The Telegraph
Monday , October 29 , 2012
Since 1st March, 1999
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GM plans to drive in Cadillac

Calcutta, Oct. 28: General Motors is planning to bring its Cadillac brand to India in a bid to cash in on the growth in the premium car segment in the country.

“The Cadillac is a premium brand and there is no reason why we should not bring it here. The premium car segment in India is growing unlike the other segments. It’s a bit depressed now but we are all hoping the economy will bounce back from this festive season in response to the government’s current set of economic reforms,” Lowell Paddock, president and managing director of General Motors India Private Ltd, said at an event in Pune recently.

Paddock, however, ruled out reviving the Opel brand in the country.

The premium car segment, which is mainly represented by the three German marquees Mercedes, BMW and Audi, grew at over 70 per cent in 2010 and sold about 25,000 cars in 2011.

The segment recently came under pressure because of the economic slowdown, rising interest rates and a staggering import duty of 130 per cent on completely built-up units (CBUs). Despite this, car makers are driving in premium products with Toyota planning to bring in the Lexus, and Nissan, its Infinity.

Asked if GM would modify the Cadillac range of cars for Indian conditions, Lowell said: “We will obviously have to bring diesel and right-hand drive cars with a bigger ground clearance for Indian roads. But apart from that, we will retain the iconic Cadillac brand as it is for the Indian customers.”

For Cadillac to come to India, Paddock believes the brand has to catch up in Europe first, particularly in western Europe where there is a market for diesel right-hand drive premium cars. “If you look at our recent launches in the Cadillac range, the XTS and the ATS models are excellent ones. The ATS, particularly is a four-seater sedan. And the XTS does well in the North American markets.”