Cadillac Boss de Nysschen Promises Sub-ATS RWD Sedan19
Cadillac President Johan de Nysschen has confirmed plans for an entry-level Cadillac sedan that will slot beneath the ATS. The model will be based on the highly-praised rear-wheel-drive Alpha vehicle architecture.
A “big priority” according to de Nysschen, the vehicle will be Cadillac’s response to a new wave of entry-luxury entrants such as the fast-selling Mercedes-Benz CLA and Audi A3. Thanks to their low base prices, both models attract a healthy amount of shoppers that turn into new customers, often for a lifetime, thereby curbing ATS sales and Cadillac sales as a whole.
de Nysschen says that the ATS “is being compared to the new entrants that have come on in this exploding market segment populated by CLA and the Audi A3 sedan”. So consumers “have access to a Mercedes-Benz at $30,000, whereas the ATS is starting several thousand dollars higher.”
During 2014, U.S. sales of the Cadillac ATS dropped 22 percent to 29,890 units. Meanwhile, the CLA-Class was responsible for selling 27,365 units in its first full year on the market, and the Audi A3 lineup sold 22,250 units in roughly eight months of being available.
|MODEL||2014 CALENDAR YEAR U.S. SALES|
|AUDI A3 RANGE:||22,250|
From a dollars and cents standpoint, the ATS has a starting price of $34,985, including the destination fee, while the CLA starts at $31,750 and A3 at $31,690.
|MODEL||PRICE (IN USD)|
|AUDI A3 RANGE:||$31,690|
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I’d agree with this approach as long as it leaves room to improve the ATS to CTS-level luxury. There are a lot of small things missing on the ATS (options like a full digital dash), presumably for price reasons. I’d like to see the ATS move slightly more upmarket with a new, entry level car to satisfy those who can’t afford the ATS/CTS/XTS/Escalade. The ATS is the perfect form factor for me. The only danger seems to be watering down the brand with cars that should be Buicks or Chevys.
The sub-ATS model will allow Cadillac to move ATS and CTS upmarket. Having the sub-ATS model will allow Cadillac to launch a less expensive vehicle that will be along the lines of the current ATS, while also creating more luxury and bringing more features to the ATS and CTS (their respective CT# replacements).
I have said for a long time this is not a simple 2-3 new models in 5 years and everything is fixed.
GM is rebuilding Cadillac a model at a time like building a brick wall. At first they were using good brick but now the material has been upgraded to much higher quality bricks.
The fact is with the chaos GM has been for the last 20 years people have seen many restarts at the company and feel this is just the same song different dance. But those of us who are deep industry watchers we see that things really are different this time. The commitment GM has made to Cadillac this year is unprecedented I the history of GM. You can not judge the full impact of this decision based on what product they have now and what product you know about. The game has radically changed and it has added more time for their revamp but it will be worth the wait.
The fact is while the lower cost entry car is appealing to some it also bring money in. Yes Cadillac could skip this but leaving money on the table is foolish. Second the introduction of smaller cars will help them in the future deal with CAFE increases and also in foreign markets. These lower priced cars are much more common overseas and are important if they choose to enter these markets. In Europe BMW and Benz sold there are not all loaded M series or AMG cars.
Even if they choose to do FWD in this segment who better to do it than GM as they make some of the best FWD cars in the world.
While many may scoff the FWD Benz is selling well.
Like we discovered with Buick this week the future is much clearer and brighter than most have even considered and the same will happen here if you just let them finish the job they started and as of now you have little clue to how extensive the changes will be.
The CT6 is coming but even it is only a stepping stone to the new expanded future since it was started the role of it has changed.
GM is all in this time and there will not be a Cimarron in the group.
Cadillac will never sell in BMW/Mercedes numbers for one big reason that is not their fault, and has nothing to do with how good their cars are- they have other brands under the same corporate umbrella to compete with.
Neither BMW, nor M-B, have to worry about this. They have their own exclusive models that can only be had from them. Cadillac doesn’t. So adding cars to their lineup isn’t necessarily going to solve the problem.
If I were interested in an Escalade, I could get most, if not all, of the features in either a Yukon or Tahoe. Ditto the SRX and Terrain and Equinox. Cadillac can only have no lineup-specific vehicles. Anywhere there’s overlap allows comparison to be made with GMC, Buick, or Chevy.
The answer lies in not blindly chasing volume.Toyota did that and look where they ended up. VW is currently doing it and look at them. Hey, GM THEMSELVES tried this, and look what the result was. Have they learned nothing?
Cadillac needs to focus on making vehicles that are better than the competition from both a fundamental standpoint, AND a driving dynamics one. Having an edge in handling and steering isn’t going to overcome inferior powertrains, technology, refinement, ergonomics, room/comfort, etc. It has to be a total package.
If they do that, so long as the brand is profitable, they succeeded. Let the products speak for themselves. When you don’t worry about sales, and focus on the product, the sales will come. And even if they don’t, being #1 in sales doesn’t prove anything. It’s not the end-all of the discussion.
It may not be a popular opinion, but Cadillac still has PLENTY of room for improvement. If they continue to do so, everything else will fall into place. It’s not going to change overnight. The car industry is fickle. It’s all to easy to destroy overnight what you spent decades establishing. GM should have known that and never let themselves get into the predicament they did in the first place. They ultimately have nobody to blame but themselves. They slipped up, and they’re paying the price. All they can do is keep on keeping on…..
Copying and pasting the same post? Allow me to do the same (again)!
“they have other brands under the same corporate umbrella to compete with.
Neither BMW, nor M-B, have to worry about this.”
BMW AG has BMW and Mini automotive brands. In fact, the UKL platform underpins both cars in the Mini range and the BMW 2-AT.
Daimler AG has Mercedes and Smart automotive brands.
While the overlap isn’t immediately apparent, it does exist, and it can pose operational complications.
Well, it’s pretty good insight that actually quite thoroughly explains Caddy’s situation at the moment. So I think all should hear it.
Jamel — have a look at the Volkswagen Group that includes Audi, Bentley, Lamborghini, Bugatti, and Porsche. While the group has been able to achieve notable growth for all five luxury/prestige/exotic brands, they have also been able to keep the brands and separate and manage them in much the same way.
There is no reason that GM should not be able to achieve the same with Cadillac vs. other GM brands.
It’s too bad that so much effort and investment was wasted on the ELR that could have been focused elsewhere. Not that this is a bad playground to play in …. but I’m not sure that the ELR was the right vehicle and the price positioning certainly has proven not to have been the right choice. Volt + features + a Cadillac premium) would have been the right price level.
I like the ATS but a good sub-ATS might cannibalize the ATS too much. I would think broadening the ATS line up would be a more natural first step, getting enough volume out of the platform and tooling to be able to price yourself more competitively if necessary.
Cadillac is not as global as BMW or any other similar producers. Cadillac has not been such a global sales network. consequently, could not even get enough access cadillac. However, this option is the Cadillac of all, however, it may take some time.
Empire building again by the divisions at GM. Didn’t they learn last time when they just about went bankrupt? Entry level cars are the realm of Chevrolet. Cadillac is a lower volume luxury nameplate. Leave the Chevy II’s, Buick Specials, Pontiac Lemans, Olds F-85’s, and Cadillac Cimarron’s to Chevrolet. Didn’t Cadillac learn anything from the Cimarron? Focus on the Brand not volume and wanting to be “everything to everybody”. Why would you want to pay Cadillac prices for a re-badged Chevrolet?
I suspect the sub entry-level Cadillac will be similar to the current ATS in refinement with superior driving dynamics with aggressive design while the next ATS(CT?) will be substantially improve in all areas.
Cadillac wants to be what a day was; and there are no limits; GM is giving everything.
The American car is going back to its place
Regards from Spain
Let’s get back to the crux of Aaron’s article — excessive bloviating by the uninformed masses — absolutely correct. Unfortunately, some of that ignorance is evident in some comments above — “Why would you want to pay Cadillac prices for a re-badged Chevrolet?” If this person had bothered to listen to Johan de Nysschen’s talk, he would have learned that the sub-ATS model will be built on the Alpha architecture. If he had taken additional time to learn the facts, he would have learned that Alpha is Cadillac exclusive — meaning not shared with Chevy or any other division.
But no…we the unfortunate, informed readers are forced to read this stuff instead of engaging in constructive, useful dialogue.
Ah………. You do understand the Alpha will underpin the Camaro? Last I looked it was not a Cadillac.
I think even some more people need to take the time for all the facts.
Now platform sharing is not what it used to be as they are more flexible. Add to this an engine that of real Cadillac sourcing as they have planed this car will only share some well hidden engineering with Chevy.
Scott3 — your point is well taken. I am aware of the Alpha-based Camaro, but it will be a de-contented version with less aluminum and significant differences in other components. So at worst, the Camaro could be considered a “re-badged” Cadillac, not the other way around. I was simply commenting on the ridiculous assertion by others here that the sub-ATS would be a re-badged Chevy.
Always appreciate educated viewpoints!
I agree to a point but that is not fully correct either, The Alpha was a glass half full and half empty here.
Let me explain. Cadillac did do most of the work with GM tech center. The way they did the Alpha was to make it strong and light but they kept away from a lot of expensive materials. They found ways to keep things like the rear diff cast iron but yet by using it they found ways to keep it as light as aluminum. GM engineering did a hell of a job to reduce weight taking ever part and cutting it where they could with out compromising anything else.
This did two things it kept the car light and kept the platform ready for use by Chevy for the Camaro.
I expect the Camaro will carry a significant amount of aluminum body panels in the doors, hood, roof and even fenders. Keep in mind the price point on a Camaro is not exactly cheap anymore either.
The one thing Cadillac did was design a lot more refinement into bushings and stiffness to make the car a very solid platform. The extra time Cadillac spent was out of their budget but it will trickle down to Chevy just as the XTS work is now in the Impala.
The big difference will be the details inside like the quality of the leather and electronics that will be standard. The insulation and engines. etc.
The alpha is like a house foundation and you can build a ranch or a mansion it just depends on what you put on it.
So while I agree the devil is still in the details. The term DE contented is a little misleading as while they Camaro may get cheaper on some things most people will never notice.
Note even on the 5Th gen it was worked over on if they should put the smell of leather seats in the car. Why because it cost more money. The smell is not natural and they questioned many people on this to see just how important it was in the Camaro. As you can see today no smell and little importance. Now in a CTS that is a more important thing in this class. Like I said details.
So while they will share the basics I would still refrain from Rebadged. The better term is they share a very flexible platform that covers the needs of very diverse models.
Fancy talk I know but it best describes a very well done platform unlike what we used to get in the past. There is just more to them today and they can vary much more.
We will see the Omega go this way only more aluminum intense because of the added size and the cost of the vehicles it will be used with. The Buick Avenir will be aluminum but could still use some steel in combination to keep a better price point.
So while I am trying to not nit pick here the differences will be made up buy many more small things than the big ones. As Cadillac goes forward this will become even more true with their own engines.
Thanks too for the educated view point.
Cadillac develops the platform, Chevy picks up on it and makes a sub CTS-Alpha-platformed-Camaro coupe a la BRZ. And Chevy needs to have the testicular fortitude to turbo is, unlike Toyota. 1.6T for base engine, next gen 2.0T for range topping. 210hp 220lb-ft, and 300hp 330lb-ft mated to a DCT and 6spd.
Sorry Andrew but they already looked into this an the sales and money was not there.
They wanted to do a Sub Alpha platform and it would have been shared but the sales of these small turbo coupes are not setting the world on fire. The Subaru/Scion and Hyundai coupes are under performing in sales here in the states and globally. Even the Subaru/Scion has received some changes in hopes to increase sales.
GM decided to go ahead for now and use the coming Camaro for the Turbo 4 as the V8 sales will more than off set the cost of the program. Yes some of these guys build cars for the love of it but you still have to make money. In time the Camaro is going to have to shrink again and when it does it will have to go to this smaller coupe slot anyways. 54 MPG average is going to change many cars we love.
As it is the Alpha Camaro is dropping weight and I think they may be able to get the Camaro Turbo just under 3500 pounds. If they do it will beat the Mustang in weight and the performance should be good. With as little as a change in MAP sensors and a computer flash you may be able to make this a 13 second car that get in the 20’s MPG around town and may even see 30 MPG highway. I drive this combo now in a 3200 MPG vehicle with 13 second 1/4 miles and 25 city 32 highway.
Andrew they were thinking what you were but the money was just not there.
Again, i think its a great idea. I’d love to see a caddy bmw1, a3, cla fighter. When can we preorder, lol.