General Motors South Africa today announced more details regarding the launch of the Cadillac brand into the South African premium segment of the market. The first vehicles which will be on offer are the Cadillac BLS, a mid-size luxury sedan, and luxury SUV, the Cadillac SRX. The Cadillac STS, a large sedan, will be launched during the third quarter of the year.
Five dealerships have been set up around the country at an approximate cost of R10 million each. These outlets are located in Johannesburg (Fourways), Nelspruit, Cape Town, Durban and Bloemfontein. Within six months the number of dealerships will increase to seven when Pretoria and Klerksdorp will be added to the distribution footprint. In 2008 a further three will be added to the network.
GM South Africa President and Managing Director Robert Socia said that the introduction of Cadillac signals the company’s intent to significantly increase its presence in the luxury segment of the market. “Cadillac forms an important part of our plan to grow our business and share of the market in South Africa.”
Last year was a record breaking year for GM South Africa when the company sold 87 121 vehicles, thereby increasing volumes by 13.7% versus the previous year. “Our new vehicle entrants into the luxury market will further boost our overall volumes. On an ongoing basis, we will be reviewing our entire product portfolio and assessing opportunities to introduce new products and capture the attention of new target audiences.”
Cadillac will be retailed in multi-brand facilities alongside Saab and HUMMER, says Dr. Alf Bennett, Premium Channel Manager for Cadillac. “South Africa is amongst the first markets where General Motors has grouped these brands together under one banner and going forward this approach will be applied in other small and medium sized markets around the globe.”
Dr Bennett predicts that Cadillac will perform well in South Africa. “We know that there are customers in South Africa who are looking for new and somewhat different luxury vehicles. If you look at comparably equipped vehicles from our competition, we provide an excellent value proposition to our customers due to a high level of standard equipment. We have no doubt that Cadillac will become the new measure of success in motoring terms.”
In 2006 some 250 000 Cadillacs were sold around the globe. In the last two years sales in Canada were up 45%; in the Middle East sales increased by more than 50% and in China the increase was 65%.
Socia said that the South African market would continue to grow and would probably increase by 5 to 6% this year. “Eventually this will become a market of one million units per annum but only those players that are able to effectively gear up their operations to a service a market of this size, will be sustainable for the long-term.”
“We are confident of our future in South Africa and will be undertaking investments which will increase the capacity of our operations as well as our ability to reach more customers and provide them with a broader range of choice.”
During the course of the past three years GM South Africa has invested R2 billion into its operations and will invest a further R620 million in 2007 on new tooling and facility and equipment upgrades.
For further information access the Cadillac website on
or phone the customer toll-free number on 0800 CADILLAC.
Currently GM South Africa is exporting left-hand drive HUMMER H3 vehicles to markets in the Middle East, Israel, Europe and Asia Pacific. The right hand drive version of the HUMMER H3 will be exported to various markets later this year and will be launched in South Africa in May 2007. Further announcements with regards to the HUMMER H3 will be made closer to the time.