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    William Maley

    What Does Cadillac Have In Mind After Their Product Offensive?

      There is a possible halo car, along with electrification plans

    Cadillac has some ambitious product plans. Starting with the debut of the XT4 at the New York Auto Show, Cadillac will be launching a new vehicle every six months by 2022. This includes a large crossover, a replacement for the ATS/CTS, and a new Escalade. Once the brand finishes this offensive, the brand "can, candidly, generate some growth, generate some revenue, put volume through our dealer organization so they can also invest in the elevation of the brand, all those logical things," said Cadillac President Johan de Nysschen.

    One of those possible elevation plans is a "halo vehicle." According to Automotive News, the model might not necessarily be a car. Also in the cards is Cadillac releasing a number of electrified vehicles as part of GM's plan of introducing 20 new all-electric or fuel-cell models by 2023. de Nysschen said the brand is expected to receive a "disproportionate share" of those models.

    "Since these new technologies are pricey, it really begins to make a lot of common sense, not in all cases, to roll out some of them in Cadillac first. We therefore see it as a great opportunity for Cadillac to take the lead from GM with rolling out these things. Not only for the company and economically commercializing these new technologies, but also for the brand elevation it will give to Cadillac."

    Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)



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    So there's an announced plan for the next 3 years --a new vehicle about every 6 months--, only the first one is out.... but it's time to talk about 2023???????????

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    Piecing together the various messaging coming out. I would expect the halo vehicle to be a large crossover / SUV, probably called Escala.  Look for the interior to be a productionized version of the Escala concept. 

    One thing to note about the recent news that "Escala" is going into production.  No one ever said it would be a car.  I could be, it might not be. 

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    Since the 1980s and 90s are long over, who said it could NOT be the next SUV/CUV as the halo car for Cadillac?

    Think about this: the halo car concept as a top of the line sedan is obsolete.  Of course, that does NOT mean that the CT6 should disappear.  Indeed it needs to continue.  The real question is whether an XT7 or an Escalade will be Cadillac's halo vehicle for the next decade or two.  That sounds weird in the face of the S-Class, the 7 series and the Lexus LS, but there is no guarantee that those large luxury RWD sedans will stay as the halo cars of their respective car marques.

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    Escalade...

    Escala...

    Yeah...just by the name, I could see it being a SUV.  Ill just be grateful that the actual name of Escala makes it and Johan does NOT change it to an alphanumeric.

    I have no real concerns if the Halo vehicle of Cadillac is indeed a SUV. However, I DO want Cadillac to produce a Ciel!  

    A Cien would be nice too, but I really really would prefer that a Ciel would be a part of a Cadillac portfolio. And an El Miraj waaaay before a Cien gets a red light. If a Ciel and an El Miraj have to be lower on the Halo vehicle scale due to a Halo vehicle being a SUV...I gots NO PROBLEMS!!!! 

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    I could see the Escala being a 4dr fastback coupe version of the Escalade... 

    Edited by Cubical-aka-Moltar
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    I wish Cadillac would have introduced the XT5 and the new XT4 on a version of the Alpha platform instead of the FWD based models they have now. They would be more competitive with REAL luxury crossovers like the Stelvio and the MB models leaving Buick to do the luxed up FWD based crossovers giving  Cadillac a more Premium image. With the Sigma platform they had the right idea having the CTS and original SRX based on the same RWD based platform. That first SRX drove and handled wonderfully much better then any nose heavy FWD based model can.

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    19 minutes ago, Carguy said:

    I wish Cadillac would have introduced the XT5 and the new XT4 on a version of the Alpha platform instead of the FWD based models they have now. They would be more competitive with REAL luxury crossovers like the Stelvio and the MB models leaving Buick to do the luxed up FWD based crossovers giving  Cadillac a more Premium image. With the Sigma platform they had the right idea having the CTS and original SRX based on the same RWD based platform. That first SRX drove and handled wonderfully much better then any nose heavy FWD based model can.

     

    But then certain Mercedes lovers would harp on Cadillac for not selling at the volumes they sell now.  I never will understand why people set different standards for Cadillac than they set for Mercedes. 

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    1 hour ago, Drew Dowdell said:

     

    But then certain Mercedes lovers would harp on Cadillac for not selling at the volumes they sell now.  I never will understand why people set different standards for Cadillac than they set for Mercedes. 

    Why would Cadillac sell at lesser volumes?  I could argue if they had done more rear drive products their sales would be higher.  SRX sales didn’t increase because they switched it to fwd, they went up because they cut the price $10,000.   Cut the CTS down to $34,995 and the ATS to $28,995 and they would start to sell too.  The XT5 sells because it is $12,000 less than an X5 or GLE and because Cadillac has no other crossover in the showroom when most luxury brands have 3 or 4.

    Waaaay back in 2002 Cadillac said we need to scrap the front wheel drive and the platform sharing with large Buicks and build globally competitive product with ride and handling luxury buyers expect.  They seem to have forgotten the mission, and they never really executed it right in the first place.

    And this is the big challenge Cadillac has, is execution.  We can talk about will Escala be a crossover coupe, Panamera competitor, 7 seat SUV, etc.  But can they actually get the mechanics, interior, styling, and build quality all spot on? Or will there he corners cut?

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    1 minute ago, smk4565 said:

    Why would Cadillac sell at lesser volumes?  

    You tell me.  The XT5 outsold the GLC and the X3 individually that it is priced against.   RWD introduces packaging issues for the passenger compartment. Cadillac does what it always has... offer a size, comfort, and power advantage over the German imports for the of the same price. 

    The XT4 will do the same against the cramped and tiny GLA. 

    You can't get over the fact that people don't shop for cars with a measuring tape, but with their checkbook.  If you're writing a check for $35k or $45k, you don't care what the exterior length is... you want the most comfort and amenities for your dollar. Cadillac offers that. 

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    3 hours ago, Drew Dowdell said:

    You tell me.  The XT5 outsold the GLC and the X3 individually that it is priced against.   RWD introduces packaging issues for the passenger compartment. Cadillac does what it always has... offer a size, comfort, and power advantage over the German imports for the of the same price. 

    The XT4 will do the same against the cramped and tiny GLA. 

    You can't get over the fact that people don't shop for cars with a measuring tape, but with their checkbook.  If you're writing a check for $35k or $45k, you don't care what the exterior length is... you want the most comfort and amenities for your dollar. Cadillac offers that. 

    But the XT5 is the size of a GLE and the XT4 is the size of a GLC.  The Highlander offers more room and more power then an XT4 but they aren't really competitors per se.  Size per dollar ratio should be Chevy's game, not Cadillac's.   And globally, GLC vs XT5 isn't even close, GLC beats it like 3 or 4 to 1.  

    I don't think RWD has packaging problems, you can stretch the wheelbase on a rwd car, and no one uses a center rear seat in a sedan and on an SUV the floor is higher anyway.  Plus on a FWD/AWD car you still have to run a drive axle to the rear anyway.  And the Germans have more power/acceleration across the board than Cadillac, every Cadillac SUV has 1 engine choice, most Germans have 3 or 4 even.

    And as far as price goes, GM has 3 brands to offer square footage per dollar, Cadillac doesn't have to do that.   And expensive doesn't mean you can't have volume.  Cadillac in the 60s and 70s glory days were expensive and they had volume, Mercedes and BMW have volume, Tesla has pretty good volume for a $100k car, etc.  It can be done.

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    22 minutes ago, smk4565 said:

    But the XT5 is the size of a GLE and the XT4 is the size of a GLC....

     

    4 hours ago, Drew Dowdell said:

    You can't get over the fact that people don't shop for cars with a measuring tape...

     

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    17 minutes ago, smk4565 said:

    But the XT5 is the size of a GLE and the XT4 is the size of a GLC.  The Highlander offers more room and more power then an XT4 but they aren't really competitors per se.  Size per dollar ratio should be Chevy's game, not Cadillac's.   And globally, GLC vs XT5 isn't even close, GLC beats it like 3 or 4 to 1.  

    I don't think RWD has packaging problems, you can stretch the wheelbase on a rwd car, and no one uses a center rear seat in a sedan and on an SUV the floor is higher anyway.  Plus on a FWD/AWD car you still have to run a drive axle to the rear anyway.  And the Germans have more power/acceleration across the board than Cadillac, every Cadillac SUV has 1 engine choice, most Germans have 3 or 4 even.

    And as far as price goes, GM has 3 brands to offer square footage per dollar, Cadillac doesn't have to do that.   And expensive doesn't mean you can't have volume.  Cadillac in the 60s and 70s glory days were expensive and they had volume, Mercedes and BMW have volume, Tesla has pretty good volume for a $100k car, etc.  It can be done.

    There is nothing wrong with offering square footage for the luxury dollar.  It's kinda what they've been known for for the past 80 years. You can buy some micro car with plastic seats from Germany or you can stretch out in American luxury for the same price.

    You know what is absolutely ridiculous? The "bigger" GLC (17.6) has a foot less cargo room than my tiny Encore (18.8). The GLC also has less headroom in all positions and less front leg room.  For being so much larger, the GLC only has 2 additional inches of rear leg room.  The Encore manages all of that while being about 14 inches shorter than the GLC.  RWD doesn't have packaging issues you say?

    For the same price as the GLC at Cadillac, you get an XT5 which is bigger than the GLC in nearly every dimension, still get all the luxury goodies, and aren't saddled with a lowly 4-cylinder.

    Keep in mind I don't even like the XT5 that much, but I can still recognize its success in the marketplace.

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    You know what? I almost bought a GLC... Nevermind the fact that it's $15k more than my Encore.... When I whipped out the tape measure, the Encore being shorter made it the winner.

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    If we are playing the price game, the the CT6 is an E-class competitor, the CTS is a C-class competitor and the ATS is a CLA competitor.  If Cadillac wants to play the 5-series size for 3-series price strategy of the original CTS, then just go all in on that and make that the strategy.  But they can't make their mind up what they want to be.  And maybe that is what they want to be, the XT7 will probably be GLS size for GLE money.  

    The more size for less money could work if you do it perfectly, but Lincoln is trying that "American sized" with a turbo V6 in a lot of cars and it isn't working.   Maybe Cadillac can use the same strategy and execute it better than Lincoln, but Cadillac has to commit to something, they can't even commit to a naming scheme.

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    1 hour ago, Drew Dowdell said:

    For the same price as the GLC at Cadillac, you get an XT5 which is bigger than the GLC in nearly every dimension, still get all the luxury goodies, and aren't saddled with a lowly 4-cylinder.

    For the same price of an XT4 you can get a Highlander V6 that is roomier and more powerful, has a lot of the same equipment.  Doesn't mean it is better; for some buyers that value 3 row seating maybe it is.  For buyers that want luxury or style over a people mover the XT4 is better.  I get that different buyers have different needs and shop price and payment, not with a measuring tape.  But I still think Cadillac shouldn't be in the size = luxury game (as they were in the 1980s). 

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    As far as how it lines up with the competition, the XT4 dimensions appear to be in the same range as the MKC, Q5, GLC, NX.  So solidly in the compact lux niche.   So there is room for a smaller XT3 to compete w/ the GLA, Q23, QX30, etc.

    Edited by Cubical-aka-Moltar

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    12 minutes ago, Cubical-aka-Moltar said:

    So there is room for a smaller XT3 to compete w/ the GLA, Q23, QX30, etc.

    Ugh. There's "room" for Mercedes to build a 3/4-ton diesel 4x4 pick-up and Rolls Royce to build an entry-level $90K compact, doesn't mean they "should".

    Many critics labor under the impression that for Cadillac to be 'complete' --yet, of course, remaining true to being Cadillac and not copying anyone else-- that the brand has go into every segment every one of their competitors are in. QX30 sold 1200 units in March, as yourself why a brand 'needs' to compete with that.

    Not remotely necessary OR advisable. Cadillac is a low-volume brand, there's really no business case to plug into every tier.

    No 'CT3', no 'XT3' - unnecessary distractions and money drains. Keep everything upmarket. CT5/XT4 should absolutely be the bottom of the Cadillac catalog.

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    54 minutes ago, Cubical-aka-Moltar said:

    As far as how it lines up with the competition, the XT4 dimensions appear to be in the same range as the MKC, Q5, GLC, NX.  So solidly in the compact lux niche.   So there is room for a smaller XT3 to compete w/ the GLA, Q23, QX30, etc.

    Why are we still comparing on direct size, particularly exterior dimensions, and not on price?  The XT4 is priced against the GLA and is a reasonable, but not excessively so, amount roomier.  Not so much that you think you're buying the next size class up, but enough that you can put your friends in the back where you can't with the GLA.  Their base prices will only be about $1,000 or less apart.

    The XT5 is priced directly against the GLC. From memory, their starting prices are less than $500 apart. The XT5 is roomier inside than the GLC. 

    Why is having more space with equal or better luxury being considered a disadvantage for Cadillac?!?! It makes no sense!

    People like to rage on the ATS for the small back seat, but the back seat of the ATS is positively Fleetwood like compared to the CLA that Mercedes offers at the same price.  Let's see, I have $38k to spend, do I get a mediocre '96 Taurus-wannabe with Front wheel drive and cramped interior or do I get a distinctive car, slightly larger, with more power and rear wheel drive that rides on what is generally considered to be one of the best handling platforms in production today? Well the Cadillac is slightly longer outside, so that must be in the next size class up, I better go with the '96 Taurus wannabe. Tough call...:rolleyes:

     

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    Price is such a variable thing--there is a wide range for each model with overlap--while dimensions are fixed and easy to compare.   If you use price only to compare, then you get people comparing an XT4 to a Highlander like smk did...however, comparing price within the reality context (size and class--i.e. compare the XT4 to other compact luxury crossovers) makes sense..

    Edited by Cubical-aka-Moltar

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    6 minutes ago, Cubical-aka-Moltar said:

    Price is such a variable thing--there is a wide range for each model--while dimensions are fixed and easy to compare. 

    Sure, price is variable... budget generally isn't. Someone walking in to buy a $38k entry-luxury AWD crossover isn't going to suddenly pony up to the $42,900 it takes to get into a GLC 4Matic. That's more than a 10% price increase and something like that just doesn't happen much.  So if you're stuck at a specific max price, as most people are, that is generally going to eliminate the next size up at Mercedes, BMW, and Audi.  So at Cadillac, you end up getting more room and more power for your dollar.

    I'm not the biggest fan of the XT4, it'll do well, but it didn't light my fire the way I wish it did.  Still, if I'm spending $38k on a crossover and my choices are XT4, GLA, Q3, or X2 (X3 is $42.6k for AWD), I'll pick the XT4 every day of the week and twice on Sundays.  It just offers more room, more power, and more amenities for the same price.   The GLC and X3 are out of my budget so there is no point comparing them.... and if they are in my budget, then Cadillac offers another level of size, comfort, and power that still exceeds the imports.   I'll point out that NONE of the Germans base entries in the GLA/X2/Q3 price class offer more power than the XT4, only BMW comes close.   Yes there are option up engines available on some, but as noted in this article, Cadillac isn't done with releases yet.  For $38k, all you're getting from MB or Audi is about 200 horsepower... about the same as a Honda Civic SI. Also, none of the Germans can claim any sort of handling advantage of RWD... Cadillac, the Germans, Infiniti, Lexus, are all front drivers.

    People simply don't shop for vehicles with tape measures. If you were shopping in this class, would you reject an option for being 3" bigger than its competition? I don't think any sane person would. The only reason to pick one of the Germans over the Cadillac (or Infiniti QX30 for that matter, it is $4k cheaper than the virtually identical GLA) is badge snobbery, and for that, there is nothing I can say that will convince an irrational person to do a rational thing.

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    I'm not talking about how consumers compare, but how journos/reviewers and magazines compare vehicles (i.e. sites like this)...comparisons are almost always against other vehicles in the same size category (compact, midsize, fullsize, etc) and class (mainstream, premium, luxury, etc).   The competition of a particular model are other models at a similar price point within it's size category and class.    

    As far as how consumers shop, not sure if most of them look at the total price or more at the monthly payment....

    As far as measuring vehicles, I do know people that have done that..a buddy of mine wanted a new sedan for his wife and it had to be 185 inches or less, since anything longer wouldn't fit in their garage.   (I sort of have that problem--I really couldn't fit anything over 190 in my garage and still be able to walk in front of it and open the hatch and walk behind with the garage door shut).   

    Anyway, back on topic, I wouldn't be surprised if Cadillac adds an XT3 and XT7 over the next few years...

    Edited by Cubical-aka-Moltar

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