Cadillac has long been a domestic brand, but it has high hopes for a successful future abroad.With a newly revamped luxury sedan lineup (and a new Escalade in the near future), the long-lagging company is in a good position to return to the top of a market dominated by Audi, BMW, and Mercedes-Benz.
That requires competing abroad, starting with China, now the world’s largest auto market.
In January, GM CEO Dan Akerson told the Wall Street Journal, “I would like to see Cadillac become a global brand.”
So far, Akerson is getting his wish. Cadillac made a record 2,295 sales in China in February, and reported an 8.1 per cent increase (on an annual basis) in demand for its vehicles.
But it has ambitious targets to meet: In 2012, Cadillac sold 30,000 vehicles in China. Its goal is to triple that, topping 100,000 annually by 2015. It also plans to expand its dealer network from the current 150 locations to 250 in the next two years.
In late February, GM began production of its large luxury sedan, the XTS, in Shanghai. The move represented Cadillac’s biggest expansion in the country since it first opened shop there in 2006.
Cadillac says “the elegant and spacious interior of the XTS is a good fit in China, where luxurious space is highly valued.” Considering Chinese executives’ love for the luxury Buick GL8 minivan (which GM created just for them), that sounds like a good bet.
Five versions of the XTS are available in China, at Comfort, Elite, Luxury, Vantage, and Platinum levels. Prices range from 349,000 RMB ($56,000) to 569,900 RMB ($91,650).
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