Historically speaking, Cadillac has been something of a non-starter in Europe. The brand currently has no real dealer network in the market, and that means it has very little presence. As a result, Cadillac Europe has very few shots at sales and success. Nevertheless, Cadillac President Steve Carlisle thinks Europe presents an interesting opportunity for the brand going forward.
Cadillac Society Executive Editor Alex Luft recently spoke with Carlisle at the debut for the all-new 2021 Cadillac Escalade. During the interview, we asked about Cadillac’s opportunities in various global markets.
“Cadillac is a real story in China, so expect that to continue,” Carlisle said. “We’re doing really well there. The Middle East is a great market and then there are other solid markets for us like Russia, Korea, and Japan.”
When asked specifically about Cadillac Europe, Carlisle responded with optimism for the future.
“I think Europe presents a really interesting opportunity for us,” Carlisle said. “We don’t really have a legacy there anymore. That market will make a very fast shift towards electrification just to the point in time that we start an aggressive rollout there. I like to say that we’re entering this decade as an internal combustion engine brand with better portfolio coverage than we’ve ever had. We’ve gone from about 63 percent a few years ago to 94 percent, so we’re covering all the important segments. But we’re going to exit as an electric brand. So it’s going to be a really exciting decade for us.”
Previously, the Cadillac Europe strategy under former Cadillac President Johan de Nysschen was to ramp up efforts in the market after Caddy’s “five new models by 2021” goal was accomplished. Now, it would seem as though EVs would provide a great new opportunity for Cadillac to focus on in Europe.
It makes sense, given tightening emissions laws and greater EV offerings from a number of different automakers. Europe is currently tipped to see a major uptick in EV adoption this year.
In the more immediate future, Cadillac’s latest European-focused venture is the turbodiesel 2.0L engine for the European-spec Cadillac XT4, an engine which Cadillac Society was the first to report.
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Greatly lament the cancelling of CT6, my 2016 model is best car I”ve ever owned,
and that includes Mercedes S class V12 (heart stopping to repair!)
I hear rumors of new “Flagship Sedan” in planning stages,
anyone have information?
If Mr. Stewart doesn’t mind, I have a few thoughts on the actual article:
I can see why Mr. Carlisle is a bit more optimistic about Europe. It’s true that the ICE is going to be far more limited in availability there soon. With all the electric vehicles supposedly in the works, Cadillac may get more consideration there. Of course, establishing a Dealer/Service network is imperative. That’s been done a time or two in the last 20 years and failed each time.
Also, “Europe” includes Britain and Ireland. Right Hand Drive should also be part of the plan. That would help enormously in Japan and if GM plans to offer Cadillac in Australia (though bitterness against GM at the closing of Holden might preclude that).
I am the owner of a Cadillac XT 5, bought in 2019, in Germany. Unfortunately, I feel left alone with my car. The car was handed over to me by an authorized dealer without explanation. The brakes have been squeaking since the beginning, the whole thing was tried to repair, this did not help. They are still squeaking. No information about customer service. There are no price lists on the European homepage … as a customer I was not even invited to the European launch of the XT4 …
I do not think this is how it should be done with the costumer service in Europe
I am glad to hear that Cadillac is hoping to establish a new customer base in Europe, but very unhappy to read that Cadillac is abandoning its current customer base here in the US by becoming an electric car company. I’ve bought or leased 17 new Cadillacs over the last 39 years and, at only 69 years old, I plan to lease a few more before I die, but I’m not ready for an Electric car. I sincerely hope I’m not forced to switch brands after all these years.
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