General Motors is getting serious with Cadillac in Europe. The automaker has a 10-year plan to revive the luxury brand in the Old Continent, which entails introducing a host of diesel engines and possibly, right-hand drive variants, according to a report from Autocar.
Managing Director of Cadillac Europe, Thomas Sedran, said the plan is now in the early stages of its execution, with an important step having coming and gone today at the Geneva Motor Show with the European debut of the 2015 Escalade and ATS Coupe.
“You need to have competitive diesels and you need a strategy to use these engines across different product portfolios,” Sedran told Autocar in Geneva. “At this point, I can’t promise a date for diesels, but it is coming. In the short-term we will stick with our gasoline models.”
Currently, Cadillacs are imported into the UK through the nation’s only certified Cadillac dealer, Bauer-Millett. According to Autocar, not a single UK resident purchased a new Cadillac last year, something the automaker is looking to change in coming years.
“There is no final decision on right-hand drive, but I hope it will be positive,” said Sedran. “To be a global company, you have to be in the UK. But I know to be there you have to be right-hand drive.”
Sedran said Cadillac has been left as “a bit of an orphan child” in Europe, with most of GM’s attention focused on growing Opel and Chevrolet. But with plans in place to pull Chevrolet out of Europe by 2016, GM can focus more of its efforts on a “growth plan” for Cadillac.
The first stage of the plan, Sedran said, is to better support the 41 Cadillac dealers across Europe through a better website, a new marketing campaign and improved brochures. He believes even simple steps like an improved website will help carry things along until the diesel models arrive.
Sedran said Cadillac hopes to achieve success in Europe through a three-pillar plan. The first part of the plan is offering a unique, diverse customer experience, next the brand will grow its product lineup and powertrain offerings with diesels and EV’s and lastly, GM will install a dedicated team to help Cadillac meet its sales goals in the region.
Sedran said “recognition” in Europe is very important for Cadillac’s global sales goals, which also entails a strong offensive in GM’s biggest market, China.
“We need to be relevant here, as it can help the global business. European customers are among the most demanding,” he said.