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What The Future Holds For Cadillac

We examine Cadillac's sales from 2014 and see if they are on the right track.

With the automotive industry ever evolving, and the here-for-good renaissance of the electric car, Cadillac has a lot to look forward to in the coming years. With a move to New York City as a way to help differentiate Cadillac from the rest of GM, and a slew of high performance V models receiving high praise from the automotive media, Cadillac’s future seems promising. Or does it? 2014 was a problem-filled year for Cadillac. The brand was passed in sales by a surging Audi, and now barely sits ahead of Acura, dropping 7 percent from 2013.

In terms of premium vehicle sales, Cadillac now resides in fifth position, selling a paltry 170,750 units domestically. This compares to BMW’s 339,738, while both Lexus, and Mercedes topped the 300,000 mark in the U.S. market alone. After the controversial "Poolside" Super Bowl advertisement from last year received much criticism, Cadillac partnered with new ad agency, Publicis Worldwide. Cadillac launched a new advertising campaign and slogan "dare greatly" during the 87th Oscars telecast in February 2015. The top-of-the-range CT6 sedan made its debut during the "Dare Greatly" advertisement.

The car was unveiled in April 2015 at the New York International Auto Show. The CT6 garnered controversy in the automotive media, as many regard the alphanumeric name to be disappointing in contrast with the extravagant and descriptive model names of old. The CT6 drew much fire from the automotive media and many do not expect it to compete successfully with the Mercedes S-Class, Audi A8 and Lexus LS. Instead the model will fill a proposed niche-gap, sliding in-between the E-Class and S-Class and their respective competitors. The “CT” designation is hoped to take hold, and become Cadillac’s new way of identifying models in its line up.

However, the ATS, CTS, XTS names will stay for several years. As the brand’s ‘flagship’, the CT6 was rumored to be inspired by the Elmiraj concept of 2013. The Elmiraj garnered much praise in its Carmel California reveal, even actor/ director Clint Eastwood claimed he was ready to “cut a check.” The real method for Cadillac to survive is to get in line with domestic innovator and chief competitor, Tesla. To pit the bright minds in the new Manhattan offices against the minds of Silicon Valley, Cadillac will need to reinvent itself again focusing on the products of tomorrow rather than today.

As Johan De Nysschen takes charge, he has his work cut out for him, but given his track record with Audi and Infiniti perhaps he can help Cadillac reclaim its “standard of the world” slogan. As a bonus, here's our buddy Brian Makse reviewing the Cadillac CT6.

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