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GM Greenlights New Cadillac Flagship

Sedan to target 7-Series segment; concept likely in early 2013.

by on Jul.23, 2012

A follow-up to the Cadillac Ciel concept, closer to the planned Caddy flagship, is due early next year.

After much internal debate General Motors has apparently agreed to give Cadillac the resources it needs to give serious chase to its European competitors, notably by approving a new 7-Series competitor that will serve as the domestic maker’s flagship sedan.

As TheDetroitBureau.com recently reported, the new model – which will be heavily influenced by the recent Cadillac Ciel Concept – will be joined by a wide range of additional new Caddy products, including a downsized crossover and a V-Series version of the new ATS entry-luxury sedan.

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The new model will also cap Cadillac’s push to finally become a truly global brand.  Though insiders tell TheDetroitBureau.com the Ciel-based flagship is likely to develop particularly strong demand in China, Caddy also hopes that it can provide a halo in Europe, where the brand has long struggled for traction.

The Bureau has been told that a concept version of the new premium luxury model could appear as early as next January’s Detroit Auto Show.

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Cadillac Planning Numerous Product, Concept Roll-outs in 2012 – 2013

New crossover, update of Ciel premium luxury model in mix.

by on Jan.13, 2012

Advanced designer Clay Dean's studio is busy working up new Cadillac products, including a follow-up to the ultra-luxury Ciel, shown here..

It’s been a busy few months from Cadillac, what with the L.A. Auto Show launch of the new XTS premium-luxury sedan and the introduction in Detroit of the new ATS entry-lux model.  “But we’re not getting any time off,” a senior Caddy official told TheDetroitBureau.com during a background conversation at the Detroit Auto Show.

For his part, General Motors North America President Mark Reuss acknowledges there are a number of “open spaces” in the Cadillac line-up, and that it will be essential to fill at least some of them if the maker aims to regain a level of competitiveness against the dominant German and Japanese luxury brands, like BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Lexus.

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Reuss declined to discuss specifics for Cadillac’s expanded line-up, but in a series of background conversations, company officials provided an outline that hints at an aggressive new product strategy that will bring at least one, and possibly two new crossovers to market, while we will also be seeing a follow-up to the well-received Ciel super-premium luxury concept that Caddy rolled out at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance last August.

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GM Likely to Give Go-Ahead to Cadillac’s Flagship Omega Project

Encouraged by strong response to Ciel concept, Caddy will get new premium-luxury sedan, along with several hybrids and other new models.

by on Aug.29, 2011

Cadillac is expecting the go-ahead to build a new flagship based on the same platform as the Ciel concept car.

General Motors is expected to give the go-ahead to Cadillac’s flagship Omega project before year-end, according to senior sources, the maker’s top management encouraged by the overwhelmingly positive reaction of the luxury division’s new Ciel concept vehicle.

It’s unclear whether a convertible or sedan version based on the big Omega platform would be first to market, but there is a clear consensus that Caddy needs a super-premium model if it is to have a chance of regaining its position as “standard to the world,” as its long-time ad slogan declared.

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Omega would be just one in a wide range of new offerings that would be added to the Cadillac line-up, officials told TheDetroitBureau.com, helping the once-dominant marque fill in the so-called “white space” between its current model mix.  That will include not only a new plug-in hybrid – but very likely some more conventional hybrid-electric models, as well.

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First Look: Cadillac Ciel Concept

“The hint of a fin,” as Cadillac goes forward into the past.

by on Aug.19, 2011

Cadillac reveals a show car that could serve up a hint of the brand's next flagship in the form of the four-door Ciel convertible.

“Retro” was definitely not a word Cadillac officials wanted to hear as they pulled the covers off the luxury division’s new Ciel Concept during a Thursday night preview.  But with what General Motors chief designer Ed Welburn described as a “hint of a fin,” the striking show car provides a vision of where Caddy might be going by touching on where it had been in a once-glorious past.

Long the leader of the luxury market, Cadillac now lags behind overseas rivals like BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Lexus.  But it has begun regaining ground, in recent years, with a renewed focus on distinctive design.  And confident there’s an opportunity for growth, GM management has given Caddy the green light to add a variety of new models, including the ELR plug-in hybrid, approved just this week, as well as the small Cadillac ATS and larger XTS.

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But, “You need a flagship in your portfolio to be successful in the luxury market today,” asserted Clay Dean, the brand’s lead designer.  And the Ciel is a hint of what such a car might be.  Nearly as long as the big Cadillac Escalade sport-utility vehicle, the prototype was shown in convertible form, but if taken into production would likely also be offered as a full-sized sedan, company insiders told TheDetroitBureau.com.

The name, Ciel, is French for “sky,” and carries something of a double meaning.  There’s the reference to the convertible design but it might also suggest that the sky is the limit, as far as GM is concerned, if Caddy can pull off a true turnaround.  That would likely depend on tapping into more than just the U.S. market – even though it is the largest luxury market in the world.  The Ciel, whether in convertible or hard top form, would also be targeted at China, now the largest overall automotive market on the planet – and a place where increasingly affluent buyers have shown a distinct predilection for cars that are large and lavishly equipped.

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