TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. — General Motors North America President Mark Reuss announced this month the launch of two new luxury cars for Cadillac in 2012 and the pricing for a fuel-saving feature on the Buick Regal as he outlined parts of a plan to help GM attract more customers.
Cadillac next year will launch the XTS large luxury sedan and a compact luxury sports sedan codenamed ATS, models that will bracket the CTS Sedan, Coupe and Wagon family, Reuss said at the Center for Automotive Research’s Management Briefing Seminars.
GM is investing $117 million to make the XTS at its Oshawa Assembly Plant in Ontario where 400 jobs will be created or retained.
Cadillac Professional Vehicles told LCT on Tuesday that it is still working on details of the XTS livery version to be announced later this year. The XTS, a sedan, will compete directly with the 2013 Lincoln MKT Town Car, a cross-over utility model. Lincoln has dominated the chauffeured luxury sedan market for the last 20 years with the Cadillac DTS as the second-ranked sedan in the industry. Cadillac concluded production of the DTS in May, and Lincoln wraps up its last batch of the 2011 Lincoln Town Car Executive L on Aug. 31 at its St. Thomas, Ontario assembly plant.
The Cadillac XTS, which will be launched in spring of 2012, is based on the XTS Platinum Concept unveiled at the 2010 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. It will offer an advanced front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive system.
The Cadillac codenamed ATS, which will be launched in the summer of 2012, will give the brand a rear-wheel drive luxury sports car to compete head-to-head with the BMW 3-Series, Mercedes-Benz C-Class and Audi A4 in the luxury market’s largest segment. GM today released its first sketch of the car.
“The Cadillac Renaissance that started with the CTS is still going strong,” Reuss said. “The XTS continues Cadillac’s heritage as the leader in large luxury cars while the car we’ve codenamed ATS starts a new chapter for Cadillac in the luxury market’s C-segment. We’re confident it will attract luxury car buyers who previously would not have considered Cadillac.”
In addition to the two new Cadillacs, Reuss said the eAssist feature on the 2012 Buick Regal will be a $2,000 option. The light electrification technology delivers an estimated 25-percent improvement in fuel economy, giving Regal eAssist an EPA fuel economy rating of 36 mpg highway/25 mpg city.
“GM has moved beyond a stage of simply surviving and is now clearly focused on thriving with a line-up that’s stronger in more segments than it has ever been,” Reuss said. “Whether it’s the new fuel-efficient Buick eAssist system or Cadillac’s entry-level luxury car, we’re giving customers compelling new options for their next automobile.”
Some of those potential customers are “millennials,” a target of Chevrolet to reach the next generation of buyers though a partnership with MTV.
Regal eAssist, which goes on sale this fall, captures energy created during braking to charge a 115V lithium-ion battery that powers a 11-kW (15 horsepower) motor-generator, augmenting a 2.4L Ecotec four-cylinder engine.
The eAssist system also allows the engine to shut down fuel delivery in certain deceleration conditions, saving additional fuel. It has underbody aerodynamics and special tires to further improve fuel economy. Based on $4-per-gallon gasoline, the eAssist option on the Regal should pay for itself in about 3½ years.
Sources: General Motors; Cadillac Professional Vehicles