By on March 27, 2013

Watching the live streaming video of Cadillac’s reveal of the all-new larger and lighter 2014 CTS last night in New York City, something GM Vice President Global Cadillac Bob Ferguson said caught my ear, about Cadillac tripling its sales over the next three years. That’s quite an improvement, so after the event I watched the recorded video and now that I’ve listened to Ferguson’s remarks a few times, and even transcribed it, I’m not sure exactly what he meant. From the context, really the word “and”,  it’s hard for me to tell if he was talking about tripling Cadillac’s sales in China, currently the world’s largest market for luxury cars or if he meant overall, globally. Let me know what you think, the transcript is after the break.

Ferguson also said that so for the first two months of 2013 Cadillac sales are up 32% in North America and that 70% of ATS buyers have never bought a Cadillac before. He didn’t say whether or not they had owned or cross-shopped a BMW 3 Series, the benchmark for the ATS and other cars in its class, or what brands of cars they used as trade-ins.

We hope you like what you see and we hope you find the trajectory of Cadillac is clear, expanding, growing, elevating to another level and the new CTS will help propel us there. As you know the new ATS sports sedan is the North American Car of the Year. What you may not know is that 70% of ATS buyers are new to Cadillac and that’s helping to move us forward as well. Through the first two months of 2013, sales are up 32% here in North America. In China, the world’s largest luxury market, we’re taking big steps forward [not a great leap forward? – RJS] and we expect sales to triple over the next three years.

Ronnie Schreiber edits Cars In Depth, a realistic perspective on cars & car culture and the original 3D car site. If you found this post worthwhile, you can get a parallax view at Cars In Depth. If the 3D thing freaks you out, don’t worry, all the photo and video players in use at the site have mono options. Thanks – RJS

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15 Comments on “Cadillac Predicts Sales In China To Triple by 2016, Or Was That Globally?...”

  • avatar
    sunridge place

    About 10 seconds of google searching finds multiple recent quotes from GM stating the target is to get from 30,000 annual sales in China to 100,000 sales by 2015.

    That is tripling of Cadillac sales in China. The quote is pretty clear to me as well.

  • avatar

    “In China, the world’s largest luxury market, we’re taking big steps forward [not a great leap forward? – RJS] and we expect sales to triple over the next three years.”
    I read that as tripling in China. Globally would be a much bigger task because they will not be tripling in the US, at best they could hope to equal Lexus, BMW and Mercedes at the 200K range.

  • avatar

    Last night I watched the first 17 minutes. Had no idea it lasted 41. If Cadillac puts in the insulation that smells sweeter than the German’s stanking stuff, they may sell 150,000.

  • avatar

    I think saying it meant globally is really stretching it. It is pretty obvious he is talking about China.

  • avatar

    I assume you haven’t read the better researched WSJ article where they talked to Edmunds about cross-shop numbers?

    Hint: yes, CTS and ATS are highly cross-shopped.

    • 0 avatar

      Why the need for the “better researched” snark? I was reporting on what Mr. Ferguson said and didn’t say, focusing primarily on his prediction of tripling sales in China. I won’t apologize for not reading every other report on the new CTS, or for that fact that a quick post about a quote isn’t quite up to the detail of a 1,340 word analysis, with charts, by two Wall Street Journal staffers.

      Instead of the snark, it probably would have been more helpful to your fellow TTAC readers if you’d had actually posted the cross-shopping info from that WSJ article, or at least a link. Since you didn’t, here it is:

      “Data from, the car shopping website, suggests that the ATS is getting some looks from people shopping German brands. In February, about 4.9% of shoppers who looked at a BMW 3 series also looked at the ATS, up from 3.3% in December 2012.

      But there was more cross-shopping traffic between the ATS and the Cadillac CTS. Of those who looked at a CTS, 26% also looked at the ATS.”

      Frankly, if I had cited the WSJ, discussing how the ATS and the current CTS are cross-shopped, I would have pointed out that’s sort of irrelevant to the new CTS, which has been made larger mostly to compete with the E Class and 5 Series but also to create some market space between the CTS and ATS.

      Also, the piece in the WSJ said the following:

      “After a lot of ups and downs over the years, the brand is focusing on a three-sedan portfolio—the ATS, CTS and XTS. That compares with the four different body styles in the BMW 5 series alone.”

      I may have not known about the WSJ article, but then the authors of that article are apparently unaware that the current CTS is offered in 3 body styles: sedan, coupe and station wagon. I’m pretty sure that the 5 Series was introduced as a 4 door sedan, with those other 3 body styles (including the CUVish GT) rolled out later, just as Cadillac has done with the current CTS and will likely do with the new one.

      • 0 avatar

        As I understand it, the new CTS is not going to be wagon or coupe, but the ATS might. If you have confirmation that the CTS will be sold in wagon and coupe, then you have news I’m interested in. Or perhaps you are “unaware” of that rumor.

        I didn’t feel the need to go over to WSJ and cut and paste when a quick summary like I gave is on the mark, and I don’t want to take page views from the article the you judge your own work to not be “up to the detail of”.

        My “snark” is a pretty direct and clear statement. The “unaware” comment I just made is more accurately called snarky. Your post wasn’t as good as their’s. No call to apologize, but get over it.

  • avatar

    I’d say it would be simpler to walk 8′ and look at the other Cadillac than it would to drive across town to view the BMW.

  • avatar
    doctor olds

    He seems to be talking about China. It would take 5 years of 32% growth to triple sales here. That seems very unlikely even with the plan to step up the cadence of new product rollouts. They are financially able and GM’s global product development and manufacturing systems can support this.

    They seem focused on competing in Europe, and not with a re-badged Saab. They say that will help bring China along, and the rest of the world, too with lighter cars, twin turbo 8 speeds and other technologies.

    Time will tell the effectiveness of GM’s effort to make Cadillac global.For sales to triple would require a global volume of 570,000 or so.

  • avatar

    ….Clearly talking about China. Don’t know how you could interpret it any other way, and they’ve mentioned tripling sales in China several times before.

    Creating controversy out of nothing to draw attention away from a truly world-class car in the CTS? Classic TTAC.

    • 0 avatar

      “Creating controversy out of nothing to draw attention away from a truly world-class car in the CTS? Classic TTAC.”

      Not trying to create controversy, just asking the Best & Brightest for their opinion about a remark that wasn’t completely clear to me. So call me dense but don’t accuse me of having some kind of agenda. As for me drawing attention away from the CTS with this post, I’m a bit perplexed as how you could say that a post about the car’s reveal, including the reveal video is drawing attention away from the CTS.

      As impressive as the CTS appears to be in photos and on paper in terms of its technical specs, I’d hold off on calling something “a truly world-class car” until I personally drove it or, in lieu of a test drive, if someone whose opinion that I trust drove it. Since I started shooting 3D a couple of years ago, I’ve learned that cars look different in real life than they do in mono photography. I’ll reserve my final judgment about how the new CTS looks until I see it in person.

      Yes, it looks like a formidable competitor to the 5 Series and E Class cars, and it may be a harbinger of Cadillac’s return to being the standard of the world, but I’ve been to too many car reveals to rank something as “world-class” without a bit more than a press release and a shiny new car on a turntable.

  • avatar

    He’s talking about China. Like everybody else said, it’s not a new line. I dunno how he plans to get there without building the CTS locally, but we’ll see.

    • 0 avatar
      sunridge place

      They will be building Cadillac’s locally. XTS is already starting China production.

      ATS has been confirmed for later this year. One can assume that the new CTS will join it in the future.

  • avatar

    Most interesting to me today was “Despite repeated revival promises, Cadillac’s U.S. market share has remained relatively unchanged over the past 10 years, bouncing between a high of 1.35% in 2005 to 1.05% at the end of 2012.” said some random website somewhere with way too many staffers and chart-y type people. That has to depress the Lincoln team as they stare up that mountain.

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