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Cadillac Expects Sales Increase in 2013

Strength of compact luxury segment makes ATS a leader.

by on Mar.29, 2013

2014 Cadillac CTS

Cadillac expects to chalk up big sales gains this year thanks to the growing popularity of the new Cadillac ATS and the arrival of the new Cadillac CTS this fall, which was unveiled at the New York International Auto Show.

Bob Ferguson, the head of General Motors’ luxury car unit, noted after the unveiling of the 2014 CTS that Cadillac sales are up 30 percent through the first two months of 2013. “I see that continuing,” said Ferguson. In addition, 70 percent of the sales of new ATS, which was named North American Car of The Year in January, are to buyers new to the Cadillac brand, he said.

The Last Word!

In addition, the third generation of the CTS is due this fall and serves to underscore Cadillac’s determination to challenge the trio of German brands, Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz, that have come to define the luxury segment, he said.

“It’s a long journey,” he said. But Cadillac’s recent success in the U.S. and its growth in China show it can be done.

Mark Adams, Cadillac director of design, said Cadillac is expanding and elevating its game to challenge the German luxury brands on their own turf not only in the U.S., but also around the world.

“That is precisely the intention of the new CTS. It is ascending into the top-level of midsize luxury. It is at the center of our lineup,” said Adams, who described the car as being longer, lower, sleeker and better proportioned than its predecessor.

“Originally, in 2002, it signaled our return to rear-wheel drive and our entry into legitimate luxury-performance,” he said. “This car is designed to lift Cadillac into a true prestige level. It is our next logical step, but also our challenge. The car we reveal this evening is both expanded and elevated.

“It is physically larger, but most important, it is more crafted, more sophisticated, and higher performing. As our brand develops, and our products grow in credibility, this is the kind of car Cadillac must do. It makes a bold statement that only Cadillac can make. It showcases the bold imagination that is uniquely American,” he said.

“And it’s also elevated in its execution – rising to the next level where we believe Cadillac can be compelling, convincing and fully credible in the prestige luxury sedan segment,” Adams said.

The CTS design also won plaudits from independent observers.

“It’s a beautiful car,” said Joseph Phillippi, an independent auto analyst, who was very impressed by the sleek, overall design of the new CTS, which will also come with the latest safety and connectivity technology GM can offer. Since the original CTS was launched a decade ago, it has routinely served as Cadillac’s volume model.

Going forward, however, it is likely to slip into a support role. Cadillac’s smaller ATS is expected to become the luxury brand’s primary product line, Don Butler, Caddy’s U.S. marketing chief told The compact segment is the real growth niche in the luxury market, he explained. Nonetheless, he still expects to see the gen-3 CTS to gain sales over the outgoing model and, just as importantly, to serve as a halo car for the brand’s effort to challenge the dominant German luxury brands.

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