It has been an icon for more than a century, its very name symbolic of luxury, but these days, Cadillac is fast becoming more Chinese than American.
With a flood of new products backed up by a $1.2 billion assembly plant that opened in Shanghai last year, Caddy’s Chinese sales handily exceed those of the maker’s home market. And, with plans to triple its dealer count in the booming Asian nation – while it hopes to eliminate 40% of its U.S. showrooms – the gap seems likely to continue expanding.
Cadillac isn’t walking away from the American market. It has grand plans in the works, but the results have been far from convincing since the General Motors brand moved its headquarters from Detroit to New York two years ago. In China, however, “our growth is explosive and sustained,” says Johan de Nysschen, the former Audi of America CEO who has been in charge of GM’s lavish turnaround plan.