Despite Opel Sale, Cadillac and Chevy Staying Put in Europe
This week’s sale of the Opel and Vauxhall brands to PSA Group may have some thinking that General Motors has completely given up its operations in Europe. Not so! GM CEO Mary Barra says that the automaker will remain a presence on the continent as a niche brand, continuing to sell its Chevrolet Camaro and Corvette performance vehicles as well as Cadillac luxury autos.
“That is the plan at this time, to continue with those models and brands in Europe,” Barra said during a Monday morning conference call. “We continue to grow the Cadillac brand. We’ll continue to do that in a very disciplined fashion.”
Cadillac President Johan de Nysschen established early in his tenure that he intended to make the brand a global powerhouse by increasing total sales to 500,000 units a year by 2020. Total sales for 2016 were the highest the brand had seen in 30 years at a total of 308,692 vehicles, but only 781 units were sold at Cadillac’s European dealerships.
Cadillac maintains its plans to achieve annual sales of 5,000 units in Europe by 2020, and spokesman Andrew Lipman tells Automotive News that the brand will be looking to expand its dealership presence “over the next few years.” At present, Cadillac maintains 45 dealerships in Europe, the bulk of which are found in Germany and Switzerland.
The 5,000-unit sales goals would encompass sales of the Chevrolet Corvette and Camaro; in 2016, sales of the Corvette and Camaro were in excess of 1,800 units, ostensibly putting GM halfway toward its 2020 goal. Cadillac’s lineup in Europe currently consists of the XT5, CT6, ATS-V, CTS-V, Escalade, CTS sedan, and ATS coupe and sedan.
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News Source: Automotive News (subscription required)