Cadillac to ditch alphanumerics in EV transition


DETROIT — Cadillac’s alphabet soup will end with EV.

The General Motors luxury brand on Thursday said it will drop its alphanumeric nameplates and transition back to actual words as it electrifies its lineup over the next decade.

“The rollout of the electric vehicles is the time we’ll start to move back toward naming,” Cadillac President Steve Carlisle said.

GM is using Cadillac to lead its electrification efforts, which include 20 new all-electric vehicles globally by 2023. By 2030, Carlisle said, the majority — if not all — Cadillacs sold will be battery-electric.

“We’re entering the decade as an internal-combustion-engine brand,” he said. “We’ll exit the decade as a battery-electric brand. It’s the end of the ICE age for Cadillac.”

Carlisle said its recently redesigned vehicles likely will go through midcycle freshenings early in the decade before transitioning to an EV architecture.

In the near term, the brand plans to introduce the next-generation Escalade SUV in early February and begin selling it next year. The vehicle eventually will get the brand’s Super Cruise hands-free driver-assist system, which Carlisle said will come with expanded features — strongly hinting that automatic lane-changing would be one.

Carlisle’s predecessor, Johan de Nysschen, introduced Cadillac’s current naming scheme — CT4 through CT6 for sedans and XT4 through XT6 for crossovers — in 2014, though the Escalade was allowed an exemption. The brand sought to mirror German luxury rivals when it moved away from its rich naming heritage in the early 2000s, dropping Seville, DeVille and Eldorado for letter combinations such as CTS, DTS and SRX.

Ford Motor Co.’s luxury brand, Lincoln, also returned to using names, turning the MKX into the Nautilus and the MKC into the Corsair.

Written by Auto News

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