DETROIT -- The CT6 that debuts in New York this week will be one of the lightest big cars around.
Yet it will bear much of the weight of Cadillac's brand-revitalization plan.
When the sedan hits showrooms late this year, it will be the most recent in a string of expensive, niche models for Cadillac. Three tire-shredding V-series cars arrive by summer: an ATS sedan and coupe and a CTS sedan. Those follow last year's long-awaited redesign of the Escalade, the luxury SUV that dealers can't get enough of and for which buyers are plunking down an average of $83,200.
All fun, flashy stuff -- but here's a question: Why is a brand badly in need of a sales boost fixated on all that low-volume sheet metal?
The answer lies at the heart of Cadillac boss Johan de Nysschen's strategy, which relies on premium pricing and wider profits built around scarcity rather than volume.
Cadillac execs believe that sales success for luxury brands flows from the top down, with desirable, high-end products setting the table for success at the meat-and-potatoes end of the lineup. The more exotic entries, the thinking goes, will change consumers' view of Cadillac.
"The brand needs some elevation before we can discuss the next step of expansion," Cadillac marketing chief Uwe Ellinghaus told Automotive News last week. "We have growth aspirations, no doubt. But let us first increase the brand strength."