The Cadillac sedan lineup is about to be shrunk and simplified, according to CEO Johan de Nysschen via Reuters. The company will also finally be catching up with the market shift towards crossovers while adding more hybrid and electric offerings in GM’s luxury division.
“We have to rebalance our sedan portfolio,” de Nysschen told Reuters on Thursday.
Currently, there's the compact ATS, the midsize CTS, the don’t-call-it-a-flagship full-size CT6, and the big, front-wheel drive XTS. The two big sedans don’t fit very well into any existing segment and sales are slow for sedans across the board. For the first half of 2017, Cadillac’s worldwide sales were up 27 percent, but their sedan sales in the U.S. were down 16.3 percent. In the current luxury climate, four sedans are too many.
The solution laid out by Cadillac is to let the three cars with the old naming scheme—the CTS, the ATS, and the XTS—die out by the end of the decade. The CTS and ATS will be replaced by a new sedan called the CT5 kind of like how the STS and the DTS were both replaced by the XTS a few years ago.
Once it’s down to just the CT5 and CT6, a third, smaller sedan will be added to the lineup to compete with the likes of the Audi A3 and the BMW 2-Series. According to an Automotive News report from 2015, it will be rear-wheel drive, so we’re looking forward to getting behind the wheel of the compact CT-whatever. This shuffle sounds complicated, but when the transition is complete, Cadillac will likely have a nice, straightforward small, medium, and large sedan lineup with one cohesive naming scheme.
What’s worse than having four sedans in a luxury lineup is only having one crossover. The XT5 is outselling every Cadillac sedan combined. Production of a long overdue compact crossover called the XT4 is expected to start next year and a big three-row crossover slotted between the XT5 and the Escalade should be out in 2019.
As for electric Cadillacs, the Reuters report was light on details. That’s most likely a wish list more than a concrete plan for right now. Cadillac is wisely focusing its efforts on getting a wider variety of crossovers in showrooms. The electric future of Cadillac probably depends on the success of the plug-in hybrid CT6 and what the rest of the market does.
Do whatever you want with your sedans, Cadillac. But please don’t stop the V program.