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Expansive Cadillac Product Plan Getting Squeezed

Product portfolio delayed, some models could be cut.

by on Aug.25, 2016

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

(This story has been updated to include additional insight into Cadillac plans, including the brand halo product frequently referred to as the CT8.)

Cadillac offered a hint of its future design direction last week, in the form of the Escala concept car unveiled at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. But plans to launch a large luxury sedan that might share that design theme have been delayed and could even be cut, TheDetroitBureau.com has learned.

With General Motors’ flagship luxury brand struggling to boost U.S. sales, despite the addition of several new models, Caddy is facing the prospect that the aggressive product growth strategy outlined by brand boss Johan de Nysschen will be sharply paired back, according to various company sources and industry observers. Among the projects being delayed are the full-size sedan, which was expected to be called either the CT8 or CT9, but also the twin-turbo V-8 that would be used to power it.

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While the South African-born de Nysschen declined to discuss specific changes to the Cadillac product program, he did indicate there could be some slowdowns during a conversation following the reveal of the Escala show car. The twin-turbo V-8, for example, might not make it into production until “the next-generation CT6.” Since biggest sedan in Caddy’s current fleet just came to market, that might mean the high-performance engine wouldn’t be available until around the 2023 or 2024 model-year.

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Cadillac Shifts Focus to China and Beyond

Overseas expansion key to long-term strategy,

by on Mar.08, 2016

Cadillac President Johan de Nysschen plans to add 11 new or updated models by 2020.

While it might still bill itself “the standard of the world,” Cadillac has long been a largely American-focused luxury brand. But as it begins the most aggressive roll-out of new products in its 113-year history, the focus is increasingly shifting overseas.

Though an assault on the European market is on hold, according to Cadillac brand boss Johan de Nysschen, the marque’s future – and, thus, its product strategy – will be increasingly centered on China which is expected to soon become the world’s largest luxury car market.

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“China has to be prioritized,” the South African-born executive stressed during a media drive of the new XT5 crossover-utility vehicle. Developing vehicles that appeal to that country’s increasingly affluent buyers must be “our primary mission.”

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Ford Powers Up Production of EcoBoost Engine Family

$145 mil program targets Cleveland Engine Plant.

by on Feb.26, 2016

A worker assembles a 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6 at Ford's Cleveland Engine Plant.

Even with cheap gas, motorists have been migrating away from traditional engine choices, and that’s convinced Ford to pump $145 million into the Cleveland Engine Plant producing one of its key alternatives, the 3.5-liter EcoBoost engine used in a variety of models such as the big F-150 pickup.

Ford plans to make the turbocharged engine – which serves as an alternative to traditional V-8s – available on a wider line-up of vehicles in the coming years. It’s taking a similar approach with other members of the EcoBoost family which include engines as small as a 1.0-liter 3-cylinder package.

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“Ford customers have embraced EcoBoost’s unbeatable combination of power and efficiency, with more than 60% of F-150 customers choosing trucks powered by EcoBoost,” said Joe Hinrichs, Ford President of The Americas Joe Hinrichs, said in a statement.

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First Drive: 2017 Cadillac CT6

Shooting to become the “standard of the world”…again.

by on Jan.26, 2016

The 2017 Cadillac CT6 will run from around $60,000 to $88,000 for a loaded Platinum edition.

We’ve seen some intriguing entries from Cadillac in recent years, such as the third-generation CTS and the smaller ATS line. But it’s been a seeming lifetime since the Detroit luxury brand could lay honest claim to being the “standard of the world.”

Now that it’s moved its headquarters to New York and laid down plans to roll out a procession of new models, might General Motors’ flagship brand finally be back on the right road? If any new model gives us an indication of where Cadillac is heading, it’s got to be the new CT6 sedan.

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Yes, the name is confusing, as it signals plans to tweak the brand’s alphanumeric model designations — again. But don’t get hung up on the name. The 2017 Cadillac CT6 is the maker’s first new offering we’ve seen in years that serves up an unabashed challenge to dominant import luxury marques like Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Lexus. (more…)

Cadillac to Launch All-New, Ultra-Premium V-8

“Developed more for refinement…than pure horsepower.”

by on Jan.22, 2016

Cadillac President Johan de Nysschen.

As part of its ongoing push to rebuild its image and challenge the best of its import luxury competitors, Cadillac will launch an all-new twin-turbo V-8 engine in models like the new CT6 sedan and the even more upscale CT8 to follow later in the decade.

The launch of the new 4.2-liter powerplant is still “a few years off,” Cadillac President Johan de Nysschen told TheDetroitBureau.com during an exclusive interview, and final details have yet to be resolved, including the transmission it will be paired with and whether it will be packaged in an all-wheel-drive configuration.

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The new V-8 is being “developed more for refinement, sophistication and torque, rather than for pure horsepower,” explained de Nysschen during an interview in Los Angeles where he is attending the first media drive of the 2017 Cadillac CT6.

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Drivers Cool to Idea of Autonomous Vehicles

Survey shows they definitely want a steering wheel in a self-driver.

by on Jul.16, 2015

Drivers may be unsure of how much autonomous technology they want in their cars, but over 96% want a steering wheel and brake and gas pedals.

Self-driving cars may be the future, but if a recent survey by University of Michigan researchers is any indication, it’s not the near future: just a little over 15% of drivers want an autonomous vehicle.

The survey, which was conducted by Michael Sivak and Brandon Schoettle, polled 505 people and found that 43.8% didn’t want any form of autonomous technology in their vehicles while 40.6% were comfortable some level of self-driving tech.

Driving News!

However, there was a nearly unanimous response to one question that doesn’t bode well for Google and its vehicles: 96.2% of respondents want a steering wheel, brake and gas pedal in their vehicle no matter the level of autonomy. (more…)

Ford Will Build New Lincoln Continental Alongside Mustang, Fusion

Flagship sedan set to debut in 2016.

by on Jul.16, 2015

Ford CEO Mark Fields with the Lincoln Continental Concept during its NY Auto Show debut.

Ford Motor Co. has revealed plans to produce its new luxury flagship, the Lincoln Continental, at the Flat Rock Assembly Plant where it will roll down the line alongside the Ford Mustang and Fusion models.

The Continental will be the most significant effort in years by Ford to revive the fortunes of its long-struggling Lincoln brand. Ostensibly a replacement for the outgoing MKS sedan, it will move Lincoln up-market, in line with rival Cadillac’s new CT6 flagship sedan.

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The Flat Rock plant is one of the maker’s most important U.S. assembly plants, and also one of its most flexible, capable of producing both front-wheel-drive models like the Fusion, as well as the rear-drive Mustang. Lincoln has not yet disclosed specific details about the Continental drivetrain but it is expected to offer an all-wheel-drive version, in keeping with trends in the premium luxury market.

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Automakers Put Their Cars on a Diet

Bigger can be better -- and lighter, too.

by on Apr.13, 2015

The Cadillac CT6 - as big as a BMW 7-Series, but as light as a 5-Series.

With the launch of its 2016 CT6 sedan, Cadillac says it is setting out to “reinvent” itself, but some of the steps the maker has taken in the development of the new model will likely trigger changes across the industry.The new Cadillac CT6 is the same size as a big BMW 7-Series – but it weighs barely as much as the German maker’s smaller 5-Series sedan. In fact, the new Caddy flagship weighs less than its own midsize luxury sedan, the CTS.

“Lightweighting” has become one of the big buzzwords in today’s global auto industry as maker’s race to get the weight out of their vehicles.

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The primary reason is to meet the tough new Corporate Average Fuel Economy, or CAFE, standards that will jump to 54.5 mpg by 2025. Mass, explains Cadillac Chief Engineer Dave Leone, “is the enemy of efficiency.”

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Cadillac Planning to Replace ATS, CTS, XTS Models

All future products to go RWD, with AWD capability.

by on Apr.08, 2015

The Cadillac CT6 debuted in New York and will lead a revamp if the brand's product portfolio.

With Cadillac planning to introduce eight all-new models by 2020 – five of them targeting all new product segments – several existing vehicles will be heading off to the scrap heap, according to the luxury maker’s global boss.

The realignment of the Caddy product portfolio means there will be “no direct successor” to the current ATS, CTS or XTS models, Cadillac President Johan de Nysschen told TheDetroitBureau.com.

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But, the South African-born executive explained, “There will be new models that better meet the requirements of the market and allow Cadillac to better cover the various market segments than is the case today.” (more…)

10 Hottest Debuts at the 2015 NY Auto Show

Compacts and full-size luxury; hybrids and high-performance supercars.

by on Apr.06, 2015

The Cadillac CT6 makes its NY debut.

The turnstiles are now open at New York’s Jacob Javits convention center, spinning rapidly as the crowds rush in to check out all the new sheet metal on display at the annual NY International Auto Show.

TheDetroitBureau.com team was on hand for all the unveilings at last week’s media preview, a two-day extravaganza that saw more than two dozen different unveilings. Some of the new models played it safe, others are simply forgettable. But there also were plenty of surprises and significant debuts.

Best of the Best!

Here’s our list of the Top 10 Debuts at the 2015 New York International Auto Show. Click on the product names for more complete coverage.