Cadillac came ever so close to setting foot on Australian soil last decade, but the global financial crisis prompted an immediate drawback of those plans. Since then, the luxury brand has danced around the idea of returning to the land down under, with recent comments from GM executives stating that Cadillac will not be launching in that market in the immediate future.
Those statements were from Stefan Jacoby, GM International president. Now, Cadillac President, Johan de Nysschen, has spoken on the matter, and it sounds promising for Australia.
“Our RHD strategy is very closely interlinked without European strategy, for that I would say that we want to come to Europe with more ambitious intentions for volume growth than we are capable of delivering today,” de Nysschen said. “Once we move into Europe, then we have the opportunity to start addressing right-hand drive. It’s almost inconceivable that you want to come to Europe and be more than a boutique player without considering the UK.”
“When you go into right-hand drive for the UK, that opens opportunity for RHD markets elsewhere in the world, because you obviously want to generate the economies of scale.”
However, de Nysschen stated an expansion into RHD will come once volume in North America and China is achieved, again citing China and the U.S. as the brand’s major markets.
“We will only be able to expand our footprint in Europe when we are able to bring the right products to this market. That is our major prioritization now, to create the two great volume hubs for Cadillac globally through the US and China. Not discounting the importance of the other markets, but we need to build up the product portfolio. You can’t invest in all the vehicles unless you have the volume, and the quickest way to unlock the volume is through the two biggest markets,” he stated.
And this is where Australia comes up. The Cadillac chief stated that the brand’s future vehicle portfolio will support RHD, so when the time comes to enter a RHD market, everything has been synchronized accordingly.
“So the idea is that we want to synchronise the rollout of right-hand drive versions so that if we do decide to enter a market, such as for example Australia, we would be able to give the dealer network a full showroom, as opposed to entering one car at a time as that’s not a feasible way to establish a network,” de Nysschen added.
We suppose Jacoby’s comments surrounding a Cadillac launch in the immediate future still ring true, but de Nysschen sounds more optimistic about the
wreath and crest brand’s arrival in Australia in the long term.
“We will have about a two-year window early in the next decade where we will be able to synchronize the expansion of our portfolio in a relatively short space of time and embrace more right-hand drive interest. Therefore, it’s not on the immediate time horizon, but very much part of the future game plan.”