Cadillac’s Next Sedans Won’t “Blow the Doors Off” Competition, Says GM CEO


When Cadillac launches two new cars in the next few years, a compact sedan (expected to be the new ATS) and the XTS sedan, General Motors CEO Dan Akerson says the cars will be “competitive,” but “they're not going to blow the doors off.” Akerson also told the Detroit News that the only GM brands to be sold globally in the future will be Chevrolet and Cadillac.

The new plan means that the GMC brand would be confined to the U.S. market, while Buick products would only be sold here and in China -- Buick has found incredible sales success in the Chinese market, moving over 3 million units in the 12 years since the brand launched there. Akerson said he believes the Chevrolet brand will be successful around the world immediately, but that Cadillac needs another year or two before it can compete on the world stage.

The global Chevrolet charge will be headlined by the new Sonic compact and the forthcoming 2013 Malibu sedan. Akerson even pushed to accelerate the Malibu’s launch from August 2012 to January 2012 because he believes it’s such an important new product.

Cadillac still needs work before the brand is ready to hit the global stage, Akerson said. Within the U.S., the Cadillac ATS and XTS -- new sedans that will slot in below the CTS and replace the DTS and STS above -- will help the brand increase its sales and market share once they launch in the coming years. According to Akerson, the ATS and XTS “will be very competitive” in the luxury-car class, even though he doesn’t expect the two models to “blow the doors off” their competitors. He is certain, though, that Cadillac will trounce Ford’s luxury brand, Lincoln.

“They are trying like hell to resurrect Lincoln,” Akerson told the News. “Well, I might as well tell you, you might as well sprinkle holy water. [Lincoln is] over.”

Over the next few years, GM will reduce its focus on big vehicles like trucks, and build more cars with fuel-efficient powertrains. Akerson dismissed hydrogen fuel-cells and ethanol fuel, saying GM will instead invest in development of new powertrain technologies.

Source: Detroit News

Typical. If Chevy and Caddy are GM's franchise players then why are they always being handicapped by their beancounter pukes? Akerson clearly is not a leader. He has no passion or knowledge and he is ridiculously out of touch with how the industry is. Cadillac should be legitimately the "Standard of the World" without having to cut corners always. Buick's glory years are long gone and GMC will never be anything but rebadged Chevys that cost too much. All the muscle possible should be thrown behind Chevrolet and Cadillac because they need it most. Chevrolet's Malibu has been quite the disappointment in its segment since Dan Akerson insisted on pushing its debut six months ahead. No industry can afford the luxury of a CEO who puts himself before his team, especially not GM. If this is a stopgap effort then fine. But the XTS does not have what it takes to be a true flagship since it has to share a platform with Buick, which itself is nothing to write home about. He has a rather unrealistic opinion of his ability to lead this company because he is merely a politically connected stooge. With Pontiac went a great deal of their passion about being competitive in their segments, as evidinced by the 2013 Malibu.
Lol, Lincoln is over? Akerson must have eaten those words when he saw the MKZ. That car is far more impressive than the ATS or the XTS. Unless Caddy plans to build that Ciel anytime soon I'm fairly confident that they won't be doing any trouncing on Lincoln
Newport Newser
Sounds like the same old aim low GM to me. Cadillac should be challening its top competitors in an effort to surpass them, not equal them. Clearly GM could learn a thing or two from Hyundai. Does Cadillac need to be spun off to be better equipped to compete with the big boys? GM sucks so bad, ugggh.
Methinks Mr. Akerson should tone down the rhetoric a few notches. Ford got rid of Mercury so they could focus their resources solely on Lincoln. For him to make such a boneheaded statement is either ridiculously naive or supremely arrogant, neither of which is acceptable.
What an a$$ - not only do you not make statements that the competition is "over" in a position such as captain dan, that thought shouldn't even cross your mind. Wasn't GM over a year and a half ago? Until the taxpayers bailed them out? And to think I supported propping GM back up only to watch this pissant take over. And I agree with previous posters - targeting mediocrity in the global luxury market - did GM learn nothing from the past 30 years? Cripe.
Marc Forestier
I'm schocked by this incredible statement made by G.M's C.E.O about the Lincoln's brand. Before saying publicly such comments he must analyse the actual situation of Cadillac. In Europe for instance this brand is peanuts due to the absurd policy of G.M during too much time. And when I see the actual offer from Cadillac I'm very sad and disapointed, the cars are ugly, the names are uh, unCadillac,. Just compare XTS, DTS etc with the magic names like Seville, Fleetwood Brougham, De Ville, Coupe de Ville, Eldorado etc.. Don't imitate the Germans Mr Akerson's, try to reinvent true Cadillacs with efficient motors and adequate suspensions (Just look how ridiculous has been President Obama in Ireland... with the hydractive Citroen's suspension it would have never happened!) Briing back full size Cadillacs with the proper names and bodys and you will see your sales rise!
To say that "Lincoln is over" is a very dangerous and highly unprofessional thing to say. You should never underestimate your competition. Besides Cadillac is not out of the woods yet either. It fell flat on its face in Europe and its Chinese sales are far behind the Germans' as well. If they want to compete on the world stage they need to do a lot better job.
I am all for Cadillac; well, that was when they seemed willing to compete against the world's best. To declare that "Lincoln is over" blew me away. Can you imagine BMW CEO's, drunk or sober, uttering such a remark over Audi or Mercedez. Mr. Akerson, it is time to refocus or step out of the way. Assuming that you have America's best interests in mind.
There is danger in advertising "our product will be the best ever" while it is in pre production as you are just setting yourself up for failure by the media. My money is on him trying to lower the press expection with this announcement. He does say the new products will be very competitive.
This is a funny admission when you consider the competition (which isn't just a nearly dead Lincoln). The goal should be to blast the doors off the competiton because a "just as good" Cadillac won't cut against a damn good Lexus or Audi, not to mention Mercedes or BMW. How does that saying go? Aim for the moon and you'll land in the stars. That's exactly what Toyota did with Lexus when it launched it and what Hyundai just did with the Genesis cars and the Equus. If you aim for "competitive, but not too much," you'll wind up with something like an Acura.
I love Akerson's hyperbole - "Lincoln is over". Hardly, sir, hardly. Remember, Mulally is in charge of Lincoln, as well as Ford. There is a reason no one can find any real photos of upcoming Lincoln's and it ain't because "Lincoln is over."

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