Cadillac Launching ATS and XTS in 2012, Planning Luxury Flagship Based on Ciel Concept

The glitzy Cadillac Ciel concept that was unveiled at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance is just the first hint of a new product offensive from General Motors’ luxury brand. According to the Detroit Free Press, Cadillac will launch two new luxury cars next year, followed by a plug-in hybrid and a large flagship model at a later date.

As we expected, the Cadillac ATS and XTS will launch in 2012, expanding the brand’s lineup from three models (SRX, CTS, and Escalade) to five. The XTS is a large luxury car that will be offered with front- or all-wheel-drive. It goes on sale in late spring 2012 and will be built in Oshawa, Ontario. The ATS -- of which we’ve already seen a teaser photo -- is a smaller sports sedan meant to take on the BMW 3 Series and other German competitors; it launches in late summer 2012 and will be built in Lansing, Michigan.

The Free Press reports that one of the cars will bow at the Los Angeles auto show this November, while the other will appear at the Detroit show in January 2012. Based on their launch dates, we’d posit the XTS will be shown in L.A. and the ATS will make its first public appearance in Detroit.

Cadillac also will launch its version of the Chevrolet Volt electric car, called the ELR, by 2013. It uses an electric motor and a lithium-ion battery pack as its primary form of motivation, but can use a gasoline engine as a range-extending generator when the battery’s charge is exhausted.

On top of that, Cadillac is said to be developing a rear-wheel-drive luxury flagship sedan. Inspired by the Ciel concept, the flagship vehicle would be positioned on par with the Mercedes-Benz S-Class and BMW 7 Series. The car is still several years away from production. However, Cadillac marketing chief Don Butler says the Ciel concept got people talking about future Cadillac design.

“People are coming into the showroom talking about this vehicle," he told the Free Press. "It kind of adds to the psyche of positive feeling about the brand.”

Many Cadillac dealers are reportedly remodeling their stores in anticipation of the new cars and a big marketing push from Cadillac. “We've got a product onslaught that's coming,” Butler told the Free Press. “Let's get our house ready before our guests come in.”

Source: Detroit Free Press

I applaud the ATS. But I thought the XTS was an S-class competitor. Similar to the Hyundai Equus. If they want to develop an even larger car than Cadillac is going in the wrong direction. If they want to compete in the world market they need smaller cars not bigger ones. Both Europe and China want smaller, more efficient but high quality cars. That's why many Chinese buy stretched wheelbase Audi A4's for example. They can't afford bigger cars yet but they want the quality and prestige. Which brings us to the fact that outside the US Cadillac just doesn't have the same clout as the Germans. They need to build that up first with quality products before they can truly compete in the 100 grand arena.

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