While the small Cadillac unveiled at the Geneva auto show last month will be sold only in Europe, Robert Lutz says the following generation will be a global vehicle.
“Our current thinking is that the next generation will be available around the world,” the General Motors vice chairman said.
Lutz’s comments were directed at an Internet audience on GM’s FastLane Web site.
The BLS sedan will be the smallest Cadillac offered. It was created on GM’s front-drive Epsilon vehicle architecture shared by such cars as the Saab 9-3, Opel Vectra and Chevrolet Malibu.
The BLS will be built in Trollhättan, Sweden. Sales begin in Europe in the first quarter of 2006.
The BLS, Lutz said, “is the first of a generation of slightly smaller Cadillacs, built on the same architecture as the Saab 9-3, that, for exchange-rate reasons, we can’t profitably bring to the United States. So this generation is going to be Europe-only.”
Lutz’s remarks appear at http://fastlane.gmblogs.com.
The second-generation BLS will be developed off the automaker’s Epsilon II architecture. It is expected to debut around 2010.
Cadillac General Marketing Manager Jim Taylor said the next generation could be suitable for North America. But, he said, no decision has been made.
Asked whether the next-generation BLS will be sold in North America, Taylor said: “It could be. It could be. The next generation it is up for debate.”
He said GM might need to move the next-generation CTS a little upmarket to create space in the line for the BLS.
Plans to globalize the Epsilon II vehicles, allowing for production in the US, could avoid the currency issue. Next-generation BLS vehicles may include a convertible, coupe and all-wheel-drive versions.