DETROIT -- We've heard a lot about how Cadillac's new ATS compact sedan was built to lure buyers away from the BMW 3 series and other German luxury juggernauts.
That might yet happen. But, at least early on, the ATS is poaching buyers from its older and larger sibling in the Cadillac lineup: the CTS.
CTS sales have nosedived in the wake of the September launch of the new ATS, sinking 40 percent in October from a year earlier.
CTS is one of the most cross-shopped vehicles among potential ATS buyers, data from Edmunds.com shows. Happily for Caddy execs, the 3 Series also is up there on the potential ATS buyer's list.
Such overlap is natural when a new nameplate infiltrates a lineup. It's a phenomenon that General Motors has a plan for, says Chase Hawkins, Cadillac's U.S. sales chief.
Hawkins told me this week that GM will dial back CTS production next year. That will prevent CTS sedans and coupes from piling up on dealer lots and forcing GM to load heavy incentives on them or dump them into rental fleets. GM resorted to those tactics often in the past, and Cadillac's brand still is recovering from it.