DETROIT (AFP) – China is the new El Dorado for US automakers looking to develop sales of their luxury brands, which globally are lagging behind German and Japanese competitors.
General Motors, the largest US automaker, already sells more cars in China each month than it does in its home market and expects that to continue.
“Our joint ventures in China are working to boost production capacity by 30 per cent to more than five million units annually by 2015,” GM executive Mary Barra told the firm’s annual shareholders meeting.
GM launched a Chinese-produced luxury sedan, the XTS, last year and is steadily adding more vehicles to its Cadillac range.
“Cadillac is already a very profitable business for us today and GM expects to see substantial growth for its luxury brand over the next few years, particularly in China where young consumers are open to new brands,” said Dan Ammann, GM president.
GM a few months ago poached Johan De Nysschen, the former executive of Nissan’s luxury Audi and Infiniti brands, to head the Cadillac brand.
China will become a “volume hub” for the Cadillac brands, De Nysschen said recently.
China, the world’s largest auto market, accounts for about 25 per cent of global luxury car sales and its share is growing.