As you may not know, the sedan is an endangered species. Take a look on the average Canadian road (that’s any road with more definite potholes than lane markings). You’ll probably see more trucks and SUVs than cars. At the very least, fewer sedans, coupes, and hatchbacks are leaving new dealerships. The increasing fuel economy of larger, more rugged vehicles has made them attractive to many Canadians. Consequently, many automakers are adjusting their lineups to include more crossovers and SUVs – and fewer cars. The Cadillac sedan lineup is conspicuously packed. And right now the XT5 is its only crossover.
Cadillac Sedan Traffic Jam
For 2017, the Cadillac sedan lineup includes the cars ATS, XTS, CTS, and CT6. They also offer performance models, the ATS-V and CTS-V. Offering four commercial sedans these days is difficult, even for an automaker that has created some iconic models. And Cadillac knows it: “We have to rebalance our sedan portfolio,” says Johan de Nysschen, company president. As it turns out, “rebalance” is a pretty tame verb. In reality, CTS and ATS, two RWD sedans; as well as the FWD XTS will be discontinued. In their place, Cadillac will introduce the CT5. The new sedan will move into the price bracket vacated by the ATS. So, that would leave Cadillac with a affordable (luxury) RWD sedan and the ultra-premium CT6. That should give consumers a clearer understanding of vehicle’s niche and prevent them from stepping on each other’s toes.
However, that may not be the only change Cadillac has in the works. Some are also reporting that Cadillac has new small car currently in the works, as well as a flagship that isn’t a four-door sedan. The small car would, conceivably compete against the likes of the BMW-2 Series coupe. Intuitively, that would make some sense, as a small coupe wouldn’t be conflated with Cadillac’s XTS or proposed CT5. Plus, a smaller car with one of Cadillac’s turbocharged engines could be extremely fun to drive.
On the other side of things, don’t be surprised to see Cadillac’s SUV portfolio expand. No, it won’t release a pickup truck like Mercedes-Benz’s hideous X-Class. But the XT5 is Cadillac’s strongest selling vehicle, and the jump from it to the Escalade (regarding both size and price) is pretty substantial. Therefore, it would make sense for Cadillac to build an intermediate SUV between the two: “I would say we have clearly room to add new entries between the XT5 and where Escalade begins,” said de Nysschen.
By the end of next year, Cadillac will have introduced their newest SUV, the XT4. But it won’t slot in between the XT5 and Escalade. Instead, the XT4 will be smaller than the XT5 – as the number suggests. While it won’t be micro-SUV small, de Nysschen expressed an interesting in exploiting that market as well.
2018 & Beyond
It will be interesting to see what Cadillac’s lineup looks like in five years as they shed their sedans and integrate electric and hybrid powertrains. Hopefully they can also integrate a little stability and consistency. The constantly changing model names is just a bit baffling for consumers. Of course, we’ll have to hold on to see what Cadillac ultimately decides to do to their portfolio. But, the company already has a lineup of excellent vehicles. Now, it’s just a matter of refining their products to fit the market demand. And, if we somehow see the realization of the Cadillac Escala concept, I don’t think anyone would complain.