• Mar 27th 2009 at 9:28AM
  • 40
It's going to be hard for Cadillac to live up to its longtime billing as "The Standard of the World" if the brand isn't available in much of it. Despite this, General Motors has decided to pull Cadillac from nearly half of the 25 European markets (not including the U.K. or Russia) in which it currently sells. Along with Cadillac, the HUMMER and Corvette brands will also be affected.

The problem isn't directly GM's fault, as the automaker relies on a Dutch-based third-party company called Kroymans Import Europe to distribute these brands across the Atlantic. Due to slow sales caused by the global economic downturn, Kroymans has found itself with an "acute liquidity shortage." In other words, it's out of money.

GM and Kroymans are currently working on a new distribution deal, but in the meantime, a court has appointed an independent administrator to take possession of the 3,500 unsold vehicles currently sitting on Kroyman's 165 European dealerships.

[Source: Automotive News - sub. req'd]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 6 Years Ago
      The situation with Corvette is even worse, despite very keen pricing. The LHD only Corvette in the UK sold just 13 examples in 2008, compared to 5,918 at Porsche - its target rival.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I agree to some extent about the wrong products, but, Cadillac is coming out with new products. A diesel CTS and STS are on the works. The new wagon is on course as is the coupe.

      New and exciting products. The distributor has to do a better job. GM has dealerships throughout the world. Use them.

      That's my point.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Thats crazy. It's good to see the sixteenth concept I didn't know how much it looks like the CTS.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Meh. I'm not surprised, though it's kinda sad. I don't think Cadillac had ever gained enough prestige in Europe for the CTS to compete with the 3 Series and the STS to compete with the E-Class; the BLS fooled NO ONE. This is the issue with brand introductions in foreign markets; it's even tougher to go up against big dogs in the home country (i.e. BMW, M-B, Audi).
        • 6 Years Ago
        Whatsmore, you're completely incorrect about Hyundai's decision not to sell Genesis in Europe. Hyundai remains a budget brand in Europe, despite the fact it has come a long way over the years. Furthermore, large Asian cars (lexus excluded) traditionally are extremely slow sellers and residuals often fall through the floor.

        The executive market in Europe simply has no room for Genesis to offer anything substantially different - the German marques have also long encoached on Mondeo pricing territory. An upmarket Hyundai here just wouldn't sell; this is why the Grandeur (Azera) was restricted to just a few European markets in limited quantities. The Genesis, despite being rear-driven, would fair no better.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Its nothing to do with prestige; Lexus managed to get a good foothold in Europe and Infiniti will do the same. It's all about offering the wrong product and taking the cheapest option possible - it resulted in products which people just weren't interested in along with a poor image.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Maybe Infiniti, but Lexus? Lexus has been close to a failure in Europe; their issue is that their perceived prestige is low. Their prices undercut competitors, giving them an image of cheapness. This is why Hyundai, which wants the Genesis to compete with Lexus in the US, won't release the Genesis to Europe because Lexus is doing so badly there.
      • 6 Years Ago
      It's not GM's direct fault, but another one to put in its huge collection of mistakes. Why put distribution in the hands of a third part when you have a consolidated huge network already created by GM Europe, that sells Opels and Chevrolets? If Opel can import the Antara from South Korea and the GT from the US, why couldn't they use the same logistics channel to import Caddies, Hummers and Vettes to Europe?
      Opel/Vauxhall, Saab and Chevy are everywhere in Europe. So are Audi, Mercedes, Volvo, Bimmer, Alfa Romeo, Jaguar and even Lexus. Why couldn't GM use this huge network to distribute their luxury brands from New World instead of relying on a Dutch importer?
        • 6 Years Ago
        What good is a distribution network if the cars don't appeal to the target market? I'm not saying the cars are bad in any way, it's just not designed for Europeans. And the GM brands don't have the same status here in Europe.

        We get Korean "Chevrolets" that we all know are just badge jobs. I'm never buying a Chevrolet here, unless I want a car that says "cheap"...
      • 6 Years Ago
      Maybe the CTS-V would appeal to a few Europeans looking for something different from a BMW M5.
      • 6 Years Ago
      The BLS was a rebadged SAAB. Apparently Europeans were not fooled and preferred the original SAAB than buy a Cadillac BLS.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Selling a rebadged Saab as a Caddy in Europe? A facepalm moment I saw on Top Gear. Let's take a Chrysler and rebadge it as a Maserati and sell it in the US!
      • 6 Years Ago
      I agree. It needs a good reliable, performance oriented diesel.

      I think once they have that it can sell some of it products. It really is a wait and see situation.

      I wish the entire auto industry the best.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Well Swede, remember in France the big three of Renault, Peugeot and Citroen have the market pretty much sewn up.

      In the D-segment the sales totals are...

      Renault Laguna - 33011
      Peugeot 407 - 25789
      Citroen C5 - 25697
      BMW 3-Series - 17830
      Audi A4 - 17396
      VW Passat - 17387
      Mercedes C-Class - 13923
      Ford Mondeo - 9445
      Toyota Avensis - 5608
      Alfa Romeo 159 - 3492
      SAAB 9-3 - 2909
      Mazda 6 - 2546
      Opel Vectra - 1831
      Skoda Superb - 1179
      FIAT Croma - 1136
      Volvo S60 - 816
      Honda Accord - 768
      Lexus IS - 700
      Chrysler Sebring - 619
      Chevrolet Epica - 383
      Mitsubishi Lancer - 277
      Hyundai Sonata - 235
      Dodge Avenger - 196
      Opel Signum - 118
      Kia Magentis - 110
      Opel Insignia - 64
      Cadillac BLS - 28
      Lancia Thesis - 25
      Infiniti G37 - 4
      Alfa Romeo 156 - 1

      The Insignia will likely take off this year and exceed SAAB once again. The Vectra had of course been in the process of running-down this last year.
      • 6 Years Ago
      The BLS is a great second hand bargain though, they are almost completely worthless. You can get a 2008 BLS for 150k SEK (divide by 10 for €) , Cadillac wanted 350-400k for that a year ago.
      • 6 Years Ago
      The problem isn't the economic downturn! :S

      The problem is no one wants a Cadillac in Europe... Even when the economy was surging.

      GM was throwing money out of the window, and will still be, if they insist on that crazy strategy.
      It's the wrong product, the wrong brand, with the wrong image...
        • 6 Years Ago
        Yago, don't know how old you are, but 20 years ago no one in the US "wanted" a Hyundai. People bought them because they made economic sense. Today, people are actually buying Hyundai(s)

        Hell 15 years ago, few people in America wanted a Cadillac. Cadillac can succeed in Europe. Now may not be the best time for them to be trying to crack luxury car market especially in these tough economic times.

        The BLS? Don't know if it was a good or bad car. However, it was a terrible Cadillac. There is nothing that you can do to an ugly, quirky SAAB to make it a Cadillac. The BLS decision, ranks 2nd only to the Cimmaron in terms of decisions that diminished the brand's image.

        The CTS variants and new SRX, will go a long way in restoring the Cadillac brand image.

        • 6 Years Ago
        Mr. Oak:

        The ugly Saab sold a hundred times more units than the BLS... And did it selling lousy.

        The cars were the same, but nobody wanted a Cadillac.

        Hyudai's range for the US was specifically designed for the US market, and for a niche that was empty and ready for them.

        Cadillac, on the other hand, is trying to compete with established monsters, with wrong products designed for a less demanding different culture, in a saturated market, where buyers look at the brand as a yankee, tasteless, unreliable, boat handling, sub-par quality barge. :) Really, I'm not trying to be mean! That's what's wrong!

        Cadillac sold a single car in Portugal in 2006, just to give you an example... One. And none ever since.

        Even the UK, a big market very much open to american offerings, buys less then 200 Cadillacs a year. (Opposed to 20 000 Saabs, just as a curiosity).

        Not a single american brand sells in Europe... but many european ones sell a lot in the US: there's a reason for that. (Ford Europe or GM Europe are quite autonomous divisions.)

        There's not much GM can do besides throwing money out of the window.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Too bad people here don't want to hear the truth. It's not like you are trying to be mean. It doesn't say anything about the quality of American cars!

        It's just the plain and simple truth that Europeans don't want to buy Cadillacs. The brand is just not that well known here, it's not recognized as a luxury brand.

        They're expensive, but don't have the brand recognition that people want when they buy an Audi, BMW or Mercedes.

        The designs are also quite foreign for Europeans. They are clearly not designed with our tastes in mind. And that's okay, but don't expect us to buy it!
        • 6 Years Ago
        Yep. I voted you up, as it appears americans think that Cadillac is great. Which it of course isnt, if it were, it'd sell. Having a better supply chain would help them, Cadillac's lack of dealerships worthy of performing warranty service is a problem but the same problem affects Porsche and they do pretty good.

        Cadillac doesnt work in Europe because GM are clueless as to how to position it.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Mr.Oak, you fail to see one major difference with your Hyundai example...

        Who else in the US sells cars as cheaply as Hyundai, apart from a few Japs? In addition, how many car brands are sold in the US (back then)? Not half as many as in Europe.

        Cadillac is up against the toughest competitors in the world. BMW, Audi, Benz. And unfortunately, the luxury Euro consumer isn't looking for a sporty CTS but just a simple, diesel plush tourer. Cadillac won't crack the market, not for another 20 years...

        Hell, that's how long it took Skoda to start to crack the market under VW ownership.
        • 6 Years Ago
        As well as being ugly, over priced, and not at all fun.
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