Cadillac thinks China will overtake the U.S. as market leader. Problem is, the crossover market could overtake Cadillac.
China has proven to be a force to be reckoned with for Cadillac, contributing heavily to its sales surge last year which helped the company achieve a new milestone: global sales volume reached a 30-year high. While the US was unsurprisingly the market leader, China wasn’t too far behind. Deliveries there rose an amazing 46% (116,406 cars sold). Speaking to Automotive News, Cadillac believes this rapid rise in sales will make China the company's market leader in just three year's time.
“We are moving Cadillac from having this very strong U.S.-centric focus to having a global focus. The time will come when we will sell more Cadillacs in China than here,” Cadillac president Johan de Nysschen said. This puts Cadillac in an interesting position. No new cars are being released by the manufacturer until mid-2018, which is causing concern among US dealerships. The next 18 months will be a critical period as the manufacturer bridges the gap between its current crop of sedans and its future crossover-heavy lineup. Currently the only crossover Cadillac makes is the XT5, with three new models in the pipeline including the possibility of a compact XT3.
“The majority of our portfolio is exposed to downdraft, while we can't really capitalize adequately on all the opportunities that exist with the swing of demand into crossovers. Now, this will be remedied, of course, over time as we expand our portfolio, but in the meantime it is our reality,” Johan de Nysschen stated. It’s a shame it’s taking so long for Cadillac to capitalize on the booming crossover market. According to Automotive News light trucks make up about 60% of sales in the United States. That's a ton of cash the American luxury automaker can't grab. In the meantime the surging Chinese sales should buoy the automaker, giving it the cash it needs to release a new line of crossovers in the US.