GM to introduce new, high-end Cadillac next year

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

DETROIT (AP) — General Motors will begin building a new, top-end Cadillac sedan late next year at its Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant.

The auto maker said Friday that the rear-wheel drive car will make its debut in the first half of 2015, and that it will reveal the name of the new model soon.

The new Cadillac is part of a $384 million investment GM announced last spring in the assembly plant, which straddles the border of Detroit and the enclave of Hamtramck. That plant also makes the Opel Ampera, the Chevrolet Impala and the Cadillac ELR, a luxury version of the hybrid electric Chevrolet Volt. The carmaker said the factory is capable of building five models on one production line.

GM has released three new Cadillac models in the past two years: the XTS, Cadillac's biggest sedan; the ATS entry-level luxury car; and the ELR, which hit the market in January.

"The objective for this upcoming model is to lift the Cadillac range by entering the elite class of top-level luxury cars," Cadillac President Johan de Nysschen said in a news release.

GM named the former Infiniti executive to head its Cadillac division in July as the brand lagged against other luxury brands.

While sales of rivals like Audi, Infiniti and BMW rose by double digits during through June of this year, U.S. Cadillac sales fell 1.9 percent compared with the same period last year.

Cadillac is still selling strong globally, rising 12 percent through June.

Shares of GM closed at $34.03 Thursday and have slipped about 17 percent so far this year.