Fleet News

Fleet 'crucial' to Cadillac's UK expansion

FLEET business is to be increasingly crucial to Cadillac as the American luxury car brand expands its UK range from one vehicle to 'five or six' by 2005. Ron Zarrella, president of General Motors North America, said: 'Our intention is to make Cadillac a successful luxury global brand.

To do that we need to make it successful in the United States with a range of products and then expand into Europe.' Officially General Motors launched Cadillac in the UK on May 14, 1998 with the Seville STS and that was joined by left-hand-drive versions of the Chevrolet Camaro and Corvette and in January last year by the Chevrolet Blazer 4x4 in right-hand-drive form.

While there are no plans to import any more of General Motors' American brands to the UK, the Chevrolet line-up looks set to expand in the summer with left-hand-drive versions of the luxury Tahoe 4x4, likely to cost about £33,000 and accommodating up to nine people. There are plans to dramatically expand the Cadillac line-up, although the Seville STS will remain the range-topper. The first new Cadillac to arrive in the UK is likely to be the Catera - a BMW 5-series rival - in 2001/02. The Catera, which would rival the BMW 3-series, may follow.

The Cadillac brand has not been a stunning success in the UK since it was launched 20 months ago, but company chiefs are confident they can be successful with the American luxury icon. Since launch in the UK 350-400 Cadillacs have been sold through General Motors' North American Vehicles UK subsidiary, which operates alongside Vauxhall.

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