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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.


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.


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 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.


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 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.


“Test Driving” Cadillac Cue

iPad-like system can be controlled with normal speech.

by on Nov.11, 2011

Cadillac demonstrates the new Cue infotainment system, which debuts on the 2013 Caddy XTS.

Ever since Motorola introduced the first primitive in-car radio motorists have been demanding more and better onboard electronics – and these days, some cars offer better technology than you’ll find in the typical home or office.

But that raises another challenge: how to provide simple and intuitive controls for all that technology so the car’s cabin doesn’t like the crowded cockpit of a fighter jet.  We’ve seen some creative solutions – from BMW’s iDrive to Ford MyTouch — that have created problems of their own, but now, General Motors is weighing in with what it bills as the even more advanced Cadillac Cue.

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We got a chance to take the technology for a test drive, so to speak, ahead of its formal introduction at the L.A. Auto Show next week.  And, while the prototype Caddy Cue still had some clear bugs to work out before its launch on the new 2013 Cadillac XTS sedan, we found that it clearly advances the state of in-car infotainment controls.


First Look: 2013 Cadillac XTS

Caddy inadvertently releases pic ahead of public preview.

by on Nov.11, 2011

Cadillac will officially unveil the new 2013 XTS sedan at next week's L.A. Auto Show.

There are some basic rules on the Internet, like being careful before hitting “Reply All,” and for an automaker like Cadillac making sure you don’t publish a pic on your consumer website before you want the media to find it.

But that’s precisely what General Motors did when it put up a shot of the new Cadillac XTS, the big luxury sedan that will be making its debut at the L.A. Auto Show next week.  Caught in the act, so to speak, the General Motors division decided to make it official confirming what everyone already knew.

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The XTS is likely to be one of the most important products Cadillac has released in years.  It replaces two slow-selling models: the rear-drive STS and front-drive DTS, and is aimed at providing a more upscale compliment to the brand’s current best-seller, the midsize CTS.


Caddy Likely to Launch 7-Series Fighter

Can Cadillac again become the “standard to the world”?

by on Jul.18, 2011

The Cadillac Sixteen - shown here in Beijing - could have strong influence on the 7-Series fighter Caddy is currently developing.

It long billed itself as the “standard to the world,” and in decades past Cadillac was indeed the marque to beat.  But that era is long gone and while Caddy has been regaining some momentum in recent years, it is struggling to catch up to competitors like BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Audi and even Lexus.

The domestic maker’s only serious passenger car offering is the midsize CTS.  It failed to generate traction with the larger STS and has nothing at all to challenge premium luxury models like the 7-Series and S-Class.  But that could be ready to change as Cadillac sets out to prove itself a truly world-class competitor.

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With the maker confirming plans for a compact luxury model, codenamed ATS, as well as the larger XTS, could it push even higher?  Apparently, yes, reports Mark Phelan, in the Detroit Free Press, confirming long-standing rumors that Cadillac could finally enter the lofty land of premium luxury sedans dominated by the Germans.

While such products generate relatively modest volumes, they provide the halo upon which brand reputations are built.  And, in fact, they could generate even more demand in the years ahead.  In China, newly affluent motorists are showing a distinct affinity for not just high-line marques but also for some of their largest and most expensive products.


Cadillac Brings XTS Platinum Hybrid Concept to Beijing Motor Show

Caddy puts a green spin on its platinum sedan.

by on Apr.22, 2010

Platinum goes green? The 2010 Cadillac XTS Platinum Concept showing in Beijing uses a hybrid powertrain.

What was once an insignificant auto show on the edge of the automotive world is rapidly becoming a place where the industry’s leading players are pulling out all the stops.

So, no surprise to see General Motors’ high-line brand take what will soon become its flagship sedan to the 2010 Beijing Motor Show, here putting an even more exclusive patina on the new model in the form of the Cadillac XTS Platinum Hybrid Concept.

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The “base” XTS made its debut a little more than three months ago, at the Detroit Auto Show.  The rear-drive sedan is, for the moment, still described as just a concept vehicle, but it is, in reality, due to hit market in 2012 as the replacement for both the old STS and DTS models that had served as Cadillac’s biggest and most expensive sedans.


Listening to Customer Not Always Best, Says Lutz

Battery cars likely to remain niche, warns GM Vice Chairman.

by on Jan.13, 2010

The customer, says GM Vice Chairman Bob Lutz, isn't always right. And sometimes you can't listen to what they say if you want to give them what they actually want.

The customer is always right.  Or so goes the old saw.  But General Motors Vice Chairman Bob Lutz says it’s not always a good idea to listen to the customer.

Without a clear point of view, a manufacturer risks developing bland products that no one really wants, warned “Maximum Bob,” during a conversation at the 2010 North American International Auto Show.  Just consider the last three generations of Cadillac’s once cutting-edge STS sedan.

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Until recently, the mantra of GM’s product development process was not to offend anyone, explained Lutz, so the company would look for so-called “dis-satisfers,” and eliminate them from its vehicles.  Lutz likened it to the pizza shop that kept eliminating ingredients because someone didn’t like anchovies and someone else didn’t like pepperoni.  Eventually, it wound up with nothing but dough.


Cadillac Reveals XTS4 and ATS

Automaker expanding the product envelope.

by on Aug.11, 2009

Carol Browner (right) director of the Office of Energy and Climate Change listens as General Motors Vice President Global Design Ed Welburn gives her a tour of the Cadillac Converj electric luxury coupe.

Carol Browner (right) director of the Office of Energy and Climate Change listens as GM Vice President Global Design Ed Welburn gives her a tour of the Cadillac Converj electric luxury coupe.

Cadillac officials have confirmed plans to add a pair of new products that will expand the brand at its extremes.

The news came at an unusual background briefing as General Motors officials pulled the wraps off a wide variety of future product programs going out to 2011, including two new Caddy models tentatively dubbed the ATS and the XTS4.  They’re a critical part of what the division’s new general manager, Bryan Nesbitt, described as the “reinvention of Cadillac.”

The XTS4 is the much-needed replacement for two existing products, the slow-selling STS and DTS models.  Vaguely reminiscent of the heralded Cadillac Sixteen concept vehicle, the XTS4 will target top-line premium luxury competitors, such as the BMW 7-Series and the Mercedes-Benz S-Class.

The ATS, on the other hand, will slot in below Cadillac’s current entry model, the CTS, and take aim at models like the BMW 3-Series, Audi A4 and Lexus IS.

“The 3-Series is BMW’s bread-and-butter,” noted Nesbitt, in a conversation with, and “We’d like to think” the ATS could become the best-seller for Cadillac, once it hits market.

Cadillac of course has tried to enter this market before with the Chevrolet Cavalier-derived Cimarron, and the Opel Omega derived Catera. Now, presumably it will use a compact Opel platform once again for its latest attempt to stop a decades long decline in sales and reputation.