GM’s luxury division plans to boost sales in China through a more appealing design for a younger clientele and by keeping prices competitive.
Even if the auto market in China has lately slowed down its pace, the luxury segment is increasing well above the overall trend. General Motors aims to change the buyers’ perception over its Cadillac brand by making the lineup more appealing to younger buyers, so it can steal some share market from its better-placed names such as BMW or Mercedes-Benz. “In China, young buyers already dominate the luxury market. Since Cadillac is a relative newcomer … it was far easier to begin to cultivate the desired positioning for the brand from the get-go,” Cadillac President Johan de Nysschen told Reuters in a recent interview. “You will see a softening of some of the hard edges, and more three-dimension styling on the side of the cars,” de he said. GM will also not develop anymore the typical China-focused long wheel-base versions. Instead, the Cadillac models are to be based on a global platform, as younger premium customers are not looking anymore to sit back, preferring to take the wheel.
Cadillac’s China sales increased 17 percent last year to nearly 80,000 cars, or a 4.1 percent share of the luxury market, a rise driven by the ATS-L compact sedan and XTS large sedan. For 2016, the brand targets to overpass 100,000 units, Nysschen said. General Motors opened in January a new Cadillac plant at its SAIC-GM joint venture in Shanghai, with the start of production of the CT6 luxury sedan. This move is aimed at keeping prices competitive, by avoiding a 25 percent import tax.