- Cadillac is considering diesel engines for several of its vehicles, along with a small crossover that would be about the same size as the Buick Encore, Edmunds has learned.
- Robert E. Ferguson, senior vice president of Global Cadillac, said he "would love to have a diesel engine for all of our Cadillacs this decade."
- The small Cadillac crossover would target the Audi Q3, Mercedes-Benz GLA and the BMW Active Tourer.
DETROIT — Cadillac boss Robert E. Ferguson wants a small crossover vehicle and a diesel engine strategy.
During an interview at the 2014 Detroit Auto Show, Ferguson told Edmunds that he "would love to have a diesel engine for all of our Cadillacs this decade. I think that would speed our growth in Europe, and it would help us with environmental issues here and in Asia."
Ferguson is senior vice president of Global Cadillac.
Additionally, Ferguson told Edmunds that Cadillac needs a subcompact crossover that would be about the same size as the Buick Encore.
"If you look at any growth forecast, or even look at present-day growth, I would say every luxury provider is looking hard at that set," he said. "We would be silly not to. I think the Encore is a terrific vehicle and the perfect size. I would love to have a really luxurious competitive vehicle with that stance."
The small Cadillac crossover would likely target the Audi Q3, Mercedes-Benz GLA and the BMW Active Tourer, small crossovers that will debut either late this year or early next. While Ferguson did not give a time frame, industry sources expect Cadillac to introduce the subcompact crossover in late 2015 or early 2016.
General Motors, meanwhile, is planning an aggressive diesel strategy.
Speaking in an interview during the 2014 Detroit Auto Show, Mark Reuss said "you will see more diesels" in GM's cars and trucks. Reuss, who was named executive vice president of global product development earlier this month, did not elaborate.
Cadillac's big SUV in particular would be a good candidate, Ferguson said.
Asked if the Cadillac Escalade will offer a diesel engine in 2016, Ferguson said: "I would love to see it in that time frame, but I can't commit to it. I think it would help. (Escalade) is a great selling vehicle and it is a big profit machine for us, so the more markets we can get into, the better."
If offered, Cadillac would be playing catch up with the German brands. Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz have offered diesel engines in their cars and SUVs for many years. But other than GM's failed attempt in the late 1970s and early '80s to offer a diesel engine in some car lines, including Cadillac, GM's diesel strategy has primarily targeted big full-size trucks. The exceptions are the 2014 Chevrolet Cruze, which is available with a four-cylinder diesel engine, and the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon, which will offer a four-cylinder diesel engine in 2016.
Ferguson said the only vehicle that likely would not offer a diesel engine would be the Cadillac ELR, the brand's first plug-in hybrid.
Edmunds says: Cadillac buyers may not have to wait too long for a small crossover or the choice of a diesel engine.