Cadillac's new flagship sedan to define innovation, excellence, Reuss vows

The heavily camouflaged Cadillac luxury sedan -- codenamed LTS for now -- has been spotted during testing near the GM proving grounds in suburban Detroit this year.

DETROIT -- General Motors global product chief Mark Reuss said that a large luxury sedan being developed for Cadillac will "define its brand" and is a prerequisite to competing against rivals BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Audi and Lexus.

"If we're a serious luxury carmaker, it's really important to us," Reuss said at an event here Tuesday.

"This is a car that Cadillac needs, that will define its brand in terms of innovation and excellence," Reuss told reporters. "That's the mission."

Cadillac’s chief engineer, Dave Leone, told Bloomberg last week that the rear-wheel drive sedan would arrive sometime in late 2015. It was the first time a GM official has publicly given a timeframe for the long-rumored sedan, codenamed LTS for now.

Reuss declined to discuss specifics but said Cadillac's entry in the large luxury sedan segment "has got to be a symbol of excellence."

Engineering mules of the sedan have been spotted recently being put through the paces at GM's proving ground in Milford, Mich. It's expected to ride on a new rwd platform and compete against the Mercedes-Benz S class, BMW 7 series and Audi A8.

Reuss downplayed Cadillac's sluggish U.S. sales, which have fallen 2 percent this year through July, vs. 6 percent for the luxury market and 5 percent for all light vehicles.

Reuss: It will take "a long time" for Cadillac to fully rebuild its product portfolio and translate it into sustained growth and robust sales volume.

He said it will take "a long time" for Cadillac -- which had a threadbare lineup just a few years ago -- to fully rebuild its product portfolio and translate it into sustained growth and robust sales volume.

Cadillac last held the U.S. luxury sales crown in 1997 and trails BMW, Mercedes and Lexus today.

"Not one car is ever going to turn something like that around," Reuss said. "You've got to have a portfolio of those and you've got to do it for a while."

Reuss spoke to a crowd of more than 100 Detroit high school students at University of Detroit-Mercy, who participated in GM's Student Corps initiative. Spearheaded by Reuss two years ago, the program teamed about 60 GM retirees this summer with local high schoolers to clean up Detroit parks and schools.

"Either you're part of the community or you’re not. We decided to concentrate on education," Reuss said. "You can do a lot of things in a city to bring it back, but if people leave the city because the education system has failed them, you will stall" its revitalization.

You can reach Mike Colias at

ATTENTION COMMENTERS: Automotive News has monitored a significant increase in the number of personal attacks and abusive comments on our site. We encourage our readers to voice their opinions and argue their points. We expect disagreement. We do not expect our readers to turn on each other. We will be aggressively deleting all comments that personally attack another poster, or an article author, even if the comment is otherwise a well-argued observation. If we see repeated behavior, we will ban the commenter. Please help us maintain a civil level of discourse.

Email Newsletters
  • General newsletters
  • (Weekdays)
  • (Mondays)
  • (As needed)
  • Video newscasts
  • (Weekdays)
  • (Weekdays)
  • (Saturdays)
  • Special interest newsletters
  • (Thursdays)
  • (Tuesdays)
  • (Monthly)
  • (Monthly)
  • (Wednesdays)
  • (Bimonthly)
  • Special reports
  • (As needed)
  • (As needed)
  • Communication preferences
  • You can unsubscribe at any time through links in these emails. For more information, see our Privacy Policy.