Cadillac's new XTS isn't just headed to China, it will be built there. The forthcoming full-size luxury cruiser had already been earmarked for production in General Motors' Oshawa, Ontario Assembly Plant, but the automaker has just announced in Beijing that it will also be built in China with its joint venture partner Shanghai General Motors.

Cadillac is still a relatively small player in China's premium segment, with just 68 dealers and 30,000 sales last year. However, it's growing quickly, with March sales up more than 35 percent year-over-year to 2,745 units. Better still, General Motors says Cadillac's average buying age is very young – just 35 – and it expects to have 120 dealers online by the end of this year to meet growing demand.

The idea of local XTS production strikes us as a smart one, as China is enjoying a swell in demand for luxury cars, and it has always maintained a strong demand for vehicles with large rear seats. Cadillac already has a solid track record building in the communist nation, as it first began assembling the China-only SLS Executive Sedan – essentially an extended wheelbase STS – back in 2006.
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Cadillac Expands in China
2013 XTS production marks new stage in brand's global growth

2012-04-23

DETROIT – Cadillac announced at this week's Beijing Auto Show that it will build the all-new XTS luxury sedan in China in conjunction with joint venture partner Shanghai General Motors (SGM). The production expansion for the Chinese market is a major landmark in the brand's global growth.

The new 2013 Cadillac XTS launches in North America later this spring with production beginning in the coming weeks at the Oshawa, Ontario Assembly Plant. XTS production will begin in China this fall. The XTS is a new approach to the luxury sedan, blending traditional Cadillac spaciousness with advanced technologies, some of which are industry and segment firsts.

"China is the second-largest market for Cadillac, and of course is one of the largest and strongest markets in the world for luxury cars, so it is a core part of our vision as a brand," said Don Butler, Cadillac vice president of marketing. "It is projected that by the end of the decade half of all luxury purchases in the world – all categories, not just cars – will occur in China."

Cadillac's expansion in China in 2012 is the result of impressive growth for the brand. Since its small-scale debut in China in 2005, Cadillac has steadily earned a solid position. Cadillac sold a record 30,000 vehicles in China in 2011, compared with 17,000 in 2010.

XTS is not the first Cadillac assembled in China. That distinction belongs to the SLS Executive Sedan, an extended-length luxury car exclusive to China that began production in 2006. However, the expansion of XTS production to China marks the biggest step in Cadillac's growth in the world's largest automotive market.

All of the brand's core product lines are sold in China, with the CTS Sedan and Coupe, SRX crossover and Escalade imported from North America. The SRX is Cadillac's top seller in China. In March Cadillac sales set a monthly record of 2,745, an increase of 35.2% over the same period in 2011.

The average age of a Cadillac buyer in China is 35, signifying the explosive growth of the luxury marketplace and consumer perceptions of Cadillac.

"We're very encouraged by the positive response Chinese luxury consumers have to Cadillac," said Butler. "Qualities like innovation and entrepreneurship are admired by many luxury consumers in China, which aligns well with Cadillac. The American spirit of Cadillac creates a distinct and compelling position in the luxury marketplace."

Cadillac's dealer network has grown to 68 locations with projected growth to 120 dealers by the end of 2012. "Our dealers in China are experiencing strong growth, with some of them quickly becoming among the largest and best we have in the world," said Butler.

Cadillac has been a leading luxury auto brand since 1902. In recent years, Cadillac has engineered a historic renaissance led by artful engineering and advanced technology. More information on Cadillac can be found at media.cadillac.com.

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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 33 Comments
      Al
      • 3 Years Ago
      BOYCOTT GM & CHINESE PRODUCTS! Why the H did the gubment spend 20 BILLION of our hard earned taxpayer dollars on this crapola? What a ream job, our $ spent to send OUR jobs to COMMUNISTS!
      artandcolour2010
      • 3 Years Ago
      Just by the sheer size of their population, the epicenter of the globe's automotive business will be in China from now on. China will be the "domestic" market for all of the world's manufacturers. Probably good for profits if not for domestic jobs.
      muspod
      • 3 Years Ago
      Hey GM! Why don't you make them here and send them there on those empty wal mart cargo ships?!
        Al
        • 3 Years Ago
        @muspod
        Why should they care about making a profit with that kind of thinking, its much easier to simply steal American taxpayer dollars with the commie presidents blessing!
      Autoblogist
      • 3 Years Ago
      I think the XTS will be a surprise success. It's got a perfect storm of good factors surrounding it. The DTS/Lucerne set didn't just disappear and the demise of the Crown Vic/Town Car left a huge gaping hole in the market with well funded buyers. The platform and pricing will ensure a generous margin. I also think people will be surprised with the handling, Brembo stoppers and Magnetic Ride, don't conspire to make a terrible handler.
      SloopJohnB
      • 3 Years Ago
      With China's general lack of safety requirements and redundant crash testing, Caddy's next move should be to make an XTS L....for some reason Chinese like longer back seat legroom....ironic, isn't it?
      hjbigman
      • 3 Years Ago
      I wonder how much of this "deal" requires GM to hand over to the Chinese its automotive technology. Typically you don't/can't open factories in China without a "partner." Basically, this partner (always state-owned) will absorb all the technology and know-how and become your direct competitor within a few years. For example, Shanghai General Motors is half owned by GM and half owned by SAIC which is state-owned. A lot analysts argue that this is basically selling out your future competitiveness for a current market share in China.
        hmmwv
        • 3 Years Ago
        @hjbigman
        Well the alternative is not to sell at all, and surrender the (already small) market share to competitors such as Audi and BMW. Unfortunately everyone is doing it so you either join the bandwagon and earn a quick buck or get left behind.
          SloopJohnB
          • 3 Years Ago
          @hmmwv
          Small? I thought the automotive market in China was potentially bigger than the rest of the world combined.
        ACSRHS
        • 3 Years Ago
        @hjbigman
        Which is ironic because GM won't even let Saab go... And they're a small company who would hardly pose a threat to GM. But you're right, it's quite weird.
      Alex
      • 3 Years Ago
      How is it that so many younger people in China have so much money for luxury cars? Oh... Right.....
        SDJupiter
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Alex
        LOL we made them rich.
        sensibility2
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Alex
        So does many other countries. While good old USA still tumb their nose at some countries, I mean so called developing countries, China is selling to any and everyone which why they grew so fast. Head to many African countries today, China is very active and visible. It's only a matter of time before they wield far greater influence than the US in that region of the world. Heck they funded and built the OAU buliding.
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      Rol
      • 3 Years Ago
      "Cadillac already has a solid track record building in the communist nation" What kind of reporting is this? What does communism have to do with Cadillac building cars? When reporting about the UK, do you write "Ford has a strong history in the parliamentary nation"? Its serious propaganda..
        Chris
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Rol
        Technically, we don't do business with communist countries, except for China of course, the biggest communist country in the world. As long as that continues to be the case, expect to continue hearing it.
        Jason Allen
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Rol
        Rol, I think it's a valid and important point. To be a communist capitalist you must be insane most of the time. That is the only viewpoint that allows you to see china as it is. They will do or say anything to make money AND to keep the people down and powerless. They learned it from 'conservative' 'american' 'businessmen'. (Wow, three "quotes" in a row!) China will steal from you and they will undercut you and then well, just you wait. Keep buying chineese crap and and we might see. But the vulture capitalists and the like occasionally claim to be religious and/or decent and humble folk: it is a lie, but they fool some people each time they say it. That sliver of psudo AND FAKED religiousness is the one difference I see between the a-holes running china and the us.
      Snark
      • 3 Years Ago
      Hm. Another little piece of the puzzle of why Cadillac is bothering with the XTS just popped into place. This was never supposed to be a flagship, it was supposed to be a workhorse chauffeur/livery car and keep DTS and STS customers in the house, and given how common it is for people in China to have drivers, the XTS is a natural for China.
      L1011
      • 3 Years Ago
      Years ago McDonnell Douglas (McD) had a similar arrangement to make its MD80 airplane in China. Today, China now makes the ARJ21. China clearly stole the IP from McD as the ARJ is nearly identical to the MD80. (Google the two planes if you don't believe me) Given China's blatant theft of IP, it is foolish for any company to enter into such partnerships with China. If China wants our cars, we should not bow to their demands they be made in China. All capitalist countries in the world should not allow major products such as our cars and airplanes to be made in, and ultimately stolen by China.
        BFE
        • 3 Years Ago
        @L1011
        American cars aren't that special. If Caddy doesn't sell there, the Chinese will be more than happy to buy from Audi, BMW, Merc, etc.
      bleexeo
      • 3 Years Ago
      Sales up 35% for Cadillac? In China? And only 35 years old?! Communism turns out to be the New Capitalism. Just sayin'.
        Beloved
        • 3 Years Ago
        @bleexeo
        China has never been Communist. It is feudal.
        Beloved
        • 3 Years Ago
        @bleexeo
        China is feudal, not Communist.
        • 3 Years Ago
        @bleexeo
        [blocked]
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