimed at replacing the outgoing CTS, ATS, and XTS. While the trio of nameplates stands to disappear by the beginning of next decade, the ATS is getting a head start, going coupe-only for 2019.

In their place will be a CT5 sedan for the $35k-45k crowd, and a smaller, unnamed model to follow. The CT6 carries on as the flagship.

Currently, Lansing Grand River builds the CTS and ATS, while the XTS rolls out of GM Canada’s Oshawa, Ontario facility. The CT6 hails from Hamtramck. GM would only say that the two new sedans will appear by the end of 2021, though the larger of the two is expected to appear first, in 2020.

“We expect global luxury sales will continue grow, with Cadillac’s global volume and profit expected to double by 2021, and our investments in the U.S. will be a major driver,” GM said in a statement.

While the market for luxury sedans may be growing in China, it’s headed in the opposite direction in the United States. There, Cadillac buyers are far more interested in the XT5, Escalade, and presumably the upcoming XT4 compact crossover. It’s become harder to gauge the ups and downs of the Cadillac brand’s stable since GM moved to quarterly sales reporting, but recent years have shown a marked drop-off in interest for the division’s rear-drive four-doors.

[Source: Reuters] [Images: General Motors]

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60 Comments on “GM Sinks $175 Million Into Cadillac Sedan Plant – Maybe You Don’t Want ’em, but Someone Else Does...”


  • avatar

    “We expect global luxury sales will continue grow, with Cadillac’s global volume and profit expected to double by 2021, and our investments in the U.S. will be a major driver”

    But with increasing retaliatory import taxes in China and the EU, it will take gonads of (non-imported) steel to bet on the long term viability of a company that relies on the export of luxury goods.

    Maybe they say 2021 because they’re hoping there will be a new administration by then.

  • avatar
    DeadWeight

    Cadillac is F*cked permanently.

    Their XT4 is a miserable pile of excrement, even by their sewer-level standards, and KIA/Hyundai can literally makes better, more reliable, more durable vehicles than anything Guangzhou Motors puts out, with better technology, while the Cadillac brand sinks further down the bottomless slide.

    • 0 avatar

      Trust me, Ford is more worthless. At least the original ATS got North American Car of the Year.

      Before you criticize either GM or Cadillac you must mention how awful Ford is first.

      • 0 avatar
        JimZ

        both are worth several orders of magnitude more than you two trolls.

        • 0 avatar
          Art Vandelay

          We often disagree Jim, but when you are right, you are right.

          Having said that, I drove an ATS and a Fiesta ST back to back. The Fiesta’s back seat was shocking close in size to the ATS

          • 0 avatar
            DeadWeight

            Art, the ATS has the smallest back seat of any 4-door sedan I’ve ever driven.

            Real POS vehicle all the way around, executed by the incompetent morons at Guangzhou Motors LLC (“New post-taxpayer bailed out GM).

        • 0 avatar
          JohnTaurus

          This. Thanks, Jim.

      • 0 avatar
        Carroll Prescott

        Says you. I can assure you that defending Cadihack proves that you are blind and stupid. Why include Ford? Afraid that they have a superior product at a lower cost? Right now the Escalator from Cadihack is being trounced by the Lincoln Navigator and you’d be hard pressed to justify buying an Escalator over the Ford Expedition.

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus

      DeadBrain making a pointless ranting post about which he knows nothing about, check.

      EcoBoostFlex talking about Ford endlessly and obsessively, check.

      Yep, it’s a Cadillac article.

      • 0 avatar
        sportyaccordy

        This could be a Piston Slap article, and their commentary would be the same.

        Glad the B&B are finally waking up to DW’s nonsense.

        • 0 avatar
          DeadWeight

          You are not exactly the poster child for enlightenment while holding yourself out as the driver of some fairytale SPORTY ACCORD.

          Driving an Accord is fine, especially if it’s the last or prior gen (as the new ones shed double wishbone suspension and added stupid turbo 1.5 liter), but just accept it as an Accord, and don’t try and make it out to be some sort of special thing.

    • 0 avatar
      DeadWeight

      Some real simpletons on TTAC lately that don’t realize that the U.S. is an existential war with China over such things as advanced manufacturing (where China has stolen 40 years worth of intellectual property, proprietary technology and highly developed and advanced other technologies from U.S. and other western nations’ companies – FOR FREE AND WITHOUT PENALTY), and the one great thing Trump could do (regardless of one’s opinion of the man personally), that could make him a positive, revolutionary, American President, if he truly follows through, is to stop Chinese GRAND LARCENY.

      KEEP BUYING YOUR GM GARBAGE, SIMPLETONS, AS GM IS PROBABLY AMONG THE TOP 3 “AMERICAN” COMPANIES THAT’S ABANDONED AMERICAN INTERESTS, AND SIMPLY GIVEN CHINESE SOVs DECADES WORTH OF FREE IP, IN ORDER TO HAVE ACCESS TO THE DOMESTIC CHINESE MARKET.

      There’s nearly no more seditious, treasonous, disgusting company in the USA than GM, aka Guangzhou Motors.

    • 0 avatar
      bd2

      The XT5 is nothing great, but it’s not any worse than the Lexus RX – which is why it was the 2nd best selling lux model last year (after the RX) and why Cadillac has added a 3rd shift.

      Expect the XT4 to be a big seller for Cadillac as well; selling a lot better than what the MKC has for Lincoln.

  • avatar
    "scarey"

    As someone shouted out to Lee Iococca when he announced a $150 million investment, “Give that man ONE white chip !”,,,

  • avatar
    Mandalorian

    All Cadillac sedans (save the XTS) are: too expensive, depreciate horribly, have crap base engines, be plasticky, ride hard, have tiny back seats, and have tiny trunk openings.

    Seriously, this is a list of problems that should be expected of a car from 2005, NOT 2018. Anyone who still wants a sedan is going German or Lexus at this point.

    • 0 avatar

      What about Lincoln. Cadillac is so much better than Lincoln. Lincoln sucks mule balls.

    • 0 avatar
      Tele Vision

      Those few of us with Vs quite like them. I can’t speak to the proletariate models.

      • 0 avatar
        ttiguy

        Correct Tele Vision.

        I have an ATS-V coupe 6mt and I love it. Losers like DeadWeight (which must have been what they called him when they fired him from GM) are just bitter and will never even be in a position to have such a vehicle anyway.

        • 0 avatar
          Ban-One

          what’s your real world mpg? and at what mileage did you have to replace the tires? understanding “i don’t care about mpg/maintenance costs” and/or “this isn’t a DD, just a track-day third car” will be flamed as a loser response given the context of your retort

          • 0 avatar
            ttiguy

            Who is the question for Ban-One? I’m getting 21 mpg and still on the original tires (and they’re in good shape) at 22k miles.

        • 0 avatar
          DeadWeight

          TTIguy – I could buy your bucket of Chinese bolts Clack-i-lack Guangzhou Motors V-Fart scrap heap 1,000 times over, but only would if I felt like filming one of those tank running over a scrap car commercial.

          And Guangzhou Motors would have to pay me 100 million USD annually, with a guaranteed 10 year contract, with absolute, unfettered power to completely rip the turd of an institution apart top to bottom and put it back together with my hand-picked team, and even then, I’d only take that offer under advisement.

          Your car is a piece of trash, bro. That’s the way of the Guangzhou. I spend no more than 1.25% (MAXIMUM) of my cash (liquid) on a new car, and 0.05% if it’s a used car, all high-quality, non-Guangzhou Motors rolling Chinese parts-filled dumpster fires.

          • 0 avatar
            ttiguy

            Answer one question DW:

            Did you ever work for GM? If so, what was the reason you were fired?

            BTW anyone who has such strict rules about how much of their “liquid” cash is spent on cars BUT SPENDS DAY AND NIGHT ON A CAR BLOG clearly must not have enough cash to begin with. Face it BRO, you’re a loser at life.

        • 0 avatar
          Tele Vision

          @ttiguy

          I have your car’s Dad: a 2007 CTS-V, aka The CarVette, the FourVette, the Vettillac, etc. Love it.

          • 0 avatar
            Mandalorian

            I don’t deny the V cars are fast, but they’re like old school muscle cars: mediocre base car with a huge crazy awesome engine.

            Performance wise they’re right up there with the M, AMG, and RS cars, but forget the speed for a minute and the Germans are still extraordinarily good cars. Cut the HP in half, and there’s still a great case to be made for a 3-series, A6, E-Class, etc. I really can’t say the same for the Cadillac sedans, save the XTS.

          • 0 avatar
            Nate

            I have a slightly older V1, 2004 model. I also love mine dearly. I may be in the minority, but I feel like those cars are future classics.

          • 0 avatar
            Tele Vision

            @Mandalorian

            They were not mediocre base cars. Every single Gen I CTS-V came fully-loaded. The V1s were offered with exactly four options: Exterior color; interior color; sunroof delete ( wish I had that one ); and the RPO FG2 package, which was just uprated shocks and springs that no one bought. Really, three options. Many peeled cows adorn every V1 and they all had the top Bose system, etc.

          • 0 avatar
            Tele Vision

            @Nate

            Ah, you have the ‘revver’! My 6.0L has the same power as your 5.7L but the torque peak is 400 RPM lower in the 6.0, now at 4400 RPM, due entirely to the added displacement. Better for we old guys toodling about with our golf clubs and blue-haired wives. As if. Have you had to replace the rear differential yet or was it already done? Also, I agree that they’re future classics. Near future, too. 400HP MT NA sedan?! Go find another similar model for similar money. Can’t be done.

    • 0 avatar
      Advance_92

      I just wish Cadillacs looked better. Their design language just doesn’t appeal to me. Something that looks like the new Volvo S/V60 but with motors that have a bit more proven track record would be very nice.

      And believe it or not I would actually trust GM to offer a manual more than anyone else in the segment at the moment.

  • avatar

    when we improve the marketing, we will start adding shifts.

    • 0 avatar
      "scarey"

      As a former engineer, I believe that engineering should report directly to marketing in any supposedly profit-making enterprise. Of course, you should have a good marketing department…

  • avatar
    MrGreenMan

    The one that’s killed and its grave is defiled, the XTS, that’s the one that outsold the other two and was surely more profitable than either ATS or CTS. Typical GM logic.

  • avatar
    Tele Vision

    For reasons unknown to me the Chinese reportedly value a large rear seat area over many other considerations. Is Caddy going to stretch the two new sedans like BMW and Audi did with some of their Chinese offerings?

  • avatar
    thejohnnycanuck

    Doesn’t help that Cadillac is now run by committee since de Nysschen’s ousting. Steve Carlisle is a well known yes man within GM ranks, hardly the person to drag Cadillac kicking and screaming out of its current funk.

    First thing I’d do is give their cars real names again instead of this alphanumeric claptrap that makes no sense. It works for the Germans because they’ve been doing it for decades. Like what happened to the Elmiraj and the Escala? I swear GM lets more great concepts rot on the vine than any other carmaker on the planet.

  • avatar
    pdog_phatpat

    Fitting only the Chinese want GMs JUNK cars. They can have them.

    GM-JUNK

  • avatar
    thegamper

    I think Cadillac is making some pretty nice vehicles, overpriced perhaps, but certainly attractive, mostly competitive with the vehicles in their segments. The big problem for Cadillac is too little too late, poor timing with slew of sedans just as market turning crossover, now a slew of crossovers coming just as oil is probably set to rise or at least hover well above previous lows of the last few years.

    Most importantly, no consistency. Can’t keep renaming, axing models, adjusting image.

  • avatar
    Sub-600

    On a clear day you can see Guangzhou.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    Last week was largely spend on a family vacation and in the busy valet line at the hotel I spotted a nearly new XTS. I know they’ve made some some small styling tweaks during its long model run and for the first time it struck me as NOT awkward looking.

    Unfortunately for GM the only way I would pick one up would be CPO and the last thing I would care about is the fact that it was a Cadillac. To me it would simply be a big dang sedan for a fire sale price.

  • avatar
    Ban-One

    if, as the article states, the CT5 will be for the “$35K-$45K crowd”, what crowd will the CT4 be for? i am not familiar with any model cadillac currently offers for sale below $35K MSRP, and the ATS models i would have been interested in were being offered in the $55K-$60K range (before sitting on the lots for 18-24 mos. before ultimately being let go with massive discounts, proving me correct & proving arrogant cadillac dealerships incorrect as to their true market value)

    • 0 avatar
      bd2

      TTAC and much of the rest of the auto media have been wrong about what the CT4 and CT5 replace.

      The CT5 essentially replaces the ATS, but going back to the size/interior space of the 2G CTS for the “compact” segment.

      The CT6 will replace both the XTS and the CTS, with the production version of the Escala to slot above as the Cadillac flagship sedan.

      The CT4 is Cadillac’s A Class, 2 Series and A3 competitor – altho, it won’t be too much smaller than the ATS (that’s who poorly the packaging was for the ATS).

      Doubt that any US production of the CT4 or CT5 will make their way to China (as they will be built there for the local market), but export markets will be SKorea, Europe and the Middle East.

  • avatar

    Cadillac is the one US car maker that has earned the right to compete with BMW, Mercedes, and Audi. The consensus is Cadillac is producing the best handling and driving sedan’s Detroit has ever produced.

    Due to strong sales aboard Cadillac had it second best year ever in 2017. The division broke the 300,000 sales barrier last year helped mainly by strong Chinese sales.

    • 0 avatar
      "scarey"

      GM is well on its way to becoming a Chinese company that makes and sells trucks in North America as a secondary focus. The day will come, I think, when Chinese GM spins (Sells for cash.)
      GM is not run by bean counters, but by bean worshippers. They will sell their sub-par scrappy cars in China for as long as they can then shift operations and sales to Africa in another 75 to 100 years.

  • avatar
    Johnster

    I really think that the XTS has already been replaced by the CT6. It looks like the CT5 is a replacement for the CTS and the CT4 might be a replacement for the ATS. The CTS and ATS are not bad cars.

    They had good bones, but never never lived up to their potential. Cramped back seats, odd cheap plastic-y interior bits, unexpectedly rough and noisy power-trains, and questionable pricing policies all took a toll on potential sales. Let’s hope Cadillac does better and gets things right this time around.

    • 0 avatar
      DeadWeight

      If you thought the ATS and current gen CTS are bad, and they are, full Roger Smith re-badge General Motors is back with the pile of excrement XT4.

      Wait until you get a chance to see, touch and/or drive that overpriced, absolutely dressed up Chevrolet, with its absolute commonality shared with the rest of Guangzhou Motors melamine crap.

      It’s ONLY GETTING WORSE at Cadillac.

      Johan probably actually bailed.

    • 0 avatar
      bd2

      The CT6 essentially also replaces the CTS.

      The CT5 is the successor to the ATS and the CT4 is Cadillac’s entry into the sub-entry segment (A Class, 2 Series, A3).

  • avatar
    Tele Vision

    My next car will be a used CTS-Vagon with a manual. It apparently has the worst fuel mileage for a small wagon ever – and I don’t give a care.

  • avatar
    redapple

    Caddy?
    F that.
    I ve always hated the ‘angry appliance’ design theme.
    HATE IT.

    • 0 avatar
      bd2

      The exterior facelift for the CT6 (which gets Escala design cues) looks a lot better than the somewhat bland current sheetmetal.

      Should be even better when the next gen CT6 gets the full Escala treatment.

  • avatar
    DEVILLE88

    What a bunch of pathetic whiners we have here. i’ll bet 75% of you couldnt afford a Cadillac, Benz or BMW. Cadillac is producing the best cars they’ve ever made. They can kick any european or Japanese cars ass. and a lot of you are pissed because another country likes our cars??? and because GM (which btw is a business in business to make money)is selling cars that are more appreciated in a foreign land than it’s home country?? While i prefer the older Cadys and am getting tired of Art and Science, i still have a love for Cadillacs and accept them as they are. So if you don’t like Cadillacs…………go find a place where you can talk about the cars you do like. Some people are’nt happy unless they are bitching about the stupidest things!

  • avatar
    Hydromatic

    I wonder which brand DeadWeight (fitting name, btw) will kvetch about once Cadillac becomes yet another dead brand.

    • 0 avatar
      DeadWeight

      1) You acknowledge Cadillac will become a dead brand (it has a foot and 1/2 the other foot in in the grave now), so kudos;

      2) The other brands that are really blowing up in a spectacular manner are a) Buick, b) Acura, c) Fiat, d) Mini, e) Acura, f) I’ll think of some more.


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