As we reported last week, the new Cadillac XT4 is coming to the Chinese market this month. Today, we found out that the exact launch date of Cadillac’s newest crossover will be August 29th. The official date was revealed during a press event for the upcoming crossover.
The date confirms that China will become the first market where the XT4 will be launched, as it will arrive to the dealers in the United States during the fall, which – according to North American calendars – officially commences September 26th.
Cadillac XT4 In China
The arrival of the XT4 to the Chinese market is noteworthy for two key reasons.
First, it’s the fifth Cadillac model that will be produced in China in the past five years. Local manufacturing is the primary reason for Cadillac’s growth in the market. Prior to that, Cadillacs were exported to China, subjecting the vehicles to a hefty tariff on imported vehicles.
Second, the XT4 is Cadillac’s first-ever compact SUV, which places it into one of the largest and fastest-growing automotive segments in China, as well as around the world. The arrival of the model is expected to significantly contribute to the brand’s growth over the next several years both in China and elsewhere.
The XT4 reaches the Chinese market with exactly the same configuration announced during its world premiere in New York in March. The model will use the “Y” trim level strategy that consists of three equipment groups: Luxury (base), Premium Luxury and Sport.
The model is driven exclusively by a new powertrain combination consisting of an all-new turbo-charged 2.0L four-cylinder engine (production code LSY) paired with a new 9-speed automatic transmission. Homologated for the Chinese market, the duo makes 237 horsepower and 258 pound-feet (350 Nm) of torque.
As can be deduced from the name, the XT4 is positioned below the successful XT5 within the Cadillac model range. The XT4 enters the market’s C crossover segment, which Cadillac refers to as Lux 2. In that capacity, it will take on the BMW X1, Audi Q3, Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class as well as newcomers such as the Volvo XC40 and Lexus NX. Dimensionally, the XT4 is one of the largest models in its competitive set, with the Chinese variant of the BMW X1, called X1 Li, also being on the larger end of the segment.
As mentioned earlier, the XT4 is of significant strategic importance to Cadillac, which is establishing itself as the primary alternative to offerings from German luxury brands.
Last year, Cadillac sales in China increased nearly 51 percent to 175,489 units, enabling the brand to become the fourth best-selling luxury brand in the country. First place went to Audi, followed by Mercedes-Benz in second and BMW in third.
Sales Results - December 2017 - China - Cadillac
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Though sales volumes continued to trail the previously-mentioned German rivals, Cadillac did manage to narrow the gap, while also widening its lead over the fifth-place rival.
Perhaps even more noteworthy is that Cadillac managed to do this while selling only four models – the ATS-L, XTS, XT5 and CT6, as the current-generation CTS and Escalade are not sold in China.
In the first half of 2018, Cadillac has delivered a total of 103,791 units in China, an increase of 29 percent compared to the 80,357 units delivered during the same period last year. The brand expects sales to reach 200,000 units in the Chinese market by the end of 2018, a target revealed several months ago by the VP of Cadillac in China, Andreas Schaaf.
Sales Results - Q2 2018 - China - Cadillac
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At the present moment, Cadillac appears to be on track to hit that goal, with the XT4 coming in to increase that momentum, while continuing to raise the brand’s position in the market. In that regard, it will only be a matter of time until Cadillac represents a serious threat to BMW in China, which is ranked as the third best-selling luxury brand in the world’s largest automotive market.
For the Chinese market, the XT4 is assembled at the Jinqiao Cadillac plant in Shanghai. For North America, it will be assembled at the Fairfax plant in Kansas City, Kansas.