Americans are giving the Cadillac ATS a “thumbs up,” but that doesn’t mean it’s a winner everywhere.
President and managing director of Chevrolet and Cadillac in Europe Susan Docherty admitted to Ward’s Auto that the new sport sedan is still a little large for European luxury buyers. The solution? It isn’t quite clear, but something smaller is a likely choice.
“As we grow throughout the end of this decade, we have to be looking at products like that to be considered a serious player,” she said of a sub-ATS product that could help bolster the brand worldwide — especially in China.
Luxury demand is hot there and Cadillac has a limited product list subject to harsh taxes aside from the locally-built SLS; a larger version of the STS. Soon, that car will be replaced by the XTS, which will be joined by the ATS. The larger of the two will be built locally, while the ATS will remain an import – for now.
But would Cadillac be making a misstep by building a smaller luxury car? Probably not if Mercedes’ sextant skills are still sharp as it navigates into relatively uncharted territory with the small, cheap, front-wheel drive CLA.
Cadillac won’t necessarily take the same path, but it’s hard to ignore a reputation-based brand like Mercedes making such a bold move in North America.
Then again, the German juggernauts all offer tiny cars in Europe while Cadillac has historically pedaled “land yachts.” Given that, it’s hard to picture what the smaller car could be. Would re-badging something like the Sonic take things too far?
GALLERY: 2013 Cadillac ATS
[Source: Ward's Auto]
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