General Motors Co. (GM:US), aiming to reverse a sales slump for its Cadillac luxury brand, plans to introduce a top-range car and a redesigned SRX utility vehicle next year, an executive said.
The car will have rear-wheel drive and arrive in late 2015, Dave Leone, Cadillac’s chief engineer, told reporters in California today ahead of the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. The Detroit-based automaker showed an Elmiraj concept that reflected its vision for such a car at the same event last year.
GM sales in its home market have trailed industry growth this year as Cadillac deliveries dropped by 2 percent, putting the brand further behind Daimler AG’s Mercedes-Benz and Bayerische Motoren Werke AG’s BMW. The largest U.S. automaker is counting on an expanded stable of passenger cars and the new SRX, its top-selling model, to lure buyers away from German luxury marques and Toyota Motor Corp.âs (7203) Lexus.
“This is going to be a fantastic year for Cadillac,” Leone said.
Cadillac’s car lineup has paced the brand’s sales declines this year, with deliveries of the compact ATS and larger XTS each falling by more than 20 percent through July. The company also plans to introduce a high-performance V-version of the ATS next year, Leone said.
Sales of the SRX, which GM last redesigned in 2009, have climbed 16 percent.
The new models will be among the first to debut under new leadership for Cadillac. GM last month named Johan de Nysschen president of the brand, hiring him away from Nissan Motor Co.’s Infiniti.
GM shares rose 0.6 percent to $34.15 at 9:39 a.m. in New York. The stock had dropped 17 percent this year before today.
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