Is this a smart move given the slowdown in sedan sales?
We recently confirmed the Cadillac ATS sedan (and ATS-V sedan) will be discontinued after the current model year. The coupe version will live on at least through 2019. At the same time, the Cadillac CTS and XTS, more notably the latter, are quickly being outflanked by the competition. On top of that, luxury and mainstream sedan sales in general are down across the industry, thanks to the rise of crossover popularity. So what's Cadillac going to do? Replace three sedans with two.
Automotive News is reporting that GM is investing $175 million in its Lansing Grand River Assembly Plant in Michigan to get it ready to build those two upcoming models, slated to be called the CT4 and CT5. At the moment, this production plant builds the ATS, CTS and the Chevrolet Camaro. According to the report, the plant's retooling is already underway with new machinery and equipment being installed. CT5 production will supposedly begin sometime in 2019 and the CT4 will follow shortly. We were told by Cadillac at Detroit last January that the show would be its last quiet one for a while, clearly indicating a lot of new product would soon debut.
That began to happen in New York the following March with the launch of the XT4 crossover. Chances are, the CT5 and, perhaps the CT4 as well, will be unveiled at Detroit in 2019. If you recall, GM recently fired Cadillac president and CEO Johan de Nysschen, who led the luxury brand's product renaissance. The plan is to launch a new vehicle every six months on average through 2021. Fortunately, Cadillac's global sales, thanks to China, are on the rise. Having two new competitive crossovers will only further contribute to this upswing and, hopefully, simplifying the sedan lineup will also show results.