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Cadillac Chief Confirms Compact Crossover, Rear-Wheel-Drive Compact Sedan
Motor Authority
January 20, 2015
By: Viknesh Vijayenthiran


Since taking over the reins at Cadillac last year, Johan de Nysschen has been dropping plenty of hints about the brand’s future. While the hints have tended to focus on new high-end product from Cadillac, of more importance to the brand’s sales performance is the need to fill some gaping holes in more mainstream segments.

Cadillac’s sales were down 6.5 percent in the U.S. in 2014, a year that saw many rivals post record figures. Speaking with Automotive News (subscription required), de Nysschen said a lack of product in two key segments, those of the compact crossover and compact sedan, have hurt the brand’s sales. That’s why he’s made the development of a new compact crossover and new compact sedan a priority.

"It's a big priority,” de Nysschen said of the compact luxury segment. “It's a red-hot market segment right now that's really going through explosive growth."

The compact crossover will come first, arriving in early 2017. It will target the likes of the Audi Q3, BMW X1 and Mercedes-Benz GLA.

About a year later, Cadillac will introduce a compact sedan. This model will be positioned below the small ATS sedan and target newcomers like the Audi A3 and Mercedes CLA. BMW is also working on a similar model, a new 1-Series sedan.
 

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Johan de Nysschen said:
The cost and packaging advantages of front-wheel drive are appealing but Cadillac is the challenger brand. We want to build our reputation as a purveyor of high-performance drivers' cars. So it's better that we do it off a rear-wheel-drive architecture.
Is that so? How's that bloated FWD XT5 doing?
 

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The compact crossover will come first, arriving in early 2017.

About a year later, Cadillac will introduce a compact sedan.
I know that SUV's are all the craze right now and more profitable, but I would have had the sedan out earlier (personal bias). Though at only 24 to 36 months away for both, I'm sure development is fairly far along and we should start seeing a few road testing sometime within the next year or so.

In reality, I'm more interested in this future Cadillac SUV - Caddy's three-row CUV to be RWD
 

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Early 2017 to get a compact CUV to market? What in the world were they doing the past 3 years? Ford Telegraphed the Lincoln MKC almost 2 years before they came to market with it, and just now Cadillac is making it a priority? As much as they say it is a "New" GM, it sure acts like the OLD GM: A day late, a dollar short, too scared to lead, and too arrogant to change.
 

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Did he actually confirm a RWD compact? Where's the quote? Sounds like a rehash from other interviews. Also sounds like the "Sub-ATS" will replace the current ATS after 2018.
 

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The critical comments here are much deserved, however, de Nysschen has been in the chair less than 6 months. Everything you see today and probably for at least the next 2 years were platforms and designs locked in well before he got here. The good news is that he gets it. The bad news is that we won't see his vision in steel before 2018 - 2019.
 

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I wonder what it will look like?
Well, if Ed Welburn keeps making Cadillac surfaces "more sophisticated" as he says, I expect it will look like a jelly bean. Hope not, though.

It will probably be a 2+2 sedan around the size of the current ATS.
 

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Well, if Ed Welburn keeps making Cadillac surfaces "more sophisticated" as he says, I expect it will look like a jelly bean. Hope not, though.

It will probably be a 2+2 sedan around the size of the current ATS.
I still don't like the idea of the sub-ATS entry being a RWD sedan.

But that's just me.
 

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Isn't Johan making the GMI rear drive dream a reality? Surprised at the 'meh'

According to de Nysschen, Cadillac’s compact sedan will feature rear-wheel drive to ensure it stands out from rival products, all of which are based on front-wheel-drive platforms. General Motors Company’s [NYSE:GM] Alpha platform, which underpins the ATS and CTS models as well as the next Chevrolet Camaro, will likely feature in the new Cadillac compact sedan. "The cost and packaging advantages of front-wheel drive are appealing but Cadillac is the challenger brand," de Nysschen said. "We want to build our reputation as a purveyor of high-performance drivers' cars ... so it's better that we do it off a rear-wheel-drive architecture."

Cadillac is going to become Pontiac! Or at least what Pontiac was trying to be at the end.

Seems like maybe they are regretting what they did with the ATS pricing/positioning. Maybe what they needed all along was something between the CLA and Bim 3 that could compete against either one depending on engines and options. Especially if they are talking about basing it on alpha you have to ask if maybe they over-shot the mark with the ATS. It also occurs to me that you could do a comfortable 5 seat SUV off a shorter wheelbase - that 109" is a few inches longer than necessary.

And the current ats, along with the XTS will be odd men out in the game of sedan musical chairs. Seems to be lots of shoulda woulda coulda going on here.
 

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Seems like maybe they are regretting what they did with the ATS pricing/positioning. Maybe what they needed all along was something between the CLA and Bim 3 that could compete against either one depending on engines and options. Especially if they are talking about basing it on alpha you have to ask if maybe they over-shot the mark with the ATS. It also occurs to me that you could do a comfortable 5 seat SUV off a shorter wheelbase - that 109" is a few inches longer than necessary.

Of course. It's a smoke screen. It's a way to redo the next ATS formula, call it AT3 or whatever and save face.
 
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I think Cadillac is finally on track, but the pace of new vehicles is way too slow.
And the sales are too low to pay for all the spending. Maybe it's time to allow Buick and Chevrolet to have the good platforms to bring profitability to a struggling giant!
 

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I can't keep up with the news coming out of Cadillac. There's so much of it I hardly pay attention to it. Lots of talk but no walk. My big hope is that any new Cadillac vehicle is a Cadillac, first and foremost, and not an up-optioned Chevrolet or Buick. This is my big complaint about Lincolns. They look and drive too much like their lower-priced Ford relatives.
 
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