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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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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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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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Cadillac Developing New Convertible

Will slot in under next-gen CTS.

by on Apr.29, 2011

Caddy will develop an all-new soft-top convertible, rather than going the folding hard-top route or modifying the current CTS Coupe.

Cadillac is looking to go topless.  Years after abandoning its last drop-top, the domestic luxury maker is reportedly developing a new convertible that will be part of a wave of new products coming to market by mid-decade.

The Detroit maker is apparently opting for a soft-top, rather than the more heavy, complicated – and expensive – folding metal roof that a number of makers, including BMW and Volkswagen, have been adopting.

As TheDetroitBureau.com reported earlier this week, convertible sales have plunged precipitously in recent years, from 247,519 in 2005 to 112,914 just four years later.  Ford has seen demand for the  Mustang ragtop drop from 25% of the pony car’s overall sales to just 13% lately.  But there are signs of a ragtop renaissance.

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Convertible sales rose 9% last year, to 122,949 – though that was below the overall U.S. market recovery – and a forecast by consulting firm IHS anticipates the segment’s volume will reach 223,224 by 2015, about the time Caddy goes al fresco.

There had been some talk of stripping the roof off the striking CTS Coupe, but that approach was apparently abandoned in favor of a more ground-up design that doesn’t need extensive shoring up to maintain the convertible’s body dynamics.

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