It Looks Like Cadillac Is Sticking With Its Alphanumeric Naming Strategy

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
it looks like cadillac is sticking with its alphanumeric naming strategy

Not everyone was a fan of Cadillac’s decision to dive into an alphanumeric naming plan for its models. Seen as an attempt to copy German brands like BMW, Audi, and Mercedes-Benz, General Motors’ luxury arm began aggressively chasing the trend in the new millennium. But a great many traditionalists still feel that alphanumeric names are best left to Japanese sports cars and European sedans sold in various shades of gray.

However, these dissenting voices voices will continue falling upon deaf ears at General Motors. Cadillac is sticking with the letters-and-numbers strategy and recently filed reserves with United States Patent and Trademark Office for just about everything starting with CT or XT.

Hopefully, you weren’t holding out for a revival of the Eldorado this century.

While the company likely won’t use every single label, Cadillac has filed trademarks for CT2, CT3, CT4, CT5, CT7, CT8, XT2, XT3, XT6, XT7 and XT8 according to GM Inside News. That should keep it covered for the next decade and save the creative department the trouble of coming up with monikers that might evoke any kind of emotion in prospective customers.

We’ll let you guess which of these will be reserved for the CTS and ATS replacements, but the mere inclusion of “CT2” makes wonder if someone at GM is musing the idea of a compact Caddy — a modern-day Cimarron, if you will. Meanwhile, the hypothetical XT2 would have to be similarly microscopic and probably based on the Chevrolet Trax. Before you ask “who would want that,” allow me to issue a preemptive answer. Any time a large American company offers a flashy but inferior product that you can’t quite wrap your head around, it’s almost always intended for China. This applies to movies, automobiles, appliances, and literally everything else that can be produced for the masses.

However, none of those itty-bitty luxury models currently exist outside this author’s imagination. And, even if they do in a few years, you’ll still have access to the comically oversized Cadillac XT8.

[Image: General Motors]

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  • Drew Cadillac Drew Cadillac on Aug 14, 2018

    A big problem with Cadillac using alphanumeric naming is that it reflects aspirations of a German-wannabe instead of a proud American luxury leader. Cadillac should stick to their own luxury values instead of imitating the Germans spec-for-spec, appearance-for-appearance, alphanumeric-for-alphanumeric. Cadillac should be building cars for American roads, highways, and driving preferences, rather than designing cars for the Autobahn and the Nurburgring Nordschleife test track. If someone wants a German car, they'll buy a German car. Cadillac did not become the luxury leader post-WWII for five decades straight by being a cheaper version of the cramped, hard-riding, blandly rounded "performance sedans" the Germans were offering. Cadillac already tried getting direction from their Johans and Uwes, and it didn't work. Johan de Nysschen never understood what Cadillac meant, in terms of being a large, roomy, comfortable-riding, refined, reliable, strongly-powered, modern-electronics luxury brand with brash look-at-me angular styling, with real names, not Eurobland appearance with generic names. Johan gave Cadillac their silly Euro-wannabe naming system; now that he's been fired they need to bring back real Cadillac values, and bring back their own naming system. Not necessarily more Devilles and Sevilles and Eldorados, but real names once again, reflecting that this is no longer a brand that is embarrassed to be American, and hoping someone will think they are actually German but at a cut-rate price.

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    • Drew Cadillac Drew Cadillac on Aug 15, 2018

      Zamoti, great point. After ending Pontiac GM doesn't know where to put their sporty cars, and they've made a mess of Cadillac, which was a highly regarded, well-established, very profitable LUXURY brand. Now the public doesn't know what Cadillac means. It doesn't even mean an expensive car any more, since someone can buy a new, pre-rebate ATS at an MSRP of around $35k. And it's definitely not luxury any more, except in the highest models and highest trim levels. Buick could have become the home of sporty models, as they do at least have the history of the Grand National of the 1980's. But I think if GM had been smart and insisted on a sporty, BMW-like competitor, they should have broken Corvette into its own brand. Instead they have made Cadillac a brand without identity or values. People who remember the old roomy, reliable, refined, comfortable riding luxury road cruisers are finding out that those values are largely ignored in favor of "sports performance". But the people who want sports performance cars don't want Cadillac, due to its history as a different type of car. I don't see why GM wasn't smart enough to see this coming. Furthermore the market for German-like small and medium sized cars is fully saturated, while Cadillac has failed to make a true large luxury car like the MB S-class, Audi A8, BMW 7 series (they shouldn't make a direct imitator, but they shouldn't be conceding this market to others). This is a lost company, and the German-imitating alphanumeric just pushes it further into the woods.

  • Akear Akear on Aug 14, 2018

    How bad can Cadillac be if they produce the CTS-v. In my lifetime I never thought there would be a Cadillac capable of nearly 200mph. That car is a monster.

    • Drew Cadillac Drew Cadillac on Aug 16, 2018

      Akear, how does making a CTS-V that goes nearly 200mph make Cadillac a great producer of luxury cars? Did you know that the speed limit in the USA is rarely over 75? And the maximum is 85, limited to a few rural parts of Texas. Cadillac is a luxury brand. If this were Ferrari, then having a car that goes 200mph would matter to the customers. But there's more to a great car than sheer (and unusable in the real world) speed. Unfortunately gear head management has dominated Cadillac in recent years. They've focused on speed and track performance (trying to imitate BMW and even out-BMW them), and forgotten this is a luxury brand. Which is why US Cadillac sales keep declining, year after year.

  • ToolGuy Real Subarus are green and coated with dust from at least three different National Parks (Gateway Arch doesn't count).
  • ToolGuy Good for them.(And their customers. $2500 first-year subscription on top of the system cost? That ain't me)
  • ToolGuy T E L L U R I D E is not on this list(I can keep my poster on the wall)
  • ToolGuy My impression is that Honda has been coasting on its reputation for awhile now.(To Honda's credit, they aren't standing on the Self Destruct button like Toyota seems to be)
  • Fred I owned a 2001 MR2 for 15 years nothing ever went wrong with the vehicle. It was always exciting to drive most people thought it was a boxster. The only negative was storage and legroom considering I'm a little over 6:4 the only reason it was sold was as a second car and a grandchild on the way we needed something more practical.