2013 Cadillac ATS enters production

Article by Christian A., on August 3, 2012

2013 Cadillac ATS has received the go signal to enter production just six months after it was introduced at the Detroit auto show. Cadillac has started to build the first 2013 ATS that is meant for a customer. In fact, the first few cars made had rolled off the production line in Michigan at the Lansing Grand River plant this week.

The Cadillac CTS sedan, coupe, and Sport Wagon are also produced at this plant. To accommodate ATS production, the plant got an upgrade worth $190 million and 600 new jobs were created. Since the ATS debuted at the Detroit show, Cadillac had been steadily releasing information about the model. The new car has a starting price of $33,990, which is less expensive than a BMW 328i sedan.

Its base 2.5-liter inline-four engine has a fuel economy rating of 22/33 mpg, which is about mid-pack compared to the other four-cylinder models. The 2013 ATS is one of the lightest cars in its segment because it used high-strength steels, aluminum, and magnesium extensively. It features new safety technologies such as vibrating seats.

Cadillac is set to launch a string of 30- and 60-second TV commercials on Friday at the 2012 Olympic Games opening ceremony. These clips are included in an online documentary named “Cadillac ATS vs. The World” where the sports sedan handles everything from a hand-dug tunnel in China to the popular Grand Prix circuit in Monaco. The 2013 Cadillac ATS will arrive in dealerships this August, with export models for international markets to be prepared by the end of 2012.

When Cadillac started the development for the ATS, its main objective was to make it one of the lightest vehicle in its class. However, it had to be done in a manner that would result in a refined driving experience. The task however was not as simple as optimizing the mass of the new model. Cadillac knew it had to follow four principles. The first was that the brand would need to follow strictly what was originally set.

Second is that the load management had to be measured all across the vehicle. Third is to make sure the parts are benchmarked in order to determine if lighter solutions could be implemented.

Finally, the fourth principle is that the mass of each of the components needed to be weighed against each stage of the development. The result is that the new ATS does have a low mass and this is due to using lightweight materials for the door trim panels, utilizing magnesium for the mount brackets of the engine, and having aluminum for the hood.

Aside from lowering the weight, it also showed the systematic method that Cadillac used in determining each gram that became part of the vehicle. However, the brand knew that some considerations needed to be made. Thus, when a weight was considered to not only be important but crucial to the driving experience, then it was retained.

A good example of this is the use of the cast iron differential. Despite weighing more compared to the lighter aluminum type, the engineers went ahead and used the cast iron version as it could enhance fuel economy better. ATS Chief Engineer David Masch said that by having a lower weight, this meant that the ATS could have a more controllable and agile feel to it.

However, the low weight also meant that both the performance and the efficiency of the vehicle’s powertrains could be optimized, he added. He continued by saying that the brand was careful though that the ATS would remain to have the refinement levels Cadillac is known for while managing the weight.

Press Release

Production Begins for 2013 Cadillac ATS

The first 2013 Cadillac ATS compact luxury sport sedan intended for public sale was built today at the Lansing Grand River assembly plant in Michigan, culminating a massive design and development project.

Arriving in U.S. dealerships in August, ATS is Cadillac’s all-new entry into the most significant global luxury segment, featuring a new rear wheel drive-based architecture targeting nimble, quick and fun driving performance.

Cadillac’s Lansing Grand River plant, also the production site for the CTS Sedan, Wagon and Coupe and V-Series performance models of each, underwent a $190 million upgrade for ATS production. A second shift was added, creating or retaining 600 jobs.

In total, the award-winning plant that opened in 2001 now has 1,643 salaried and hourly employees.

“The new Cadillac ATS represents an investment in Lansing and our workforce,” said Tony Francavilla, Lansing regional plant manager. “A successful launch needs a great process and a great product, but at the heart of it all are the people, and the care they put into each and every vehicle.”

The ATS expands Cadillac into the highest volume category in the luxury automotive industry. Following the initial start of production in Lansing, distribution to U.S. dealerships will begin in August. Exports to international markets will begin later this year.

“This is a car with a big mission, and it’s been comprehensively prepared for that mission,” said Don Butler, vice president of Cadillac Marketing. “The new-from-the-ground-up ATS creates a new entryway into the Cadillac brand for luxury car drivers, and a compelling new challenger to the status quo among the top luxury sport sedans.”

The all-new ATS was custom-built using a new lightweight vehicle architecture featuring advanced materials and techniques to ensure precise driving dynamics. ATS includes a host of exclusive advanced-tech features, including Magnetic Ride Control, the Safety Alert Seat, and CUE, a new in-car user experience for connectivity and control using industry-first capacitive touch and natural voice recognition systems.

The ATS hits the airwaves during the television broadcast of the Opening Ceremonies of the Summer Olympics on Friday.

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