Auto blogTue, 08 Jul 2014
Here's some shocking news to no one: People love crossovers, including those living in China. Since introducing the Cadillac SRX there in 2009, the model's sales have gone through the roof. Now, the brand is considering moving some production of the next-generation model in China to eliminate import tariffs and make it an even bigger player in the market.
According to a recent report in The Wall Street Journal, the crossover is leading Cadillac's Chinese growth, despite its US-equivalent price of over $67,000 after the country's high import tariffs. The CUV's sales are up 23 percent there so far this year, and it's responsible for over 40 percent of the brand's sales. John Stadwick, General Motors' VP of sales, service and marketing in China, told the WSJ that GM could "very possibly" build the next-gen model there.
The SRX is Cadillac's golden goose in China, and it just keeps pushing the brand's sales forward. "It's the vehicle that took us out of being a small niche in the market," said David Caldwell, Cadillac Communications Manager, to Autoblog. Before the CUV, Caddy was selling a little over 20,000 cars a year there, but partially thanks to the crossover's success, the brand sold 50,000 vehicles last year and could reach 60,000 this year. "The SRX is the most popular Cadillac in that market," he said.
No, that headline isn't a typo - General Motors has reportedly issued a recall for one of its own recalls. The recall of a recall affects the recall of the 2014 Cadillac CTS, which wasn't supposed to be recalled. Except that the 2014 CTS was supposed to be recalled. Oh no, now we've gone cross-eyed.
Allow us to explain. The redesigned, third-generation CTS Sedan does not feature a faulty ignition switch, while the 2014 CTS Coupe and Wagon, which are based on the second-gen car, do. And as it turns out, there are only 264 of those vehicles included in last week's 8.2-million-unit, ignition-switch recall. Model year 2003 to 2013 CTS Sedans, Coupes and Wagons are still covered.
It's not entirely clear how this, frankly, colossal mistake was made, although we're betting GM is rapidly trying to get to the bottom of this embarrassing issue. Regardless, let's just take what solace we can in there being one less vehicle that GM has recalled this year.
General Motors today announced a truly massive recall covering some 8.4 million vehicles in North America. Most significantly, 8.2 million examples of the affected vehicles are being called back due to "unintended ignition key rotation," though GM spokesperson Alan Adler tells Autoblog that this issue is not like the infamous Chevy Cobalt ignition switch fiasco.
For the sake of perspective, translated to US population, this total recall figure would equal a car for each resident of New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Montana, Delaware, South Dakota, Alaska, North Dakota, the District of Columbia, Vermont and Wyoming. Combined. Here's how it all breaks down:
7,610,862 vehicles in North America being recalled for unintended ignition key rotation. 6,805,679 are in the United States.
Cadillac is apparently preparing to roll out a minor facelift for the ATS sedan - which we know not because General Motors has already revealed it or because we're looking at it in a fresh batch of spy shots (though we've seen that too), but because a behind-the-scenes video from the filming of its commercial has leaked out online. Which may be bad news for Cadillac, and even worse news for the film production company, but good news for us, because we get to see it ahead of schedule.
The revised sports sedan seems to be sporting a new front bumper and less egg-cratey grille with Caddy's new wreath-less badge at its center, all apparently put in place to bring the sedan more in line with the new ATS coupe.
We're sure Cadillac will be revealing the updated 2015 ATS sedan shortly, but you can scope it out right now in the video below. By way of comparison, we've included an image gallery of the current ATS, released back in 2013, as well.
It's been about eight months since we last heard anything on the eagerly anticipated Cadillac ATS-V, meaning it was high time a new batch of photos arrived of the twin-turbocharged, V6-powered sedan.
This latest round includes a shot of the hot ATS-V alongside the upcoming CTS-V, allowing us to glimpse through the camouflage and spot the family resemblance between the two über sedans. According to our spies, this is the first time we've gotten a look at the ATS-V's fascia without a nose bra to obscure larger details. This isn't the first time we've seen a vertically slated grille on an in-development Cadillac V car, although it is the first time we've seen it on the ATS-V. Aside from the main grille, the shapes of the sportier front fascia of the ATS-V tie in nicely with its big brother. We are rather curious about the hood on the ATS-V. It's difficult to tell from these images, but it looks like there may be some vents up there that may be meant to improve cooling to the alleged 425-horsepower engine.
Other details that we can see include swollen fenders and larger wheels that hide amplified brakes. The rear of the car remains heavily obscured by camo, with the sole details of note being the quad exhausts, which we've spotted on previous ATS-V prototypes.
Cadillac continues to hemorrhage executives, as it's just seen its fourth high-level departure in the past year. Vice President of Global Strategic Development Don Butler (who defected to Ford) and European President and Managing Director Susan Docherty both left the company of their own volition, while Chase Hawkins, Cadillac's vice president of sales and service, was fired following a "violation of policy" in July of 2013. Strangely, it's Hawkins' replacement, Bill Peffer (shown above), who has handed in his papers this time around.
"Bill left to pursue other interests. Kurt McNeil replaces him, effective immediately," spokesman David Caldwell told Autoblog via email.
McNeil last held the VP of sales and service position back in 2012. He's currently the vice president of US sales for all of General Motors. According to The Detroit News, McNeil will take on the post in what is likely an interim capacity.
General Motors has just initiated another crushingly large recall, this time affecting some 3.36 million vehicles built between 2000 and 2014 and sold in the US, Canada and Mexico. Once again, the issue surrounds the cars' ignition switches, which can be kicked out of the run position if they're carrying extra weight or if they experience a "jarring" event. In this particular case, though, GM will modify the keys, rather than the ignition itself.
A four-by-six-millimeter hole will be drilled into the key, which will more safely accommodate the weight of the key ring. As is usually the case, the work will be done free of charge. The recalled vehicles include the 2000 to 2005 Cadillac Deville, 2004 to 2005 Buick Regal LS and GS, 2004 to 2011 Cadillac DTS, 2005 to 2009 Buick Lacrosse, 2006 to 2008 Chevrolet Monte Carlo, 2006 to 2011 Buick Lucerne and 2006 to 2014 Chevrolet Impala. Only the Impala is still in production, and even then, it's only sold to fleet companies.
According to an official statement from GM, there have been eight crashes and six injuries due to this latest issue. As if this isn't a dire enough blow for GM, the company has announced five smaller recalls, covering 165,000 vehicles.
Okay General Motors, we've sat by and watched you recall the compact cars, crossovers and pickup trucks, and aside from reporting on it, we've been fairly quiet. This, though, this will not do. We can almost tolerate the recalls on the bread-and-butter cars, but leave the performance vehicles alone.
According to a report from The Car Connection, GM has discovered a problem with the superchargers of the 6.2-liter V8s found in the Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 and the Cadillac CTS-V. Apparently, the issue rests around the internal bearing shaft grease, which can become contaminated (we aren't sure with what). If left unchecked, it'll first lead to a rattle at idle, which goes away under slight throttle. The real warning stage is when a high-pitched squeal develops, signaling that the bearing shaft has failed. Naturally, severe engine damage is the next step (although it's possible that the engine will also just refuse to turnover, although neither case is desirable).
According to TCC, GM will replace the superchargers on vehicles that have exhibited symptoms of bearing shaft failure free of charge. It will also, allegedly, be extending the warranty on all supercharged ZL1s and CTS-Vs to 10 years or 120,000 miles (whichever comes first), from the date of purchase. Officially, only 2009 to 2013 CTS-Vs and 2012 to 2013 ZL1s are suffering from this issue.
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.
General Motors has announced another set of recalls, covering some 2.42 million cars in the United States. For those keeping track, The General has now recalled over 15 million cars worldwide this year due to various issues.
Here's the breakdown for this most recent set of recalls:
1,339,355 - Buick Enclave, Chevrolet Traverse, GMC Acadia models from the 2009 to 2014 model years; Saturn Outlook models from the 2009 to 2010 model years