Cadillac's new ATS compact sedan has yet to steal sales away from its target rivals, which include the BMW 3 series. Rather, the ATS is sinking its bigger sibling, the Cadillac CTS. The new ATS was launched in September. But CTS sales in October 2012 fell by 40% when compared to sales in October 2011. According to Edmunds.com, potential ATS buyers typically consider the CTS too.
Fortunately for Cadillac, the 3 Series is also on the buyers’ list. Cadillac's U.S. sales chief Chase Hawkins explained that this overlap is expected when a new nameplate enters a lineup. However, he emphasized that General Motors is prepared for this occurrence. Hawkins added that GM will cut back on its CTS output next year so that CTS sedans and coupes won’t pile up on dealer lots.
This also prevents GM from attaching huge incentives or dumping them into rental fleets. GM had done these in the past and until today, the Cadillac brand has yet to totally recover. Hawkins said that it was in their plans for ATS to attract some CTS customers.
He added that as time passes, there will be less cross-shopping. This is because the next-generation CTS would be longer and more expensive when it arrives at showrooms by late 2013. This leads to distinguishing the CTS further from ATS. It also enables CTS to be more competitive against BMW's 5 series and mid-sized luxury sedans.