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CTS may spawn wagon, coupe

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Inside Analysis

Cadillac CTS family could be 3-series fighters

By DAVID SEDGWICK | AUTOMOTIVE NEWS

AutoWeek | Published 12/26/06, 7:56 am et

Link to Original Article @ AutoWeek

DETROIT -- The Cadillac CTS sedan may be about to start a family.

General Motors insiders say Cadillac is seriously considering a plan to create a family of CTS sedans, coupes and wagons that would emulate BMW's 3-series lineup.

Mock-ups of a wagon and coupe already lurk inside GM's design studio in suburban Detroit. Of course, that doesn't mean they'll ever go into production. But GM executives clearly have spotted an opportunity to create a CTS minibrand within Cadillac.

The sedan would remain the centerpiece of a CTS family, generating the bulk of total sales. And GM is prepared to brag about it. The redesigned sedan - which sports a new interior and a grille reminiscent of the Cadillac Sixteen concept - will debut during the Detroit auto show in January.

Niche strategy

With sales of 50,024 units through November, the CTS sedan has a secure market niche. Because the wagon and coupe would share mechanicals with the sedan, Cadillac can make money if those new models generate sales of 20,000 units apiece.

That's where Cadillac's European strategy could prove useful. Most Americans supposedly don't care for wagons - but Europeans do. If Cadillac can sell a couple of thousand CTS wagons in Europe, it would help reach the wagon's breakeven point.

If GM goes ahead with this strategy, expect the CTS family to be $30,000 to $40,000. That would target the fattest portion of the U.S. luxury market - a segment that generates annual sales of 1 million units.

Here's how the rest of Cadillac's lineup would fit the brand's strategy:

Stop dreaming about a production version of the Cadillac Sixteen. That concept car drew rave reviews, but a production version would cost a couple of hundred thousand dollars. The Mercedes Maybach and the Rolls-Royce Phantom have demonstrated just how small that segment is.

Forget about an uber sedan that could challenge the Mercedes S class. Volkswagen's Phaeton flop-aroo has demonstrated the risks of moving upscale too quickly.

Cadillac executives think they could pull it off. But product development is costly, and GM is trying to conserve resources. An S-class competitor simply isn't a priority.

In fact, Cadillac's flagship car is actually a truck: the Escalade. The Escalade still has room to move upscale with new powertrains and interiors. Stay tuned.

Cadillac needs only one $50,000 sedan, not two. We are told that Cadillac executives might dump either the STS or the DTS sedan. The $40,000-to-$50,000 price segment generates industry sales of 300,000 units.

In a segment of that size, Cadillac's old something-for-everyone strategy is obsolete. Customers don't walk into a Cadillac showroom asking for "traditional American luxury" or "European-style performance." Says one executive: "They just want a nice car."

But here's the problem: The front-wheel-drive DTS handily outsells the rear-wheel-drive STS. But traditional DTS buyers are dying off, and Cadillac wants to promote rwd performance.

What about the SRX and the XLR roadster? Cadillac needs a crossover, so the SRX has a future. The roadster seems expendable. But the XLR shares mechanicals with the Corvette, so it is not hugely expensive. I'll leave it to the buff magazines to track the roadster's future.

The bottom line: GM executives are convinced that Cadillac can attract younger buyers, that the CTS lineup can expand and that the brand can afford to get sassier.

At this point, I wouldn't be surprised if tail fins reappear someday.

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In my opinion, if Cadillac wants to compete with the European brands, then they should bring an executive saloon to market and price it at the lower end of the market. Comparing Cadillac to Volkwagen is like comparing Wal-Mart to Sax Fifth Avenue.

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One has to walk before they can run. Caddy needs to keep it under 100K and build a strong market that can move up once established.

VW tring to sell a car for 100K was a mess in this country and the XLR V though a nice car has shown little growth in sales.

Caddy need to build a strong presents in the mid BMW/ Benz range. Once they show they can compete there they can move up into higher profit lower volume cars.

As for the 16 it was a nice dream but reality has to pay the bills. I hope they can restyle [smaller] the car as a DTS replacment. They styling was great and does not require a V16 or 150K price tag.

You design cars with your heart and sell them with your head. GM looks to be using both now in setting Caddys future.

Edited by hyperv6

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Fix the STS first <make it bigger, improve the interior and exterior styling> and make an extended wheelbase version.

Make both short and long wheel base versions available with either a softer ride, or use the Magnetic ride control to offer both sport and luxury rides in the same car.... This would allow you to sell the same car to two different kinds of buyers. Above all... do not make the driver set the suspension every time they start the car!!!! Let grandpap keep his STS-L in Luxury mode all the time and let Mr. 50something Bank Executive keep his STS-L in sport mode all the time.

Now there is no need for the DTS.

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Consider dropping the STS--it is much more redundant in the line-up than the DTS. Plan a redesigned DTS, with at least two trim variations--a more performance oriented package and a more traditional package. Keep the car large, thus no need to "extend" the STS platform. Plenty of room for opulent accomodations. Great as a platform for limousine makers (keep the presence and continue to dominate in that market niche i.e. Presidential Limousine--always superb PR value!). Cadillac tradition has always been to have the finest large/full-sized vehicle--stick to what they've always done best. Keep traditional (must be recognizable as a Cadillac from afar), but updated, styling elements (similar to the '06 DTS re-freshening), but more smoothly integrated than the current car--especially roofline/C-pillar areas. Continue to develop the CTS line-up fully--(Sedan), Coupe, Convertible and Station Wagon variants. At present, the most blandly styled Cadillac is the STS, and it is too close to the CTS in size and appearance and features. Most average people have trouble discerning the difference between the CTS and the STS, but certainly not a CTS and a DTS. When the new CTS offers AWD, that eliminates another reason for the STS' existence (reportedly, first generation CTS' could not accommodate an AWD variation). With the money saved, really send the materials and luxury feature upward on the next-generation CTS and DTS.

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Guest YellowJacket894

Consider dropping the DTS--it is much more redundant in the line-up than the STS.

Fixed. Do you have any idea how dated the DTS is getting? It also doesn't fit in with Cadillac's model strategy.

Since Sigma has already reached it's limits with the current STS, the NG STS should be on a premium version of Zeta and be almost as big as the 7-Series while offering a price tag like the 5-Series. Makes sense to go that route.

I think the mini-brand strategy should be employed with both the CTS and STS. In addition to the coupe and wagon CTSs, you would also have a CTS-based crossover, similar to the SRX, perhaps a bit smaller and with styling that tends to look less like a wagon so it doesn't look redundant next to the CTS wagon. The STS would also have a wagon version to go up against the 5-Series wagon. As for a STS-based crossover, that could just be considered. And, since the BRX is a front-drive crossover that doesn't fit in with Caddy's rear-drive strategy, it would be dropped.

Expanding the whole line-up would do wonders for European sales.

Edited by YellowJacket894

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Cadillac is seriously considering a plan to create a family of CTS sedans, coupes and wagons that would emulate BMW's 3-series lineup.

Yes... this should hacve happened like 4 years ago!

Esp. a 2 door (pillarless) hardtop coupe.

But here's the problem: The front-wheel-drive DTS handily outsells the rear-wheel-drive STS. But traditional DTS buyers are dying off, and Cadillac wants to promote rwd performance.

If a RWD Fleetwood Brougham style Caddy still existed as the FLAGSHIP to Cadillac

(and not as the second fiddle to the Northstar powered DTS) then it would BY FAR

outsell the DTS AND STS.... I'd bet my LIFE on this.

Stop dreaming about a production version of the Cadillac Sixteen. That concept car drew rave reviews, but a production version would cost a couple of hundred thousand dollars. The Mercedes Maybach and the Rolls-Royce Phantom have demonstrated just how small that segment is.

Oh yeah... becuase at $200,000 it would be out of the price range of all those

Rap Stars, Actors & musicians that shell out $300,000 for an unimpressive,

RR, Bentley or Maybach. The Sixteen is superior in styling, performance &

the bling-bling factor to any & all exotics approaching 0.2 million $$$.

This is a STUPID move. <_<

Forget about an uber sedan that could challenge the Mercedes S class. Volkswagen's Phaeton flop-aroo has demonstrated the risks of moving upscale too quickly.

We're talking about CADILLAC here... as in "the Cadillac of American cars" not some pathetic

$hitty Avalon clone made by a company specializing in 3/5 door hatchback econoboxes!!! :angry:

At this point, I wouldn't be surprised if tail fins reappear someday.

I already predicted that, I've been saying it for years.

Several months ago I asked you guys to ponder this very question.

http://www.cheersandgears.com/forums/index...c=3867&st=0

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I agree. The 7-series (DTS) can wait... concentrate on world-class 3s (CTS) and 5s (STS) first. The Escalade fills the role of a profitable halo vehicle nicely... better so than the XLR.

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If a RWD Fleetwood Brougham style Caddy still existed as the FLAGSHIP to Cadillac

(and not as the second fiddle to the Northstar powered DTS) then it would BY FAR

outsell the DTS AND STS.... I'd bet my LIFE on this.

http://www.cheersandgears.com/forums/index...c=3867&st=0

You'd be dead, then.

The Fleetwood in its last years was a nice car but sorely lacked the technological innovation expected from not only any luxury car, especially a Cadillac. The DeVille had/has it in spades, hence why it outsells its throughly-mediocre competitor, the Town Car, and still has a respectable following. I think simply making the DTS rear-wheel drive and offering a larger portfolio of luxury options in both DTS and DTS-L trims would go alot further than trying to improve the STS, which is a great car by itself...unfortunately, its not by itself.

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Cadillac I repeat needs the DTS! I know that current DTS buyers die off, but what happens when this generation after there still may be a market for the car. I personally believe the STS should be dropped, and the SLS sold as the 7 Series beater. Let the DTS stay in the middle with a full redesign and a new large FWD frame. **I will stick up for the G-platform it is wonderful and drives very nice too!*** Also give a 6spd auto and come out with all these CTS's and just drop the STS keep everything as is. The DTS outsells the STS 3 to 1!

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How is it that david sedgewick's editor allowed him to pen an article while in a heavily-medicated, post brain surgery state?? Or was he still jazzed from the spiked eggnog? How all-over-the-place can you get? Just about every single paragraph is either heavily slanted, irrelevant or erroneous.

I could breakdown the whole piece, but I'll refrain. Here's one, tho:

>>"Cadillac's old something-for-everyone strategy is obsolete."<<

This has NEVER been Cadillac's strategy. It is, however, mercedes's; witness 2 (or is it 3) different 2-seat roadsters, how many SUV lines, a econo-hatch and a minivan. Should I waste my time looking for this writer's piece tearing up (or even his passing mention) of mercedes' 'old strategy'?

What is happening in journalism schools these days? IMO, a study of that 'industry' would be much more dramatic than any of the automotive industry.

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Expanding the whole line-up would do wonders for European sales.

Having a full line of diesel engines and remebering that a CTS will never compete against a 3-series here would wonders for Cadillac European sales.

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I would say the best way to maximize sales and competitivness at Cadillac would be as follows.

DTS- spends the rest of its roduct cycle getting no major updates and ends up goining away in 2010 or so.

CTS- The new volume Caddy.

Comes in Sedan, Coupe or wagon.

32k-42k price, 50-55k for V series.

CTS engines, 3.6 standard with 275hp and 260 ftlbs. 3.6 DI with 315hp and 285 ftlbs. 6.2 supercharged LS9 with 600hp and 600 ftlbs. AWD optional 6 speed maual standard 6 speed auto optional on all models.

Sales volume around 80k.

STS- redesigned '09 with long wheelbase model available.

Base price 45k-70k 3.6 DI with 315hp and 285 ftlbs, 4.8 DI northstar 375 hp 370 ftlbs, AWD optional 6 speed maual standard 6 speed auto optional on all models, AWD optional.

Vseries 100k with 600hp 600 ftlb northstar DI 7.2 v12

Sales Volume 35-40k units a year.

The SRX would have identicle drivetrains to the non V STS and be prices between the CTS and STS at 38k to 60k. Anual sales of about 40k

XLR woud get new sheet metal and be updated with the new N* DI v8 and the v series would be replaced with the new v12.

BRX Caddy, small cross over $30k-40k 3.6 standard with 275hp and 260 ftlbs. 3.6 DI with 315hp and 285 ftlbs. AWD optional 6 speed maual standard 6 speed auto optional on all models.

Anual Sales of about 50k.

Escalade stays the same with the possiable addition on the V12 option and slight updates.

Last new model would be a Kappa based little brother for the XLR with 3.6 standard with 275hp and 260 ftlbs. 3.6 DI with 315hp and 285 ftlbs. would be priced 35k to 45k. sales volume of 10-15k a year.

If you think about this proposed plan you could theoretically get this all out by late 2009 or so as none of these are on brand new platforms. WE alreadyknow that the 3.6 DI is almost read and a new northstar isnt to far away. The v12 has been developed to an extent though it would neew some more work to come to market and the LS9 is on the way. Beyond that the STS will be replaced right around then, the XLR wouldnt cost to much to do as it has a great platform and would share powertrains with the STS only needing new sheet metal. The BRX is planned already, the SRX could get another MCE, gaining a new grill the CTS/STS drivetrains to get up to date. The only car not planned is the kappa which would require some money to adequetly adapt to the 3.6 but ortherwise would still be 80 percent parts bin. That would be a VERY cool Cadillac lineup in 09 or '10 and is not TOO much of a stretch.

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You'd be dead, then.

So you DO or DON'T agree with my assertion that if the 1996 Fleetwood Brougham had been redesigned

with a hydroformed frame, & suspension greatly superior to the 2007 Town Car's, AND if it had received

the 300 horsepower NorthStar matted to possibly an optional IRS and wrapped up in an elegant skin

remeniscent of the Cadillacs that WERE world class like the 1950s classics (not neccesarily retro but

along the lins of the SIXTEEN) then it would have sold FAR better than the Deville/DTS???

RWD + BOF construction did NOT hurt the Fleetwood Brougham... it's unoriginal design that did NOT

differentiate it from the Deville and GM's lack of commitment to the B-body killed it.

PICTURE THIS:

It's fall of 1993 and an old gentleman walks into a Cadillac dealership to look at the new 1994 Cadillacs,

he sees a brochure about the hyped up and technologically impressive 32valve DOHC Northstar V8 and

then he is told the Deville is THE flagship for the Cadillac brand and that the F.B. is basically a Caprice

with more luxurios leather and a carriage top.... which do you think he BUYS baed on the Cadillac sales

associate's description of the two vehicles? Do you think that the F.B.'s RWD or BOF construction turned

him off to the B-body???

Or is it perhaps that the F.B. which lacked the marketing & "newer-better-redesigned...." hype of the

Deville was cast off as a second class citizen in an era when the stupid media thought DHOC= better

bulletproof pushrod V8s =obsolete? Femenine unibody car = good, Big, brutish land yacht built like a

tank = bad..... FWD= future RWD = fogoten past?.....

The media, GM's cookie executives & the uneducated public all played their roles in killing the B-body. :(

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The media, GM's cookie executives & the uneducated public all played their roles in killing the B-body. :(

I'm sure the millions of dollars it would have taken to get the b-body to meet government crash test ratings played a pretty big part in it. I couldn't find IIHS numbrs (didn't look too hard) but the NHTSA has the '96 Caprice as 4star front driver and 2star front passenger. Just food for thought.

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Hm..we all know that the new V8 (ultra or whatever the name is) is being developed...and power for that engine will be probably 360 + if not even higher..so next cadillac which will be powered by that engine will have to be either rwd or awd..so if sts is gone then DTS will have to move on rwd to be able to handle that power. Or stop production of dts and sts takes over .

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The '90s B-Bodies were anachronistic when they debuted. I have no problem with them and appreciated that those options were available, esp having lived thru the mid-'80s when the full-size consumer had almost nothing to chose from. I drove a '96 Brougham once- I enjoyed the cruise. But they couldn't last as they were for much longer, and I think even the fans of the Last B-Bodies knew this. Primarily it was the size, IMO- that time has passed, in general.

No; it was not the BOF aspect that had anything to do with it.

As for crash results- no reason in the world they couldn't be made to meet whatever standards were in place with no inordinate amount of $- the trucks do it.

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So you DO or DON'T agree with my assertion that if the 1996 Fleetwood Brougham had been redesigned

with a hydroformed frame, & suspension greatly superior to the 2007 Town Car's, AND if it had received

the 300 horsepower NorthStar matted to possibly an optional IRS and wrapped up in an elegant skin

remeniscent of the Cadillacs that WERE world class like the 1950s classics (not neccesarily retro but

along the lins of the SIXTEEN) then it would have sold FAR better than the Deville/DTS???

Nope. I don't know what kind of numbers you're expecting in this market, but the DeVille posts very impressive figures considering all the variables. The only tangible boost you would've seen would be in the coachbuilder field, a low-margin, low-profit market that merely does a slice-n-dice on the cheapest base model they can buy to create a disgusting prom night special. Cadillac doesn't need to whore itself out to these rolling monstrosities, rather make an honest executive sedan like the DTS-L they're making now. Also, even in the livery business, the Escalade and H2 are quite popular.

And here's the real point - it doesn't matter now. GM couldn't do it if they tried because the tooling is gone and any future sedan product will be unibody.

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And here's the real point - it doesn't matter now. GM couldn't do it if they tried because the tooling is gone and any future sedan product will be unibody.

sorry to sidetrack a lil... i see DTS limos all the time... how do they stretch unibody car?do they build some sort of frame?

just wondering :scratchchin:

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sorry to sidetrack a lil... i see DTS limos all the time... how do they stretch unibody car?do they build some sort of frame?

just wondering :scratchchin:

Yes... think of F-body drag car frame connectors.

And what Fly calls "whoring out" I call great marketing.

(limousines ARE noticed and the general public looks on them highly)

So why NOT take away commercial chassis sales from Lincoln? <_<

What do you have against Cadillac selling more cars?

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So why NOT take away commercial chassis sales from Lincoln? <_<

What do you have against Cadillac selling more cars?

Posted Image

The investment necessary to provide livery companies with the truck-like frames they need will not see a return. Ford only makes a business case from it because they didn't ditch the Panther chassis. The ship sailed for GM in 1996.

Its over.

How about moving on with a line of relevant vehicles people will pay full price for?

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Posted Image

The investment necessary to provide livery companies with the truck-like frames they need will not see a return. Ford only makes a business case from it because they didn't ditch the Panther chassis. The ship sailed for GM in 1996.

Its over.

How about moving on with a line of relevant vehicles people will pay full price for?

Which is why the success of the CTS needs to be advanced with a proliferation of related product.

There's no shame in selling alot more $38-45k vehicles and other markets view our CTS as an oversize competitor. One which could make inroads with a 1. World Class Product (period) that 2. Just happens to be alot of metal for the money. Beneficial exchnage rates should boost the profitability of any new CTS product, having a couple of variants...my vote is for a fastback wagon w/AWD availability & a Hardtop vert...would be amazing.

I think we all forget that today's Escalade is really the 'top gun' in the line-up. An excess of metal, just like the good old days. I personally don't see much to gain from Caddy moving the DTS further upmarket. Think LWB STS, perhaps with a CLS-type sedan and a more 'formal' sedan variant?

just my .02

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An S-class competitor is a big risk because of the costs involved, but perhaps new Cadillac variants can spawn from the existing Sigma architecture. There won't be much of a variety in size, but there can be a choice of bodystyles and trim levels at different price points. A midsize sporty sedan, a midsize luxury sedan (like the ES), a large conservative sports sedan, a large outrageous sports sedan (like the CLS), a large luxury sedan, a LWB luxury sedan, a convertible, a wagon, a crossover, a roadster...

It won't be a very traditional segment-based line-up, but who knows...

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Since Sigma has already reached it's limits with the current STS, the NG STS should be on a premium version of Zeta and be almost as big as the 7-Series while offering a price tag like the 5-Series. Makes sense to go that route.

Unless the SLS is based off an entirely different platform then the one that the STS, CTS, and SRX ride on, that statement is false. Though, I agree that Cadillac should look into developing one or two new brand exclusive platforms in order for the company to take on a life of it's own and to prevent any future badge engineering. It might be a little risky but if GM played its cards right, two new platforms could be the basis for more the one vehicle each.

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Playing safe is what got GM into dire straights to begin with.

Time to pull out the stops... YES, I think they should

certanly produce the SIXTEEN. And I also think Cadillac

should make a BOF car... the frames are there for the

trucks,why NOT the cars? Prove to me that Lincoln

looses money on the Town Car. :rolleyes:

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