China-made Cadil­lac to be sold in US: GM

GM to also im­port plug-in ver­sion of CT6 lux­ury sedan

China Daily (Canada) - - ACROSS AMERICAS - By PAUL WELITZKIN in New York paulwelitzkin@chi­nadai­lyusa. com

Two days af­ter un­veil­ing the first new ve­hi­cle from Detroit’s Big 3 im­ported from China, Gen­eral Mo­tors Co said it also will im­port the plug-in hy­brid ver­sion of the Cadil­lac CT6 lux­ury sedan to the US from the main­land.

The plug-in hy­brid CT6 will be made at a plant in China. GM also plans to make the CT6 at a plant in Detroit.

Sean McAlin­den, vice-pres­i­dent for strate­gic stud­ies and chief econ­o­mist at the Cen­ter for Au­to­mo­tive Re­search in Ann Ar­bor, Michi­gan, said the ex­pected small size of the po­ten­tial mar­ket for the plugin hy­brid CT6 is a ma­jor rea­son why GM will build it in China.

“Hy­brid sales were off by 20 per­cent in the US last year due to low gaso­line prices (below $2 a gal­lon). So the hy­brid CT6 would not sell well in the US just like the hy­brid Lexus mod­els. We only need a few,” McAlin­den said in an e-mail.

McAlin­den said the Detroit plant where the CT6 will be built “… will also start to pro­duce the Chevro­let Camaro next year, which will fill out ca­pac­ity at that plant.”

The plug-in hy­brid CT6 will also be sold in China.

“Hy­brids make great sense in China com­pared to EVs (elec­tric ve­hi­cles) be­cause of the heavy use of coal to pro­duce elec­tric­ity,” noted McAlin­den.

GM’s move to sell the two Chi­nese-made ve­hi­cles shows that the com­pany is con­fi­dent in the qual­ity of the prod­ucts that are pro­duced on the main­land.

“Longer term, we should see more of this be­cause GM’s Chi­nese op­er­a­tions have ev­ery ca­pa­bil­ity re­quired to pro­vide cars for North Amer­ica,” Eric Noble, pres­i­dent of CarLab, a con­sult­ing firm in Or­ange, Cal­i­for­nia, told Bloomberg. “They would im­port here in­stead of from Europe be­cause Chi­nese con­sumer tastes align more closely to Amer­i­can tastes than Europe’s ever did.”

Mean­while, GM’s chief US ri­val, Ford Mo­tor Co, un­veiled a new Lin­coln Con­ti­nen­tal full-size sedan Tues­day at the North Amer­i­can In­ter­na­tional Auto Show in Detroit. It is sched­uled to go on sale in the US and China later this year.

Lin­coln is re­viv­ing the Con­ti­nen­tal as part of a mul­ti­year, multi­bil­lion-dol­lar come­back in which China is ex­pected to play a ma­jor role.

“We be­lieve there will be a siz­able mar­ket for this ve­hi­cle in the US and China,” Lin­coln spokesman Stephane Ce­sareo told China Daily in 2015.

Ce­sareo said the com­pany hopes to have 60 deal­er­ships in the coun­try by the end of 2016.

“China rep­re­sents a crit­i­cal part of our strat­egy,” he added. “Our goal is to de­velop a strong net­work of deal­ers in the coun­try’s ma­jor cities.”

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