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GM's Cadillac hopes trendsetters buoy CTS sport wagon sales

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General Motors' Cadillac luxury brand hopes its station wagon can attract progressive buyers who otherwise would spring for SUVs. "Truly open-minded trendsetters, not trend-followers," says John Howell, worldwide product director for Caddy.

The $39,000-and-up CTS sport wagon, on display at the Detroit auto show and on sale since last October, is the type of vehicle favored in Europe, where close to half the sales in small and midsize luxury segments are wagons, Howell says. Indeed, the popularity of wagons in Europe is one reason Caddy decided to add one to the CTS lineup. "Of course we have to call it 'sport wagon.' if you just say 'wagon,' it has a negative connotation," he says.

But GM's financial troubles, resulting in Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization last summer, prevented the automaker from giving the new model a strong launch in Europe, Howell says. Too, the global recession has hammered sales of premium vehicles so the CTS wagon might not have roared off to a good start anyway.

He's hoping to sell 600 a month or so in the U.S. A minuscule number but one that, combined with the hoped-for acceptance in Europe, would make the car profitable.

Read More: http://content.usatoday.com/communities/dr...rtwagon-sales/1

The CTS family sells around 4K cars per month as a whole.


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