General Motors may push to soften Cadillac design language for the Chinese market, according to Reuters. GM CEO Dan Akerson plans to bolster Cadillac sales in China to meet current US levels by 2015, which may mean the Crest will abandon the sharp lines and aggressive angles of the its current stable.

The report suggests Chinese buyers are more at ease with smooth lines and plenty of curves thanks in part to the concept of Zhongyong. The Confucian ideal stresses harmony over conflict and permeates Chinese society. The minds at GM seem to recognize that trend, and are keen to take some of the bite out of forthcoming models. The updated style wouldn't be a complete visual makeover, rather it would be toned down a bit while still remaining unique and distinctive.

Buyers are on pace to snap up 35,000 Cadillac units in China this year, up 5,000 compared to 2011. Even so, analysts predict the brand will only see sales of around 75,000 units by 2018, which is still less than half of the number of units sold in the US last year. Models like the XTS sedan and ATS may help swell those numbers, however.


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  • 42 Comments
      Chip
      • 2 Years Ago
      Is this what we've come to? Every design out there is now going to be influenced by the Chinese market? Look, there's no denying the impact of that many buying consumers, but can't we keep something distinctly American? I think the real story of the 21st century is going to be companies that reconnect with things Americans feel good about, be it cars, computers, cellphones, whatever. Let's not lose sight of what makes us different as Americans. And no, I am not dissing the Chinese, their people, their business tenacity or their culture.
      rmkensington
      • 2 Years Ago
      The CTS-V is drop dead beautiful car.
      icon149
      • 2 Years Ago
      this = suck. I really think the like it or hate it design language helped Cadillac compete with the more established German and now Japanese luxury brands. I'm afraid smooth Cadi's may appeal to more Chinese put they will stop appealing to more Americans, when a Cadillac starts looking more like an Audi, BMW, Lexus and Merc. then there is one less reason to pick the GM product. Its the fact that the Cadillac are in your face and different that has made them interesting to me (arts and science design language). I hope GM can soften the design but still keep it fresh and pushing the envelope. Perhaps a US only model like the CTS coupe can keep it's radical styling.
      icemilkcoffee
      • 2 Years Ago
      At the expense of being mildly insulting to chinese buyers- I really don't think they have had a mainstream car culture for long enough to have developed their own distinctive tastes. It's only in the last dozen years or so that the chinese middle class could actually own cars.
        Teleny411
        • 2 Years Ago
        @icemilkcoffee
        I think the article is referring to cultural attitudes in general. And China has had a long and distinctive history.
      Mike
      • 2 Years Ago
      Whatever keeps GM from going bankrupt again I'm all for it.
      artandcolour2010
      • 2 Years Ago
      Cadillac is already softening its lines. Take a look at the CTS vs the ATS or XTS. The rooflines are arched now on the two newer models. The sides have softer curves. The taillights are still angular, and the grille has hard points, but the overall design language is definitely softer already. It's the natural progression of a well thought out 10-15 year plan.
        • 2 Years Ago
        @artandcolour2010
        [blocked]
      Felspawn
      • 2 Years Ago
      a caddilac but with soft lines? isnt that what you'd call a buick? (in China anway)
      R3TRO
      • 2 Years Ago
      If they want to "soften" the design ONLY for the Chinese market, go for it. Just PLEASE leave the US market alone. I currenlty drive a 05 STS and my main reason for choosing this car was the design (the V8 and RWD didn't hurt either!). My next car will probably be a used CTS-V or maybe an ATS.
      Avinash Machado
      • 2 Years Ago
      Cadillac should take more pride in its American heritage.
      RedEmblem
      • 2 Years Ago
      But I thought that is what Buicks are for? I have a bad feeling Cadillac designs will be compromised because of China... personally, I feel like their sharp lines are what distinguishes themselves, and gives them a competitive edge (no pun intended).
        • 2 Years Ago
        @RedEmblem
        [blocked]
      Kuro Houou
      • 2 Years Ago
      This is great news, I have always hated the sharp edges on Cadillac's, especially in the rear. Usually the tail lights and the trunk have to many triangles on them. It just needs to be softened a bit, the new ATS helps some, but can go a little further in the back.
        MotionDesigner
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Kuro Houou
        The sharp lines and edges are what define Cadillac's design identity. Do you want every car to be "soft" and look more similar to each other?
        tylermars.design
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Kuro Houou
        This is extremely subjective, they shouldn't change their brand identity fro 50% of the population that hates sharp edges.
      lrx301
      • 2 Years Ago
      The problem with the current design is it looks stunning at the first sight but then it becomes an eyesore really quickly(in about six months).
        ratpack
        • 2 Years Ago
        @lrx301
        stunning?... not, new cadillacs are seriously dull looking, absolutely no imagination used in design. they are not worthy of carrying cadillac badges imo. btw. this is stunning http://www.mcsmk8.com/60-ELDO-2/60-ELDO2.html
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