Yesterday, we wrote about Susan Docherty’s grand strategy for Cadillac: Make Cadillac great in Europe to convince the Chinese to buy Cadillac. Clever strategy. But what if it fails in Europe? Trust me, its European failure is assured. In the meantime, the story has landed in Europe. Germany’s premiere car dealer magazine Der Kfz-Betrieb runs with the story today (with a nice shout-out to TTAC, Danke.)
The experts at Der KFz-Betrieb give the grand Cadillac strategy only passing mention and recommend to check with TTAC if someone wants an assessment. What the magazine is most interested in are Docherty’s comments about the “lackluster performance of Chevrolet in Europe.” That grabs Deutschland’s dealers more than non-existent Caddy sales.
Docherty blames the ill-informed European customer. Docherty said that European customers know Chevrolet only for its Corvette and Camaro. “What they don’t know is the Spark and Aveo and Cruze and Orlando, and the newest one we’re about to launch, the Trax,” Docherty told WardsAuto. “Not only are we trying to raise the opinion of Chevrolet and Cadillac, we’ve got to increase the overall awareness.” Again, another laser-sharp Dochertanian observation.
Right on, says Kfz Betrieb: “German Opel and Chevrolet dealers have demanded more advertising for years. Chevrolet Germany however only wants to spend more for advertising when the dealers have moved more cars.” While chicken waits for egg and egg waits for chicken, Chevrolet’s sales dropped 40 percent in January in Europe.
While dealers are waiting for ads and GM is waiting for dealers to make them some money, there is plenty money to sponsor Manchester United. Says Kfz-Betrieb: “This deal did cost GM half a billion Euro, but it will hardly significantly raise the awareness of the brand and its specific products throughout Europe.”