“The rich are becoming richer in Brazil,” GM South American chief Jaime Ardila told Reuters, Therefore, “it’s time to start thinking about bringing Cadillac to Brazil.” The Caddys will be very expensive. “We wouldn’t consider producing Cadillacs here, because of the low volume,” Ardilla said, but we may consider importing the brand.” Imported cars carry high customs duty, fallout of a protectionist policy in Brazil that was applauded by carmakers in Brazil, GM among them.
Competition for the small luxury market in Brazil (47,000 last year, down this year due to the much higher taxes) will be tough:
- BMW announced plans to build an assembly plant in Brazil. to tap into that growth. No details of the plant were disclosed, but sources said BMW plans to invest at least $395 million.
- Daimler built cars in Brazil since 1999, but switched to commercial vehicles in 2010.
- Honda will bring its Acura brand in 2015.
- Lincoln will take a rain check. Ford’s global sales chief Jim Farley told Reuters that Ford has no plans to bring Lincoln to Brazil.