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Cadillac DTS
by Alex Law, Auto123

Not too long after Cadillac rolls out the new STS model for international consumption this year, GM's premiere luxury division will roll out a 2006 DTS for its North American consumers, replacing the current Deville.

This move puts paid to the rumor that the large luxury sedan segment is about to disappear. While the segment is certainly shrinking along with the size of its buyer base, it's still a highly profitable segment, of which Cadillac owns the biggest share.

Cadillac general manager Mark LaNeve says ''we have no intention of abandoning this segment or its customers. In fact, we're investing in it.''

That will involve a new look, LaNeve promises, one that ''will bring the styling of this legendary nameplate more in line with the Cadillac design language, along with significant enhancements to the interior.''

With this evolution of Deville to DTS, LaNeve hopes to give potential buyers a clear connection with the hottest brand look in the industry today while not futzing with the packaging that they like so much.

As a result, LaNeve hopes, the DTS will likely still be Cadillac's number-one selling product line for at least a few years.

LaNeve also promises to keep the other North American Cadillac -- the Escalade -- as current as possible.

''Escalade had its best year yet in 2003 and was number one in its segment.'' LaNeve says. ''We intend to keep it that way by bringing out new variants and refreshing that line to maintain the cachet it has achieved as the most powerful, most aspirational product of its kind.''

To capitalize on that growth, Cadillac's approach has been to bring out a new Escalade variant each year, since that helps to keep the brand fresh and build incremental sales.

''With the introduction of the ESV Platinum in the first quarter of this year,'' LaNeve said, ''we look to continue to be the market leader in this segment.''

In Canada, the ESV Platinum will retail for $96,500, and that does not include freight or taxes.

The ESV Platinum has the first application of 20-inch wheels and tires in the segment by a manufacturer (that and bigger are common on the aftermarket), along with heated and cooled seats and the industry's first heated and cooled cup holders.

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