Cadillac to avoid having same volume mentality as rivals

Article by Anita Panait, on May 15, 2013

Cadillac will avoid being infected with what General Motors chief financial officer Dan Ammann calls as "volume-at-all-costs mentality" among rival carmakers targeting to become the best in terms of luxury sales. German luxury carmakers BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Audi are launching new models at a faster pace as they seek to gain new set of buyers in the very competitive luxury segment.

Ammann, however, told Automotive News that Cadillac would not try to match its German rivals model-for-model. He said that Cadillac would not compete in every single segment where its rivals are competing, partly since GM’s luxury brand is starting from a relatively small base and still is building its core portfolio.

Amman noted to Automotive News that in some ways, not having the pressure to “sell the last incremental car at whatever cost” is actually not a bad place to be in currently. Mercedes will roll out its $30,825 CLA sedan in September while Audi is planning an A3 sedan – both cars targeted towards younger buyers.

BMW recently unveiled the X1 small crossover and Audi will try to match it with the US introduction of its Q3 crossover. GM’s CFO remarked that moving down price points and micro-segmentation of little categories seemed to be driven by a sort of “volume-at-all-costs mentality," adding that its long-term effect on brand health remains to be seen.

Cadillac offers a lineup smaller than those of its German rivals, despite having launched the ATS compact and XTS large sedan in 2012. GM is planning to boost its lineup with 10 new or redesigned models by mid-2015, including next-generation versions of current nameplates like the CTS sedan that is due this fall and a redesigned Escalade SUV due early 2014.

The all-new 2014 Cadillac CTS sedan features elevated luxury, sophisticated technology, and expanded performance. With these, it enters the prestigious midsize luxury market.

Cadillac’s 3rd-generation CTS sedan was based on the ATS sport sedan’s high-performing rear-drive architecture. Its performance is supported by a certain range of power-dense powertrains, which include the 8-speed automatic transmission and Cadillac’s all-new Twin-Turbo engine.

Moreover, the new CTS sedan boasts a longer, lower and sportier-looking proportion compared to the earlier model and evolves its Art & Science design principle. More specifically, it is 5 inches longer with a 1.2-inch longer wheelbase, while its roofline and cowl are an inch lower. These dimensions complement the car’s longer exterior and accentuate its lean aesthetic.

Compared with the previous model, the new CTS sedan also has lower curb weight and weighs 300 lbs lighter than the BMW 528i. Furthermore, the new CTS has lightweight features like the brand’s first aluminum door structures. These contribute to the car’s lower weight and its almost 50/50 weight balance. Also, for the very first time, Cadillac’s real-time damping system – the Magnetic Ride Control – is available on the base models.

In addition, Cadillac's shield grille as well as its signature vertical lighting elements, which include the LED signature lighting detail at the front, have evolved on the new CTS. More specifically, the grille is wider and bears a more detailed texture, whereas the headlamps flow up along the hood line and incorporates crystalline LED light guides to give the car a technologically advanced look and a more uniform illumination.

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