Since it emerged in 2002, the Cadillac CTS has been a full-size sedan that embodied the Cadillac character. Clean lines, a bold grille and tapered front end, and a large, comfortable interior are all hallmarks of a luxury American sedan. It sold very well for Cadillac – that is until 2015 when sales began to fall off dramatically. They’ve continued their slide right into the most recent model year, 2019. What went wrong with the CTS?
Sedans are falling out of favor
First off, the drop off in Cadillac CTS sales is not completely its fault. Although they dominated the American roads just a few short years ago, sedans are no longer the family vehicle of choice. That honor goes to the SUV – large SUVs, midsize SUVs, compact SUVs, and crossovers. With a massive selection of sport utility vehicles to choose from, sedans are being left behind. It’s just hard to resist the cargo space and capability that really comes in handy for today’s families. For this reason, CTS sales are less than stellar since 2015.
This is especially true for the luxury sedan market, where sedans continue to fall out of favor. Classic sedans like the Cadillac CTS have to compete with the same level of luxury in SUVs from their own factories as well as from competing brands like Lexus, Mercedes-Benz, and BMW. A sedan-like ride is being offered along with luxury amenities, modern tech, and of course, all that extra room.
Slipping sales for the Cadillac CTS sedan
According to CarSalesBase.com, things started to go south for the Cadillac CTS in 2015. After maintaining sales numbers that had a low of 31,115 and a high of 61,512 between the years of 2014 and 2002, in 2015, Cadillac only sold 19,485.
Things got worse from there. In 2016 there were 15,911 CTS models sold, in 2017 there were 10,344, and in 2018, sales were just at 11,219 units. The rise of the SUV can be truly seen in the fall of the Cadillac CTS in 2019 with only 6,695 models sold.
According to Consumer Reports, the crossover SUV is really what’s driving the high sales numbers of the SUV segment. Crossover sales numbers soared from 4 percent of the market in 2000 to 40 percent in 2019. Their popularity is due to a car-like ride, compact size that’s great for city driving, fuel economy, and cargo space. Many of these crossovers are actually built on the same unibody frame as their sedans but have a bit more to offer.
The new Cadillac CTS
The luxurious Cadillac CTS is a powerful sedan that offers up to 420 hp and dual, chrome-tipped exhaust pipes. In between are all the amenities you expect from Cadillac, including a hand-sewn leather interior. The available 20-way power-adjustable driver’s seat is all you need to know about how driver-centric the cockpit of the CTS really is. Drivers can choose a driving mode depending on a mood or driving conditions – Tour, Sport, and Snow/Ice. In V-Sport models, you can also choose Track mode.
Rear passengers are just as pampered, with sculpted, heated leather seats and ambient lighting throughout the cabin. Tri-zone climate control means that the driver, front passenger, and the rear passengers can all have their own, comfortable temperature setting. Despite the fact that the Cadillac CTS isn’t an SUV, it still has some nice cargo space. The CTS has 13.7 feet of space in the trunk, and the rear seats fold down for even more cargo options.
Although the 2020 Cadillac CTS is still a very nice vehicle for some fans out there, sales numbers just aren’t what they used to be since SUVs began to dominate the American market over the past 5 years.