General Motors CEO Dan Akerson said that by the end of 2012, it hopes to already expand the production of its premium brand Cadillac outside of North America as part of a strategy for it to be a true global marque. Akerson said that overseas Cadillac production will cut the risk of foreign-currency fluctuations and enable GM to manage its supply chain better.
Cadillac vehicles are available in China as well as other international markets. Aside from being produced in North America, the Cadillac SLS is also built in China for this market. The SLS is a stretched variant of the STS.
Akerson declined to reveal the overseas location of the Cadillac production. GM aims to hasten overseas sales of Cadillac, which is being positioned to compete with competition in Europe like Mercedes and BMW.
Just before GM’s annual shareholders meeting (its first since its initial public stock offering last fall), Akerson told reporters that it will attempt to have a slightly different brand and product strategy by having Cadillac as its global premium brand and Chevrolet as its global value brand.
Akerson admitted that this strategy is patterned after Toyota, which has its Toyota brand and Lexus as its global luxury marquee. He revealed that Chevrolet and Cadillac will still be supported by regional brands like Opel in Europe and Buick, which is popular in China as well as North America.
The 62-year-old Akerson took on the CEO position last September. He made numerous changes, including restructuring GM’s management and throwing out GM’s bureaucratic image and moving quicker. One example is its move to launch the next-generation Chevrolet Malibu mid-sized sedan in early 2012 instead of in the summer of 2012.