Most forecasts show the U.S. auto market has peaked, following record sales in 2016. 2017 may barely edge the figure out, but it’s widely suspected repeat performances won’t occur. That doesn’t spell doom and gloom, as far as Cadillac is concerned.
Automotive News reports Cadillac Chief Marketing Officer, Uwe Ellinghaus, feels the U.S. sales party certainly isn’t over.
“What they call a cooling off I say is the best thing that has ever happened,” he said at the 2017 Shanghai Auto Show. “Levels that were once seen as excessive are now sustainable.”
Ellinghaus is also bullish that many customers, who may have held onto vehicles during the recession, will head into dealerships as the economy continues to recover. 2016 marked the seventh straight year of sales increases for the U.S. auto sector, topping 17.5 million vehicles sold.
“We don’t see that the party is over. It’s continuing,” he said.
That’s important for Cadillac, since much of the sales hoopla has occurred without important product in the staple crossover segments in the U.S. Cadillac’s sole crossover, the 2017 XT5, continues to carry the brand in America. Year-over-year, U.S. sales are down 1.6 percent in, with Cadillac falling 4.6 percent through March.
Still, if the market sells 500,000 fewer vehicles this year, that’s certainly not an unhealthy number in Ellinghaus’ eyes.
Cadillac’s saving sales grace is China. The brand continues to pick up double-digit growth in the country — and fast. Sales are up 90 percent in the first quarter of 2017 for Cadillac China, and the brand expects the market to eclipse the U.S. as its largest within five years.