This shouldn't be too hard to guess, but what isn't clear is how this shift will change Cadillac in the near future.
Thanks to a large population and a booming economy, China has elevated itself to the position of being the world’s largest auto market. Despite the fact that Trump seems to be laying down the groundwork for a trade war amongst one of our largest trading partners, things couldn’t be going better for American automakers in China with Cadillac just having reached the milestone of selling more cars to the Chinese buyers than it sold to US customers during the first month of 2017.
The previous month saw Cadillac deliver an impressive 10,298 cars to US buyers while China gobbled up 18,011 of GM’s luxury vehicles during the same period of time. This was a 116 percent increase in in Chinese sales over the previous month, as noted by Forbes, which led Cadillac to a global sales jump of 44.2 percent in January. In the US, sales actually dropped by 4.1%, but given Cadillac’s plan to infiltrate the market with a bevy of SUVs small and large, the automaker seems to be poised to experience the sort of growth in the US and around the world that its been seeking ever since its $12 billion revitalization. Top sellers included the XT5 crossover, coupe and sedan versions of the ATS, and the brand’s flagship XTS sedan.
While US and Chinese buyers are without a doubt being drawn in thanks to Cadillac’s new bold styling and robust chassis (we can attest to the fact that the CT6’s bones really do feel magical), Chinese buyers have other motivations. In fact, Cadillac’s situation in the world’s largest auto market couldn’t be better because it’s attracting the kind of buyers every automaker seeks out: the young and malleable who are likely to increase their earnings as they grow older yet remain loyal to the brand that transported them in their youth. “We are growing the business significantly and attracting a youthful and affluent demographic, elevating the aspirational character of the brand, said Cadillac CEO Johan de Nysschen.
Cadillac was once seen as a brand for the old and dying in the US but Chinese youth instead see Mercedes and BMW that way, with American luxury brands being the more edgy and in-vogue brands to buy for the style-conscious. It’s unclear whether Cadillac’s surge in China will sustain itself, but the fact that the upward trend line has consistency to it means that the automaker could soon be thinking of small ways to tweak its vehicles for the Chinese market. Don’t stray too far Cadillac because so far it seems that China likes what you’ve got.