NEW YORK -- Cadillac is considering a lower priced, entry-level luxury vehicle, one of several holes it’s working to fill, but doesn’t want to create a lineup as large as many German automakers, said the brand’s chief, Johan de Nysschen.
De Nysschen, who joined Cadillac from Audi last year, said two more vehicles he’d like to have are a true flagship sedan and a sporty, fun-to-drive car that would excite Millennial buyers. However, he said there are no plans to bring back a wagon, and that adding too many vehicles wouldn’t serve the brand well.
Cadillac can’t “out-German the Germans. We should out-America them,” he said Thursday at the J.D. Power U.S. Automotive Outlook conference today.
Lexus General Manager Mark Templin was less enthusiastic about the need to offer more nameplates. He said a complex lineup is difficult for manufacturing, engineering and dealers.
“I’m dead set against having too many models in our lineup,” said Templin, who appeared on a panel with de Nysschen. “We would rather have fewer models and do more profitable business in each one.”
Templin said Lexus is focused on growing its global sales at about 5 to 10 percent a year. Any faster, and auto brands can “lose focus of the company’s and the customers’ best interests,” he said.
Lexus doesn’t plan to challenge Mercedes Benz and Audi with a car priced around $30,000, Templin said.
“We don’t have a desire to make cheaper cars,” he said. “That doesn’t mean we won’t build a smaller car someday.”
But de Nysschen said a $30,000 car could benefit Cadillac “If it lives up to the brand DNA.”
To an audience member who asked, hopefully, if the CTS or CTS-V wagon might return after being discontinued in 2014, de Nysschen was definitive: “Sorry, it isn’t going to happen.”