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Cadillac Boss Discusses Upcoming CT5 Sedan, Brand Future

Cadillac Boss Discusses Upcoming CT5 Sedan, Brand Future

Cadillac President Johan de Nysschen has, again, spilled additional plans about Cadillac’s future. Like most global brands, the brand boss has confirmed plans to realign Cadillac’s sedan lineup and focus on SUVs and electrification going forward.

“We have to rebalance our sedan portfolio,” Johan de Nysschen told Reuters in interview.

That rebalance is going to include an indirect replacement for three different sedans. de Nysschen confirmed plans for the upcoming Cadillac CT5 sedan to indirectly fill the role of the ATS, CTS and XTS sedans. Essentially the CT5 will be a midsize sedan that ends up being about the size of today’s CTS with a slightly lower price tag. Meanwhile, the CT6 will remain at the top of the Cadillac sedan crest.

The new CT5 is expected to be produced at General Motors’ Lansing Grand River Assembly plant in Lansing, Michigan. This is the same plant that is currently producing the ATS and CTS sedans, suggesting the CT5 will be built on a new version of GM’s rear-wheel-drive Alpha architecture.

Cadillac will round out its three sedan lineup with a new smaller sedan to slot under the CT5. de Nysschen defied his usual and did not disclose the name for this one, but logic would suggest CT4 or CT3. He did confirm that this car, too, will be produced at the Lansing plant, again suggesting rear-wheel-drive.

While de Nysschen is making news about this “realignment,” it really just sounds like the replacements for the ATS and CTS are going to adjust in terms of size and change name; something we’ve known for years.

Aside from the sedan plans, Cadillac also confirmed plans to launch a new compact crossover called the XT4, while the executive also went ahead and confirmed a new three-row crossover will launch in 2019. Both of these have been previously confirmed.

Where de Nysschen’s typical detail-laden spill fizzled out was when the conversation shifted to Cadillac’s electrification plans. Aside from saying their plan is not “dissimilar to Volvo’s.” Volvo recently announced it intends to have an all-electrified lineup, eventually.



About Nick Saporito

AutoVerdict Senior Editor Nick Saporito began writing about cars at age 13. Nick ran a couple of automotive enthusiast sites for several years, before taking some time off to focus on his career and education. By day he's a marketing executive in the telecom world and by night he hangs out here at AV. You'll find him focusing on tech, design and the industry's future.
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  1. 2b2
    Regarding the XTS, it's got 9 lives.

    zombie car ZOMBIE CAR

    It's obvious that Cadillac is retreating to the 1st and 2nd gen CTS strategy of offering a plus-series sized car at a minus-series price...


    the big change for me is it seeming like their price structure is going lower than recent memory

    Going back to the compact: one other 'solution' comes from the interface between design and packaging. There's a reason that GM's downsized sedans of the late 70's adopted the near vertical backlight of the groundbreaking Seville: it keeps the roofline high right to the rear of the passenger compartment, allowing you to push the rear seats back and open up cabin space.

    A styling shift in a smaller car that incorporated a more 'formal' (as it was once dubbed') roofline -- or a shooting brake/hatch -- might allow for useful room on the Alpha platform.

    That said: both Buick and Cadillac need a credible, premium FWD/RWD compact/subcompact architecture that can hit competitive luxury, space and performance benchmarks, so I wouldn't be surprised to see some extension of an existing GM platform suitable for lux/performance duty. Or. GM's going to throw a curveball in the compact arena and go BEV, which would be very interesting. The architecture (Bolt) exists ... why not do it right (NOT ELR) and see how the market responds?
    Regarding the XTS, it's got 9 lives.

    It's obvious that Cadillac is retreating to the 1st and 2nd gen CTS strategy of offering a 5 series sized car at a 3 series price. Since GM has proven it can't take on BMW, car for car, probably a smart move.

    Lexus and Jaguar are doing the same thing with their LS and XJ sedans, respectively. I think Cadillac sedans should be and appear larger and longer than the European competitors as a general rule. I have no problem with this.

    Audi has also struggled to be seen as an equal to Mercedes in the USA. It has a higher status in Europe. They are gaining ground in the USA - mostly with their crossovers. I think Cadillac can do the same with EV's and plug-ins. The technology exists at their parent company. It won't be long before 300+ mile range will be available for buyers with the means to afford it. THAT kind of technology needs to be offered in Cadillac products very soon.

    As far as crossovers, my preference would be to utilize the same dynamically excellent architecture as the CT6 and upcoming CT5. That being said, crossover buyers tend to be women that couldn't care less about driving dynamics. These are family cars for upper middle income people that would have been buying full sized sedans 30 years ago. They care about tech, comfort, space, quality, and styling. Styling is the important element that I will base my next rant off of: If Cadillac must use front drive architecture like the plebeian Lexus, Acura, Buick, and Lincoln....they could at least figure out how to move the front axle forward the way Audi does on their crossovers.

    The XT5 is a hot seller for Cadillac. There is clearly demand for Cadillac crossovers - and they are still missing a 3 row crossover similar to the Mercedes GL or Audi Q7.

    I would like to see Cadillac aggressively pursue EV models of the CT6 and upcoming CT5 while they push Super Cruise like crazy. Super Cruise is a legitimately game changing feature with no comparable alternative except Tesla's Auto Pilot. I think their strategy is a good one, and given the slower demand for sedans today, they were right in evolving their plan to replace the ATS and CTS with one car instead of two. I only wish they would have been more aggressive with crossovers 3-5 years ago.
    CT5 will be on Alpha 2. I'm not really sure what's happening with a smaller car. Cadillac is all over the board on that. If it even happens, it would not shock me if it is based on a FWD architecture - if it happens.

    It's obvious that Cadillac is retreating to the 1st and 2nd gen CTS strategy of offering a 5 series sized car at a 3 series price. Since GM has proven it can't take on BMW, car for car, probably a smart move.

    I would be shocked if the sub-CT5 car will even be a sedan. It's going to be some kind of small crossover/wagon type of product similar to the Mercedes GLA, which IMO should not exist.
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