Cadillac to add small sedan, crossover as part of major product blitz

Cadillac will add a small sedan and a compact crossover to its lineup in the next several years as part of an ambitious product blitz that will remake its lineup.

The sedan will slot below the ATS, which is currently Cadillac's smallest four-door car. It's scheduled to arrive in 2017, Cadillac president Johan de Nysschen told Autoblog at the Detroit Auto Show. The sedan will be followed late that year or in early 2018 by a compact crossover, which will be positioned below the SRX.

The crucial redesign of the SRX – Cadillac's top seller – arrives in 2016. It will switch to the brand's new naming system and change to an "XT" prefix followed by a number. The naming scheme debuts on the CT6, which launches in late 2015 and will be positioned above the CTS and XTS sedans.

Cadillac also wants to add another crossover that sits between the SRX and its flagship SUV, the Escalade, at some point.

Further out, Cadillac's long-awaited Mercedes-Benz S-Class fighter could arrive around 2020, and it would serve as the flagship or "showcase of the brand," de Nysschen said.

Cadillac is also looking to expand its powertrain portfolio and is contemplating a wide range of options, including hybrids, plug-in electric vehicles and diesel engines.

The new cars and crossovers are part of a $12-billion investment in Cadillac, which de Nysschen described as "an unheard level of capital" from General Motors. In total, the brand will receive eight new products through 2020.

"Our product offensive will provide the substance for our ambitions," he said.

De Nysschen has set high goals – and made major changes – at Cadillac since he took over the 113-year-old luxury brand in September. The brand moves to a separate headquarters in New York this year, away from GM's base in Detroit, and it has switched advertising agencies in a bid to elevate its image.

Cadillac's sales declined 6.5 percent in the United States in 2014 to 170,750 units, and it has the smallest volume of GM's four brands.

"Here in the US we continue to make progress, but we also face challenges," de Nysschen said. He added the brand's lineup "clearly limits our growth opportunities in the US market."

Still, de Nysschen is taking the long view for Cadillac, noting it took years to turn around Audi, where he was president of its US operations for eight years. Cadillac's global sales have inched up five percent globally this year, spurred by a 47-percent surge in China.

"China is the area we can generate the most rapid return on our investment," he said.

Cadillac Information

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