Cadillac Has Set Its Sights High with New Limited Build Programs – Autoblog - Latest Global News

Cadillac Has Set Its Sights High with New Limited Build Programs – Autoblog

General Motors is certainly no stranger to the idea of ​​a custom car (the COPO Camaro was originally just that). While the mass-market assembly line makes it far more difficult to produce a truly bespoke modern car, this problem can be solved by investing resources – say, $36,000 per car or so – into the problem. That was GM’s pitch for a very special series of 2024 CT5-V Blackwings, custom-assembled by hand for just 21 extremely valuable customers. In other words: whales. Size.

Cadillac has previously dealt with production models of the Blackwing. Both the CT4 and CT5-V Blackwing were offered to enthusiasts competing to be among the first to get their hands on a numbered “Collectors’ Series” model, limited to 250 examples each. To mark its 120th anniversary, the brand returned to the fountain and introduced the idea of ​​letting customers choose a specific year they would like to commemorate with their builds. The 2024 20th Anniversary Edition gave Cadillac the opportunity to take it a step further and celebrate the 20th anniversary of the V-Series with a nearly limitless customization program.

As if simple serialization wasn’t difficult enough (believe it or not, tying a VIN to a single model and customer early on isn’t trivial), this time Cadillac opted for the more extensive customization it’s looking for offers its electric flagship coupe, the Celestiq. This essentially frees up the order book so customers can choose their options A la carte and choose from a much wider (though still factory-mixed and easy to source) color spectrum.

In theory, there was one color for each year, meaning 20 customers would have walked away with completely unique models. But collectors are a predictable bunch, and several customers opted for one finish – black – while others looked for something unique. During our tour, Cadillac had six customer cars in the workshop. Six were finished: one in Kimono (bottom left), one in Chartreuse (bottom right, with a matte frosted finish), one in Abalone and one in Gauntlet. The two that are still being assembled were completed in Tactical and Coppertino.

While these are all based on existing GM paint codes, all bodies arrive at the Innovation Center painted black from the Lansing workshop. From there, it is sanded and repainted to the customer’s desired finish, checked again for any gaps or imperfections, and then reassembled on a “line” no larger than that of a medium-sized car dealership. Assembling a showroom-style CT5-V Blackwing requires between 40 and 50 total hours of work, spread across dozens or hundreds of employees. Plant manager Karsten Garbe says his team spends at least four to five times as much time painting, hand-assembling and validating the cars that come through his shop.

And Garbe would like to have a bigger, busier team. Celestiq was the toe in the proverbial water; Blackwing is proof that it’s possible with customers who don’t spend a quarter of a million on a car. But realistically, the buyer who can afford to add $36,000 on top of an already marked-up Blackwing could probably still afford it.

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