Fleet News

High hopes for Cadillac brand

GM is committed to positioning Cadillac as a premium American brand that will compete with the German luxury manufacturers but not try to copy them, UK bosses have claimed.

According to Jonathan Nash, the new managing director of Cadillac who has taken control of the brand alongside his current Saab remit, fleets will see a wholly individual approach from Cadillac which means the cars will not be merely rebadged Saabs.

Cadillac has struggled badly under importers Kroymans with the Saab 9-3-based BLS barely breaking 200 sales in the last year, despite massive multi-million pound investment in nine dealerships by retailer Pendragon Group .

From August 1, GMUK took over the running of the business, although Mr Nash claims Pendragon has not been frozen out by the move. However, the number of dealers will be reduced to six, with GMUK looking for another dealer partner for two more sites.

But only when there is suitable product will Cadillac be a genuine fleet proposition, Mr Nash said, and that will come with next year’s new CTS executive model, which is intended to be a global premium car and not one designed only for the US market.

Only then will buyers be able to understand GM’s direction with the brands, and will be distinct from its Saab cousin, he said.

Mr Nash added: “The challenge is to establish a viable business. Saab buyers won’t buy a Cadillac. Cadillac is aimed at premium product customers, and Pendragon’s experience with customer service for premium buyers will be invaluable.”

And any growth is unlikely to mirror the spectacular numbers seen when Vauxhall took over management of Saab.

Instead, the approach is likely to be for long-term incremental expansion.

“We’re not looking to push volume,” said Mr Nash.

“It must be organic growth as part of a strategy that includes quality product, a strong brand, the right processes, customer service, and a strong running cost proposition. Once those elements are in place, then we can build volume up.”

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