GM Sinks $175 Million Into Cadillac Sedan Plant – Maybe You Don’t Want ’em, but Someone Else Does

That “someone else” might be a Chinese buyer. At least, that’s what former Cadillac president Johan de Nysschen implied in March, shortly before packing his bags and hitting the road.

The premium sedan market stands to grow along with the rest of that country’s appetite for high-zoot models, he said, even though the overall take rate might shrink.

American buyers, however, have made it clear what they want. And what they want isn’t what Cadillac’s planning for its Lansing Grand River assembly plant, if sales stats tell us anything.

Earlier this week, General Motors announced $175 million in retooling funding for the Michigan plant, a key bit of cash to keep sedans rolling out of the Cadillac brand. The money’s earmarked for creation of two strategically priced sedans aimed at replacing the outgoing CTS, ATS, and XTS. While the trio of nameplates stands to disappear by the beginning of next decade, the ATS is getting a head start, going coupe-only for 2019.

In their place will be a CT5 sedan for the $35k-45k crowd, and a smaller, unnamed model to follow. The CT6 carries on as the flagship.

Currently, Lansing Grand River builds the CTS and ATS, while the XTS rolls out of GM Canada’s Oshawa, Ontario facility. The CT6 hails from Hamtramck. GM would only say that the two new sedans will appear by the end of 2021, though the larger of the two is expected to appear first, in 2020.

“We expect global luxury sales will continue grow, with Cadillac’s global volume and profit expected to double by 2021, and our investments in the U.S. will be a major driver,” GM said in a statement.

While the market for luxury sedans may be growing in China, it’s headed in the opposite direction in the United States. There, Cadillac buyers are far more interested in the XT5, Escalade, and presumably the upcoming XT4 compact crossover. It’s become harder to gauge the ups and downs of the Cadillac brand’s stable since GM moved to quarterly sales reporting, but recent years have shown a marked drop-off in interest for the division’s rear-drive four-doors.

[source: Reuters]

a version of this article first appeared on thetruthaboutcars.com

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