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Cadillac rethinking CTS strategy amid slipping sales

by Drew Johnson

Cadillac will be focusing on improving CTS sales over the next few months.

With sales on the decline, General Motors' Cadillac division is devising new pricing a marketing strategies for its sedan.

Launched late last year, critics have for its sharp handling, slick styling and well-appointed interior, but buyers have balked at a starting price that is $6,000 more than the outgoing model. As a result, CTS sales are down about 6 percent this year while the overall luxury market is up by 8 percent.

"While it may have been a terrific car, it may not have been perceived as having earned its stripes for that kind of pricing against the Germans," Autotrader senior analyst Michelle Krebs Automotive News. "Cadillac has just not earned its way to charge the kind of premium that the Germans can get."

Cadillac isn't interested in lower the CTS' price, but the company is considering adding more standard content or offering some features like heated seats as stand-alone options.

"These are things that we can do relatively quickly," Uwe Ellinghaus, Cadillac's chief marketing officer, said.

Ellinghaus added that Cadillac will also be changing its marketing message early next year. Rather than comparing the brand to its German competitors, Cadillac will instead focus on its American roots.

"We definitely cannot build a brand on being as good as," Ellinghaus said. "We are not German -- and that's a good thing. We are American. We need to build this brand on what differentiates Cadillac from our German competitors."

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