Cadillac XTS Platinum concept

General Motors is hoping to snag buyers who'd otherwise be driving an Audi A6, BMW 5 Series or Mercedes-Benz E-Class when it launches the new Cadillac XTS next year. That may prove a tall order, but the General is going about it in an interesting way.

Rather than (or in addition to) marketing the new XTS directly to prospective buyers, Cadillac is reportedly planning on selling its new flagship sedan (potentially stretched by approved third-party coachbuilders) to what are commonly known as Town Car drivers – known in the industry as Black Cars. We're not talking about the retiree down the street who refuses to drive anything but a full-size Lincoln – we're talking about car service operators who shuttle those with the means around cities like New York. Like taxis, only booked in advance and slightly more upscale, they're the preferred mode of transportation for affluent professionals and executives in Manhattan.

It's a market dominated by (and commonly borrowing its name from) the Lincoln Town Car, a vehicle that is finally out of production despite accounting for the lion's share of this niche market after extending its lifespan for years. Lincoln aims to retain its domination of the Black Car market with specially-prepared versions of the MKT crossover, while Cadillac (whose DTS never made as big an impact on these fleets as the Town Car did) is pitching the new XTS. In doing so, GM hopes the wealthy fares riding in the back of these shuttles will take note and maybe place orders of their own.