Cadillac Considers a Mercedes CLA Competitor
There’s big news coming from Cadillac these days. After revealing plans to move its global headquarters to New York City, become its own business unit, and introduce a new naming scheme for its car lineup, GM’s luxury division is also aiming to enter several new vehicle niches by the end of the decade. The announcement comes straight from Cadillac’s new global chief, Johan de Nysschen, and hints that the South African-born executive is already elbow’s deep in developing the American brand into a strong competitor for Germany’s main brands — Mercedes-Benz, BMW, and Audi. De Nysschen’s first goal is to create a Cadillac-badged rival for the Mercedes CLA and the Audi A3 sedan.
Both compacts have been launched with great success in the United States. The CLA sold like hotcakes in its first months, resulting in low supply and a recent decision to boost U.S. stock to meet customer demand. Cadillac is aware of that de Nysschen said there "definitely" will be a compact smaller than the ATS to compete against the CLA and A3. The executive refrained from spilling more details on the compact, but added such a vehicle is essential if Cadillac is to become a strong global manufacturer.
But the CLA-rivaling sedan isn’t the only brand-new vehicle de Nysschen is pushing for. A crossover between the SRX and the Escalade, as well as something below the SRX are also being considered. He even went as far as to say Cadillac could also use a model positioned above the flagship CT6 sedan due in 2015. Of course, none of the latter are set in stone, but the compact is likely the next all-new vehicle to come from Cadillac after the CT6.
Click past the jump to read more about Cadillac’s future plans.
Why it matters
Just like we expected, de Nysschen’s arrival at Cadillac signals the beggining of a new era for America’s traditional luxury car manufacturer. The South African-born executive is obviously looking to implement the same strategy he penned while leading Infiniti, and, needless to say, that’s exactly what Cadillac needs right now.
If the brand is to stand a chance against the Germans, new segments must be added to the lineup, and de Nysschen is looking to do just that. It sounds like a good plan on paper, but it will take at least four years to see the new Cadillac into the spotlight. Here’s to hoping that America’s top luxury brand regains its former glory!
Developed as a competitor to the BMW 3 Series, the ATS is Cadillac’s smallest sedan yet. It was launched for the 2013 model year and received a mild facelift for 2015, when a revised front bumper, upgraded daytime running lights, and new wheel designs were added.
Inside, the sedan gains all the new features available on the 2015 ATS Coupe, including an eight-inch touchscreen for the CUE infotainment system and OnStar 4G LTE connectivity with built-in Wi-Fi. Other interior highlights include handcrafted upholstery and a premium Bose audio system with Active Noise Cancellation technology, both offered standard.
The engine lineup remains unchanged, although a small update adds 30 pound-feet of torque to the mid-range, turbocharged, 2.0-liter four-cylinder, now rated at 272 horses and 295 pound-feet. Customers can also choose between a 2.5-liter four-banger generating 202 horsepower and 191 pound-feet and a 3.6-liter V-6 that delivers 321 ponies and 275 pound-feet. The ATS Sedan starts from $33,065.
Source: The Detroit Bureau