WASHINGTON -- Cadillac's U.S. sales were flat last year and are down a bit this year. But company executives insist the leveling off is merely a breather before the next phase of Cadillac's renaissance gets in gear.
From 2001-2004, Cadillac sales rose sharply. In an interview here, Cadillac Product Director John Howell attributed 2005's results to end-of-cycle tail-offs for the high-volume De-Ville sedan and previous-generation Escalade SUV.
Howell said Cadillac is considering entries in new segments, possibly including a vehicle at the upper end of the luxury market. More immediately, he added, the company is looking at a unitized-body crossover.
"That section of the overall luxury market is growing," Howell told Automotive News during product-presentation events late last month. "You have to follow what people want."
Meanwhile, Cadillac is rolling out its new-generation Escalade. It is adding two V-series performance models: the $77,090 STS-V sedan and the $100,000 XLR-V roadster. Both prices include shipping.