Cadillac is basking in the success of breaking into the Chinese market and just like it is for Buick, the country is on the road to be the American luxury brand’s largest.
In December last year, more Cadillacs were sold in China than in the United States and in the first quarter of this year, sales have skyrocketed by 90 per cent to around 39,400 vehicles. Cadillac is confident sales can continue to grow. By comparison, U.S. Cadillac sales from January through March were down 4.6 percent at 35,633 units.
In the nation’s best-selling Cadillac dealership, the American automaker has affixed the names of some of its most famous customers to the showroom’s walls to reiterate the heritage and prestige of the brand. Included are the likes of Elvis Presley, Muhammad Ali, Queen Elizabeth II and none other than Barack Obama. It seems to be working.
Speaking with Autonews, a 40-year-old Cadillac CT6 customer from China said that the culture of the brand is very important. “Cadillac is associated with historical figures like U.S. presidents. Cadillac represents my individuality. The culture is the deal sealer,” he said.
Last year, the carmaker opened the doors to a plant in Shanghai which currently produces the CT6, XT5, CT6 Plug-In and Buick GL8. With this local facility, Cadillac has been able to skirt the nation’s 25 per cent import tariff, allowing it to following in the footsteps of Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz.
China is proving particularly important for Cadillac because of its burgeoning wealth. In 2016, 170,000 units were sold in the United States but perhaps most telling is that it was a 3 per cent drop over the year prior. China on the other hand accounted for 116,000 sales, 45 per cent up from 2015.