General Motors is expecting Cadillac to hike its sales in China at least 40 percent in 2014 to 70,000 units, as it ramps up local output in the largest auto market in the world, GM China Vice President John Stadwick told Reuters in an interview.
GM’s luxury brand saw its sales in China jump 72 percent in the first half of 2014, outpacing the 32-percent growth in the country’s premium vehicle market. He remarked that Cadillac’s presence in China will be a key to its goal of becoming a global brand.
He remarked that GM’s leadership is providing focus to make sure Cadillac does it right in China. McKinsey & Co has forecast that China may overtake the United States as the largest market for premium cars. To boost growth in China, GM is bound to unveil a second Cadillac model in August that will be produced in the country.
GM will also announce a third Cadillac model early next year, Stadwick divulged. GM is focusing on local production to avoid high import taxes, thereby allowing Cadillac to be priced more competitively in China against German premium brands BMW, Audi and Mercedes-Benz.
The German brands all have local productions in China. Stadwick quipped that Cadillac believes in building where it could sell, which means there will be fewer imported and more locally built Cadillacs in China in the future.
He noted that the strategy provides Cadillac an advantage against rivals who don't have local output, like Lexus. Lexus has no plans to build cars in China due to its emphasis on quality, according to Lexus chief Tokuo Fukuichi.
Cadillac is introducing the third generation of the CTS premium sedan (2014 model year), which was made to deliver new levels of performance, luxury and sophisticated technology in the midsize luxury market.
The latest iteration of the Cadillac CTS sedan is underpinned by the rear-drive platform that also underpins the Cadillac ATS premium sport sedan. It was designed and engineered to be the lightest car in the midsize luxury sedans, allowing the CTS to offer the most agile driving dynamics in the class. Its performance is made possible by dynamic powertrains, like the all-new Cadillac Twin-Turbo engine and eight-speed automatic gearbox.
Bob Ferguson, vice president for Global Cadillac, remarked that the next-gen CTS sedan offers a combination of crafted design, exciting performance and modern technology. He noted that the CTS has always been the luxury brand’s centerpiece, and is stretched both figuratively and literally to deliver an experience at par with the best in the world.
The new Cadillac CTS now boasts of longer, lower and more athletic-looking proportions and marks the evolution of the brand's Art & Science design philosophy. Its overall length and wheelbase have been extended by five inches (127 mm) and 1.2 inches, respectively, while its roofline and cowl have been lowered by an inch lower.
Ferguson quipped that the new CTS takes the premium brand to a new level, complementing Cadillac’s global growth and increasing product credibility.