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Cadillac Sales Stage Sharp Upturn

New products like ATS give Caddy a much-needed lift.

by on Mar.04, 2013

Cadillac is gaining momentum on the competition with new models like the ATS.

After a disappointing finish to 2012, Cadillac got some much-needed momentum when its new ATS compact luxury sedan was named North American Car of the Year. That big boost from a panel of 50 U.S. and Canadian journalists is clearly paying off.

Along with the traction it’s gaining from other new and updated products, such as the flagship XTS sedan, Cadillac is beginning to regain some of the ground it has lost in recent years to imports like Lexus, BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Audi.

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And with a remake of its mid-range CTS set to debut later this month, General Motor’s flagship brand is finally seeing some upside after years of decline, sales for the first two months of this year climbing by nearly a third over the same period in 2012.

Sean McAlinden, executive vice president of research at the Center for Automotive Research in Ann Arbor, Michigan, noted Cadillac is also benefitting from the broader revival of GM’s product development efforts. “This is the year GM product development catches up,” said McAlinden.

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Caddy Considering Several “Flagships” in Expansive Product Roll-Out

At least 10 new models or major updates coming.

by on Aug.20, 2012

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With the launch of the new ATS small car, Cadillac is beginning the most expansive product roll-out in its history, according to senior officials with the General Motors luxury brand – a risky but potentially lucrative effort that is likely to bring the launch of several new “flagship” models to challenge the likes of the BMW 7-Series and Mercedes-Benz S-Class.

Designer Clay Dean with the Cadillac Ciel concept.

While Cadillac won’t try to go product-for-product with its fast-expanding German rivals, the U.S. luxury maker recognizes it has to rapidly expand its meager line-up to remain competitive.  And after years of hesitation, it appears that top GM management is finally freeing up the financial resources necessary to accomplish that long-delayed goal, TheDetroitBureau.com has learned.

Caddy will begin to fill the various “white spaces” in its line-up over the next several years, numerous officials confirmed, speaking both on the record and on background.  That includes a much-needed compact crossover targeting one of the fastest-growing segments in the luxury market.  But one of the more surprising plans falling into place, TheDetroitBureau.com was told, was the idea of rolling out several different flagship models that would target both “foundational” and “aspirational” niches in the premium luxury segment.

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“These are fun, happy times at Cadillac,” said Don Butler, Cadillac’s top marketing executive, during a dinner session prior to this past weekend’s Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.  “We’re expanding and elevating the brand.”

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Caddy Considering ATS Coupe, V-Series Variants – and more.

Catching up to the imports.

by on Jun.27, 2012

Cadillac is looking at a variety of additional ATS variants for the near future, including a V-Series and possibly an ATS Coupe.

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With the upcoming launch of the Cadillac ATS the once-dominant luxury brand hopes to begin the difficult task of rebuilding its once-lofty reputation and challenging such import stalwarts as BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Audi.

The ATS is not only the first compact Caddy model line in three decades but the marque’s first product to offer a four-cylinder engine – two, in fact – since the dreaded Cimarron, a vehicle whose mere mention evoked reflexively painful winces during a preview of the new ATS this week.

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Specifically aimed at the luxury compact benchmark, the ATS will debut in sedan form with a choice of three powertrain packages.  But numerous Cadillac insiders revealed to TheDetroitBureau.com that this is likely just the beginning.  An array of additional ATS variants likely will follow.  Among those under serious consideration are an ATS Coupe and the seemingly requisite V-Series version.

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Cadillac ATS to Start at $33,990

Maker will have slight advantage over BMW 3-Series.

by on May.07, 2012

Cadillac's new ATS will plug a gaping hole at the bottom of the maker's line-up.

Cadillac is betting it can win entry into the hotly competitive luxury market with a mix of styling, performance and pricing, the base model of its new 2013 ATS sedan to carry a sticker of $33,990.

That’s about $2,000 less than the MSRP for the king of the compact luxury segment, the BMW 3-Series, which starts at $35,795 for the base 328i.

But as with BMW and other competitors, the Detroit maker plans to offer a wide array of options, including all-wheel-drive and a more sporty V-6, which will let buyers nudge the price tag for the 2013 Cadillac ATS all the way up into the mid-$40,000 range.

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“The ATS enters a vehicle segment this year that’s one of the most competitive in the market, from both a price and performance standpoint,” said Cadillac’s director of marketing Don Butler. “ATS will bring a distinctive presence and compelling value while offering quick, nimble, fun-to-drive dynamics that will appeal to the lifestyles of modern luxury buyers and challenge the segment’s status quo.”

Of course, Cadillac has tried that before.

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Cadillac To Build 3 Models in China

Maker goes local to boost demand in big luxury market.

by on Apr.13, 2012

Cadillac will begin building the new XTS in China.

General Motors is preparing to build three new Cadillac models in China – including its all-new XTS flagship — with the help of its principal Chinese partner, Shanghai Automotive Industry Corp. or SAIC.

The cars are expected to compete for high-end Chinese buyers, particularly in major Chinese cities such as Beijing and Shanghai, who have already shown a willingness to spend lavishly on European luxury cars despite some of the world’s most expensive licensing fees.

The new Cadillac XTS, which replaces the old STS, will be the first of the three Cadillac models to go into production in China.  It will target such competitors as the BMW 7-Series and Mercedes-Benz S-Class.  Demand for premium luxury models has been especially strong among wealthy Chinese buyers and communist party functionaries – particularly products that offer roomy and well-equipped back seats, like the XTS.

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Caddy Claims ATS Super Bowl Ad Was Most-Watched TV Spot – Ever

“Green Hell” spot seen by over 111 million in U.S. alone.

by on Feb.08, 2012

A shot of the new ATS from Cadillac's "Green Hell" Super Bowl commercial.

There are plenty of folks who still don’t know who won the Super Bowl last Sunday – even if they had the TV on for the big game.  A lot of people, it seems, are there to check out the much-hyped commercials.

And Cadillac is claiming that its game-day spot for the new ATS compact luxury sedan, dubbed “Green Hell,” had the largest audience ever for a TV commercial broadcast in the U.S. – which meant it was seen by an estimated 111.3 million people.

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The maker cites research by Kantar Media, which closely tracks the Super Bowl audience, minute-by-minute.  It found that when the ATS spot ran, at 9:37 PM EST – during the two-minute warning official time out, the audience rating rose to 43.5, an all-time record for what was already the most widely watched Super Bowl ever.

(To watch the Cadillac ATS “Green Hell” ad, Click Here.)

Estimates are that the game was also seen by at least a billion people outside the U.S. – or roughly one in every six people on the planet.

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New Cadillac ATS Aims to Become Luxury Brand’s Best-Seller

Sedan will be followed by wagon, performance model, other spin-offs.

by on Jan.09, 2012

Cadillac's new ATS reaches showrooms over the summer, shortly after the launch of the big XTS.

It may be Cadillac’s smallest model but the new ATS sedan has some big shoes to fill.

Making its debut at the 2012 North American International Auto Show, in Detroit, this week, Caddy gave the automotive media a sneak peak Sunday night at the 2013 model, which will follow the luxury brand’s premium-luxury XTS sedan to market later this year.

Slotting beneath the current mid-range Cadillac CTS, the 2013 ATS will target some of the world’s most popular luxury models, like the BMW 3-Series and Mercedes-Benz C-Class. But Caddy officials are nothing if not confident, General Motors President Mark Reuss suggesting that the new offering should eventually become the best-selling model in the Cadillac line-up – and give the U.S. brand the nudge it needs to crack key overseas markets like Europe.

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The 2013 Cadillac ATS will be produced at a GM plant in Lansing, Michigan, the same factory now producing the larger CTS.  The underlying platform for the two share some similarities, but Caddy Chief Engineer David Leone stresses that the “architecture” of the smaller model has undergone extensive revisions designed to not only improved its ride and handling but also to sharply reduce its weight.

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Cadillac Will Offer Triple Engine Option for ATS

New small luxury sedan will introduce high-performance Turbo.

by on Dec.15, 2011

Caddy's new ATS gets a high-performance2.0-liter turbo engine making more hp per liter than Lamborghini's Aventador.

In an era when many makers are scaling back on the number of engine options available in any specific product Cadillac has decided to expand the range of offerings it will present when the new ATS compact luxury sedan goes on the market next year.

Among the options will be an all-new turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-four that, the maker is boasting, turns out more horsepower by liter then the V-12 used in Lamborghini’s new flagship supercar the Aventador.

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The ATS itself will be one of two new models landing in the Cadillac line-up next year, part of General Motors’ effort to revive the luxury brand that once could boast of being the “standard of the world.”  The other is the premium luxury XTS sedan targeting the likes of the Mercedes-Benz S-Class, while the ATS will jump into a crowded segment dominated by the BMW 3-Series.

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GM Planning Big Detroit Auto Show Splash

At least four new products will debut, including Cadillac ATS.

by on Dec.05, 2011

Cadillac will show the production version of the ATS at the upcoming Detroit Auto Show.

General Motors Co. is vowing to make a splash at the North American International Auto Show next month with at least four new products set to make their debut.

Mary Barra, GM senior vice president of global development, said that one of the vehicles scheduled for introduction at the NAIAS will be the Cadillac ATS, the domestic marque’s new entry-level luxury sedan.

“ATS is a crucial part of Cadillac’s expansion,” Barra told the Detroit Automotive Press Association.

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After several mis-steps, Cadillac is in the midst of a rapid expansion that will include both the ATS and the big STS premium luxury sedan introduced at the L.A. Auto Show last month.  GM officials have told TheDetroitBureau.com that additional products are also under development to fill in other luxury segments where Caddy currently doesn’t compete.  But the ATS – which slots below the Cadillac CTS – could be critical for the brand.

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First Look: Cadillac ATS Entry-Luxury Car

Will join line-up, along with new XTS, in 2012.

by on Aug.04, 2011

GM releases the first sketch of its new ATS small car.

Cadillac will get its much-anticipated entry-level luxury car in late 2012, Mark Reuss, President of General Motors North America, confirmed as he released a sketch of the new offering during an automotive industry conference in Northern Michigan. The ATS will be joined by a new large car Caddy will dub the XTS.

The new compact is one in an assortment of offerings Caddy will get over the next several years as GM plays catch-up with rivals like BMW, Audi and Lexus, all of which have significantly expanded their offerings in recent years.  GM will also launch a large luxury model and is developing another even-larger model that could go up against the likes of the Mercedes-Benz S-Class.

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“The car we codenamed ATS is being developed to be a driver’s car on an all-new Cadillac-specific RWD-AWD architecture,” Reuss said, during an appearance at the annual Management Briefing Seminars in Traverse City, Michigan. “We have extensively and exhaustively studied the competitive segment, and we have benchmarked the best. And when this car comes out, that will be readily apparent.”

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