Cadillac dealers think they can sell more units of the midsize CTS than the 30,000 General Motors Corp. originally planned as first-year output. Gary Cowger, president-GM-North America, tells WAW. CTS production will be increased “significantly” using “maximum overtime and line speed adjustments” at the Grand River Assembly Plant in Lansing, MI. Strong reaction from CTS commercials aired during the Super Bowl and dealer test drives “at the No Problem Speedway near Baton Rouge (LA)” prompted the move. Cowger says four more products developed off of its new rear-drive Sigma platform are planned for the plant, including a crossover and revamped Cadillac STS coming in 2004.

He also clarifies reports that GM is abandoning “global” vehicles. “We realize that $5 fuel in some markets compared to $1 in others doesn't drive the same requirements, so ‘global’ cars won't work. Component sharing and platforms can remain, but we've got to localize like we do in Latin America and Mexico.”

As for working with Vice Chairman Bob Lutz, Cowger says: “He's a delight to work with; he's like hangin' out with Elvis.”