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Coronavirus could derail Cadillac's plan for massive product rejuvenation

Jamie L. LaReau, Detroit Free Press on

Published in Automotive News

This time last year, General Motors' luxury brand, Cadillac, had just finished moving its headquarters from New York back to Warren, Mich.

Cadillac's leaders wanted to be closer to vehicle designers and engineers as it embarked on an expansive product launch. Cadillac promised to roll out a new vehicle every six months through 2021.

The brand's sales needed a shot in the arm and it had the product plan to do it. Cadillac's global sales were building momentum and Cadillac boss Steve Carlisle talked about an all-electric lineup by 2030.

Cadillac ended 2019 with sales inching up by 1% to 156,246 vehicles sold, led largely by its new XT4 and XT6 SUVs.

Things were on track. Then the coronavirus pandemic hit.

New-car sales across the industry have dipped amid the uncertainty the pandemic has brought to the market. Cadillac canceled plans for vehicle reveals and launches in April because of the rapidly spreading coronavirus.

 

Now its plan for a broader revival could be derailed.

"There is no question that the pandemic has put immense pressure on the industry and most future plans," said Jeff Schuster, president of Americas Operations and Global Vehicle Forecasts at LMC Automotive. "That certainly includes the revival of Cadillac through product."

No production, no sales

GM reported Wednesday that its total sales in the first quarter were down 7% compared to a year ago.

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