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Why Cadillac Has What it Takes to Succeed in Europe

Editorial / Comments

Caddie has come a long, long way from its land yacht days.

The German luxury car Big Four may have finally found its most formidable competitor ever (not counting each other, of course). Barely a decade ago, an executive from Audi, BMW, Mercedes, or Porsche would have simply laughed if you'd told them that Cadillac will one day become a performance and sales threat. They'd have said something like "how can a so-called luxury brand (and an American one at that) whose most loyal buyers served in WWII become a concern?

We'll just stick with relentlessly copying and fighting each other." Well, Cadillac has today proven the Germans wrong and they know it. With new models like the ATS proving itself on countless times in direct comparison tests against the likes of the benchmark 3 Series, these German brands now see Cadillac as a true threat. Cadillacs are also less expensive; a bargain is a bargain everywhere. Although there's just four Cadillac dealers in Europe at the moment, that won't last for long. Speaking at Geneva with Thomas Sedran, President and Managing Director of Cadillac Europe, we were told that the brand has a 7-10 year market plan that goes beyond adding diesels.

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Yes, Cadillac currently lacks a diesel-powered model, but it does offer the ELR, which Sedran views as the "perfect commuter car for a Munich lawyer." Diesels may come at some point, but Cadillac offers a true "alternative for some someone who wants something special." That alone is enough to cause Germany some serious concern.