Rumored: Could Cadillac Compete in BMW X3 Crossover Segment?

If you thought the luxury crossover market was already too crowded, think again. Cadillac may be considering an SUV to battle the BMW X3 and others in its class.

“We’re looking at options there,” said Kurt McNeil, Cadillac’s vice president of sales, to Automotive News at the 2012 Detroit auto show.

Don’t expect a rear-drive BMW X3 fighter in a showroom tomorrow, says David Caldwell, Cadillac’s communications manager. Cadillac will have its hands full launching the compact ATS and large XTS sedans. Caldwell tells us we should take the speculation as “just an indication” that with Cadillac’s short-term growth plans, the brand may be in a position to expand the lineup.

“The fact that Cadillac is becoming more of a global brand will certainly play a role in that decision,” McNeil said to Automotive News.

With small SUVs like the Buick Encore and Audi Q3 getting ready to roll into U.S. showrooms, the baby luxury SUV segment is one the automaker is watching. If Cadillac did begin development on a BMW X3-like SUV, Caldwell doesn’t believe it would encroach on the successful SRX’s territory.

“It wouldn’t be a concern about the SRX as much as what do luxury consumers want?” Caldwell says. “Is there something that we think is an emerging desire?”

Depending on the public reception of the new rear-drive ATS sedan, a smaller and sportier Cadillac SUV could be a potential lineup addition. Although the SRX currently uses the brand’s direct-injection 3.6-liter V-6, the ATS’ turbo-four might make an interesting match for the inevitable turbo-four BMW X3 xDrive28i.

What do you think? Would a rear-drive BMW X3 competitor be profitable for Cadillac? Give us your thoughts in the comments section below.

Source: Automotive News (Subscription required), Cadillac

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