Cadillac Electric Cars Take Priority Over Diesel9
Diesel continues its fall from grace around the globe. The latest casualty? Cadillac’s diesel-engine program, and it will be about Cadillac electric cars in the future. The brand’s president Steve Carlisle told media at the 2019 XT4 launch drive that it will re-evaluate the diesel program, and for now, it’s not a priority.
“We have been working on diesel, but the markets may be changing more quickly than we anticipated,” he told Automotive News (subscription required). “Going forward, we will focus on electrification.”
Cadillac has been quiet about what its electrification strategy is. The brand released the ELR plug-in hybrid earlier this decade but pulled the luxury plug-in following dismal sales (and seriously poor pricing strategy). Now, the Cadillac CT6 Plug-In remains the brand’s only electrified vehicle. The only real piece of information on future Cadillac electric cars came from former president Johan de Nysschen.
De Nysschen previously said the majority of General Motors 20 new electric cars by 2023 would be Cadillacs. Presumably, he was speaking of the North American market as the latest electric cars to launch as part of the plan are geared specifically for China and upcoming electric-car quota regulations. The country will soon mandate a number of “new-energy vehicle” sales.
The diesel program has hit a few bumps in the road before this latest news. New diesel engines, expected in both four-cylinder and six-cylinder variations, were under development as the VW diesel crisis unfolded. Cadillac brushed off controversy, but the sale of Opel in 2017 was another tough hit.
A Car and Driver report from March 2017 had an unnamed source on the record saying the diesel program remained on track after GM pulled out of mainstream auto business in Europe, but the sale did affect development. It was understood Cadillac alone couldn’t justify the diesel engines and the new mills were to be developed for both Opel and Cadillac cars to save costs.
Should GM’s luxury brand abandon the program altogether, it would follow decisions from VW, Audi, Mercedes-Benz and Porsche to ditch oil burners. BMW recently said 2018 would be the final year for diesels in the United States as well.
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Chevrolet became rather committed to diesel. The real question is if Cadillac can get okay with sharing base-output numbers, or strapping some added turbo to the existing mills.
If so, Cadillac will get its diesel. But an EV CT5 is certainly a higher priority to finally compete with the Model S.
Also, to be clear – I think GM should stay the course with diesel. It’s low hanging fruit. Bob Lutz started this with the VM Motori – and then FCA somehow bungled that CTS-destined engine with the Grand Cherokee. I suspect corners were cut once GM was out of the equation.
GM had the sting of its own emissions scandal in India, and that may have been a wake-up call.
Plus… the idea of a diesel plug-in is very tempting for the long distance and city driver.
Imagine for a second a Volt-based wagon, with sport-mode rear-biased AWD and a turbo – that delivered more output and torque than a Camaro V6, with the ability to go 30 miles EV and 600 miles combined.
You might say it’s quite a, erm, nomadic car, no?
Imo they should’ve put the kibosh on the Diesel program once DieselGate became a thing, it wasn’t hard to foresee the ramifications of that fiasco.
You have to give it to GM. If anything, GM leads in being so far behind the curve they are pretty much irrelevant in top tier vehicle trends.
Right!!!. They were trying to have diesel engines and PHEV and BEV at these same time, together. Brian W, electric cars are nothing new, so nobody is leading in anything.
I agree the Diesel push should have been scaled back in all cars after the VW issue. Diesel is today literally a dirty word to many.
GM had been doing the right thing but who thought VW would have been caught doing as the were,
Electric is the trend in many areas and while it will not be the dominate choice for a good while they need to continue work into it.
The Diesels in the truck should continue as it is. These folks do not care and they are less a global factor than the cars.
Voltec with LNG/Propane might make some sense
That’s a shame. Nothing says Cadillac like a CTS-V rolling coal.
I think Cadillac was the wrong division to focus diesel on anyway. Chevrolet is the obvious choice to spread diesel far and wide. The only suggestion I’d make is have the diesel option available in any trim level. Stop treating diesel like a premium option and make it a workhorse of your lineup. They will sell.