Cadillac's Dual Strategy for 2014 CTS Underscores Uncertain Future for Coupe, Wagon
- The future of the Cadillac CTS coupe and wagon beyond the 2014 model year is murky at best.
- Cadillac's 2014 CTS product line is a mixture of a redesigned sedan and two carried-over models.
- The strategy to offer redesigned and current-generation models that share the same model year is quite common for German automakers, but unusual for a U.S. automaker.
DETROIT — The future of the Cadillac CTS coupe and wagon beyond the 2014 model year is murky at best.
Cadillac's 2014 CTS product line is a mixture of a redesigned sedan and two carried-over models.
The 2014 CTS sedan has been redesigned and is larger and lighter than the 2013 model. However, the CTS coupe and Sport Wagon models will be carried over from the 2013 model year and be labeled as 2014s. The strategy to offer redesigned and current generation models that share the same model year is quite common for German automakers but unusual for a U.S. automaker. Changes for the 2014 CTS Sport Wagon and coupe are essentially limited to new exterior colors.
"These models go after specific niches in the market so we are keeping those models in production," Cadillac spokesman David Caldwell told Edmunds in regards to the coupe and wagon.
Asked if Cadillac has made plans to redesign the sporty-looking CTS wagon, Caldwell said: "No, we haven't. It is a very small segment that is not growing."
He added: "There is not a lot of traffic when it comes to the traditional car-based wagons. So we will see what that means going forward."
As to whether a coupe will be offered in the 2015 model year, Caldwell said: "I don't know."
He added: "We have not announced the 2015 models. We kind of deal with things on a yearly basis. It is unwise to predict things that are much more than a year away."
However, automotive analyst Jim Hall of 2953 Analytics told Edmunds that Cadillac has canceled plans to redesign the CTS coupe. Instead, Cadillac plans to concentrate on two new coupes — the upcoming ATS coupe and the ELR plug-in hybrid.
The expected demise of the CTS wagon is due to the popularity of SUVs and crossovers. Cadillac sold about 1,600 CTS wagons last year compared with over 80,000 SUVs and crossovers. Another 200 CTS wagons were sold outside the United States.
If the end comes for the CTS wagon, Cadillac would not be the only luxury automaker to abandon the wagon market.
The 2014 E-Class sedan, coupe, cabriolet and wagon models have received a midcycle update, distinguished by new exterior styling from the windshield forward and the addition of a wide range of safety features. The car went on sale earlier this month.
U.S. sales for the E-Class wagon, however, are small. Just over 1,700 were sold last year including a handful of the high-performance AMG versions.
Despite the low sales volume, Mercedes-Benz USA told its bosses in Germany the company wanted the wagon to remain in its U.S. portfolio, citing a high loyalty rate for that model. Additionally, wagon buyers are more affluent than the buyers for the E-Class sedan.
"I think it is the lower driving position that attracts buyers," Bart Herring, general manager of product management at Mercedes-Benz USA, told Edmunds. "People like the feeling of a car, the driving dynamics of a car and the extra capability that a wagon brings them."
The wagon seats seven.
Although the E-Class wagon is not popular in the United States, Herring said the wagon is popular in Germany and other countries.
"In Europe that station wagon is a little more of an active person's car because it has that extra capability," Herring said. "It is like having a car with a really cool backpack on it."
Edmunds says: Cadillac appears to be sitting on the fence when it comes to future versions of the CTS coupe and wagon.