Automakers listen up, this is the recipe for success.
It's ironic that most of Cadillac's current lineup debuted after the automaker had invested billions of dollars to reinvent itself as a more sophisticated luxury car manufacturer on par with the European brands. Thing is, Chinese drivers love Cadillacs specifically because they aren't a European brand. Hop over the Great Wall and the car scene is opposite to America's. Over there a Mercedes or BMW badge is a mark of grey hair whereas the Cadillac logo stands for youth, virility, and and sophistication.
Still, that reinvention is serving it well because 2017 has rounded out as Cadillac's second best in its 115-year history. By the time the new year's ball in Times Square hit base, Cadillac had rounded out 2017 by selling 356,467 cars, a 15.5% increase in sales over the previous year. While numbers like that are a sign that the brand as a whole is flourishing, General Motors can thank its success on a variety of factors. Actually, you can narrow that down to two: China and the XT5. Let's start with the former because the proliferation of Cadillacs into the world's largest auto market has been nothing less than astonishing.
Year-over-year, China's sales went up by 50.8%. "The resurgence of the brand is underscored by our attaining the second-highest total sales figure in Cadillac's 115-year history," said Cadillac President Johan de Nysschen. "Our objective of rapidly establishing a second volume hub for the brand to complement our U.S. operations has been attained, as our Chinese business grew exponentially, leaving us well-positioned for sustained growth going forward." China is only part of the equation. US sales have been strong as well, with the XT5 sweeping the floor and garnering Cadillac plenty of customers. The rest of the world seems to love the crossover too, with 143,905 XT5s being moved in 2017. Was the investment worth it? Seems like it.