Long Beach, New York, United States
There is widespread agreement across the industry that Cadillac needs a proper, rear-drive flagship sedan that completes legitimately with the Mercedes-Benz S-Class, Audi A8 and BMW 7 Series.
Fortunately, the same view is held within the company, and just such a car - possibly dubbed LTS - is under development. According to a high-level source at Cadillac, the new four-door, which is said to incorporate design cues from the marque's celebrated Elmiraj coupe concept, will debut at the New York Auto Show next April.
If the car needs a cheerleader, surely incoming president Johan de Nysschen is just such a person. De Nysschen doesn't arrive at Cadillac until late in the month, but certainly he will want a proper flagship to do battle with his old foes at Mercedes-Benz and BMW and old friends at Audi and Infiniti.
If you've taken even a cursory look at GM's European strategy and wondered how it can target the market there with both Chevrolet and Opel/Vauxhall, you're not alone. In fact General Motors itself has found it difficult to justify the two-pronged approach. That's why it's essentially pulling Chevy from the European marketplace.
Instead of trying to ply European buyers with what are mostly former Daewoo products rebadged as Chevys, GM will now let Opel (or Vauxhall in the UK) represent its mass-market aspirations. Chevrolet will keep its presence in Russia and other former Soviet markets, and will continue selling certain niche products in Eastern and Western Europe. The Corvette, for example, has long been sold in Europe through Cadillac dealerships, which for its part is currently "finalizing plans for expanding in the European market".
While the shift in strategy is expected to help GM get a stronger foothold in the European market in the long run, in the short term the restructuring will cost it dearly: between $700 million and $1 billion, according to its own estimates, split between the last quarter of this year and the first half of the next. Jump into the full press release below for more.
I have never liked traveling to Monterey, CA. The picturesque coastal city is about 300 miles from my home in Los Angeles, which means cramped and uncomfortable regional aircraft are part of the equation when the turnaround is only one night. Over the years, I have cursed the LA Basin's bumper-to-bumper traffic en route to the airport, argued with TSA personnel over carry-on baggage and waited countless hours for the fog to lift just for the anguish of being packed into a small regional jet for the flight. Of course, the process repeats on the trip home with equal misery.
Yet this time I am not suffering.
Cadillac has dropped its all-new 2015 Escalade in my driveway. Instead of battling city congestion, attempting to reason with misinformed government agents, snacking on a too-small bag of pretzels and physically rubbing shoulders with a dubious stranger for 90-plus minutes within the confines of a bumpy aircraft, I have chosen to forgo air travel and drive myself door-to-door in a fullsize luxury sport utility vehicle.