General Motors seems certain to pull its Cadillac brand from more than half its current European markets following the collapse of its regional distributor.
It’s reported that the US carmaker will focus on markets such as Russia, Britain and Switzerland where the luxury brand has been able to compete against Germany’s BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Audi premium brands.
Currently, GM sells Cadillac in 25 European markets.
On March 20, Kroymans Corporation, GM’s European distributor for Cadillac cars, won court approval to suspend debt payments for four of its business units including Kroymans Import Europe, which distributes the Cadillac, Corvette and Hummer brands in Europe.
The Dutch-based dealer group said it has an acute liquidity shortage due to a collapse in new- and used-car sales.
A Kroymans spokesman said court-appointed administrators will take possession of the 3500 unsold Cadillacs, Corvettes and Hummers at 165 dealerships on Monday.
A GM Europe spokesman said the carmaker is working with Kroymans on a new strategy for distributing the brands.
The plan is understood to includes transferring Cadillac sales to GM Europe’s dealerships, which sell more prosaic models such as Opel Astras.
GM was hoping to sell 7500 Cadillacs in Europe last year and although Cadillac is one of America’s top-selling luxury brands, many Europeans are put off by the brand’s brash styling.
Cadillac also was late in introducing diesel models in Europe where more than half of new cars sold are diesels.
Last year Cadillac’s European sales fell five per cent to 4556. Hummer sales were down 1.8 per cent to 2327 and Corvette sales were 15.3 lower than 2007 at 1086.
GM already directly distributes Cadillac, Corvette and Hummer vehicles in Britain and Russia.