Cadillac has released this teaser photo of its upcoming BMW 3-series rival codenamed ATS

Cadillac has released this teaser photo of its upcoming BMW 3-series rival codenamed ATS

General Motors North America president Mark Reuss on Thursday announced the launch of two new luxury cars for Cadillac in 2012 and the pricing of a fuel-saving feature on the Buick Regal as he outlined parts of a plan to help GM attract more customers.

Cadillac next year will launch the XTS large luxury sedan and a compact luxury sports sedan codenamed ATS, models that will bracket  the CTS sedan, coupe and wagon line, Reuss said at the annual Center for Automotive Research’s Management Briefing Seminars in Traverse City, Michigan.

GM is spending $117million to make the XTS at its Oshawa assembly plant in Ontario where 400 jobs will be created or retained.

In addition to the two new Cadillacs, Reuss said the eAssist feature on the 2012 Buick Regal - also Oshawa built after the Insignia-based model was transferred recently from an Opel plant in Germany - will be a US$2,000 option. The light electrification technology delivers an estimated 25% improvement in fuel economy, giving an EPA fuel economy rating of 36 mpg highway/25 mpg city.

“GM has moved beyond a stage of simply surviving and is now clearly focused on thriving with a line-up that’s stronger in more segments than it has ever been,” Reuss said. “We’re giving customers compelling new options for their next automobile.”

Some of those potential customers are “millennials,” a target of Chevrolet to reach the next generation of buyers though a partnership with MTV.

The Regal eAssist, which goes on sale this autumn,  captures energy created during braking to charge a 115V lithium-ion battery that powers a 11kW (15 horsepower) motor-generator, augmenting a 2.4-litre Ecotec I4 engine.

The eAssist system also allows the engine to shut down fuel delivery in certain deceleration conditions, saving additional fuel. It has underbody aerodynamics and special tyres to further improve fuel economy. Based on $4 per [US] gallon petrol, the eAssist option on the Regal should pay for itself in about 3½ years, GM reckons.

The Cadillac XTS, which will be launched in spring 2012, is based on the XTS Platinum Concept unveiled at the 2010 Detroit show. It will offer an advanced front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive system.

The ATS, called by a code name which probably won't make production, will be launched in summer 2012 to give the brand a rear wheel drive luxury sports car to compete with the BMW 3-Series, Mercedes-Benz C-Class and Audi A4 in the luxury market’s largest segment, Reuss said.

GM previously announced a $190m spend to build the compact luxury sports sedan at its Lansing Grand River assembly plant in Michigan that will result in 600 new or retained jobs. This plant also makes the mid-size CTS family.

“The Cadillac renaissance that started with the CTS is still going strong,” Reuss said. “The XTS continues Cadillac’s heritage as the leader in large luxury cars while the car we’ve codenamed ATS starts a new chapter for[the brand] in the luxury market’s C segment. We’re confident it will attract luxury car buyers who previously would not have considered Cadillac.”

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