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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.
 

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I find it a little hard to believe that there is enough market demand for high-end luxury vehicles in China to really justify this. Perhaps among government elites and the few succesful business owners who have turned a decent profit without the government taking it away there is demand, but... Maybe I'm wrong about this, but it just doesn't seem a very logical business move.
 

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Think about this:

In India, only 25% of the population lives at US standards, but since they have 1.1 Billion people, the market for lux products is as large as the US.

This applies all the more in China
 

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I have spoken with regular business visitors to china and they continually state that the pace of economic growth is amazing. 5 years ago everyone was riding around in rikshaws and now literally everyone is driving Buicks. The market is vastly larger than most of us can comprehend.

This is not to ignore the problems of communism, corruption and other pitfalls, but there's still a huge market. The Caddy XLR is like a Lamborghini in China - a halo car. Who cares if GM doesn't sell 10 of them... it's all about brand image.
 

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A few random thoughts noted in other articles:

The Chinese purchased two million cars last year, a large majority of which were purchased outright (i.e., no loans). Sales are about 45% ahead of last year's figures, though they've "moderated" to 20% growth this past month. The Chinese car market is expected to eclipse Japan, the present second largest car-consuming nation, by 2010. Recently, GMAC successfully got the ball rolling on the most capitalist of ideas: credit. And BMW sells more 760Li's in China than in any other country, which includes its HQ, Germany, and in the largest car market in the world, the US.

While the per capita income of the average Chinese person is far below that of the US, I very much believe there is a longterm market for Cadillac in China. Lord knows BMW, Mercedes, and Audi have already begun to sell their wares there. It seems to make good business sense to get in there sooner rather than later.
 

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Wow. I guess when Marx claimed that the world would eventually be run by a "dictatorship of the proletariet" he never envisioned them rolling in Cads.

Chairman Mao must be be spinning in his tomb!
 

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I saw it on TV,great event!
Communism Regime collapsed in my coutry 15 years ago and we still don't have a Cadillac dealership :(
Are you listening GM?
 

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Originally posted by me3head@Jun 7 2004, 12:56 PM
Think about this:

In India, only 25% of the population lives at US standards, but since they have 1.1 Billion people, the market for lux products is as large as the US.

This applies all the more in China
Reminds me of the old Saturday Night Live quote:

"In China, even if you are a One in a Million kind of guy, there are still 10,000 others like you."
 

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:lol: i guess the chinese will be the first to get the V12 powered automobiles too,since they're going to build cadillacs in china now.I don't know if i like this move by General Motors.The global economy has moved millions of jobs out of America,and this is another example of "out-sourcing"of american jobs.
 

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They dont really build the cars there, they just get shipped to China they take appart some of the car and put it back together. Then they can put a made in China sticker over ours. It makes me kinda sick but what can you do about it.
 

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GM will sell the rope that will hang themselves, Sorry to say. The only people that can afford these high end cars in these foreign countries are crooks, just look at Russia. Be real GM . You couldn't just be satisfied with NAFTA, after you SCREWED all the autoworkers in the U.S. Let's get that Vietnam market too.
 
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