It looks like all hopes of cruising the coast in the hot Cadillac “Ciel” concept car that got people excited after the prototype showed up at the 2011 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance won’t come true.
Inside sources at General Motors say the automaker has decided not to move forward with previous plans to launch a production model of the Ciel-like rear-wheel-drive top-of-the-line car, according to a report from Automotive News.
In fact, sources tell the industry news website that designers were recently cut from the program for the car and reassigned.
An Automotive News report indicates that GM executives concluded that the Cadillac-exclusive model, which would have been a cheaper car in the $100,000 range, did not have enough brand appeal to justify the investment, according to inside sources.
Hmm…we wonder who they actually polled for that poll? Not us at DT, obviously.
The Ciel—pronounced “CL,” the French translation for sky—is a four-seat convertible that was hailed as a new expression of Cadillac’s “historic greatness,” as well as a celebration of open-air driving, when it was first unveiled at Pebble Beach.
Inspired by the idea of driving down California’s Highway 1 in an open car, the Ciel is powered by a twin-turbocharged version of the 3.6-liter direct-injection V-6 engine, paired with a hybrid system that uses lithium-ion battery technology.
It’s hard to imagine what’s not to like about it, but I definitely understand Cadillac’s decision to ditch it.
Despite the appeal of the Ciel (and there is plenty of appeal), investing the resources required to produce a flashy $100,000-plus Cadillac isn’t a smart business move for the company right now.
Image used with permission of the copyright holder
Let’s not forget that Cadillac has only recently regained its foothold in the luxury segment, and despite recent success with models like the ATS and XTS, the brand is still working on establishing a solid foundation.
A few hits in the luxury segment are hardly enough for Cadillac to start pursuing big ideas that stretch far beyond the brand’s core demographic, after struggling with years of lackluster sales.
Not producing a Ciel-type luxury car is the first issue, and it’s not like Cadillac isn’t working on adding a bigger flagship to its lineup, which it certainly needs.
According to Automotive News, GM is currently developing a new rear-wheel-drive platform called the “Omega” for a larger luxury sedan that will take on the likes of the Mercedes-Benz S-Class and BMW 7 Series with an expected launch date for the 2016 or 2017 model year.
Additionally, with what some already consider a risky move in launching the all-electric ELR coupe, Cadillac would do well to pay more attention to fine-tuning Cadillac’s core DNA of performance and technology elements before venturing into the hyper-world of luxury cars.
Lessons learned from the Cadillac XLR reinforce the fact that despite the appeal of a car under the bright lights of an auto show, there’s simply no guarantee that it will catch on and sell no matter how many Facebook likes it gets.