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Cadillac Shifts Design Direction with Escala Concept

A more buttoned-down take on Art & Science.

by on Aug.19, 2016

Cadillac smooths out the edges of its Art & Design design language with the Escala concept.

It’s been more than a decade since Cadillac set out to rebuild its once trend-setting credentials with the introduction of the edgy Art & Science design language. Since the debut of the first generation CTS sedan, it’s been tweaking the theme but as General Motors’ luxury brand gets set for what it’s calling an “unprecedented” product blitz, it seems we’re in for another major design makeover.

But if anyone was expecting an equally radical new look, it seems that Caddy is going in a different, more buttoned-down direction. The new Cadillac Escala Concept making its debut ahead of this weekend’s Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance won’t get lost in the crowd, but it’s certainly not the bold showstoppers of other recent Caddy concepts, like the Elmiraj Coupe Concept that was unveiled in Pebble Beach three years ago.

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The concept “marks an inflection point” for Cadillac, said its President Johan de Nysschen, who declared the Escala, “the next design chapter” for the brand, and promised key elements of the show car “will be incorporated in every one of our new products over the next five years.”


Lincoln Changes MKX New Car Smell for China

Brand caters to cultural preferences with new entry.

by on Jan.13, 2015

The new car smell that Americans love so much, isn't well liked by the Chinese, which caused Lincoln some problems with the new MKX.

While the development of a new vehicle is a team effort, but at some point every bit of a car eventually falls into the hands of engineers.

“We are focused on delivering engaging and refined luxury vehicles with innovative and thoughtful technologies,” said Kumar Galhotra, president of Lincoln, during the unveiling of the MKX at the North American International Auto Show. “The all-new Lincoln MKX reflects that focus.”

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In the case of the new MKX, engineers were faced with an unusual problem: interior odors. (more…)

Cadillac Taking on Market Leaders with Aggressive Product Plans

New chief lays out future product cadence.

by on Jan.13, 2015

Cadillac President Johan de Nysschen outlined his ambitious product plan to fill out Caddy's line-up.

If the folks from Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz heard the sounds of cannon shot flying by during the two-day media preview of the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, it’s no surprise. And those shots very likely were launched from the Cadillac stand nearby.

Vowing to take the fight to the enemy, Cadillac’s new global President Johan de Nysschen has outlined an aggressive product launch program that will begin to fill in critical holes in the Detroit maker’s line-up.

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“We’re here to disrupt, to shatter the status quo and change perceptions,” de Nysschen declared during the unveiling of the new 640-horsepower CTS-V sedan. “We will take on the market leaders head-on with vehicles aimed at where they are strongest.” (more…)

Cadillac Moving to NYC as Part of Global Restructuring

Product blitz in the works, but luxury brand could take short-term hit.

by on Sep.23, 2014

The Cadillac Elmiraj concept is expected to have a strong influence on the new flagship, though it will go with a sedan body style.

(Copyright 2014,

Cadillac will go through a major strategic realignment that will see it spun off as a separate business unit and move its headquarters to New York City, the General Motors brand will confirm today.

While key operations, including sales, marketing and product planning, will move to the Big Apple, Caddy’s design and engineering efforts will remain in the Motor City. And they will be extremely busy in the years to come, according to Johan de Nysschen, the new Cadillac global brand chief who spoke to in an exclusive interview.

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The one-time “standard of the world” is getting ready to unleash a product blitz intended to challenge its ambitious German rivals, covering everything from a new entry-level model to the upper reaches of the luxury market. There will likely be new coupes, convertibles, crossovers and performance cars, according to de Nysschen – though the South African-born executive cautioned that the cost could be significant, at least initially. (more…)

Cadillac to Launch New Flagship in Late 2015

by on Sep.19, 2014

The new flagship is expected to show the strong influence of the Cadillac Elmiraj concept coupe.

Cadillac will fill a long-open gap in its line-up when it launches production of an all-new flagship sedan late next year, the as-yet unnamed “high-technology” car set to be produced at General Motors’ “Poletown” plant in Detroit.

The new model, expected to go up against the likes of the Mercedes-Benz S-Class, BMW 7-Series and Audi A8, is expected to introduce the new Super Drive system GM CEO Mary Barra announced earlier this month which will allow autonomous driving on highways. The broader goal is to reposition Cadillac as a serious contender in the premium luxury market it once dominated, especially as the brand expands its global roll-out.

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“The objective for this upcoming model is to lift the Cadillac range by entering the elite class of top-level luxury cars,” said Cadillac President Johan de Nysschen. “Currently in development, this new rear wheel drive-oriented sedan uses completely new, custom-designed materials on a unique vehicle architecture.


Cadillac Loses Another Top Exec

Turmoil at the top as sales bottom out.

by on Jun.19, 2014

Bill Peffer becomes the third U.S. sales chief to leave Cadillac in less than two years.

This was supposed to be a big year for Cadillac as it rolled out new models like the CTS and updated Escalade, and solidified the gains of other recent models, such as the compact ATS and big XTS sedans. But instead of growth, the brand has been wracked with turmoil, losing a procession of senior managers as sales have unexpectedly tumbled.

Cadillac’s only recently hired U.S. sales chief has left the company for supposedly personal reasons. Whether he fell short of expectations, General Motors isn’t revealing, but the luxury brand’s volume was down 2.3% for the first five months of the year, a sharp disappointment considering Caddy had been anticipating double-digit sales growth in 2014.

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The departure of Bill Peffer, who joined GM just last autumn, is the latest in a series of executive departures, a list that includes former Cadillac global strategic development chief Don Butler, who left the company last August, and Peffer’s predecessor Chase Hawkins, who was fired as sales chief for “violating a company policy.”


Cadillac Still Has Plans for Halo Car

Full-size premium model still a go; several halo alternatives under study.

by on Jul.03, 2013

The debut of the Cadillac Ciel concept led many Caddy fans to hope the maker would soon launch one or more "halo" cars.

Were Mark Twain covering the auto beat he might begin by declaring that reports of the death of Cadillac’s planned “halo” car have been greatly exaggerated.

There’ve been several widely discussed stories over the past few days suggesting that Cadillac has given up on a planned $100,000 “show-stopper,” possibly based on the Cadillac Ciel concept vehicle because General Motors bean-counters couldn’t pencil in an appropriate business case to justify the necessary investment. has been advised that, indeed, a “large luxury” model has been scrapped from the Cadillac plan. But several sources have stressed that the decision had more to do with the potential for that specific design than anything else.

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That does not impact the ongoing development of a large, rear-wheel-drive model that will sit atop the current Caddy lineup-topping XTS model. And preliminary work continues on several other possible halo vehicles that would be based off that big car’s platform.

It’s likely the luxury maker will reveal more when it unveils a large luxury concept at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance in August, has learned.


Caddy Targets BMW with New Twin-Turbo V-6

High-output engine to power new CTS sedan, upgraded XTS.

by on Mar.18, 2013

Cadillac's new twin-turbo V-6 is the most powerful engine of its type ever at GM.

It could be a critical year for Cadillac, the U.S. luxury maker hoping to take European competitors like BMW down a peg with an assortment of new products – and a new twin-turbo V-6 powertrain that it will be introducing later this year.

The all-new engine will make its debut under the hood of the third-generation Cadillac CTS that’s also scheduled to be unveiled at the New York Auto Show later this month. A first for General Motors, the twin-turbo V-6 “will be a signature feature” for the Cadillac brand, proclaimed David Leone, the maker’s executive chief engineer, during a Monday morning preview.

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The CTS itself will undergo some major changes for the 2014 model-year, the sedan expected to grow slightly larger to create some distance from Cadillac’s base model, the ATS, and to more directly target imports like the vaunted BMW 5-Series, Audi A6 and Mercedes-Benz E-Class.


Buy a Cadillac, Get an iPad

Luxury maker giving tablet away with new XTS sedan.

by on May.10, 2012

Cadillac will give away an iPad to buyers of its new XTS, the tablet computer loaded with apps designed to complement the new Caddy CUE system.

Buy a car, get a pad. That’s one of the bonuses Cadillac is throwing in with the new XTS flagship sedan it is launching in late spring.

Customers will get a new iPad as part of the deal, the tablet computer loaded with a variety of software features that are, in turn, part of what Cadillac is describing as a network of new support services it hopes will differentiate it from other luxury brands.

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The iPad itself will feature a variety of apps, including one that will let buyers “test drive” the new Caddy CUE system.  That’s the maker’s new voice-activated infotainment system.  CUE uses some of the same basic technology as Apple’s Siri service and is pre-programmed to recognize common speech, rather than the strict command language most other in-car voice systems require a user to learn.

The iPad will also be loaded with OnStar RemoteLink and the MyCadillac app allowing owners to find the nearest dealer, schedule service and repairs online or call for roadside assistance, if necessary.


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.