The American luxury automaker is committed to Europe despite slow sales.
GM just closed a deal to sell Opel and Vauxhall to French automaker PSA (Citroen and Peugeot) for $2.3 billion. When news of the sale broke a few weeks back it was fair to wonder about the European fate of Cadillac and the Chevrolet Camaro and Corvette; both muscle cars are sold in some European Caddy dealerships. Well, wonder no more (if you ever did). According to Automotive News (AN), GM CEO Mary Barra said Cadillac and Chevy’s muscle cars would still have a presence in Europe for the foreseeable future.
The news came on a conference call held with a group of reporters and analysts after the sale of the European brands was announced. “That is the plan at this time, to continue with those models and brands in Europe,” Barry told the assembled writers and analysts. “We continue to grow the Cadillac brand. We’ll continue to do that in a very disciplined fashion.” Cadillac clearly appears to be playing a long game here. AN reports that its 45 dealerships sold just 781 cars in 2016. That was actually a 33% increase over 2015. The Camaro and Corvette easily outsold Cadillac’s entire lineup in 2016 with 1,800 combined sales. All of this is disappointing to us. We were bullish on Cadillac's European prospects back in 2014.
It looks like we were wrong. Of course there’s still time for us to be proven right! The automaker is considering diesel powertrains and appears committed to at least trying to make noise in Europe. Now that Opel and Vauxhall aren’t around to drain cash there should be some some money to spend. Maybe GM should consider offering one of its many upcoming Cadillac crossovers as a diesel.