Middle Child: Cadillac CTS Boxed in by Upcoming ATS, XTS

By Joel Arellano | August 06, 2012
No one wants the middle child. That's the dilemma facing General Motors' Cadillac. The luxury brand will soon be adding two new vehicles to its sparse lineup which currently consists of the full-sized Cadillac Escalade SUV, the SRX mid-sized crossover, and the CTS sedan. The latter has been holding down the fort as the only car offering for Cadillac since the DTS and STS sedans were discontinued. The two new vehicles are the Cadillac ATS and the XTS. Both sedans, the ATS will slot under the CTS as Cadillac's entry-level vehicle while the larger XTS takes over the flagship role among the cars. The lineup allows Cadillac to fully compete against other luxury brands like Mercedes-Benz, Audi, and especially BMW and its 3, 5, and 7 Series.
Unfortunately, pricing between the Cadillac ATS and CTS are not as marked as between, for example, the BMW 3 and 5 Series. Less than $3,000 separate  between the ATS and CTS Caddie. Contrast that range to the BMW 3 and 5 Series, which differ by $9,700, or the jaw-dropping near $15,700 difference between the Mercedes-Benz C-Class and mid-level E-Class. States marketing consultant Gordon Wangers, "It's a real difficult assignment for Cadillac's marketing staff. They must reposition the CTS." Cadillac is looking into several strategies to differentiate the two models. One is that it will discontinue the base Cadillac CTS from the model lineup while raising the starting pricing of the new "base" model to nearly $40,000. Marketing will also emphasize the Cadillac CTS coupe and sports station wagon, which are not offered for the sedan-only ATS. These strategies are considered stopgap measures until Cadillac can introduce the new, larger CTS sometime in either 2014 or 2015. Automotive.com's take: One thing that Cadillac will not be able to change while promoting the CTS is the ATS amazing sports car character or the sheer amount of new tech offered by the XTS. What else could GM do to tempt buyers like yourself to consider the CTS over the ATS? Or do you see the middle child of Cadillac's car lineup trailing in third place in interest and sales? As always, let us know in the comments below. Source: Detroit Free Press