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Why the New Cadillac CTS Is Crucial to General Motors Company (GM)

On paper (and in photos, as you can see), it looks great — more formal than the old car, but still very Cadillac. It carries Cadillac’s edgy and controversial “Art & Science” styling forward, but in a more subdued and sophisticated way than its predecessor. Inside, there’s good leather and nice wood and a surprisingly long list of color choices and options.

There’s a lot of technology, too, including quite a bit that is aimed at weight reduction. Low weight is one of the factors in the ATS’s success: All other things being equal, lighter cars handle better, accelerate faster, and get better fuel economy.

On that front and many more, General Motors Company (NYSE:GM) is hoping to replicate the ATS’s success with the new CTS, but at a higher level.

A very big step forward on a long journey, if it succeeds
Even if it’s a smash hit, the CTS isn’t going to make Cadillac a global contender all by itself. But it’s an extremely important step in the journey: GM is hoping to show that the ATS was no fluke, but just the first in a new lineup of vehicles that will make critics and consumers take Cadillac seriously for the first time in a generation.

If the CTS is successful — and it looks very promising from here — then that will lend credibility to the Cadillac comeback and raise expectations for the next Cadillac sedan, the much-rumored full-sized “flagship” that is expected in a couple of years. It’s expected that GM’s goal with that car is to outdo Mercedes’ big S-Class, long the benchmark for the very idea of a full-sized luxury car.

If General Motors Company (NYSE:GM) can pull that off, then Cadillac will be in a very good position to achieve Akerson’s growth and profitability goals for the brand. But the CTS is the critical step in getting from here to there, and that’s why GM shareholders should be watching its launch very closely.

The article Why the New Cadillac CTS Is Crucial to GM originally appeared on Fool.com.

Fool contributor John Rosevear owns shares of Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F) and General Motors. Follow him on Twitter at @jrosevear. The Motley Fool recommends General Motors Company (NYSE:GM). It recommends and owns shares of Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F).

Copyright © 1995 – 2013 The Motley Fool, LLC. All rights reserved. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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