Cadillac XTS in China

Gary S. Vasilash

Earlier this week in this space the Cadillac XTS was being hailed as the best American car. (OK, it is built in Oshawa, Ontario, but. . . )

GM clearly has great hopes for the car elsewhere, China in particular, as it has started building the XTS in Guangzhou, China.

Speaking at the launch of the car in Guangzhou, Shanghai GM president Ye Yongming said, “The launch of the XTS reflects Shanghai GM’s effort to expand its presence in the Chinese luxury car segment. Our aim is to increase Cadillac sales to more than 100,000 units by 2015 and its share of the premium car segment to 10% by 2020.”

XTS in China

Shanghai GM president Ye Yongming announcing the production launch of the Cadillac XTS in Guangzhou. There are five models being offered, ranging in price from approximately $56,000 to $90,000.

That is arguably a stretch goal for the brand, as although GM’s Chinese sales in 2012 were a record 2,836,128 vehicles, of that only 30,010 were Cadillacs. And of the Cadillac sales, 21,698 were SRX models, which seems to indicate a certain proclivity for upscale crossovers when it comes to buying Cadillacs, not full-size sedans. However, Cadillac has announced that it will introduce at least a new model in China for the next five years, so there is some good possibility in that regard.

(Those of you in the U.S. might be wondering, “Hmm. . .at least five new Cadillacs in China during the next five years: What about here?” That occurred to us, as well, so we contacted Cadillac and asked, and were assured, “The statistics on number of entries in a certain number of years will differ in China compared to the U.S. But the end result will be quite similar, we'll just arrive there at different times.” So, yes, the portfolio of products at a dealer near you is going to become more robust in the next several years.

(And while we’re thinking about it, and to go off on another but related tangent, arguably this is going to make it all the tougher for Lincoln—which also has its China Syndrome Strategy—to make inroads in the market(s), given Cadillac’s considerable head start, to say nothing of its rear-wheel-drive offerings, and everyone knows that “luxury” means RWD, right?)