General Motors Co’s premium brand Cadillac never gathered much momentum outside of the United States, but it has finally managed a breakthrough performance on the Chinese market recently.
With sales slumping at home in the US, pushing for record deliveries in China and failing to reach a wide audience in Europe, for example, Cadillac still has big plans. The luxury marquee has set its sight on annual sales of 500,000 units across the globe by the start of the next decade – surging from this year’s forecasted tally of 275,000 autos, according to the brand’s leading executive. Johan de Nysschen, head of the Cadillac brand for GM, said the jump would lift the automaker’s share of the worldwide luxury vehicle market from 3.4 percent this year to 5 percent by 2020. He made the comments during a presentation to investors at a J.P. Morgan industry conference in New York, with the top executive adding the brand’s fields in need of improvement are the quality of sales network in the US, where it has been dethroned as the luxury sales leader after decades of domination. “That’s probably the area where we have the most work to do in the United States,” said de Nysschen. “Conversely, in China, where we have a high-quality dealer network, that is not a challenge at all.”
The delivery increases will be naturally tied, de Nysschen said, to the successful introduction of a chain of new products, including a smaller premium sport utility vehicle – a growth area where Cadillac has no contender today. Cadillac is today sixth in terms of sales at home on the US market, with the only one out of the leading eight premium brands to have negative growth this year.