Beijing, China - During a ceremony at Beijing's Imperial Ancestors' Temple, a symbol of ancient China, General Motors officially launched Cadillac, its premium luxury brand for modern China.
Three new Cadillac models that will be sold in China - the CTS, SRX and XLR - were unveiled at the ceremony. All three products embody Cadillac's distinctive bold design, purposeful innovation and balanced performance.
The high-performance, rear-wheel-drive Cadillac CTS luxury sedan will enter the China market this fall. The Cadillac SRX, which features the comfort of a luxury sport sedan combined with the versatility of a sport-utility vehicle, will enter the market later this year. The Cadillac XLR, the brand's flagship luxury roadster, will be available in China in early 2005.
All three models will start as imports from GM's North American Operations. They will be built at the company's Grand River manufacturing facility in Lansing, Michigan, and at its facility in Bowling Green, Kentucky. Both the CTS and SRX will be assembled soon thereafter at Shanghai General Motors Company Limited (Shanghai GM), making the joint venture of GM and Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation Group (SAIC) the only facility outside the United States to produce Cadillacs. GM will collaborate with Shanghai GM to market and distribute Cadillac vehicles in China.
In conjunction with the launch of the brand, GM has begun building an exclusive Cadillac dealership network in China. A family of new and exclusive Cadillac dealerships will begin opening in August 2004 in 11 major Chinese cities such as Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou.
The authorized sales and aftersales network is comprised of the best dealers in China, which were selected based on a rigid set of criteria. All Cadillac facilities in China will offer the best of the best premium customer experience.
"We are proud to be taking GM into an important new high-growth market segment in China," said Phil Murtaugh, Chairman and CEO of the GM China Group. "Introducing Cadillac is part of our strategy of moving fast to address the needs of our customers. By setting a new standard in the premium luxury segment, Cadillac will contribute to the continued development and industry leadership of GM in China. At the same time, it will help create new opportunities for GM's global operations in the world's fastest-growing vehicle market."
According to Chen Hong, President of Shanghai GM and Vice President of SAIC, "Cadillac is an important part of Shanghai GM's multi-brand strategy. It will take the image of Shanghai GM to a new level while giving us the widest range of products in the broadest range of segments. We are confident the combination of Shanghai GM's strong competitiveness, expanding operating capacity, world-class manufacturing capability, and industry-leading sales and aftersales service will help ensure Cadillac's long-term success in China."
"Over the last 100 years, Cadillac has won worldwide acclaim for setting the standard for luxury in the automotive industry. As it embarks on its second century, Cadillac continues to set the standard for luxury," said Mark LaNeve, General Manager of Cadillac. "China represents a key component of Cadillac's global growth strategy. We look forward to working with GM China and Shanghai GM to ensure that Cadillac becomes the brand of choice among luxury vehicle buyers in China."
Shanghai GM is a 50-50 joint venture that produces and markets vehicles, engines and transmissions. Established in 1997, it currently manufactures the Buick Regal upper-medium sedan, Buick Excelle lower-medium sedan, Buick Sail small car and Buick GL8 executive wagon. Shanghai GM has adopted many of GM's advanced manufacturing systems and processes such as the Global Manufacturing System. Its products have been certified equal in terms of quality to those built by GM facilities elsewhere around the world.
Earlier today, GM and SAIC announced that Shanghai GM would increase its annual production capacity from 200,000 vehicles to 450,000 vehicles to support its aggressive new product plans, including the introduction of Cadillac. The expanded facility is expected to begin operation in 2005. GM and SAIC also announced their intention to expand Shanghai GM's engine plant.