An “unprecedented product assault” should help Cadillac end three straight years of U.S. sales declines and lead to double-digit growth globally in 2019, said Deborah Wahl, the brand’s chief marketing officer.
Speaking Thursday at the J.D. Power Automotive Summit here, Wahl said 2019 will be “the year of the Cadillac SUV family,” which includes the launch of the XT4 compact crossover late last year and introduction of the XT6 three-row crossover this year. The vehicles, which Wahl said will help Cadillac compete in the crowded crossover/SUV market, are part of a portfolio overhaul that will include six product launches over the next three years.
Although its U.S. sales fell 1.1 percent last year, Cadillac set a global sales record thanks in large part to growth in China.
“We intend to double down on that achievement with double-digit growth in 2019,” she said. “We’re armed for that fight on the product side.”
Although the brand is focusing on crossovers and SUVs, it’s not giving up on sedans.
Despite plans to close the Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant that produces the CT6 sedan, Cadillac executives have said they’re evaluating options to keep the vehicle in the lineup. Wahl said they plan to sell it at least for the rest of 2019 and into 2020.
“The news of its demise has been greatly exaggerated,” Wahl said. “This vehicle has so much to offer.”
That includes a new Blackwing engine, a 550-hp V-8 in the CT6-V, which is scheduled to arrive in mid-2019 starting at $89,785, including shipping.
“This, I believe, is how new legends are made and how mystique is reclaimed and burnished,” she said.
Cadillac is amid a transformation as General Motors tries to restore some of its former luster. Executives said this month that the brand would be the lead platform for GM’s electric vehicles.
Wahl said it will also be the automaker’s “pinnacle of mobility.”
“It’s a legendary car company,” Wahl said. “That legendary status was based on vehicles, that while we proudly celebrate them, are not exactly representative of where we’re going as a brand and who we’re becoming.” e