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Wait…What? Cadillac Boss Says That ATS and CTS Are Doomed…Just When Things Are Getting Good

Wait…What? Cadillac Boss Says That ATS and CTS Are Doomed…Just When Things Are Getting Good

Out of all of General Motors’ dysfunctional behaviors, one really annoying one stands out above all the others: they create a car. It might not be good, but they will give it enough time that it starts becoming something really great…then they shoot themselves in the foot with both barrels by killing the model off just when things were going right. Don’t believe me? See also: Corvair, Fiero, Pontiac-Holden joint ventures, X-car platform, etc. Once they managed to figure out the issues with the car though real-world testing (at customer expense, of course) they would go back to the table, fix the broken parts, upgrade the car to a respectable quality, and then kill it off right when things are going good.

Cadillac’s CTS, a phoenix rising from the ashes of the unmitigated disaster that was the Catera, has been a good point. It stepped away from the Northstar-powered lead sled image that Cadillac had been cultivating since the early 1990s and proved that there was some merit to being different. Then, for whatever reason, they unleashed hell with the CTS-V and Cadillac suddenly had an image car out of one of the most unlikely four-door bodies, and it’s carried well, with the new generation appearing this year. Then you have the ATS and ATS-V, a sharp small car in both 2-door coupe and four-door sedan variations. The ATS-V comes out swinging with a 455-horsepower twin-turbo V6 and can rock 0-60 in 3.9 seconds. There’s a lot to like in Cadillac’s department, but there is one issue at hand, and that would be Johan de Nysschen, Caddy’s leader. He’s been on a one-man campaign to change Cadillac’s image, and dissenters have been sharply rebuked. He doesn’t care if you don’t like the CT-whatever naming strategy he’s imposed, he isn’t bothered if you are disappointed that the much-lauded CT6 sedan isn’t the stunner that the El Miraj concept was. He will have Cadillac his way and you will shut up and like it.

The next round of news from the Cadillac camp isn’t great. First things first: since the CT6 just made the current XTS obsolete, it goes. But when it does, so does Cadillac’s livery business…that means no more Caddy limousines, hearses or funeral coaches. Up next: the ATS and CTS themselves. As GM Inside News reported, de Nysschen had this to say about the two: “As we move into the future refining our sedan portfolio, there will be no direct successor to the CTS. There will be no direct successor to the ATS. There is no point to renaming those cars because in the future those cars will disappear.” Losing the livery business opens up a possible saving grace for Lincoln to shove in a moldable sedan or SUV, which will at least keep them on life support. Losing the CTS and ATS will be the bigger pill to swallow, however. Cadillac actually built up a motorsports run with the CTS program, and the ATS looks like an absolute riot to blast around with, but if the CT6 is any indication, we wouldn’t suggest holding your breath for any more V models for some time.



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15 thoughts on “Wait…What? Cadillac Boss Says That ATS and CTS Are Doomed…Just When Things Are Getting Good

  1. Brian

    People are freaking out over this and it makes little sense to me. The ATS platform will be around for several years as the new Camaro is based on it.

    “No direct successor” means that the cars will not be built on the existing platforms that the CTS and ATS are built on. We’re talking next generation cars on new engineering there. Also, regarding the V series, why would that stop?

  2. anthony

    That guy is a jackass. I hope he knows what hes doing and they dont through another 4100/turn everything fwd malaise era of the late 80s.

  3. Nick D.

    No big loss on the XTS. Those cars are absolute garbage. I work at a GM dealer and we dread every time one comes in because they are nothing but trouble. There was one that was in our dealership 12 before it hit 6000 miles and we even had to have a GM field tech come out to look at it and he couldn’t even figure out what was wrong. The others haven’t been much better either.

    1. Mike Brooks

      I second that, I also work at a Chev/Buick/Cad dealership. Those XTS’ are electrical nightmares. They’re sexy as hell, but they are trouble.

  4. mooseface

    I’ve read quite a lot about this changeover, and it’s all part of JDN’s plan for a reinvented Cadillac.
    If anyone is really terrified of these changes, all we can say is: give it time. Cadillac has been the world-leader in overblown mediocrity for longer than I’ve been alive, part of moving beyond that image means casting aside the icons of it.
    I’m sure that much of the engineering that made the CTS and ATS acceptable (after a lot of redevelopment time) will probably be transferred over onto whatever they roll out.
    I’m hoping this is the beginning of an evolution that will hopefully compensate for all the lukewarm crap the brand has pumped out: HT engines, Northstar engines, XTS, everything badged Cadillac from 1982-2010.

    1. ColoradoKid

      Problem being mooseface if you read between the lines is .. JDN’s so called strategy … is to try and BS [ not bangshift ] the consumer with Smoke & Mirrors … marketing hype and hyperbole … and little else .

      The other problem being ….. GM/Cadillac has not one solitary dime to spend on new platforms innovations etc … which guarantees more of the same … only worse as the existing platforms age even further

      The final .. and biggest problem is …. JDM …specifically being … where he came from !

      All that badge engineering – shared platforms – selling VW’s for Mercedes prices crap may of worked for VW-Audi [ though god knows why the consumers fall for their $h*t ] …. but its failed miserably for Cattlecrap … and will only get worse as the days go by

      Simple fact is … GM hired the exact wrong guy … to try and fix the wrong problems … ignoring the real problems that have faced Cadillac since the 70’s .. that being …

      Cadillac forgot who they were and should be ;

      America’s Luxury Hot Rod .

      1. EvanBarsy

        Good thing you know more than the people that get paid millions to know those things. It’s really quite impressive the amount of knowledge you have when you’re not even privileged to anything that would give you that knowledge. Teach me your ways Master.

  5. ColoradoKid

    ” Just when things are getting … “….. GOOD ???

    And just where the ___ is anything good going on at Cadillac ?

    Hmmmn … lets see now ;

    Sales ? Errrr …. nope … As always sales are in the toilet .. GM is having to give subprime loans on Cadillacs in order to move the piles of crap off the lots … and Cadillac is still bleeding money off like a stuck pig in a slaughter house

    [ and just for a little … err … perspective ? Worldwide … BMW sells more 3/4 series than Cadillac does their entire inventory . Same goes for Mercedes with their C-Class as well as Audi with their 4’s ]

    Innovative products ? Errrr … nope .. same ole same ole rebadged Chevy’s Holdens and OPEL’s posing as Cadillacs .. the ‘ new ‘ CTR ‘ is just an old CTS with a new party dress .. for ahhh … Mercedes/BMW price tags etc etc etc …. ad infinitum e.g. …… SSDD … only maybe a little worse

    Better marketing ? Yeah right … better marketing . Trying to say in their ads that ANYTHING they’ve done in the last 20 years even approaches … innovation … in vain trying to compare themselves to the likes of the ‘ Woz ‘ etc … [ even funnier .. as they try to say how innovative they are .. the Woz is listening to music on now 100 year old technology .. gotta love the irony as well as GM’s marketing mavens ignorance on that one ]

    Performance ? Hah ! Not even close . BMW/Audi/Mercedes has Cadillac beat nose to tail and dollar for dollar . Hell … even the pos known as Jaguar are kicking Cadillacs pretentious @$& on all fronts these days …

    So please Bryan … the ever so great snookered one ….. just what in the ___ even remotely resembles …. Good .. at Cadillac ?

    Cadillac . Seriously folks . Its about time we corrected the moniker .. calling it

    Cattlecrap … cause thats what it is and has been since the 70’s … Smoke & Mirrors posing as luxury/performance … Cattlecrap

  6. Craig F.

    I largely agree with what you have to say, but I don’t understand everybody’s concern with the livery business.

    Every Cadillac GM sold to a limo company was a failure in selling it to an actual consumer. Fleet sales are an admission that you built cars that nobody really likes.

    Not having a fleet business never hurt Mercedes, BMW or Audi.

      1. BeaverMartin

        Yes but that means more of those hideous stretched Escalades/H2/Suburbans. I refuse to be driven to my funeral in one of those. I should have kept my old Roadmaster Estate.

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