To have a winning formula in the Chinese market, automakers must be willing to build vehicles in China. That’s one of the reasons General Motors has seen so much success in the market, along with Buick already being a cultural phenomenon. The same cannot be said for Cadillac, however. Where Buick sold 57,082 units in China last
year month, Caddy managed a mere 2,745 units. And that was an all-time monthly best.
Notably, while Buick builds plenty of vehicles in China for the country’s consumers, most of the Cadillacs are imported. Currently, the only Cadillac built in China is the market-exclusive SLS long-wheelbase rear-wheel-drive sedan, whereas the CTS and Escalade are imported from the United States, and the SRX from Mexico. This imbalance is set to change in the near future, according to words by Joel Ewanick, GM’s chief marketing officer.
With the Beijing auto show taking place April 22, Cadillac will officially announce plans to build the upcoming XTS in the Chinese market for the Chinese people, which will also be making its regional debut at the show. In addition, Ewanick told The Detroit News that there are plans to build the ATS and CTS in China as well. In addition to the appeal, building Cadillacs in China helps GM get around the pricey tariffs that China slaps on imported cars.
But will these Chinese plants begin exporting Cadillacs to Europe and beyond? And what does this mean for Russia’s Kaliningrad plant, where Cadillac models are currently built? We’ll be back with more.