Why Cadillac Uses Wood In Interiors

Cadillac is keen to show that it isn’t just another premium manufacturer in a sea of premium car manufacturers. GM has therefore decided to provide a bit of insight into what makes their luxury nameplate different from the rest, and they’ve offered up a look into some of the materials employed in the cars.

When considering wood trims, Cadillac interior designers research furnishing trends, paying close attention to color, tone and grain movement when combining wood with materials such as brushed aluminum and carbon fiber. Ultimately, the designers select woods that embody Cadillac’s luxury appeal.

Designers in the Color & Trim department decided to employ Sapele, a sustainable, fast-growing wood – ‘known for giving acoustic guitars a little extra zing’, according to Cadillac – is one of several veneers chosen to blend with leather and other surface materials in the current lineup of Cadillac cars.

Other high-gloss and open-pore wood trims such as black marble burl, black olive ash, okapi contra, smoked laurel burl and real ‘piano black’ raven wood are also available to accent the brand’s interiors.

The Cadillac XTS’s interior design is one of the more modern and sophisticated interpretations of the brand’s Art and Science design philosophy. It incorporates sharp, sheer forms and crisp edges – a form vocabulary that invokes the high technology used to create it.

“By using multiple woods, we were able to come up with a rich mix of materials that will appeal to different customers,” says Erin Crossley, a Cadillac design manager. “Sapele, for instance, has a rich grain structure with a lot of movement. Just by looking at it, you know that it is genuine.”

The XTS Platinum model, in particular, offers the highest levels of refinement with full Opus leather seat treatments and genuine Sapele wood details that create a luxurious interior environment.

“The woods featured in the XTS are purposefully placed to make the width and space of the interior feel as roomy as possible,” said Eric Clough, Cadillac director of design. “It is this kind of attention to detail that luxury car customers have come to expect from Cadillac.”


Founded in 2012, Form Trends tirelessly covers the automotive design industry in all corners of the globe to bring you exclusive content about cars, design, and the people behind the products.

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