GM to push Cadillac brand in China

April 19, 2013 at 9:11 AM
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SHANGHAI, April 19 (UPI) -- Bob Socia, the head of General Motors in China, said the company would attempt to rev up sales of its luxury brand Cadillac in a market where sales are slow.

"With a refreshed SRX and a locally produced XTS and the right powertrain, we really expect it to start to take hold," Socia said Friday in an interview in Shanghai, where GM has its headquarters in China.

GM has about 100 Cadillac dealers in China and hopes to double that number by 2014. The company also has plans to launch four new Cadillac models in the Chinese market in the next four years, The Wall Street Journal reported.

China is GM's largest market. However, of the 2.8 million vehicles sold in China in 2012, only 30,000 were Cadillacs, the company's luxury brand.

Socia said GM is aiming at sales of 100,000 per year by 2015.

One issue that slowed sales: One of the first Cadillac models launched in China had a V-8 engine. That meant consumers were hit with a higher sales tax rate to which cars with large engines are subjected in China.

On the other hand, the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers said luxury brands now make up 8.5 percent of the sales in the country so the potential for increased Cadillac sales is there.

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