NEW YORK -- With a product onslaught set to begin with the debut of the XT4 compact crossover, Cadillac is analyzing its long-term plans and viability.
Cadillac President Johan de Nysschen said the brand is "actively working" on what it wants to accomplish through 2035.
"We are in fact busy reimagining Cadillac, what the brand will look like in 2035 -- in terms of the customer experience, in terms of the brand position, and candidly, the products and the technologies deployed," he said Tuesday during the 2018 NADA-J.D. Power Automotive Forum.
Part of those plans, he said, will include a renewed push to become a bigger player in Europe, which parent General Motors essentially abandoned last year with the sale of its European Opel business to PSA Group.
De Nysschen said Cadillac's attention will likely turn to Europe after 2025. The brand first needs to get its products right and operations in order in the U.S. and China.
"If we want to go to Europe, we better make sure we have the financial wherewithal and the products," he said, adding the strategy would include electric vehicles, not diesels. "It's going to be a tough battle and we better be ready to fight it."
Vehicles Cadillac doesn’t expect to add to its lineup anytime soon, according to de Nysschen, are another large halo sedan or an ultraluxury vehicle with pricing comparable to Rolls-Royce, a segment in which it has tried to compete in the past.
"I do not think that the world needs yet another large, three-box conventional sedan," he said. "We are going to produce a halo vehicle for Cadillac. When it comes, it will stun the world."
Cadillac's global sales tallied 356,467 last year, a 16 percent increase over 2016 and just shy of the brand's global sales peak of 360,825 in 1978.
China, which overtook the U.S. as the brand's top market in 2017, led the way with a 51 percent increase in sales, to 175,489 vehicles, followed by a 10 percent increase in other international markets. In the U.S., volume dropped 8 percent to 156,440 last year.
De Nysschen previously laid out Cadillac's plans through 2021, which include shifting the brand's focus to crossovers.
Cadillac's lineup comprises the Escalade large SUV and four sedan nameplates but only one crossover, the midsize XT5. U.S. sales of the XT5 through the first two months of this year are just 70 behind those of the four sedans combined. By 2022, Cadillac is expected to have four crossovers and only three sedans, in addition to the next-generation Escalade.
De Nysschen reiterated those plans on Tuesday, noting that many of the cars "are approaching the end of their life cycle." He said the XT4 is the beginning of a product onslaught with a "new launch every few months" through 2021.
"The brand is preparing, our dealers are preparing, and the cars are coming," he said. "Ladies and gentlemen, I can assure you that things are about to get very interesting at Cadillac."