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Auto blogFri, 23 May 2014 09:31:00 EST
Crossovers are one of the hottest automotive segments on the planet. Apparently, the idea of mixing the practicality of a station wagon with the looks of an SUV appeals to people whether they are in Cleveland or Shanghai because nearly every automaker is jumping into the market. So it was no surprise when early rumors suggested Cadillac was planning two, new CUVs to fit above and below the SRX. But things might have changed since then.
New rumblings indicate Caddy is taking a different route. Instead of two crossovers, only the compact is on the way, and the larger, three-row CUV on the Lambda platform to sit between the SRX and Escalade may be a goner. According to Ward's Auto, General Motors thinks that the other three-row, Lambda vehicles like the Buick Enclave and GMC Acadia compete too closely with the proposed Cadillac. The decision comes fairly close to the 2017 intended production date.
As far back as 2010, this Lambda-platform based CUV was considered highly likely for production. However, Cadillac Senior Vice President Bob Ferguson was somewhat cooler about it when he discussed the new crossover briefly last year. He said the model could use the Escalade name, despite its unibody chassis, but no decision had been made yet to actually produce it.
One of the things that dogs the full comeback of General Motors is the instability of its marketing. That part of the automaker got yet another big shakeup today when GM confirmed what I have been tweeting for a few days - strong rumors that the Chevrolet and Cadillac ad accounts are walking to new ad agencies.
Cadillac, GM's luxury brand, is going into review from Fallon Worldwide, Minneapolis and the indications are that Campbell-Ewald, Chevy's old ad shop, will end up with most or all of it. C-E just announced that it was moving from its long-time home in Warren, MI to a new downtown Detroit office next to Ford Field, just blocks from GM.
The other shoe to drop shortly will be the shift of GM's most important brand, Chevy, from Goodby, Silverstein & Partners of San Francisco to McCann-Erickson of Troy, MI. McCann used to be the agency for Buick and GMC, as well as GM's corporate advertising, and has retained some pieces of business over the last few years. Sources have even told us that it was McCann that did a lot of the creative work on Chevy's new ad platform, Find New Roads. (Not to be confused with a former McCann tagline for Saab, "Find Your Own Road.")
Compact luxury sedans are fast becoming the trend among upscale automakers. Mercedes has the new CLA (and its many platform-mates), BMW has the 1 Series and 2 Series, Audi has the A3 and, though Lexus apparently isn't interested in anything smaller than its CT 200h, Infiniti is getting in on the action with a compact model of its own. It would only follow logically, then, that Cadillac should launch a competitor, and according to the latest reports, that's just what it has in store.
Speaking with Car and Driver, Cadillac marketing chief Uwe Ellinghaus confirmed that such a project is in the works. But unlike its rivals, Cadillac aims to go with a rear-wheel-drive layout. This despite research that apparently indicates that a surprising 80 percent of owners think that their BMW 1 Series is front-drive. It's the driving dynamics and styling proportions that motivate Ellinghaus and his colleagues to stick with rear-drive, however.
The new model would in all likelihood be based on the same GM Alpha architecture that underpins the ATS and CTS - a platform that has helped Cadillac keep the weight down on both models and which is expected to underpin the next-generation Chevy Camaro, as well. The sub-ATS could be positioned as a four-door 2+2, however, as the ATS grows a little larger in its next iteration in order to make room for its new baby brother.