Cadillac to ditch China-only LWB models for global 'right size'

And it's all in a bid to continue wooing young, wealth Chinese customers.

We often think of Buick being General Motors' poster child in China, but would it surprise you to hear that Cadillac is just doing a bang-up job in the People's Republic? It's true, the Standard of the World is on fire, and it's doing so with a surprising group of buyers that are going to push through globe-spanning changes for the brand.

Cadillac's average buyer age in the People's Republic of China is just 34. Yes, younger buyers dominate the Chinese market, but according to Reuters, Cadillac's young buyers want to drive and they don't want the typical businessman's German-badged sedan. Cadillac understands this, and is setting about to exploit it with a shift in its Chinese strategy.

According to President Johan de Nysschen, the company will begin moving away from the China-only, long-wheelbase models, like the ATS-L. Instead, it will push for a global "right size" design, along with some stylistic changes. "You will see a softening of some of the hard edges, and more three-dimension styling on the side of the car," de Nysschen told Reuters, while noting that the cars will still be "instantly recognizable as Cadillac."

Even without these changes, though, Cadillac has bucked the trend in China. At 17 percent, the company's sales exceeded the PRC's overall market growth of 7.3 percent by a significant margin. In fact, Cadillac's 2015 gains outpaced the overall market growth in China over the past three years, as the brand jumped to nearly 80,000 units. And the company is hoping to push that even higher, Reuters reports, with President Johan de Nysschen targeting a 25-percent increase in 2016.

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