DETROIT -- General Motors is mulling a smaller car to slot below the compact Cadillac ATS sedan, GM global product chief Mark Reuss confirmed last week.
The ATS has earned critical accolades since its debut in fall 2012, but sales sank 21 percent through July this year as the market for entry-level luxury cars has grown more crowded with the introductions of the Mercedes CLA and Audi A3. Both cars undercut the ATS ($34,140 for the base model, with shipping) by about $3,000.
Reuss stopped short of saying that GM will counter with a smaller entry of its own. He also hinted that Cadillac's lineup has more pressing priorities.
"We have to be careful when we do it, if we do it," Reuss said of a possible smaller sibling to the ATS. "I think we really have to look at this differently than other, more established luxury marques that have had a full lineup for a longer period of time than Cadillac."
Reuss' comments follow a report this month from Car and Driver, which quoted Cadillac global marketing chief Uwe Ellinghaus saying that a rear-wheel-drive, entry-level car was in the works. That would differ from Mercedes' approach with the front-wheel-drive CLA, which has received mixed reviews from critics.