By on August 13, 2018

2017 Cadillac XT5 - Image: Cadillac

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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59 Comments on “It Looks Like Cadillac Is Sticking With Its Alphanumeric Naming Strategy...”

  • avatar
    Carroll Prescott

    I love the name Seedy Six for their premium junk.

    • 0 avatar

      They will never equal the etcetera. ETC on the bck of the car. How about this. ….. names but new ones. You guys get paid a lot to come up with stuff. Come up with new names. You will get buzz at least. Numbers are for boring Germans. Car size ebgine size and some frippery. NAMES

      • 0 avatar

        The point of the numbers is so that a cheapskate like myself can buy an CT3 and instead of having to admit to being a broke poser, gets to brag about his new Caddy.

        If I had to admit that I bought the Cadillac Cheapo, i might as well get a Camaro.

        • 0 avatar

          “The point of the numbers is so that a cheapskate like myself can buy an CT3 and instead of having to admit to being a broke poser, gets to brag about his new Caddy.”

          You might have a point, although Caddy still can’t quite command the cachet that’d allow the $30k millionaire to get away with that kind of brand/marque name dropping.

  • avatar

    C’mon DW, only you can spell it out for the ggm fanboys.

    • 0 avatar

      There’s no such thing as GM fanboys. Only Ford fantards exist.

    • 0 avatar

      Sorry about your stutter.

    • 0 avatar

      The EXCITEMENT BUILDS, like a FURIOUS, GATHERING STORM, as we await the ALL-NEW CADILLAC XT4, surely destined to be one of the all-time greatest luxury crossover utility vehicles, and the New Standard of The World, by Cadillac*.

      “The XT4 (short for Crossover Touring 4) will be Cadillac’s second crossover SUV, slotting below the mid-size Cadillac XT5, **Oserving as the luxury equivalent to the Chevrolet Equinox and GMC Terrain, on the same E2XX platform***.”


      Wrap that Equinox in the finest Chinesium Gingerbread and Window Dressing and slap the monochromatic Cadillac Wreath Emblem on it, and call it a day, circa Cimarron, circa 1984.

      Cadillac XT4/Chevy Equinox “Platinum” = 45% Foreign parts (ala absolute lowest bidder wins contract) content. Drive American Luxury that is the fine Cadillac XT4!

      • 0 avatar
        Drew Cadillac

        DeadWeight, the XT4 is clearly not a Cadillac in anything but name. I have to think that after all of de Nysschen’s big talk about luxury at Cadillac, bringing out the XT4 is the reason he got fired.

        It might not be built on a Chevrolet platform, but in every sense except front end styling (and pricing) it’s what we’d expect from Chevrolet, not Cadillac. Too much black plastic inside and out, underpowered, cramped front seating, small cargo area; it doesn’t even have Cadillac’s iconic vertical taillights anymore. This is Cadillac, how?

        And what does it add to GM? If someone wants a CUV from GM, there are already plenty of choices. But folks at GM have this bizarre theory that if they can just get a customer into a vehicle when they are young, any vehicle, they’ll have that customer for life. In reality, the opposite is true. For the people who own or ride in an XT4, they’ll think “I’ve been in a Cadillac, it’s nothing special” and they won’t have a reason to aspire to a real Cadillac in the future (should Cadillac decide to start making only great American luxury cars once again, rather than undersized, underpowered faux-Euro-cars).

        The XT4 might sell in decent numbers, maybe. But it’s trashing the brand, and it might even be the sort of sales disappointment that the Cimarron was, speaking of brand-trashing Cadillacs. The XT4 may be the least exciting “Cadillac” debut, ever.

        • 0 avatar

          The XT4 is built on the exact same platform as the Equinox.

          The only differentiating factor between it and the Chevy Equinox is the standard base motor, which is a BIG OLE’ HONKING 2.0 LITER TURBOCHARRRRGED ENGINE!

          The XT4 is literally “the Equinox of Cadillacs.”

          • 0 avatar

            No slick, the XT4 is not related to the Equinox. The Equinox is on the Delta D2xx platform. The XT4 is on the Epsilon E2xx platform. Yeah I know….details. Whatever.


      • 0 avatar
        Peter Gazis

        Audi, Porsche, Alfa Romeo, Maserati, Jaguar, Land Rover, No U.S. production all vehicles 100% Foriegn.
        Infiniti Q60, Lexus ES built in U.S. all other Lexuses and Infinitis Imported
        BMW builds 4 crossovers here using Engines and transmissions from Germany. All cars 100% imported
        Lincoln built in Canada, Mexico & U.S.A.

        Cadillac ATS, ATS-V, CTS, CTS-V, CTS Vsport built in Lansing Michigan
        CT6- Hamtramck Michigan
        w/hybrid from China
        XT5-Springhill Tennessee
        Escalade – Arlington,Texas
        XT4 -Kansas City, Kansas
        XTS -Oshawa, Canada

        The Americans are American and the Imports are Imports. Your B.S. foriegn argument doesn’t pass the smell test.

    • 0 avatar
      Peter Gazis

      @Honda 1

      I’ll spell it out for you
      Cadillac and Tesla are on the way up.
      The Asian luxury brands are on the way down
      The Germans are going more down market in search of sales.

  • avatar

    Score another one for Lincoln with the Continental, Navigator, Nautilus, Aviator, and Corsair.

  • avatar

    GM is truly clueless

  • avatar

    dumbasses. even worse, they cut margin so salespeople make less.

    I’d rather sell an Equinox that XT5, and for sure a Denali over Escalade.

    forget about Caddy.

    • 0 avatar

      Why not forget all of GM while we’re at it

    • 0 avatar

      The Equinox and Denali look crude compared to their Cadillac counterparts. Due to their success in China, Cadillac broke the 300,000 sales barrier in 2017. It was Cadillac’s second best sales year on record. Cadillac is doing fine. I would worry more about the insane management at Ford.

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      Not only is the XT5 a size larger than the Equinox (it’s actually the size of the Acadia), it seems to be one of the few Cadillac models that GM has no problems selling. I see it everywhere.

  • avatar

    I guess when 90% of sales goes to alphanumeric vehicles, Cadillac should stick to names because a few internet experts who would never buy a Cadillac say so?

  • avatar

    Cadillac is still outselling Lincoln by more than a 2 to 1 margin. Every time you find something wrong with GM just compare how much better off they than Ford.

    When is the Hatchet-man going to turn the Mustang into a SUV.

  • avatar

    Classic GM, doubledown on failure.

    • 0 avatar

      I hope all Cadillac’s remaining talent finds places elsewhere, because at this point the brand deserves to die.

      • 0 avatar

        By Cadillac standards Lincoln is already dead. Lincoln can barely sell 100,000 vehicles a year. What is the point. Continental and MKZ have dropped 40% in sales since Ford announced most of their cars were being cancelled!!!

        Lincoln would love to have Cadillac sales right now.

    • 0 avatar

      The 1G and 2G CTS sold pretty well.

      The problem w/ the 3G CTS and ATS was poor packaging.

      The replacement for the ATS, the CT5, should sell a good bit better (taking into account the general decline in sedan sales).

      Lincoln brought back the Continental nameplate and it hasn’t exactly helped sales.

      • 0 avatar

        The Continental is not going to survive. In fact no passenger car is going to survive at Lincoln. They might not even sell 10,000 continentals this year!!!!

        I know a somebody who owns a Ford dealership who is strongly considering switching to another brand. Why owe a dealership with no future.

  • avatar

    What a retard move by Cadillac! It’s obvious Cadillac has kissed the U.S. market goodbye since China is their main focus now.

    Nobody buys new Cadillacs in California anymore, being the biggest automotive market in the nation. It’s not necessarily because their product is bad or not that great, it’s mainly because I feel the buying public out here is totally confused by what the brand is doing.

    And yes, Cadillac still hasn’t reached Uber luxury yet like Mercedes has done with the S-Class and BMW 7-Series, plus Cadillac’s marketing has been absolutely terrible!! Which doesn’t help matters.

    The Alphanumerical based names is hideous AF!! It’s lazy, unemotional and embodies pure nothing in someone’s soul.

    To not already have names like the El Mirage, and the Ciel is pretty disappointing and shows you that the corporate executives are clueless A-holes.

    The new Navigators interior is unbelievably gorgeous!! Probably one of the nicest I have ever seen in a long time in a luxury ride.

    That’s some S-Class Benz sheeet Lincoln is designing, and it goes to show you how serious Lincoln is at really trying to build and design a true luxury vehicle again. I’m still not fond of their exterior styling, but damn, the Navigators interior is a massive step in the right direction more so than any current or even future Caddy.

    Cadillacs glory days are long behind us.

    • 0 avatar

      Cadillac outsells Lincoln by a wide margin. The Escalade alone would account for nearly two thirds of all Lincoln sales. Alan Mulally actually wanted to cancel Lincoln.

      Ford – what a f**king disgrace!!!!

  • avatar

    Brilliant! /sarc.

  • avatar

    The big difference is BMW, Audi, Volvo and MB have used alphanumeric designations for generations and they make sense.

    In BMW everybody knows the 3 series is smaller than the 5 series, which is smaller than the 7 series. A logical progression. I have no idea of the Cadillac hierarchy, it’s a dogs breakfast of numbers and letters.

  • avatar

    Of the three vehicles, which is the worst handling.

    2018/19 Navigator
    2008 Hummer
    1979 Lincoln Continental

    I suggest Lincoln follow Cadillac’s example and start honing their vehicles on the Nürburgring track.

  • avatar

    To answer the question “who would buy a CT2?” the answer is me. I would.

    I just ended a 3 year on an ATS coupe and I fucking loved that car. My only complaint was that it felt slightly too big since i almost never used the backseat. So when shopping for new cars, i focused on the bmw 2-series which felt right in the wheelhouse. Unfortunately i can’t stand the bullshit bmw control knob crap, so i ended up with a Infiniti Q60, which still feels too big.

    Think about it. There are plenty of young single dudes who want something about the size of a BRZ but with decent horsepower and at least a pretense at a luxury interior. The Japanese used to be all over that market but then they got bloated. And the Germans still have this incredible aversion to modern touchscreen technology that i just cannot understand.

  • avatar


    I was recently joking that Ford would turn the Mustang into a SUV. Well, it sort of happened. The Mustang will be built on a CUV platform!!!
    The link to the story is below. Ford is going insane.

    • 0 avatar

      Maybe it’s the other way around: building some crossovers off a Mustang platform might result in something much more interesting than the vanilla crap other makers seem to be striving for in their CUV lineups.

      • 0 avatar

        A 4-door 3 series fighter built off the Mustang platform would be interesting, keep the same engines and transmissions.

        But wait, we can’t have sedans so… never-mind.

  • avatar

    “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.”

    Now remember the man who called this two or three years ago…

  • avatar
    Roberto Esponja

    The SUV pictured above looks like the shark from Finding Nemo.

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    “CT2, CT3, CT4, CT5, CT7, CT8, XT2, XT3, XT6, XT7 and XT8”

    It could be that Cadillac is planning a number of four-door coupes. Especially in regard to crossovers, they’re quite popular. BMW and Mercedes-Benz already have the X4 and X6, and GLC-Class Coupe and GLE-Class Coupe, respectively. And over at Volkswagen Group, Audi just jumped on board with the Q8, Porsche is planning a Cayenne Coupe, and the Urus is basically a four-door coupe as well.

    I could see the XT8, then, being a stylized XT7.

  • avatar
    Drew Cadillac

    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.

    • 0 avatar

      I am more interested in engineering than marketing. I am impressed that a ATS-v is nearly as fast as a army assault copter (cobra). The fact the GM produces both the Corvette and ATS-v shows me the company still employs a few gear heads. If i owned both these cars my automotive needs would be satisfied for the rest of my life.

      • 0 avatar
        Drew Cadillac

        Akear, that’s fine that you like the ATS-V. That’s a very limited market car, and more sports car than luxury car. Frankly if GM wanted to make more sports cars they should have expanded Corvette into a brand, rather than limiting it to one model (as is the case now, and always has been the case).

        Cadillac was already a highly regarded, well-established, strong-selling and highly profitable brand, until some gear heads at GM decided to turn it into something else. The ATS/ATS-V may be a fine car for what it is, but it’s not a Cadillac. The back seat on the ATS has only 33.5″ of legroom, in a brand that built its reputation on plentiful legroom. The base ATS has vinyl seats! The ATS can handle the hard turns – so what? That’s not what Cadillac drivers care about. The ATS is cramped, rides too hard, and is not luxury enough to be called a Cadillac.

        But yes the problem is not the names/marketing itself, it’s the “Let’s copy the Germans in every way” attitude behind it. The ATS is just a prior generation BMW 3 series, and the ATS-V simply puts it on steroids. Gear heads may dominate the auto press and GM itself, but if Cadillac is going to return to former glory it needs to keep luxury customers in mind, not gear head personal preferences.

        • 0 avatar

          Ever since the death of Pontiac, it seems that GM doesn’t know where to put their sporty offerings. Since they dumped Saturn/Olds/Pontiac, it seems that Cadillac got all of the sporting lines; I mean Buick sure wasn’t gonna get ’em. I’m not sure why Chevy can’t get any preference in this department. Though I do like the idea of an ATS-V or CTS-V it does seem incongruous to the Cadillac brand that had been established. If GM is going to keep the Corvette in the Chevy family, why not extend those offerings? You’d have the Corvette, Camaro and then a pair of sporting sedans. Let Cadillac focus on TRUE luxury and don’t worry about the M5s and E63s. It’s odd to me that even though GM and Ford both have the ability to split their offerings into separate brands, they struggle with where to draw the line. Though everyone likes to rag on Lincoln, at least they’ve stayed out of the luxury racecar game; granted I don’t think it was an option, but their offerings were FWD/AWD and comfortable. Caddy keeps trying to do everything from crossovers to sedans, coupes, giant SUVs hell, even pickups for a little while. How about a little brand discipline? Let the wreath and crest MEAN something again!

          • 0 avatar
            Drew Cadillac

            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.

  • avatar

    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.

    • 0 avatar
      Drew Cadillac

      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.

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