As Cadillac introduced its newest car, the buzz in the air heightened. Journalists stood on tip toe, raising their cameras as high as they could just to snap a preliminary picture of a car Cadillac says is designed to "take on the world's best and win."
But no one was buzzing in quite the same way as a small coalition from Lansing.
"This is great news for Lansing and it's a beautiful car," said Mayor Virg Bernero, just before he popped into the passenger seat to look at the interior. "It's a feather in our cap. They could build these cars anywhere in the world and they do build cars all over the world. But they continue to chose Lansing. That says something about our productivity and our workers and that's phenomenal."
Local UAW presidents Mike Green and Bill Reed were also all smiles.
"As always, I'm in awe of another product being put out here on the market that I'm sure everybody's going to want to gobble up," said Green, whose workers at the Grand River plant will be building the ATS. "It's job security, bringing more product to Lansing is always better. The reason they bring it is because of the membership and the job they do in Lansing."
Workers at the Delta Township plant stand to benefit too, said Reed, even if it is indirectly.
"I just think it's great that these products are coming into Lansing," he said. "It's really showing the world that we are the car capital of the world. If you want to build it right and the highest quality, build it in Lansing."
The new ATS Coupe is billed as quicker and more agile. Wider front and rear tracks will help handling and 321 horsepower all but take care of the speed department. The car can go 0-60 in 5.6 seconds.
"We have high hopes that with the ATS and the CTS we will not only continue but maybe even accelerate our growth path," said Uwe Ellinghaus, Cadillac's chief marketing officer. "We want to raise the bar, we want to grow further."
Cadillac is hoping to build on the success the 2013 ATS that won North American car of the year.
If it does, it will do it behind a new crest. Cadillac introduced a new design on its grille -- meant to accent the company's evolution and expansion.
"We have the capabilities to turn Cadillac into a global premium brand," said Ellinghaus. "I know it will take time, but we are absolutely committed to make this task happen. And if we look at the beauty behind me, we have all the reason to be optimistic that this will be yet another success story for the amazing revitalization of Detroit."
The new ATS will be available in rear and all-wheel drive as well as automatic or manual transmission. The car will also have full 4G connectivity.
Its release is slated for this fall.