Cadillac boss Johan de Nysschen says a small SUV — which is speculated to use GM’s rear-wheel-drive Alpha platform along with the brand’s upcoming subcompact car and currently used by the ATS and CTS — is still “at least four years away,” Reuters reports. Whatever platform the vehicle ends up using, though, doesn’t change the notion that the vehicle will likely be vital to the sales growth of the brand down the road.
Any analyst will tell you that a small crossover — likely to be called XT-something — is one of the most important products Cadillac can bring to market, from both a volume and profitability standpoint. The compact SUV luxury segment, which is defined by the BMW X3 and Mercedes-Benz GLK, is becoming increasingly popular in the United States, China and Europe, and will be crucial to the automaker’s plans to catch up to BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Audi in the luxury sales race. The new SUV is part of Cadillac’s plan to spend $12 billion on new products over the next five years, which will include a total eight all-new vehicles by 2017.
de Nysschen also said he expects Cadillac sales to be flat in 2015 as many of its fundamental new models (and technologies) won’t be arriving until late 2017. What’s more, Cadillac will debut its all-new, full-size 2016 CT6 sedan in New York in April, however the car is expected to be the most expensive car in the Cadillac lineup with a starting price of around $90,000, and likely won’t sell in the numbers that an entry-level compact car or volume-centric SUV might. That said, a big Cadillac is exactly what the storied brand needs to define itself in the marketplace.
Update: an earlier version of this story made claim that Cadillac will use the Alpha platform as the underpinnings of its upcoming small crossover. The revision clarifies that the claim is based on speculation.