Who Makes Cadillac

Who Makes Cadillac: The History Of America’s Finest Luxury Cars

by Taufiq Haque

“Ridin’ ’round in my Cadillac, thinkin’ ’bout the day I first saw you…..”

Whether you’re an Ariana Grande fan, a Snoop Dogg listener, or an avid car enthusiast– there’s a big chance you’ve heard about Cadillac already. According to GM Authority, it is pretty hard to ignore when this brand is the sixth biggest luxury car maker.

This brand is the symbol of luxury for people and the unwritten standard of the American automobile revolution. But who makes Cadillac? If that is something you’re wondering about, you’ve come to the right place.

Cadillac is one of the oldest car brands to exist. Sure, the new Tesla models are pretty amazing to drive in (especially if you’re a younger car owner). But the Cadillac experience is something else entirely. Just imagine how excellent a manufacturing company has to be to stick around and keep its name respectful for more than 100 years.

Cadillac’s history goes pretty far back, but it is still traceable. So buckle up if you’re wondering about the history behind this brand, its origin, or just Cadillac cars in general. We’re taking you on a ride, and it will be a long one.

Cadillac History

Who Makes Cadillac

“Who makes Cadillac?” The simple answer to that question would be General Motors (GM). But that leaves a big chunk of history behind, including the original founder.

Cadillac cars go a long way back, almost at the beginning of the American automobile revolution. The company officially made its first mark in 1909, and they have been around ever since. Did they appear out of thin air? Of course not. Cadillac has been around big names even before beginning its journey. Curious? Let’s dive in then.

Cadillac Origin

Henry M. Leland founded the company, an icon in American automobile history. But that’s not the only big name around Cadillac. The company has ties to Henry Ford of the Ford Motor Company. Yes, the same Ford is about to market its latest GT model at this year’s end.

Before Henry Ford started his revolutionary Ford Motor Company, he was a part of the Henry Ford Company. But the company’s financial backers began having disputes with him even before the year turned around. Henry Ford left the company as a result and founded Ford Motors.

This incident happened around 1902. The Henry Ford Company was supposed to be liquidated and sell its assets, but things took a different turn. The partners at the company hired Henry M. Leland to appraise the tools and support of the company for liquidation, but he proposed a different approach.

Leland suggested reorganizing the company and building new cars with an engine design he was making for another company, the Oldsmobile. The partners reorganized, started making new cars, and renamed the company Cadillac.

Cadillac started its journey by soaring pretty high.

The company was among the most notable names in the automobile industry for its innovative designs. The company also won the Dewar Trophy in 1908 for that year’s most significant advancement in the automobile industry.

The Start Of Its Modern History

Who Makes Cadillac

The big break of the Cadillac company came in 1909 when it changed ownership for the first time. The Oldsmobile company was rebranding and acquiring other promising car companies. Billy Durant was at the forefront of this and had eyes for only the best.

In 1908, the Oldsmobile Vehicle Company rebranded as General Motors. But it took the company more time to acquire Cadillac from Leland. General Motors finally acquired Cadillac from Leland in July of the following year. On July 29, General Motors acquired Cadillac for a whopping $4.5 million.

Surprisingly enough, Leland wasn’t a part of the company anymore. He left Cadillac and later founded Lincoln Motors in 1910. Fun fact, Lincoln Motors was the direct rival of the Cadillac under GM’s ownership.

General Motors didn’t want the company to rebrand, so they just integrated the newly acquired company as a new wing. Cadillac then became the luxury cars wing of GM and has been the same since 1909.

Who Owns Them Currently

That may have been a little confusing, so let’s clarify things. General Motors (GM) currently owns Cadillac. It serves as the luxury cars wing of the company even though it has started to put out SUVs and is trying to keep up with the market trends.

Is It American Made

Very much, yes. Cadillac has been American-made since its beginning and still boasts the same pride today. The only exception is the new XTS model. Factories in big cities assemble the parts of XTS cars; Ontario, Canada, and the heart of the technological giant of China, Shanghai city.

America does not make most of the American-made cars. According to this Time report, Tesla is the only car brand entirely made in America. That includes the parts and their assembly, all of it. What’s more surprising is that other American brands barely make a list. And only three brands make it to the top with 80% (or more) of their operations in America.

Cadillac is one of the top three brands with the highest domestic assembly rates. They assemble a hefty 86% of its car parts are assembled in America, second only to Jeep (89%) after Tesla. Most of their car models like Escalade, ATS, CT6, and ELR are made in the USA, while the XTS model is the exception.

Compared to other car brands selling in the USA, that’s a pretty impressive number overall.

The American Standard: Where Are They Made

As you know now, factories in the USA assemble most of the Cadillac cars. Depending on the model and the parts, different places assemble the car parts, so pinning down one place for this answer is tricky. It is more like a tour around the country where you’re about to go. Spoiler Alert: it is a description-only tour.

The Cadillac parent company’s manufacturing plants, GM, assemble the Cadillac cars. GM has multiple assembly plants around the country. Some of the plants are outside of the country, too, in places like China and Mexico. While the cars get assembled there, they do most of the job in the USA unless it is the XTS model.

GM has lots of manufacturing plants around the world, but they only use around seven of them for Cadillac assembly. The most notable ones are in Texas, Kentucky, and Michigan. Cadillac is also shifting some of its manufacturing to the newly built manufacturing plant in Tennessee. More than two new models are supposed to be manufactured at the same plant.

Cadillac Assembly Plants: Where Are They and What Do They Build

The Texas manufacturing site of GM is in Arlington. Named the Arlington Assembly Plant, the place was built in 1953 and has been operational since 1954. This plant is used to assemble the coveted Escalade SUV of Cadillac. It is one of the oldest and most profitable assembly plants under GM.

The Kentucky assembly plant is called the Bowling Green Assembly Plant, and as you can guess, it stands in Bowling Green. This plant is used for the XLR series (the sports car one) assembly and has been standing since 1981. Corvette uses the same plant for assembly, so its days are usually hectic.

There are two assembly plants in Michigan that GM uses for Cadillac Assembly. The first one is the Hamtramck Assembly Plant in Hamtramck.

This one has been around since 1985 and is the assembly home for the most popular sedan of Cadillac. You guessed right; DTS (former DeVille) series also uses this plant for assembly. Considering how popular the sedan is, the plant has busy days for the most part.

The second Michigan plant is the Lansing one. The Lansing Grand River Assembly Plant was the youngest of the bunch (until the Tennessee plant became operational). This plant became operational in 2001 and is home to the CTS and STS sedans assembly. Lansing Plant also assembles the popular SRX series and plans to build the future CTS Coupe here.

The newest Cadillac manufacturing plant is in Tennessee. The assembly plant is called Spring Hill Assembly Plant, and it has a pretty impressive assembly lineup. The XT5, XT6, and the SRX series are the main stars. The newer models like Celestiq and Lyriq (the EV line of Cadillac) are supposed to be assembled in the same plant even though Cadillac is yet to confirm anything.

The XT4 series has found its home in Kansas’s lesser-known General’s Fairfax Assembly plant.

Non-American Assembly Plants: Where Is Cadillac Made Outside of the USA

Most non-American plants are in China, but the Russian assembly plants of GM also assemble some.

As of now, factories in Kaliningrad, Russia, assemble the Escalade SUV. This deed is under license by the Russian company Avtotor and targets parts of the European market. The Chinese manufacturing branch is under the Shanghai GM venture.

This joint venture is between GM and the Chinese automobile maker SAIC Motor.

Shanghai GM assembles pretty much all Cadillac models for the Chinese market. This list includes CT4, CT5, and CT6 sedans, XT4, XT5, and XT6 crossovers. Shanghai GM solely manufactures the XT5. Most Shanghai GM assembly plants are in Shanghai, but some are in different locations outside the city.

Yes, multiple times throughout its journey. The Cadillac logo has changed its face 13 times since birth, but the old changes were more significant tweaks. They were like small nudges until the brand found its logo and flourished with that.

The most notable logo change is the latest one during their rebranding (more like reshaping, but you get the idea).

New Cadillac Logo

The latest change in Cadillac’s logo is pretty interesting. The new Cadillac logo has a similar shape to the previous one but isn’t exactly the same. There is a slight difference, but you’ll have to look closely to detect it. The most noticeable change is the addition of color. Instead of silver like the recent releases, shades of the Cadillac coat of arms paint the brand’s shield.

The wreath surrounding the logo is gone, and the crest has become wider (with a slight V shape on its top line) to make up for the wreath’s space. They intended to make the logo more futuristic, and they have succeeded.

Why did Cadillac get rid of the wreath? It connects directly to the primary intent. The goal was to make the Cadillac logo more modern and futuristic to match the new cutting-edge technology world Cadillac is stepping into.

Nowadays, many see the wreath on the old logo as outdated and unnecessary. So it had to go for the modernization of the logo. The wreath going away means placing the logo anywhere will be easier for the manufacturers now.

Old Cadillac Logo

The old logo of Cadillac cars was pretty attractive too. The iconic coat of arms colored shield first made its appearance in the 1943 redesign of the logo. It was small and placed above another V-shaped symbol. The added symbol was deleted in 1960, resulting in one of the brand’s most iconic and well-known logos.

The 1960 logo was a Cadillac coat of arms colored with a crown on top. There were six merlots on that logo, and the iconic wreath surrounded it. The designers revamped this logo in 2009 to look more futuristic. The wreath became metal, and the shield also earned a metallic sheen.

The Cadillac logo was silver for a while, but it was mostly in concept cars. Before the company revealed the newest logo, Cadillac made a teaser of the logo and used it in their Escalade campaign.

Soon after that, the company revealed the newest logo. It doesn’t have the crown, the merlots, or the wreath around it anymore. Now the logo is a more minimalistic image of the Cadillac shield. It is metallic, and the shape is wider than the previous logo.

Cadillac Cars

Cadillac makes a lot of car models, but it is currently focusing on the EV line and SUVs. The sedans are still popular, so the brand still has them in the lineup, but they aren’t the main character anymore. Cadillac had some hybrids and crossover models, but most of them (if not all) are retired.

Even though the models aren’t a part of the lineup anymore, many of them are sold worldwide as second-hand options.

Cadillac Models

In its 110 years of lifetime, Cadillac has built more than enough vehicles of different models. There are several retired models, but they’re still around as second-hand cars. The newer models are mostly sedans, SUVs, and EVs.

Newer Cadillac Models

Cadillac has Sedans, SUVs, and EVs in their current lineup. The sedans are CT series, the SUVs are XT and Escalade series, and the rest of the lineup is more futuristic cars.

1. Sedans

Cadillac’s new naming policy names the current sedans. They fall under the CT category, and numbers differentiate them. Any car that isn’t an SUV falls under the CT category.

1.1. CT4

CT4 is one of the classic sedans of the CT series. Designed to put out sports car-like performance: this one does justice to that goal. CT4 replaced the old ATS model and is fantastic to drive with its sophisticated engine.

The engine is impressively responsive, but it falls a bit behind when it comes to sound. The sound is a little harsh but otherwise okay. This car is an entry-level sedan, which uses the 320-hp turbo 2.7-liter four-cylinder. It comes with a 10-speed automatic and lets you choose between RWD or AWD.

This model has two variants, CT4-V and CT4 Blackwing. The CT4-V is a more sophisticated and improved version of the CT4. The original CT4 is less powerful than the ATS-V it replaces, but the CT4-V fills that space pretty nicely.

The Blackwing is the most sophisticated model of this series. CT4 Blackwing boasts a 472-hp 3.6-liter twin-turbo V6. This model is available with a six-speed manual transmission or ten-speed automatic.

1.2. CT5

The CT5 model replaces the old CTS one. According to Cadillac, this model enhances the joy of driving through its design. While this is a step up (or supposed to be one) from the CT4, the experience might differ slightly.

CT5 uses the 237-hp turbo 2.7-liter four-cylinder. This option is the baseline engine choice, but there is room for upgrades. The upgraded model offers a 335-hp twin-turbo 3.0-liter four-cylinder. In both cases, the car comes with ten-speed automatic transmission and offers either AWD or RWD.

The engine tends to delay the upshift a little, and there is the same problem with the machine that comes with the primary engine choice. The engine is sophisticated, but the sound does not say the same.

This model also comes with the upgrade of CT5-V and CT5 Blackwing. The CT5-V comes with a twin-turbo 3.0-liter V6 upgrade with 355 hp power generation. It also has a 10-speed automatic paired with RWD or AWD. The Blackwing is supposed to use a Blackwing V8 engine for an upgrade.

1.3. CT6

CT6 is Cadillac’s take on full-size luxury sedans. This model is the face of this series now, and with an improved engine choice, that place is hard-earned. This model hit the markets in 2016 and has been going on strong.

CT6 has two engine choices. Users can choose between a 335 hp 3.6-liter V6 or the twin-turbo 3.0-liter V6 that makes 404 hp. The 2020 upgrade made a choice even more luxurious. It lets the user choose between the 3.6-liter V6 and a new 4.2-liter Blackwing V8 that makes 500 hp.

An upgraded CT6-V is supposed to hit the markets later. The specs of that are still behind the fog.

2. SUVs

SUVs are Cadillac’s more recent models to capture the market. The XT series is part of the crossovers and targets the crowd looking for more space combined with luxury.

2.1. XT4

The XT4 model is the entry-level crossover (or Cadillac hybrids) compact of Cadillac SUVs. This one comes with a 237-horsepower turbocharged 2.0-liter engine and a sports trim. The XT4 model was supposed to compete with its rivals BMW and Mercedes, but most users seem to think it fell behind on that goal. It can either be a front-wheel or an all-wheel drive.

2.2. XT5

XT5 is Cadillac’s best-selling vehicle yet. This SUV may not be as luxurious as its buddies in the same lineup, but it has drawn users in nicely. One reason for that is the ample cargo space it has. It is longer than the XT4 model and can fit with FWD or AWD. It comes with a 310-hp 3.6-liter V6 engine.

2.3. XT6

XT6 is Cadillac’s midsize crossover. It has three rows focused more on cargo space. This model comes with the same engine as the XT5 model, the 310 hp 3.6-liter V6 one. The only notable change in this model is the cargo space and the seating area; both are more spacious than the previous models.

3. Electric and Futuristic Cars

Cadillac has recently invested in the futuristic car market. The newer electric models like Celestiq and Lyriq are more leaning towards sustainable energy as fuels. They are cutting-edge technology cars, and the Celestiq model is yet to make its market debut.

Older Cadillac Models

The older models are retired, more or less. They only exist in the market as second-hand or antique value vehicles. The retired models include the ATS, CTS, Catera, ELR, DTS, SRX, STS, and the STX series.

The CT6 model was also retired after a short six-year run.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Understandably, you’ll still have questions about Cadillac. So here are a few frequently asked questions.

Is Cadillac GM

Yes, Cadillac is under its parent company General Motors. GM acquired Cadillac in 1909.

How Much Is A Cadillac

Cadillac price depends on the model. The least expensive Cadillac is the CT4, starting at $33,695. The most expensive model is the CT5-V one, priced at $83,995.

How Do You Spell Cadillac

Cadillac is spelled as C-a-d-i-l-l-a-c and is pronounced ˈkadɪlak.

What Is A Cadillac

Cadillac is a luxury car brand. It is under the parent company of General Motors and serves as the luxury wing of the company. Cadillac started its journey in 1902, and General Motors acquired it in 1909.

Is Cadillac Reliable

Cadillac Reliability is out of the question almost. The brand has been standing strong since 1903, and although the recent sales have dipped a little, the quality is still as good as ever.

When Was Cadillac Founded

The original Cadillac company debuted in 1902-1903. The company continued its journey till 1908; it found a new home under GM in 1909. The Cadillac under GM is what you know today.

What Does the Cadillac Symbol Mean

The Cadillac symbol honors the Coat of Arms of the Cadillac family, the founder of the city of Detroit. Since the company started its journey in Detroit, the logo symbolizes honor and remembers its roots.

Is Cadillac A Good Car

This question boils down to personal preferences. But if you consider the user experiences, it is a good car.

Is Cadillac A Luxury Car

Yes, it is the luxury car-making wing of GM. Their target customers have always been people looking for elegance and a statement.

Conclusion

Cadillac is one of the most iconic car brands around. It has been a symbol of quality and innovative design since its birth during the American automobile revolution era. The recent ranking may have fallen a little behind its standard but rest assured, Cadillac is still going strong.

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