Bauer Millett, one of the United Kingdom’s few American car importers and the only surviving Cadillac dealer in the country, closed its doors for good just two days before Christmas, Car Dealer Magazine reports.
Cadillac’s market presence outside of the United States is low, especially in right-hand drive markets like the United Kingdom. A proper European expansion is on the luxury automaker’s cards, but is still a long way out. Mitch Millett, managing director of Bauer Millett, said similar American dealerships to his are also having trouble surviving in the competitive British auto market.
“We have always been known for being a specialist car retailer and that’s become an increasingly more difficult market. Used cars are harder to buy and more challenging to sell,” said Millett. “There’s more and more people looking, the internet has made it easier for people to buy at auctions, it’s a lot easier for people to shop around from the comfort of their own home.”
Cadillac needs to make multiple changes to its portfolio in order to have the European entry it’s looking for. Smaller models, diesel engines and right-hand drive offerings represent some of the changes that will need to be made to enter the UK, in addition to a dealer network. Cadillac President Johan de Nysschen knows this, and has put off an official European Cadillac invasion until at least 2019.
“Europe is crucial to our success but we need to have the right product portfolio. If you want to win in Europe you need the right products,” de Nysschen told Britain’s Autocar magazine last year.