Bigger Caddy pack
The US giant’s assault has another weapon, writes PAUL GOVER
LESS than a month since the Australian comeback by Cadillac, the American luxury brand has filled the supply pipeline with its next models. Cadillac will launch its first full-scale Australian factory effort in the middle of September with the mid-sized CTS sedan. It has now revealed the CTS Sport Wagon for next year and previewed the SRX crossover it will put into production in 2010.
The Sport Wagon and SRX are yet to be confirmed, but the Australian head of GM Premium Brands says they are on the wish list.
‘‘Obviously, we like the look of the Sport Wagon and the SRZ. But what we have to do is launch the sedan first, see how it’s accepted, then review those future productions for next year,’’ Parveen Batish says.
‘‘Our priority is to get the brand launched, then we’ll review all the products.’’
The CTS wagon is a new-age family machine with a compact tail end, much like the Commodore Sportwagon, riding on the same wheelbase as the sedan but with a body that is 7mm shorter. Cadillac claims 720 litres of luggage space.
The wagon has an electric tailgate, a rear roof spoiler, 19-inch alloy wheels and a carrying capacity that includes roof bars and ‘‘adjustable in-floor containment’’.
The CTS Sport Wagon goes on sale in the US in the first half of next year.
‘‘All future products from Cadillac are being built with right-hand drive in mind,’’ Batish says. ‘‘That doesn’t necessarily mean every car will come into Australia. We have to assess what’s right for the marketplace.
‘‘We knew the Sport Wagon was going to be built, but we still have to assess it. We need to look at the premium five-door market and see where we might fit in and how that would work. It’s a question of where your critical mass is. It’s obviously dependent on prices, and engines, to see the size of the market.’’
But Cadillac headquarters in the US has no worries about the Sport Wagon.
Cadillac general manager Jim Taylor says: ‘‘This is an important step in Cadillac’s ongoing global expansion, and of course in international markets such as Europe, wagons have been and continue to be very significant.’’
And Cadillac has tried to create a wagon with premium appeal, says global design director Clay Dean.
‘‘The more you study the rear of the CTS Sport Wagon, the more you see,’’ he says. ‘‘Functionality was certainly a guiding factor during development, but so was the idea to inject emotion into the normally sedate wagon category.’’
The SRX Crossover is only at the ‘‘sneak peek’’ stage of development, even though it is planned for showrooms in the second half of next year, and Cadillac intends to use it as a motor-show hero for about a year.
It will be cloned into a forthcoming Saab family wagon but reflects the new design direction at Cadillac, with a more youthful body and plenty of versatility.
Wagons ho: the Cadillac CTS Sport Wagon has a compact tail end with 720 litres of luggage space. It is due here next year.