Cadillac Taming BMW 3-Series Becomes GM's Detroit Battle Ground

Jan. 6 (Bloomberg) -- General Motors Co., with renewed verve as the world's biggest automaker, will be in the spotlight at the Detroit auto show next week taking on BMW and its popular 3-Series line with a new compact Cadillac.

The new model represents Chief Executive Officer Dan Akerson's strategy for gaining ground in the compact-luxury segment. GM is trying to barge into the market for small, upscale cars, an important entryway for new customers that is dominated by German vehicles such as the 3-Series and the Mercedes-Benz C-Class.

“The gorilla in the room is the 3-Series,” Kurt McNeil, Cadillac's vice president of sales, said this week in a telephone interview. The new car, planned for a Jan. 8 unveiling, will be called the ATS and go on sale in the third quarter. “It will be a key battle ground for us,” he added.

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