Cadillac, General Motors Co's luxury brand, will increase its sales in China this year by 25 percent to more than 100,000 vehicles, Cadillac President Johan de Nysschen said on Friday in an interview with Reuters.
The company sold around 175,000 Cadillacs in the United States in 2015.
Cadillac last month began production at a new factory in China of its flagship sedan, the CT6, which is expected to help boost sales. It joins the long wheelbase ATS and XTS sedans already produced in China.
"China is a very important part of the globalisation of Cadillac, and we actually seek to establish China as a substantial second volume hub for the brand," de Nysschen said.
If China overtakes the United States as Cadillac's top sales market, that would be "a long way off," perhaps five to 10 years, de Nysschen said.
Cadillac and Ford's Lincoln are among a second wave of luxury car brands in China that seek to take market share from established brands such as BMW, Daimler's Mercedes-Benz, and Volkswagen's Audi.
The brand will expand its product portfolio and "aggressively" localize production, de Nysschen said. The new plant that currently only produces the CT6 can be eventually expanded to 150,000 total capacity. The company will next introduce the crossover sports utility vehicle XT5 into local production and plans to launch four additional models in China by 2020, doubling its locally produced product offerings, he said.
Cadillac brand cars are produced through GM's joint venture with SAIC Motor. China requires foreign automakers to form joint ventures with local partners in order to manufacture domestically. Cars imported to China face stiff tariffs.
(Reporting by Jake Spring; Editing by Bill Trott and Phil Berlowitz)
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Updated Date: Feb 20, 2016 02:30 AM