CADILLAC BECOMES GMs BRAND OF CHOICE
With the new year in full swing, General Motors has already begun to make good on some of its’ promises for a major overhaul of their North American operations. The beginning of February saw the company laying off some 4,250 salaried employees with the final goal of cutting around 8,000 salaried and contract workers to be reached by March. These initial layoffs are an unfortunate sign for employees, but it also serves as a definitive statement to the corporate world that GM will not be dragging its feet; the automotive giant is obviously set on their plans to restructure their corporate dynamic across all brands essentially limiting production output to priority vehicles with current market approved success and consistent track records for performing well in the past. Announced this past November, GM’s final plan is to idle five factories, cut North American workforce by 15%, and cease production of six underperforming models. The ripple effects of restructuring had many consumers, auto experts, and dealerships in the Dallas and Fort Worth Texas area concerned about the fate of their favorite GM brands, in particular specialty fringe brands such as Cadillac. With the recent announcement of an all-electric Cadillac vehicle and the live unveiling of the brand’s first 3-row crossover vehicle, it seems these worries are unfounded, though, as GM has seemingly declared that the Cadillac brand will be a priority in their restructured lineup. The EV crossover is set for release around 2021 and the XT6 3-row crossover should become available come mid-2019, so look to your local Cadillac dealership near Dallas as GM shines a spotlight on Cadillac as the luxury brand of the future.
General Motors plans to ditch the hybrid model and in its stead, go straight into production on an all-electric vehicle. Details have been scarce since GM’s initial press release, but at an event prior to the 2019 Detroit Auto Show, it was revealed that the new Cadillac EV will be a crossover. Having tested the hybrid market with the short-lived ELR and the now discontinued CT6 Plug-in, GM has reversed on their original position of promoting hybrids to pave the way for their first all-electric vehicle. When it debuts in 2021, Cadillac’s luxury, fully electric vehicle will be the first model to utilize GM’s new battery-electric vehicle architecture that will be a multiplatform design capable of being utilized for other GM brand models.The vehicle’s architecture, titled the BEV3 platform, essentially will be the basis for vehicle underpinnings which include structural and mechanical operating parts as well as the battery systems. The new BEV3 architecture differs from the current Chevrolet Bolt EV’s underpinnings in its overall flexibility; the architecture will be able to accommodate all different sorts of battery-pack sizes, fit a range of varying body types, and fully capable to offer rear, front, or all-wheel drivetrain setups.
C.C. E.V. (Cadillac Crossover Electric Vehicle
The big reveal that Cadillac’s first EV will be a crossover comes as no big surprise given the current market trending toward sport utility vehicles. It also suggests a highly strategic move on GM’s part to directly compete with Tesla. Cadillac’s EV crossover will not only have to contend with Tesla, though, as a plethora of luxury EV models will soon hit the market including the Jaguar I-Pace, Audi e-tron, Mercedes-Benz EQ, and the Infiniti’s first EV crossover that makes its debut in Detroit. If release times are met, GM will be on even playing ground with this fresh wave of EV models, but Tesla may have a step up on Cadillac having already released several all-electric models to market. Tesla has continued to struggle with lowering production costs as noted by the perpetually-delayed and long-promised $35,000 model that to date has yet to hit the market, and this is grounds GM feels it can profit on, the moderately priced luxury EV market. GM President Mark Reuss commented that GM, “…is aiming to be the first automaker to build electric cars that are both profitable and attainable.”
The Little Brother
The new electric Cadillac will be a crucial piece of the luxury brand’s plans to reinvent itself to appeal to a new crowd of eco-friendly, luxury-minded clientele. Even more importantly, it will be a critical first step for General Motors moving toward complete electrification. According to Reuss, they have found the “sweet spot” for electric cars and are ready to tackle the luxury EV market. Before Cadillac paves the way into an all-electric future, though, it still has its eye on the current wants and needs of their drivers. The XT6 3-Row crossover was also unveiled before the auto show with a live debut at the Garden Theater in Detroit. Operating somewhere in between Cadillac’s other XT series crossovers and the behemoth-sized Escalade, the XT6 caters to a particular niche market of consumers seeking the drivability and handling of a car with the size and storage capacity of a larger, full-sized SUV; it is a market that consumers previously found missing from Cadillac’s lineup. “The first-ever Cadillac XT6 delivers a compelling blend of spaciousness, safety and convenience features for customers who thrive on doing it all,” Cadillac president Steve Carlisle said in a statement.
Cadillac was probably GM’s hardest hit brand when driver demand shifted from sedans to SUV’s as their years of focus on luxury sedan vehicles initially put them behind in the sport utility and crossover market. The Cadillac brand was on a downward trajectory only a few years ago and possibly at an impasse with GM’s drastic restructuring plan if it continued on that trajectory. Instead of discontinuing their luxury line of vehicles, though, GM prioritized Cadillac shifting the brands vehicle lineup from sedan to include a full array of crossovers to support its already thriving big boy, the Escalade.
Joining the XT4 and XT5, the XT6 fills out Cadillac’s lineup of crossover vehicles truly allowing the brand to compete on all levels with rival luxury brands. “The XT6 is exactly what Cadillac needs at exactly the right time,” said Brian Moody, an automotive analyst for Cox Automotive. “Expected to be more affordable than the Escalade, the XT6 fits perfectly between that full-size SUV and the smaller XT5.” The XT6, coined by Cadillac as the “little brother” to the Escalade, is meant to fill the gap between the XT5 and the Escalade for customers looking for that Goldilocks-style vehicle when it comes to size.
Unlike the sparse details and secrecy surrounding Cadillac’s first EV crossover, GM was more than forthcoming with all the XT6 crossover features. A standard 310 horsepower 3.6-liter V6 engine with 271 pound-feet of torque will be the only available engine offered, but drivers will have the choice of standard front-wheel or optional all-wheel drive. Considering the vehicle’s mid-range size, the XT6 engine design includes a cylinder deactivation system that lets the engine run on just four cylinders under light loads to boost fuel economy.
Of course being Cadillac, the XT6 will get all the latest in luxury tech add-ons including the Cadillac User Experience (CUE) infotainment system operated through an 8.0-inch touchscreen, six USB ports, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, and a built-in Wi-Fi hotspot. Cadillac’s safety package is also standard offering autonomous emergency braking, lane keep assist, lane departure warning, rear cross traffic alert, and park assist. Along with the price tag, Cadillac failed to discuss Super Cruise driver-assist availability, but it seems a given considering the brands recent announcement that all models would be outfitted with the feature by 2020. The 2020 Cadillac XT6 starts production this spring.
For more information or availability options about Cadillac’s two new crossovers, the 2021 EV and the 2020 XT6, contact or head on down to the premier Cadillac dealership the Dallas area has to offer, Frank Kent Cadillac. Frank Kent, in Fort Worth near Weatherford and Granbury, is a family owned and operated dealership tracing their roots in the automotive industry to the early 1900s. They continue to strive to provide a professional atmosphere founded on sound business ethics, honesty, integrity, and a focus on family, which brings outstanding customer satisfaction. Just as they have kept the business in the family, their guiding motto remains unchanged. “Morals, values, and ethics over profit”.