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Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Cadillac Confirms Range-Topping CT6 Sedan, New Lineup


Cadillac Elmiraj concept photo

The Cadillac name has carried with it a dated or grandfather-esque connotation for a long time, despite some scorching late-model performers. No, those aren’t just our words; rather they are the musings of Cadillac’s own marketing chief, Uwe Ellinghaus.

But according to Ellinghaus’ recent interview with Automotive News, the days of Cadillac’s mixed messages and German brand pot shots are over. Cadillac is en route for sweeping changes over the coming years, a new luxury swagger, and that starts with new cars and a new headquarters.

Cadillac Elmiraj new design direction photo

Ellinghaus revealed that the first of those new cars – the CT6 – will make its debut in April at the New York Auto Show and headline an all-new naming system for the brand. Under the new nomenclature, Cadillac sedans adopt the ‘CT’ prefix (for ‘Cadillac Tourer’) followed by an adjoining number for its spot in the new hierarchy, meaning models like the ATS and XTS will be up for a name-swap soon.

“Whether we like it or not, customers come to the showroom and say, ‘Cadillac, what’s your 5 series? What’s your A4?’” notes Ellinghaus. “Cadillac in the past said that ‘We don’t do that.’ No. If we want to play with the big boys, then we need to accept the rules of their game.”

New models will be introduced underneath the range-topping CT6 in the coming years as vehicles go through their natural lifespan. New SUV models and the replacement for the SRX will adopt the ‘XT’ prefix, though Ellinghaus notes the Escalade and ELR will follow their own course.

Cadillac Elmiraj design concept photo

And that bombshell CT6 debut will be followed by another Big Apple decision. Ellinghaus confirms that Cadillac will indeed move its headquarters from Detroit to New York City in a bid to distance itself from the shadow of General Motors. The move, new lineup, and a new advertising strategy aimed at bolstering a confident Cadillac image follow Ellinghaus’ direction to “reinject some Americana into the brand.”

“[We] will not play with Cadillac’s ambivalent image with a twinkle in the eye and say ‘no more crappy cars,’ or ‘no longer your grandfather’s car,” he affirms. “I want this brand to be bolder, more optimistic and capture people’s imagination far more.”