While General Motors luxury brand is faring very well in its home market and in the world’s largest auto market – China, in Europe it failed to make a dent until now.
Cadillac, which debuted regionally a host of new models, approached the Geneva auto show with interest – it showcased the ELR extended range electric coupe, the ATS coupe and the even monstrous – by European standards – Escalade SUV.
European sales have nothing in common with the home ones – last year it sold 2,200 units (the best was in 2007 – 3,500), while in the US it ranks fourth behind Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Lexus with 186,000 units delivered.
“It’s important to grow carefully and steadily and not to dump cars on the market,” said Cadillac’s Chief Marketing Officer Uwe Ellinghaus. “Nowhere else is the competition so strong, and we will remain a niche brand in Europe. But we can offer something distinctive to the German mainstream. I’m convinced there is a good opportunity for a new face in the crowd, but first we need diesels. Without diesels we will not conquer Europe.”
But, for now, no such engine plans are in sight, as Ellinghaus thinks the brand needs three to five years before diesel arrive and until then he thinks the gasoline performance versions are more than a match for the pumped up versions from BMW, Audi or Mercedes.