Remember how Mercedes drastically grew its lineup not too long ago? Now it’s Cadillac’s turn.
SUVs, crossovers, and trucks now make up 60 percent of all car purchases in the US while sedan and coupe variants make up a not so stellar 40 percent of sales. This doesn’t exactly bode well for an automaker like Cadillac, which has only one SUV and one crossover in its lineup and has just spent millions on four sedans. If you thought the ATS, CTS, XTS, and CT6 were the dawn of the new Cadillac, you ain’t seen nothing yet because according to The Detroit News, the lineup will soon see crossover reinforcements.
Cadillac CEO Johan de Nyssche voiced his frustration with the automaker’s current state of affairs, saying, “The core part of our volume lineup is in the market that’s contracting while as good as the XT5 and Escalade are, we are unable to fully exploit the updraft that’s taking place in the other half of the market.” However we haven't yet seen the full result of GM’s $12 billion investment into Cadillac’s future, and according to Nyssche, that will begin to materialize as early as 2018 when a small mass-market (relative to the XT5) crossover hits the market bearing XT3 badges. Analysts claim this model alone could move a hefty 25,000-30,000 units per year, helping overall sales grow by 17 percent relative to 2016’s sales numbers.
But like a bodybuilder delving into the world of steroids, too much is never enough. Furthering the brand’s growth will be a larger crossover to slot between the Escalade and XT5 arriving in 2019, followed by a crossover even smaller than the XT3, likely a Mercedes GLA competitor, that will come a year after. Despite a sizable lineup of sedans, Cadillac won’t stop at that with a Mercedes CLA-sized offering slated for release in late 2019, while higher up on the line Cadillac will reinforce the CT6’s position in the market by offering more trims in attempts to edge out the BMW 7 Series. If this sounds like an overdose for Americans, just consider that China, the world’s largest auto market, will soon eclipse the US as Cadillac’s largest buyer.
Best of all is the fact that Cadillac’s Chinese buyers tend to be young affluent customers, the exact demographic that automakers chase after in hopes of inspiring life-long brand loyalty. This makes Cadillac’s efforts to lower market segments sound like a direct threat to Mercedes’ push towards selling smaller vehicles to seduce younger buyers. Nothing official from Cadillac yet, but rumor has it that Cadillac could continue the charge by offering souped-up V-Series variants of its SUVs, much like BMW and Mercedes already do, in order to cover all its bases. This excites us for obvious reasons, so all we can do is hope that Cadillac’s words materialize in the form of leather-laden horsepower.