The German luxury marques have more or less dominated the segment for decades, but things are changing. Electrification is on the horizon, and automakers are preparing to launch oodles of new zero-emission vehicles in the coming years. For Cadillac, it’s an “inflection point.”
Cadillac President Johan de Nysschen told Automotive News in a report last Thursday that electric cars and electrification will give Cadillac a major opportunity to redefine itself. The rules for internal combustion engines have been cemented for decades, but with the new technology, Cadillac seeks to lay down some of the fundamentals.
“When it gets to electrification and a whole new set of considerations drive the buying decision, the fact that you made fantastic engines for three decades counts zip,” de Nysschen said of German makes.
Cadillac is poised to receive many new electric cars under General Motors’ plan to introduce 20 electric cars by 2023. Since the technology isn’t exactly profitable yet, de Nysschen said it makes a lot of sense for his brand to usher the powertrains in first. Cadillac will become GM’s technology darling, and most, if not all, major advances will come to the brand first before trickling to other GM brands.
That’s not to say Cadillac will abandon the internal-combustion engine. de Nysschen said fossil fuel-powered cars will stick around for the long run, and the brand he oversees will likely offer multiple powertrains within a particular segment.
GM’s luxury marque will have its work cut out for it. Despite de Nysschen’s words, Mercedes-Benz, Audi, Porsche and BMW have all committed to electrification and have plans to introduce dozens of electrified vehicles next decade.