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Oracle of Delphi

FUTURE PRODUCTS -- GENERAL MOTORS

27 posts in this topic

Jamie LaReau

Automotive News

August 25, 2008 - 12:01 am ET

Cadillac's wings have been clipped.

While General Motors wrestles with financial problems and analyzes higher fuel economy rules, the automaker has put on hold plans to develop a stylish Cadillac competitor to the mid-sized Mercedes-Benz E class, as well as the future of the Escalade SUV.

On the plus side, the CTS car will get more versions, a redesigned SRX crossover is on the horizon, and GM's high-mileage Volt technology likely will filter over to Cadillac.

Small sedan: Second time's the charm? The BLS sedan and wagon, developed on the front-drive Saab 9-3 platform, are sold in Europe but have been dismal failures. Few luxury-car buyers in Europe equate Cadillac with Mercedes-Benz or BMW.

Cadillac's next luxury small car will be built on GM's new rear-drive Alpha vehicle architecture. And this time, the BLS, if the name is kept, will be sold in North America.

The small Cadillac sedan will arrive late in 2010.

CTS: The 2009 and 2010 model years are all about creating a CTS model line. The 556-hp 2009 CTS-V sedan — V is Cadillac's performance designation — packs a supercharged, 6.2-liter V-8 engine that generates 551 pounds-feet of torque. A six-speed automatic transmission is standard.

The 2010 models will debut in the spring, highlighted by the CTS sport wagon. The 2010 CTS coupe will go on sale in the late summer or early fall of 2009. The coupe concept debuted at the 2008 Detroit auto show. A CTS restyling is not expected until possibly the 2012 model year.

DTS: GM had planned to end DTS and STS production around the 2010 model year, when a new flagship sedan was due. But that plan is on hold, so the DTS will "soldier on," as one source put it.

STS: Like the DTS, the STS will stay in the lineup unchanged.

Big sedan: Eventually the DTS and STS will be replaced by one model, a rwd sedan that will be more competitive with the Mercedes E class and BMW 5 series. While the car is certain, the timing is not — it may appear around the 2013 model year.

XLR: GM executives are debating the future of Cadillac's two-passenger sports car. Blame CAFE, high gasoline prices and disappointing sales of the current model. The XLR has been freshened for the 2009 model year, but the planned redesign for the 2012 model year is uncertain.

Plug-in hybrid: Sources say GM is studying the possibility of Cadillac's sharing GM's Chevrolet Volt technology, scheduled to debut in late 2010.

The Volt will use an electric motor to propel the vehicle. Unlike a conventional hybrid, a plug-in can be recharged overnight by connecting the batteries to a power outlet. If the owner drives no more than 40 to 50 miles a day, a plug-in can run solely on its battery pack. If additional distance is needed, a small engine recharges the lithium ion batteries while the vehicle is in motion.

GM thinks Cadillac buyers are more likely to accept the steep price, estimated at $40,000 for the Chevrolet model. The car is penciled in for the 2011 model year.

SRX: The redesigned crossover will debut roughly in mid-2009 for the 2010 model year. It will be smaller — between the 2009 SRX and the Saturn Vue — and seat five instead of seven, as the current model does.

The redesigned SRX essentially will be a production version of the Provoq concept, introduced at the 2008 Detroit auto show. Unlike the fuel-cell-powered concept, the production version will have a V-6 engine.

The 2010 SRX will be developed on a blend of GM's new Theta and Epsilon vehicle architectures, called Theta Premium. Unlike the current SRX, developed on a rear-drive architecture, the redesigned vehicle is on a front-drive platform. Saab's new crossover also will be developed on this architecture.

Escalade, Escalade ESV, Escalade EXT: GM's Two Mode hybrid powertrain is available for the 2009 Escalade and is identical to that offered in the Chevrolet Tahoe and GMC Yukon hybrids. But the hybrid powertrain is not offered on the Escalade ESV or EXT.

The Escalade family's future is on hold until GM determines how the new regulations for corporate average fuel economy will affect GM's GMT900 truck program.

One option: By the 2013 model year, one or two of the Escalade versions on GMT900 could be replaced by a model or two developed on GM's fwd Lambda platform. The Lambda architecture — now used for GM's mid-sized crossovers, such as the Buick Enclave — would be stretched to develop any new models.

Link: http://www.autonews.com/article/20080825/ANA03/808250306

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The Livonia engine plant is set to cease production at the end of 2010. This hasn't changed, so if the DTS and STS are going to soldier on then somebody might want to clue Livonia in on that.

One thing I'd like to see happen to Livonia is for the plant to be used as a second assembly site for GM's new 4 cylinder engine set to be produced in Flint. I have a funny feeling that GM won't be able to make enough of the new 4 cylinder motor at Flint and Livonia seems like the perfect place for additional capacity for the engine.

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The Livonia engine plant is set to cease production at the end of 2010. This hasn't changed, so if the DTS and STS are going to soldier on then somebody might want to clue Livonia in on that.

One thing I'd like to see happen to Livonia is for the plant to be used as a second assembly site for GM's new 4 cylinder engine set to be produced in Flint. I have a funny feeling that GM won't be able to make enough of the new 4 cylinder motor at Flint and Livonia seems like the perfect place for additional capacity for the engine.

Josh, after 2010 the DTS and STS will drop the Northstar in favor of the 3.6DI V6.

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Big sedan: Eventually the DTS and STS will be replaced by one model, a rwd sedan that will be more competitive with the Mercedes E class and BMW 5 series.

This is the only part that made me :confused0071: . Would not a larger sedan be positioned against 7/S/A8/LS?

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Jamie LaReau

Automotive News

August 25, 2008 - 12:01 am ET

Cadillac's wings have been clipped.

LOL... We knew it was too good to last.

While General Motors wrestles with financial problems and analyzes higher fuel economy rules, the automaker has put on hold plans to develop a stylish Cadillac competitor to the mid-sized Mercedes-Benz E class, as well as the future of the Escalade SUV.
On of the two models that makes Caddy relevant, as well as one of the fastest growing segments.

On the plus side, the CTS car will get more versions, a redesigned SRX crossover is on the horizon, and GM's high-mileage Volt technology likely will filter over to Cadillac.

In a FWD Delta? C'mon man.

Cadillac's next luxury small car will be built on GM's new rear-drive Alpha vehicle architecture. And this time, the BLS, if the name is kept, will be sold in North America.

The small Cadillac sedan will arrive late in 2010.

Wow! That soon? Really?

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CTS: The 2009 and 2010 model years are all about creating a CTS model line. The 556-hp 2009 CTS-V sedan — V is Cadillac's performance designation — packs a supercharged, 6.2-liter V-8 engine that generates 551 pounds-feet of torque. A six-speed automatic transmission is standard.
Enjoy it while it lasts.

DTS: GM had planned to end DTS and STS production around the 2010 model year, when a new flagship sedan was due. But that plan is on hold, so the DTS will "soldier on," as one source put it.

Wow... Just wow... A luxury maker that is supposed to be the standard of the world, with a 20 year old flagship... Nice.

STS: Like the DTS, the STS will stay in the lineup unchanged.
Why? Why not phase it out and use the money to promote the CTS that is eating all of the STS sales anyway?

Big sedan: Eventually the DTS and STS will be replaced by one model, a rwd sedan that will be more competitive with the Mercedes E class and BMW 5 series. While the car is certain, the timing is not — it may appear around the 2013 model year.

WHY?!?!?! Doesn't the CTS compete with those cars?

XLR: GM executives are debating the future of Cadillac's two-passenger sports car. Blame CAFE, high gasoline prices and disappointing sales of the current model. The XLR has been freshened for the 2009 model year, but the planned redesign for the 2012 model year is uncertain.
CAFE... Affecting Cadillac??? Whatever man...

So, no flagship sedan or coupe and the media screaming "Allante: The Sequel" Sounds great!

The 2010 SRX will be developed on a blend of GM's new Theta and Epsilon vehicle architectures, called Theta Premium. Unlike the current SRX, developed on a rear-drive architecture, the redesigned vehicle is on a front-drive platform. Saab's new crossover also will be developed on this architecture.

And in typical GM fashion, they'll be sold in the same dealer channel, by the same dealers with roughly the same price and depreciation. The more things change... Apparently, Chevrolet and Pontiac, in DIFFERENT dealer channels, can't overlap. But, by god, Saab and Cadillac can!!! Then again, GME is no doubt pitting Saab against Cadillac to be GM's supreme luxury division.

The Escalade family's future is on hold until GM determines how the new regulations for corporate average fuel economy will affect GM's GMT900 truck program.
Lots of money and lots of Cadillac prestige "on hold" there.

One option: By the 2013 model year, one or two of the Escalade versions on GMT900 could be replaced by a model or two developed on GM's fwd Lambda platform. The Lambda architecture — now used for GM's mid-sized crossovers, such as the Buick Enclave — would be stretched to develop any new models.

Awesome!!! {not}

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The DTS has already "soldiered on" too long. It looks like Cadillac is headed for 2 crossover SUVs based on platforms form other brands, a CTS in the $40-50k range and a BTS in the $30-40k range, and maybe a luxury Volt. So they are Lincoln plus an electric car.

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The Lucerne can take care of DTS buyers, I think... no reason to keep the DTS around. Kill the STS as the CTS moves up to 5er range.

Lineup of:

BLS (sedan, coupe, convert)

CTS (sedan, coupe, wagon)

SRX

Escalade

XLR

Then Cadillac can work on a 7er competitor and perhaps other vehicles once it establishes itself as a major player in these segments. There's no need to try to appease everyone if all they're going to do is have a couple good products that don't sell as well as they should because the brand's image is hurt by crappy cars (DTS, STS).

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The Lucerne can take care of DTS buyers, I think... no reason to keep the DTS around. Kill the STS as the CTS moves up to 5er range.

Lineup of:

BLS (sedan, coupe, convert)

CTS (sedan, coupe, wagon)

SRX

Escalade

XLR

Then Cadillac can work on a 7er competitor and perhaps other vehicles once it establishes itself as a major player in these segments. There's no need to try to appease everyone if all they're going to do is have a couple good products that don't sell as well as they should because the brand's image is hurt by crappy cars (DTS, STS).

Strangely enough, STS matches up in size against the German and Japanese big luxury sedans (except the S-Class, which is just huge now). IMO, keep and revamp the STS, maybe stretch it just a bit enough to put a larger engine (Sixty8Panther's V16? though I doubt it), and THOROUGHLY redo the interior. The engine choices and subpar-for-this-segment interior are what hold the STS back.

Question: can they DI the N* V8? That would save them the trouble of having to redesign it completely.

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The Lucerne can take care of DTS buyers, I think... no reason to keep the DTS around. Kill the STS as the CTS moves up to 5er range.

Lineup of:

BLS (sedan, coupe, convert)

CTS (sedan, coupe, wagon)

SRX

Escalade

XLR

Then Cadillac can work on a 7er competitor and perhaps other vehicles once it establishes itself as a major player in these segments. There's no need to try to appease everyone if all they're going to do is have a couple good products that don't sell as well as they should because the brand's image is hurt by crappy cars (DTS, STS).

I actually like your lineup, minus the Escalade.

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For the STS revamp... just manufacture the Chinese SLS here in the US?!

It would be longer than the current STS and distance the C-Series & S-Series from each other.

The interior alone would improve Cadillac's mid-luxury offering:

Cadillac_SLS_China_2006_3.jpg

Cadillac_SLS_China_2006_4.jpg

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Strangely enough, STS matches up in size against the German and Japanese big luxury sedans (except the S-Class, which is just huge now). IMO, keep and revamp the STS, maybe stretch it just a bit enough to put a larger engine (Sixty8Panther's V16? though I doubt it), and THOROUGHLY redo the interior. The engine choices and subpar-for-this-segment interior are what hold the STS back.

Question: can they DI the N* V8? That would save them the trouble of having to redesign it completely.

The STS needs more than a revamp to compete with the S-Class class of vehicles. It can't even compete with the 5/E/A6/etc!

I actually like your lineup, minus the Escalade.

I don't see what's so wrong with the Escalade being kept as-is. It will sell fine with a few changes ever couple years. I'm not saying GM should poor money into it, but I see no reason to get rid of it; it sells OK and has to make money for GM... I wouldn't mind seeing the Escalade go away eventually, but for the next 5 years I don't see a whole lot of reason to cut it unless sales tank completely. Cadillac needs more than 1 SUV/X-Over, BMW has 2 or 3 if you count the X6, MB a ton, Lexus 3, Acura 2, Infiniti 2 (or 3 if you count QX), Audi is going to have 2, Volvo 2... Cadillac needs something like the X3/RDX and something bigger like the X5, but they don't have the money to do that right now, or at least it doesn't appear that way.

For the STS revamp... just manufacture the Chinese SLS here in the US?!

It would be longer than the current STS and distance the C-Series & S-Series from each other.

The interior alone would improve Cadillac's mid-luxury offering

Meh, just kill the STS. Aside from the rear seat accommodations, that interior, while nice, is nothing against the S-Class and LS460, etc. Just continue to move the CTS upscale (the Alpha-based sedan needs room, anyways) and make a worthy competitor for the S-Class when there is enough money. Until then, dump the money into the CTS, Alpha sedan, and SRX and let those 3 vehicles establish a good brand identity. That's how BMW did it, from the bottom up.

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Meh, just kill the STS. Aside from the rear seat accommodations, that interior, while nice, is nothing against the S-Class and LS460, etc. Just continue to move the CTS upscale (the Alpha-based sedan needs room, anyways) and make a worthy competitor for the S-Class when there is enough money. Until then, dump the money into the CTS, Alpha sedan, and SRX and let those 3 vehicles establish a good brand identity. That's how BMW did it, from the bottom up.

When was this? I don't remember BMW ever not having a true flagship. MB either.

Lexus, Infiniti, and (for the sake of discussion) Acura began their existence here with their largest cars.

I have a problem with Cadillac's flagship being a smaller car like the CTS. But I do like the idea of those models carrying the brand image. My thing is, as I've said before... innovation should flow from the flagship down, not from the midlevel up. That's something Caddy has been doing for too long, and as a result, they have models too close together at the present.

Can you tell I have a thing for the STS, by the way? :P

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The SLS is still a step in the right direction for Cadillac. I don't think I'd ever consider a CTS but I would consider the SLS over a Buick.

GM better start making appealing vehicles in the remaining brands if they're planning to kill off others.

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I'm pretty sure that BMW started in the US with just the 3er and 5er, but I could be wrong. Regardless, Cadillac has yet to prove it can sell anything above $50k other than the Escalade, so it needs to first have the brand image to sell anything it wants for $50k and below before it even thinks about the $80k segment. Look at how the XLR did...

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but I would consider the SLS over a Buick.

And here we have GM's troubles condensed into a single sentence.

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What about the train of thought that says a large GM luxury vehicle must have a V8? Yes, there are people/buyers out there that demand a V8 in their Cadillac.

Is GM going to abandon these buyers?

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What about the train of thought that says a large GM luxury vehicle must have a V8? Yes, there are people/buyers out there that demand a V8 in their Cadillac.

Is GM going to abandon these buyers?

Apparently so...which is sad.. the big league luxury brands aren't going to give up their V8s....stopping development on the Northstar replacement was a mistake, IMHO..

Edited by moltar
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For the STS revamp... just manufacture the Chinese SLS here in the US?!

It would be longer than the current STS and distance the C-Series & S-Series from each other.

The interior alone would improve Cadillac's mid-luxury offering:

+1

Apparently so...which is sad.. the big league luxury brands aren't going to give up their V8s....stopping development on the Northstar replacement was a mistake, IMHO..

+1

Edited by FUTURE_OF_GM
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but I would consider the SLS over a Buick.

And here we have GM's troubles condensed into a single sentence.

That's incorrect. It's the exact opposite for a few reasons:

1) I stated it under the condition that Buick wouldn't continue to exist in the US

2) The refreshened STS/SLS would be more expensive than anything offered by Buick

3) I didn't say I'd consider a Chevrolet, Pontiac, or Saturn "over" a Buick.

4) As a continuation of #3, GM's brand structure is supposed to encourage owners to eventually trade up to a higher brand. The SLS would be the first Cadillac that might actually accomplish that task.

If anything is wrong with GM, it's #4. That concept just doesn't exist between most of GM's brands.

- Why would a Malibu owner want to "trade up" for a G6 or Aura?

- Why would a Solstice owner trade up for a Sky?

- Why would an Astra/Aura owner buy a LaCrosse?

- Why would a Lucerne owner buy a 9-5, CTS, or DTS?

The only existing "trade-up" appeal is between Chevrolet & Cadillac.

There could be trade-up appeal for Saturn/Opel & Saab.

Buick-Pontiac-GMC actually cover a price scale that shouldn't matter as long as the buyer returns to one of the three in-store brands.

But, getting back to "brand-tiering" -

B-P-G brands need to have products that encourage Chevrolet owners to "move-up." I think the new LaCrosse is a vehicle that a current Malibu owner would consider as a "step up." The Enclave will certainly remain a step up from the Traverse.

The SLS would give a reason for a Park Avenue or Lucerne owner to trade-in. It has the luxurious "personal limousine" feel that coddles the owner & passengers while remaining some-what anonymous… much more so than the ostentatiously reskinned Lucerne called DTS.

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Good Caddy lineup:

BLS "Alpha" sedan (if it looks like a baby CTS)

CTS Sedan

CTS Coupe

CTS Station Wagon

STS with Chinese SLS interior

new front wheel drive SRX

Cadillac version of Volt

Edited by gmcbob
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An STS with the chinese interior would be better than what we have now, but still not better than a Jag XF or the German trio and no where near the S-class. Cadillac can't just make a lineup better than what they currently have, they have to make one better than what Mercedes or BMW has. And the E-class and 5-series are all new in under 2 years.

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.. they have to make one better than what Mercedes or BMW has. And the E-class and 5-series are all new in under 2 years.

Well, we know that's not going to happen..GM has too much baggage in the mainstream brands to spend what it needs to spend on Cadillac to give it a fully competitive lineup....

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I understand the logic in switching the next gen Escalade to a car platform, but why not base it on Sigma or Sigma-Zeta (if GM is still planning on producing this platform merger) instead of Lambda? I know Lexus has been successful with their FWD crossover, but I thought Cadillac was gunning for the luxury big boys (BMW and Mercedes) instead of Lexus. To me, a properly executed Sigma based crossover would make a more appropriate flagship utility vehicle for Cadillac.

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