Cadillac mulls CLA, A3 sedan rival image

The General Motors luxury brand has its work set in the near future – there’s a steady stream of launches announced and a new chief ready to report to the office – Infiniti’s former boss, Johan de Nysschen.

Besides the fact that the automaker is now ready to reveal in the near future a range-topping limousine, designed to take on the likes of Mercedes S Class and BMW 7 Series, it looks like the bottom of the line-up could also get a new model.

The new chief is tasked with the critical decision of whether to allow the development of a new small sedan, apparently slotted below the ATS and designed to compete in the emerging compact luxury sedan segment. That would directly pit it against the models coming from Mercedes-Benz and Audi – the CLA and A3 sedan – both enjoying high demand.

“Our future is rear-wheel drive and, of course, all-wheel drive where appropriate,” hinted Cadillac’s marketing chief Uwe Ellinghaus. “My personal crusade is to spare us a hell of a lot of dilution of our emerging brand image by moving to front-wheel drive for potential smaller cars. As you know, the entire competition is moving to front-wheel drive for their entry-level cars.”

Cadillac is playing catch-up to the German rivals, which aim to unleash a hug product offensive over the remaining part of the decade to cement their places in the second biggest auto market in the world, the United States.