Cadillac Begins Slow Crawl to New Nomenclature

Cadillac Begins Slow Crawl to New Nomenclature

Cadillac’s upcoming answer to the Mercedes-Benz S-Class will mark more than entry to another segment for the luxury brand.

The new CT6, as it is being called, will enter production late next year at GM’s Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant as the first car to be marketed under a new model naming strategy for the brand. Cadillac’s announcement comes shortly after the company installed Johnan de Nyssechen as its new CEO after pulling him away from Infiniti where he also implemented a unified model naming strategy.

At Infiniti, the change happened virtually overnight. The company introduced the Q50 as a replacement to the G37 sedan and with it, a new naming system that swept across the entire product portfolio. Infiniti timed the move in conjunction with the 2013 North American International Auto Show in Detroit as a means of introducing customers and the media to its new names while creating a clean break with the old ones.

But things didn’t go smoothly. Infiniti still sells the G sedan under that name beside the Q50 and the switch seems to have been particularly ill-timed with virtually no new products following the Q50 to cement the names.

Now Cadillac is preparing to launch a new naming structure under de Nysschen’s leadership, but not before applying lessons learned from Infiniti.

“As we expand the portfolio, we can assist consumers in placing the cars within a structure, as they compare cars both within our showroom and across the market generally,” Cadillac chief marketing officer Uwe Ellinghaus said in a release about the CT6. “However, this will be an evolutionary process – we will only change a product’s name when the product itself is redesigned or an all-new model is created, as in this instance.”

That means current cars like the ATS and CTS won’t be going through a name change like the Infiniti QX60 did after being on the market for one model year as the JX35 before being abruptly re-named.

Discuss this story at our Cadillac forum