GM could be set to bring Cadillac back to Australia and New Zealand via the recently established General Motors Special Vehicles sub-brand, according to a report from local publication Drive.com.au. And while GM has unsuccessfully attempted to revive the Cadillac brand in the region two separate times over the past two decades, management sees Cadillac’s shift to an all-electric vehicle portfolio as a prime opportunity to re-enter the market.
Senior executives from GM recently told Australian media the automaker is considering bringing battery-electric Cadillac models to Australia and New Zealand. As EVs have a shorter lead time on development, the automaker believes it could quickly react to any region-specific shortcomings future Cadillac EVs may exhibit, allowing it to tailor these products to the needs of the local consumer.
“The development time with an electric vehicle platform is less than half what the development time was with (a petrol) vehicle,” Shilpan Amin, Senior Vice President and President of GM International, told Drive.com.au. “That means we can learn of a customer insight or pain point, and we can then design, develop and bring that solution to market much quicker.”
The Cadillac Lyriq seems like an obvious choice for Australia and New Zealand, as midsize crossover models such as this are equally as popular in those markets as they are in North America. Specialized models like the Cadillac Celestiq may also be well-suited for import, as the entire business model of the GMSV brand is to bring noteworthy GM products from its American portfolio to Australia and New Zealand. Pricier vehicles like the Celestiq also have stronger profit margins, making it easier to justify shipping the vehicles far distances for what will ultimately be relatively small sales figures.
GM executives would not say if future Cadillac EV models for Australia and New Zealand would be sold in right-hand-drive or left-hand-drive formats. It’s slightly less expensive to offer EVs in both formats, Armin explained, as they do not have an engine in the front of the vehicle to complicate the engineering process.
“The conversion between left-hand-drive and right-hand-drive becomes something we have to design and develop up front, but it’s much more simple than having an engine in front of you,” Armin said.