Ed Welburn, General Motors' chief designer, wants to see a flagship Cadillac sedan that will compete with the BMW 7 Series and Mercedes-Benz S-Class. Earlier this year Ed Whitacre, who was CEO at the time, confirmed Cadillac was working on such a car but declined to give any details on the project.
Speaking with Automotive News at the Paris auto show, Welburn explained that there is a need for the flagship because it can boost sales of lesser Cadillac models. "If you have the right halo for the brand, the right vehicle at the top of the brand, then your volume vehicles benefit from that vehicle," said Welburn. Cadillac's domestic rival Lincoln has also been exploring the possibility of producing a new flagship vehicle to raise awareness of the brand.
Cadillac is in a slightly better position than Lincoln these days due to the success of the CTS-V line. Welburn hinted that Cadillac isn't going to rest on the laurels of the V line: "There is a real opportunity for Cadillac to rightfully be considered the standard of the world again with the work that we are doing in design and engineering and the technologies that we will be bringing to market."
Recent reports have confirmed Cadillac's upcoming XTS sedan, which was previewed with the XTS concept at this year's Detroit auto show, and ATS, a 3-series fighter, will come to market in the next few years. The XTS won't be considered a flagship because it is based on the Buick LaCrosse platform, which is front- or all-wheel drive. In order to compete with BMW and Mercedes, a flagship sedan would likely need rear-wheel drive and pricing north of $70,000.
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Source: Automotive News (Subscription required)