When Cadillac first rolled out its compact luxury competitor in 2012, the ATS, it intended to bring the fight to established rivals such as the BMW 3-series, Mercedes-Benz C-Class and Audi A4. Sales of the ATS in 2013 were confidence inspiring, but Automotive News says the numbers have since tapered off due to new entries that are even smaller than the ATS, such as the Mercedes CLA and Audi A3.
Through May of this year, ATS sales have slumped 20 percent. Prior to his departure earlier this month, Cadillac’s U.S. sales chief, Bill Peffer, admitted the segment has since gotten a little more cutthroat, with consumers becoming tempted by the $30,825 entry price of the front-wheel drive CLA and A3, both of which carry a $29,900 entry price.
“It’s a very crowded and competitive segment. There are new entries in there all the time,” Peffer admitted to AN at the New York Auto Show in April.
Cadillac will begin selling the coupe variant of the ATS shortly, which it is hoping will increase interest in the model range. The brand also put forth the ‘Crimson’ special edition earlier this year, which features several unique sporty features and a limited-edition color scheme.
Apart from sales, Cadillac is having a small crisis within its upper management. Peffer left abruptly after less than 10 months on the job, becoming the third head of the brand’s sales operations to leave GM in two years. Additionally, it has been said that Caddy’s global chief, Bob Ferguson, has been spending most of his time lobbying in Washington following General Motors’ ignition switch recall.