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Cadillac XTS Aimed at Luxury-Import Owners

By Rick Kranz, Automotive News

By AutoWeek Oct 17, 2011 7:29AM

The 2013 Cadillac XTS will be aimed at traditional luxury-import buyers, along with the livery service. (Photo by Cadillac.)

It is a small niche, but an important one for Cadillac as it prepares to launch the XTS sedan.

The industry calls it the "black car" business.

The Cadillac XTS sedan will hit dealer showrooms next year in late spring or early summer. The car is one part of the product plan to make Cadillac appealing to import luxury car buyers.

The XTS will be the largest and most luxurious car made by Cadillac, aimed at buyers who demand state-of-the-art technology. Cadillac's new CUE infotainment system is a key part of the technology story, along with a reconfigurable instrument cluster that gives the driver four different displays, from simple to complex.

Audi A6, BMW 5 series and Mercedes-Benz E class owners are the target buyers, says Patrick Nally, XTS marketing manager, who was interviewed at a Cadillac event here.

But how do you get them into an XTS?

"Black car" is a term the industry uses to describe the Cadillacs, Lincolns and a few other models used for livery vehicles seen at airports and hotels. Sometimes the wheelbase is stretched six inches to create more rear seat legroom. The livery business is separate from the limousine business.

Historically, the rear-drive Lincoln Town Car has been the top player, accounting for several thousand units annually. The Cadillac DTS has averaged around 1,200 units. Sales are linked to the ups and downs of the economy. Granted, the sales are small, but the cars make an impression with riders.

But production of the Town Car and the DTS ended this year. Lincoln plans to modify the MKT crossover for the livery and limo business, and Cadillac will rely on the XTS. The chopping and stretching for both cars will continue to be handled by approved coachbuilders.

There likely is an opportunity for Cadillac. The retail version of the MKT has been a sales slug due to its unremarkable styling, but Nally won't comment on whether that will raise Cadillac's livery and limo expectations.

Speaking of the XTS, Nally said "the black car business is important to us."

"A lot of people will not consider Cadillac that buy Mercedes or BMW," he said. "They do not put us on their shopping list. There is an opportunity to get the right people in the vehicle who would not otherwise" be sitting in a Cadillac.

Nally said the appointments in the livery model will be nearly identical to the high-quality appointments in the retail version of the XTS.

"We will really impress people vis-a-vis the back seats of those cars."

Literally, one seat at a time.

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Oct 17, 2011 11:58AM

To be sucessful in the Livery business you need 3 things:

1) Confortable "cloud" ride

2) Big comfortable back seat

3) Big trunk


That's it.  That's all.  The passenger doesn't care about your state of the art touch screen NAV system.  And furthermore, if I hire you to drive me somewhere, you better not need a NAV.

Oct 18, 2011 8:13AM

Brett Montana:


We're not your therapist.  If you want people to actually READ your post, next time try the K.I.S.S. method.

Oct 19, 2011 8:31AM
Buick Regal (SWB)

Note: SWB means short wheel base.


enlarged version of the Epsilon II platform

Note: This means long wheel base. AKA NOT a Regal platform.

Oct 19, 2011 4:08AM
Have had my Cadillac CTS Sportwagon (AWD) for almost a year - great car and truly rides and handles like a European sports sedan.  Cadillac has the cars to attract Mercedes and Audi owners, now GM has to learn how to treat customers who are used to a certain "type" of dealership "experience" - Cadillac has years to go to learn that!! 
Oct 19, 2011 5:57AM
The Cadillac XTS is an upcoming full-sized luxury car from the Cadillac brand of General Motors.. It is said to be based on an enlarged version of the Epsilon II platform.


Current and announced vehicles built on Epsilon II:
2008 Opel Insignia, Buick Regal (SWB)
2010 Buick LaCrosse/GM Daewoo Alpheon (LWB)
2010 Saab 9-5 (LWB)
2013 Chevrolet Malibu, Holden Malibu (SWB)

note: BUICK REGAL!!!!!!!!

CoreyDL@ Really it doesn't, and it's not on the same platform.  As well, everything you post is nonsensical
who's being nonsensical??
Oct 18, 2011 3:55AM

Good Lord there is a lot of ramble on this comment board.


Escalade is perfect in my book but again that brand needs to be more heavy sitting on its own four tires, it's toooo bad Thee Cadillac company and GM can't seem to invest in more visionary designers because there's sure in hell a whole lot of them out there.

Someone, you need to go to a website and write in your own language, where someone can read it.  The fact that you think the Escalade is perfect immediately discredits you.


 I remember every few years Motor Trend would name a Chevrolet model; the Vega, the Citation, the Celebrity, the Chevette and now the Chevy Cruise as Car of the Year.  Need I say more. 

All of those (except the Cruze) that you listed, were awful cars - just shows Motor Trends biases.  And your 4-page-long post is rambling to a whole new level.


Finally, Cadillac - THE maker of big cars, is now making their biggest car to rival the MIDDLE-sized cars of European manufacturers.  Why?  It will fail, because they're missing the boat in building the XTS. Why build something people have to EXTEND, rather than making it BIGGER in the first place?


Oct 17, 2011 6:59PM

While I've owned Mercedes Benz for years dating back to 1964 when I was a kid, I've tried to by domestic cars through the years.  GM/Cadillac my have a very good product, however, over the years when I went to one of their dealerships, the sales people have been horrible. The customer service on the sales floor has been non-existence. Do they take the attitude if you're driving a german luxury car you won't by domestic? At times I felt guilt and wanted to buy an American car, but the local dealership's removed that guilt by their attitudes towards german car owners. I live in Pittsburgh, PA 15237 area, hopefully GM will take notice and talk to your dealership in the Wexford area.

Thanks, peace, Bruce 

Oct 19, 2011 4:24AM
i still say that is a buick regal with a different nose!!!!
Really it doesn't, and it's not on the same platform.  As well, everything you post is nonsensical.
Oct 17, 2011 6:01PM
Aahh,The Cadillac -it was the best of times and there were the worsts of times, is without a doubt a beautiful car that has not tarnished over time. In the past the car was looked at as a role model for other up and coming automobiles. If you ask me -The Cadillac Brand is a advanced car Company getting lost in translation. The car feels empty unlike its European counter parts. Example Mercedes Benz. Lincoln Town car should not -in my opinion been pulled out from Lincolns lineup of luxury cars. They should have revamped it some more with posh and luxurious earmarks. A newer generation is WHY of the masses is beginning to form and they are taking their sides in tastes and endeavors. Escalade is perfect in my book but again that brand needs to be more heavy sitting on its own four tires, it's toooo bad Thee Cadillac company and GM can't seem to invest in more visionary designers because there's sure in hell a whole lot of them out there. There are better automobile architects'  You know!
Oct 21, 2011 7:15AM
where's the DTS replacement? 

As of right now, the XTS is a replacement for the STS and DTS.  However, it is more of a DTS replacement since it is front wheel drive and will be quite large. 


There is a plan for an actual replacement for the STS with proper RWD.  But that is many years away.  I think Cadillac is making the right move to bring the XTS to the market first and wait for the STS replacement down the road.


However, I am much more interested in the upcoming ATS and the redesigned CTS and their V counterparts.  The XTS doesn't interest me all that much.


I would also like to see Cadillac bring a two seat roadster back to the market (XLR replacement).  Hopefully something a little more competitive this time.

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