Cadillac recently said it would be ditching its lame naming system, in favor of actual names. It also ditched its old CEO, Johan De Nysschen, back in 2018. Perhaps incidentally, Cadillac also said that it expected to sell more cars in the States this year than last year for the first time since 2013.
That is mostly thanks to the XT6 and XT5 crossovers, according to Automotive News, both of which got strong starts under De Nysschen. The brand’s sales in China also remain strong since, like Buick, Cadillac has some powerful, lingering brand recognition in a place where it has much less baggage. Here, people still mostly associate Cadillac with their great grandparents, or they associate it with Escalade, which might as well be its own brand at this point.
But Cadillac is breaking through with its line of crossovers, which include the aforementioned cars in addition to the (pictured up top) XT4. I don’t think that these cars are better than competitors like the Volvo XC40, XC60, or XC90, but that may not matter so much as they exist in an American crossover/SUV market that seems insatiable.
Here’s Cadillac President Steve Carlisle:
Carlisle said Cadillac’s U.S. retail sales started slow but have picked up steam — they declined 12 percent in the first quarter but rose 15 percent in the third — thanks to the introduction of the XT6 and freshening of the XT5 this summer. Year-to-date, retail sales are up 2.4 percent, Carlisle said last week.
“Now’s the time to start putting points on the board,” he said. “We’ve put ourselves in a much better position having built out our crossover portfolio and renewing our sedan portfolio.”
The truly great cars that Cadillac produced this decade—basically any of the V-Series, though the ATS-V in particular—no one bought much of, proving that mass-market consumers don’t have much taste. That is good news for the rest of us, who were never going to buy them new anyway.