GM set to finally take control of ailing Cadillac
13 June 2007
It's been more than 12 months in the pipeline, but Cadillac fleet sales are finally set to be brought under GM UK's wing, ending the unsuccessful Pendragon operation that launched the brand into the UK.
Launched more than 18 months ago, the US brand was supposed to take off in the UK with the launch of the Saab 9-3-based BLS (pictured), although only a handful have been registered this year. That appears to have prompted GM to take action, with Cadillac and Corvette joined by the soon-to-be-launched Hummer brand alongside Vauxhall, Chevrolet and Saab in GM's UK portfolio.
Saab GB boss Jonathan Nash will take responsibility for Cadillac, Corvette and Hummer (CCH) in addition to his existing role, with a few hundred sales per year the initial target.
"Our direct sales force will have the opportunity to market Cadillac, Corvette and Hummer," said Vauxhall fleet sales boss Maurice Howkins. "We've got a large infrastructure and sales team. We've been successful with other brands so there's no reason we can't be with these three."
GM product tsar Bob Lutz is known to be keen for Cadillac to establish itself in Europe. "We know we have to take the time to introduce Cadillac to European customers and show them what Cadillac is all about," he told BusinessCar at an exclusive event earlier this year. "The momentum this year is better than last - we're here for the long haul and intend to have an impact."
Lutz said GM wants Cadillac to grow to 30,000-40,000 units in Europe, though growing at a rate of 5000-6000 units per year is "fine".