After reading Patrick George's news that Cadillac won't be making a replacement for the ATS, CTS, or the XTS, I started thinking— something that only happens once in a very brief while.
This means a big shift within Cadillac; a massive change of direction. If they stop producing cars that compete against mainstream German luxury (BMW 3 and 5, Mercedes C and E, Audi A4 and A6, etc), then what will they make? And how will it be profitable to them? As I see it, they're turning their back on the mainstream market they've been pursuing, and are trying something new— something niche, untapped, and profitable. I think they've got two directions to head in.
The first is the ultra-luxury route. Cadillac would become a competitor to Rolls Royce, Bentley, and Mercedes-Maybach. This would mean that the $12 billion GM is allegedly investing in Cadillac in the next five years will go towards R&D for ultra-luxury technologies and materials. While there is a massive profit-margin involved in this sort of market, it doesn't make sense to me that a company as large as GM would invest so much in something they can't apply to the rest of their lineup. This brings us to the second direction Cadillac could take.
The electric car lineup. This is what I think makes the most sense— bear with me here. Johan de Nysschen has somehow managed to convince Mary Barra that she should spend $12 billion on Cadillac in the next five years. If I were her, I'd want to be spending my money on something that I'd be getting a massive return on down the line. We all know that electric cars are most likely our future; hell, even Bob Lutz thinks so. Spending that sort of money at the flagship company to come out with halo technology makes sense— and getting that technology to spread across to other, more mainstream brands makes even more sense.
Of course, all of this is just speculation, and possibly entirely wrong. If we take a look at the press release from yesterday, de Nysschen specifically mentioned working on the sedan part of Cadillac's lineup: "As we move into the future refining our sedan portfolio, there will be no direct successor to the CTS. There will be no director successor to the ATS. There is no point to renaming those cars because in the future those cars will disappear".
Maybe they'll be focusing on Escalades and SRXs.