Cadillac sales in China have exploded, jumping 44 percent in just one month — compared to a 4 percent year-over-year decline in U.S sales.
Cadillac sold 18,011 vehicles in China last month. By comparison, it sold just 10,298 vehicles in the U.S. — marking a 4.1 percent year-over-year decline.
The General Motors Co. (GM) 2016 Cadillac CT6 luxury sedan is unveiled during the 2015 New York International Auto Show in New York on April 1, 2015. Michael Nagle / Bloomberg via Getty Images
The Detroit luxury brand’s sudden surge in the Chinese market is all the more surprising since Cadillac just launched an array of new products for the U.S., including the flagship CT6 sedan and big XT5 sport-utility vehicle.
“Our growth is explosive and sustained,” said Cadillac President Johan de Nysschen, despite the brand’s struggles in the U.S. and other parts of the world.
Founded in 1902 by Detroit automotive pioneer Henry Leland — who, in an ironic twist, went on to launch Caddy’s long-time lead competitor, Lincoln — the GM brand ruled the vast American luxury market for most of its first century. But Caddy hit its peak in 1978, with U.S. sales of 347,000 vehicles. Last year, the numbers were slightly less than half that, at 170,006.
General Motors’ flagship brand hasn’t led the U.S. luxury market in nearly two decades, ceding dominance to its German and Japanese competitors. Last year, Mercedes-Benz took the American crown, its 2016 sales of 374,000 cars, trucks and crossovers more than doubling Caddy’s total. Worldwide, Mercedes moved over 1 million vehicles.
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Last year’s poor showing was doubly disappointing for Caddy considering the wave of new — and well-reviewed — products Cadillac brought to market, including both the CT6 and the XT5, the latter meant to capitalize on booming U.S. demand for utility vehicles.
But while American buyers have been less than receptive, Cadillac is finding a ready market in China.
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