By on March 14, 2014

2015 Cadillac ATS Coupe

Sometime in the future, Cadillac global marketing boss Uwe Ellinghaus believes Cadillac could enter the Australian market, being able to “easily flourish” under the proper conditions established on top of the goodwill the brand already has in the country.

Auto Advice reports however the main goal for Cadillac is to go after what Ellinghaus calls “low-hanging fruit” markets:

We see the opportunity [in Australia] and we want to expand into as many markets as we can afford, but it’s also fair to say we have so much growth potential unexploited in China, even in the US, Canada, Russia, Dubai, Mexico… This is the lower-hanging fruit.

We have limited resources and great opportunities elsewhere that we need to make a very careful plan when to enter which market.

Regarding where Cadillac could enter the Australian market, he says the space soon to be vacated by the Holden Commodore would be the perfect point of entry. Offering the brand for Commodore prices, though, would be easier said than done as far as a business case is concerned, pointing toward both the BMW M Series and Mercedes AMG as to where pricing would occur for Cadillac’s high-performance lineup. He also had high hopes for the CTS, and the SRX and Escalade, with the latter two finding huge success in Australian burgeoning SUV marketplace.

As for when Cadillac would enter the scene, Ellinghaus says an introduction would occur near the end of the 2010s at the earliest, and would be headed by one or two models converted to right-hand drive. This follows an near-entry into the market back in 2008 before turning back at the last moment, though not before exporting a few vehicles and appointing dealers to sell them.

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76 Comments on “Ellinghaus: Cadillac Could “Easily Flourish” In Australian Market...”


  • avatar
    APaGttH

    They could serve a shrinking niche, but pricing critical. Flourish is likely overstating things to say the least. Opel failed.

  • avatar
    anti121hero

    Man does that logo look strange without the wreath around it….

  • avatar

    Hahahahahahaahhahahhahaahahahahahahahaahahahahhaahah.

    Ahahaha.

    • 0 avatar
      RobertRyan

      Yes absolutely hilarious the “Redneck Rolls Royce” even has a limited following in NA. if this example of Barras leadership GM is in serious trouble.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    I was under the impression that the only ones left buying Commodores and Falcons were die-hard, brand loyal fanboys. If that’s true, how would you get them to switch their allegiance to Cadillac? Even with no more Commodores and Falcons that seems like a bit of a stretch.

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      A lot of Falcon and Commodore sales are to fleet. Many of those domestic fleet sales have been driven by buy-domestic efforts.

      The imports will alienate some of the Aussie bogans and the fleet buyers, the latter of whom will just downsize into something cheaper if there are no domestic alternatives. There won’t be many buyers to switch.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      Seems to me the Caddy image should speak pretty nicely to Australian luxury buyers. It may take time, but I think the brand should do well there, particularly since the first cars being introduced are damn nice ones.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        @FreedMike
        Australia, per capita are the largest buyers globally of performance vehicles.

        So, there is money here for prestige and luxury marques.

        Many Australians don’t consider any vehicles out of NA as prestige or luxury.

        Why should we? We have had GM, Ford and even Chrysler here mainly with sixes and V8s for years.

        Even a Holden Caprice or Ford Fairlane was considered a very nice ‘normal’ vehicle, not a luxury vehicle.

        How could they be anything other than normal? They where just lengthened Falcons and Commodores.

  • avatar
    wmba

    There, there Ellinghaus. Calm down. Akerson has left the building. Your $50 expensed breakfasts are safe and you can face the world as a rational human being again.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    A Caddy in Australia? Who’s came up with that ridiculous idea.

    First is need 4 doors as even the Holden Monaro didn’t sell that well.

    As a niche, it would be a very, very small niche.

    What would you rather have, a BMW, Audi, Mercedes Benz, even a Volvo or Skoda rather than a Caddy.

    GM will be wasting their money.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      You didn’t push for a diesel Escalade pickup?

      Man, what’s up with you? :)

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        @FreedMike
        I would like the US body and interior in our Colorado. But I bet that’ll happen anyway.

        For pickups, I would want a Cummins powered Navara and Titan.

      • 0 avatar
        raresleeper

        Oh yeah.

        I’m sure a chromed-out Escalade would feel right at home along side various Land Rovers, Land Cruisers, Patrols, and Galaendawagons. Especially in the outback.

        The Escalade has a lot to offer the Australians.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          @raresleeper
          If the Escalade came in diesel and was as capable off road as a Patrol or Cruiser it would sell.

          But GM’s Suburban was a flop here quite recently, so I don’t think an Escalade would even be looked at.

    • 0 avatar
      charly

      Skoda? That should be the Dacia of Volkswagen.

      Also, is it smart to enter a luxury car brand in a market that will increase car taxes significant.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        @charly
        Your comment shows what little you do know about what’s on offer.

        The Skoda Superb Wagon actually received the Prestige Car of the year award. It’s quality was reported to be as good as any other VW prestige product.

        It runs an AWD system with a VW 3.5 litre V6. The only thing wrong with it was the fugly grille.

  • avatar
    Kenmore

    Who the hell publicly calls their prospective luxury customers “lower-hanging fruit”?

    Nissan calls even its Datsun target market “risers”.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      I thought the same thing. It’s so arrogant, implying these customers will be easy targets.

      Maybe they should test the Australian waters with the ELR.

      • 0 avatar
        Kenmore

        Maybe this is why he’s a *former* BMW marketing exec.

        But I could be wrong and the deep savvy he had earlier honed selling $400 ink pens to global literature majors was simply not sufficiently challenged at the propeller place.

        • 0 avatar
          ellomdian

          Kenmore, I think you have the order wrong. He was a “Former BMW” exec (and lets be fair, he was a chair-warmer while an exec, not really chosen for the position…) when he went to Mont Blanc.

          Now, at Cadillac, he’s a “Former Fancy-Pen Marketing” exec. BMW->MontBlanc->Caddy.

          Seriously, he’s got to have pictures of someone important doing something very embarrassing – I figured he’d be out the door with the change at the top – the GM post might turn out to be his longest exec tenure yet!

      • 0 avatar
        Kenmore

        Maybe this is why he’s a *former* BMW marketing exec.

        But I could be wrong and the deep savvy he had earlier honed selling $400 ink pens to global literature majors was just not sufficiently challenged at the propeller place.

    • 0 avatar
      philadlj

      I guess it could be worse…they could be UNDESCENDED customers.

  • avatar
    Mattsterzz

    I’d highly doubt that the Escalade would sell in Australia, too big and thirsty, we only like V8′s with performace down under. Looking at the sales of the Suburban when they were sold her in the 90′s, and the F-150, i’d say it’d fail.

  • avatar
    philadlj

    Ellinghaus seems optimistic that most Australians won’t be sore about GM shuttering operations in the country and will be happy to buy imported cars from that same company that will cost a lot more than the cars that used to be built there.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      I agree. Cadillac would have to be selling something very compelling to even be taken seriously, which they are not.

    • 0 avatar
      kmoney

      I know the economics could never work, but it’s shame they couldn’t build or partially assemble these (i.e., CKD kits) over there. It could bring back at least some of the automobile industry there and probably allow Cadillac to avoid the import duties that add significantly to the price of foreign manufactured luxury cars — which they could use to undercut their competition. If their goal is to bring these to Europe, it could also build RHD versions for other markets.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        There is a free trade agreement between the US and Australia. No tariffs, therefore no need for knockdown kits.

        • 0 avatar
          RobertRyan

          Except Cadillacs do not come in RHD. All of their potential competition does.

          • 0 avatar

            Who say that GMs offerings won’t come in RHD? I thought all of GMs new platforms were “world cars” from their earliest design definitions.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            @carcrazylarry,
            The “World Cars” Corvette and Cadillac are not in RHD

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            “Uwe Ellinghaus, Cadillac’s global chief marketing officer, wants Cadillac in the next five to 10 years to add vehicles with diesel engines that will help sell Cadillacs in Europe. ***Right-hand drive vehicles will help break into the Australian and United Kingdom markets.***”

            http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20140212/AUTO0103/302120021

            Right-hand drive is obviously part of the plan. If they’re going to make them for the UK, then they may as well make a few more for the Aussies.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            ““Uwe Ellinghaus, Cadillac’s global chief marketing officer, wants Cadillac in the next five to 10 years to add vehicles with diesel engines that will help sell Cadillacs in Europe. ***Right-hand drive vehicles will help break into the Australian and United Kingdom markets.**

            They sold a massive 600 all up in Europe in the “good years” Yes Cadillac and Corvette are not RHD.Europe is LHD/RHD “Next Ten Years” Wow, will GM or Cadillac be around then. This “Ewe Ellinhaus” is someone that VW and Toyota think GM should retain.

  • avatar
    Lightspeed

    Oh my God, I laughed so hard! Ellinghaus, a guy in your position is supposed to make the Kool-aid, not drink it! As delusional as anything uttered by any crackpot politician. “low hanging fruit?” again I am laughing my butt off. There is no more low hanging fruit left, there is only the smallest, most hidden, hardest to get to fruit. Like trying to pick raspberries in late August, you have to dig deep and take a lot of thorns. What a huge idiot. I really should get my MBA, this looks too easy.

  • avatar
    Pch101

    The Aussies don’t buy many cars in comparison to the US. (They can’t — the population is much lower.)

    The top luxury brand in Australia last year was Mercedes, and it sold about 28k units. Even if Cadillac could match that (and good luck with that), that doesn’t amount to a lot of cars.

    GM’s strategy for saving Cadillac with globalization is a poor one. It’s probably too late to use the brand to compete directly with the Germans; there is too much competition and not enough momentum. (Ford’s plan with Lincoln is less exciting but more prudent.)

  • avatar
    pacificpom2

    Hmmm rwd 2door v8 sedan? I wonder if he’s looked at why the local product is slowly going under down under? 4 door rwd v8 sedans aren’t exactly leaping of the sales room floor.

    His next burst of brilliance will be to export Buick Park Avenues from China to Australia, we’ll never notice the resemblance :)

    Seriously GM as a brand is going to be treated like a leper in the enthusiast community. Even Volvo is making a push to these people. Check out the Polestar S60 in the v8 Supercar, fastest in it’s debut race.

  • avatar
    Mandalorian

    A few “GM’s Greatest Hits” dealers selling Camaros, Corvettes, 2500HD Diesel Sierra Denalis, Escalades, and CTS (+V) could probably do quite well in the small volume market.

  • avatar

    I like this plan, it’s so crazy it might just work. Welcome back to the fight GM.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    Actually, I think this is a decent idea. Why not? My perception of Aussies is that they like their expensive cars big and brash, and Caddy fits that well.

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      Selling a few thousand cars per year with the steering wheel on the wrong side is not going to save Cadillac.

      And these days, Aussie luxury tastes are moving toward the Europeans. (In other words, they’re just like everybody else.)

      • 0 avatar

        Who said the cars would be LHD?

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        Moving toward the Europeans as of late?

        We’ve been that way for as long as I’ve known.

        What luxury marques does the US have that can compare to a Euro prestige or luxury marque over the past 4 decades?

        • 0 avatar

          Cadillac

          • 0 avatar
            pacificpom2

            No seriously what luxury marque does GM have that competes against MB, which are still highly regarded in OZ, Audi, BMW, to a lesser extant Jaguar. The Cadillac will be looked at as a different shaped Commodore or a bigger Malibu. And the Malibu is not exactly setting the sales charts on fire either. Personally I think GM would be better reviving OPEL in Australia, seeing that they prefer to keep that basket case going instead of Holden. The European Astra was well regarded as opposed to the Daewoo versions.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @pacificpom2
            I think the US has a slightly different perspective on what denotes luxury and prestige.

            Some in the US mentality appear to be ‘Upgrade’ or ‘supersizing’ is more luxury.

            To them it appears bling and leather makes a prestige or luxury car.

            To us, it is the complete vehicle design and package. Refinement across all areas, ie, suspension, drivetrain, interior, etc.

            We don’t consider a ute with leather and all of the bling a luxury vehicle. Why? Because it the same as the $24k base vehicle.

            No ‘blinged’ $24k vehicle could ever be deemed prestige, let alone luxury.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @crazycarlarry
            Cadillac is only prestige in the US nowhere else.

            US manufactured vehicles are not viewed as quality and reliable vehicles globally. Japanese, Korean and European vehicles are highly regarded as better quality.

            Cadillac will not sell in Australia.

          • 0 avatar

            @ big Al
            You say
            “US manufactured vehicles are not viewed as quality and reliable vehicles globally. Japanese, Korean and European vehicles are highly regarded as better quality.”

            Mercedes Benz, BMW, VW, Honda, Acura, Toyota, Nissan, Hyundai, Subaru, along with GM, Ford, FCA, Tesla all make highly regarded quality cars here in the USA.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @crazycarlarry
            What?

            US made vehicles are mainly considered good, by US people.

            US manufactured GM, Ford and Telsa are only considered good in the US.

            The US has a perceived quality issue outside of the US.

            Even BMW doesn’t highlight the fact that some of their vehicles are US manufactured.

            Toyota, with the Kluger (Highlander) doesn’t advertise the fact they are from the US.

            This would be negative advertising for the companies.

            Travel around the world, you’ll find European, Japanese and even Korean vehicles are considered better than US vehicles. Whether true or not this is due to years of neglect by the US Big Three in quality and innovation.

            Similar to the Japanese and Koreans auto industry the US is starting from a lower base than should be warranted.

          • 0 avatar
            charly

            You forget Chinese. I think that if you ask the average European or Australian if Chinese cars are better than American they would answer:”No, but in 5 years they will end the price is much better)

            ps Tesla is electric. It is much easier to make a good quality electric car.

    • 0 avatar
      Compaq Deskpro

      This could work, but like someone said before, best case scenario of killing Mercedes and taking all 28K sales is still a rather low volume of cars.

      They are not going for profit right now, they just need to get their name out there in the world, and hopefully get some some test drives in and increase demand.

  • avatar
    Pig_Iron

    I doubt it. With the latest air-bag debacle, word is getting around that the new GM is even worse than the old one. But GM doesn’t negotiate with terrorists, and by terrorists they mean customers.

    • 0 avatar
      RobertRyan

      @Pig Iron
      Agree I thought Acherson or whatever his name was bad, but this Mary Barra is making him look like a genius in comparison.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      Pig Iron, I agree with your assessment, harsh as it may be.

      Many of us who owned GM products over the past decades suspected that the bailouts, handouts and nationalization were only a ruse to put lipstick on this pig (no pun intended) and are now wondering if a lonely voice at the DOT will be heard yelling from the lectern, “We’re not done with GM yet!!!”

      Some people have called me out for saying that I think that GM made crap cars in the past, does so now, and will continue to do so in the future.

      I forgive them for they know not what they are talking about because I have been there and done that. I lived my life in GM fashion, car wise. I choose not to do that again. Back then I could not afford better. Now I can.

      I do not believe for a moment that Aussies are so gullible that they would choose to buy a Cadillac product when in their market they have the best cars on the planet to choose from.

      Maybe some of ttac’s B&B from down-under should chime in on this.

  • avatar
    Joss

    Easy.

    Reboot croc dundee & oz rules with Cadillac and get Tony to lift the ban on hunting salties.

    There you go.


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