2013 Cadillac ATS may be lightest in segment, but GM misses tech-setting opportunity
Lightest car in its segment? Really, is that enough considering future MPG mandates? Yet, that’s what the General Motors (NYSE: GM) news release said. And while there may not be any compromise in performance with its use of Smart Materials, GM still made a compromise in its judgment to take advantage of the opportunity to be a real brand leader.
So far, so good, must be the thinking at GM; not too surprising. So it appears this is more of the old GM thinking holding back another one of its key brands. They surely did it with Saturn.
Question: Shouldn’t the 2013 Cadillac ATS be more than just a nimble performer that barely beats the segment‘s mass numbers? How about a real industry trend setter that beats the present standard by a quantum leap?
GM did it with the Chevy Volt propulsion technology. Yet, with the Cadillac brand it takes the safe approach; making the ATS just like the other segment brands, with just a bit under its mass. That lacks chutzpah, in my opinion.
Once again, GM is saying to America and the world that it will not lead the industry with lightweight vehicles; a goal that should be at the top of its engineering to-do lists. If not with Cadillac, then who? The Chevy Cruze? Nice idea, but the cost for manufacturing process changes cannot be justified. The brand is too small.
When GM says engineers set out to make the all-new 2013 Cadillac ATS as light as possible, there is a caveat. Sure, they used advanced materials to minimize weight throughout the compact luxury sports sedan so as to not compromise performance capability. That’s the issue - GM held back Cadillac from doing what its heritage says it must do - set the trend for the entire corporation.