MIKE COLIAS

Get ready for the Cadillac ZTS?

Mike Colias covers General Motors for Automotive News.Mike Colias covers General Motors for Automotive News.
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DETROIT -- Cadillac rolls out its ATS compact sedan next month. A redesigned CTS is due by late next year. The new XTS large sedan bowed in June.

Now, what if Cadillac one day decides to slot a long-awaited flagship sedan atop the XTS, as Automotive News reports in this week’s issue? I can’t help but wonder: What might that vehicle be named?

Well, if that day ever comes, Cadillac marketing execs could find themselves limited. Very limited.

How does the YTS grab ya? Or maybe the ZTS?

Those are the only names that Cadillac can choose from if it wants to stick with the current (insert-a-letter)-T-S formula for its sedan lineup.

A Cadillac spokesman confirms that the first letter in each nameplate is in ascending alphabetic order based on its size and place in the Caddy lineup. So for a flagship that is larger and pricier than the XTS, the only place to go is up.

“Y and Zeeeee!!!” as my 3-year-old might shout.

Of course, GM could stray from the script and actually pick a creative, illustrative name. But that would run counter to the alphanumeric-soup think that the luxury market seems to have settled on.

The last time it did that for a sedan was the 2005 Cadillac DeVille, before it was renamed the DTS.

It’s not a trivial question. GM is methodically positioning its sedan lineup to go head-to-head with BMW, Audi and Mercedes. Each of those rivals keeps the alphanumeric formula straight through to the top of their lineups: 7 series, A8, S class. Won’t Caddy want to maintain a similar sense of order?

Makes you wonder why GM didn’t simply pick a letter closer to the front of the alphabet when naming the XTS, to give itself more breathing room.

You can reach Mike Colias at mcolias@crain.com.

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