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Old 02-03-2006, 09:23 AM   #1
mhoward1
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Default Cadillac Wagon Planned

Cadillac planning BLS-based entry-level station wagon for Europe
By HARALD HAMPRECHT | AUTOMOTIVE NEWS
AutoWeek | Published 02/01/06, 4:46 pm et

Cadillac will build a station wagon version of its European BLS entry-level sedan.

General Motors' premium brand will start producing the BLS sedan next month at Saab's factory in Trollhattan, Sweden. Sales begin in March.

Starting in mid-2007, a station-wagon version will be added to the line there, GM executives told Automobilwoche at the Detroit auto show this month. Automobilwoche is owned by Crain Communications Inc., which also owns Automotive News.

"We are going to build a few thousand units of this version annually," said Carl-Peter Forster, GM Europe president.

"This model is important for our factory in Trollhattan and for the Cadillac image," said Fritz Henderson, former chairman of GM Europe, who became GM's CFO on Jan. 1.

The BLS station wagon is expected to debut no later than the Geneva auto show in March 2007.

Cadillac plans to build 10,000 units annually of the lower-premium BLS, which is based on the Saab 9-3. Saab, a GM subsidiary, needs the BLS to boost volume at its underused Trollhattan factory.

Two high-volume models -- the Saab 9-3 and 9-5 -- now are assembled there. Their successors will be built at GM subsidiary Opel's factory in Ruesselsheim, Germany.

Cadillac also could build a third model at Trollhattan, a crossover, say company sources.

Forster says Cadillac could sell 20,000 units in Europe by 2010, up from 2,000 units last year.

"A luxury brand can't grow more quickly than that," Forster said. "It would not be healthy."
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Old 02-05-2006, 03:48 PM   #2
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Wagon or not, the BLS will not do Caddy any good.
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Old 02-05-2006, 09:53 PM   #3
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It doesn't matter - the BLS is a Euro only model.... it's not gonna hurt it's image that much, espesially since the vast majority of Caddys are sold in the US. Any sales they can pick up in Europe is just a small bonus.
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Old 02-06-2006, 07:13 AM   #4
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I meant it's not gonna do them any good in Europe. If it doesn't sell, which is very likely, given the state of the brand/dealer network and the car itself, it just ends up being a waste of money. If it sells, Cadillac will make its first impression on the Euro luxury market by reselling a reskinned 4 year old 9-3. That's not how people recognize you as the "standard of the world".
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Old 02-06-2006, 08:05 AM   #5
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When you have that much extra capacity at the SAAB plant, even if it doesn't sell well, it still might be a "success" if it keeps the plant busy (even if it doesn't really make any money). And most people don't have a clue about platforms and such, so if they do it right, they might pick up a few extra sales here or there.

While not exactly the same thing, it is sort of the way that the upscale Acura division is selling the euro Accord here. The euro Accord wasn't really meant to be a semi-luxy sedan, but with enough stuff added onto it, it isn't a bad car at all and adds one more vehicle to the lineup.
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Old 02-06-2006, 09:55 AM   #6
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