Speaking to CarAdvice at the 2015 New York auto show today, Cadillac’s director of global marketing, Jim Vurpillat, confirmed the brand is confident in its appeal to Australian consumers.
“When you look at the driving dynamics and the performance that we are putting in to the vehicles, it’s perfectly suited for the taste of Australian drivers and consumers in the luxury space,” Vurpillat said.
“They want driver’s cars, they love rear-wheel drive and we are offering such great product right now.”
Nonetheless, the brand’s ‘old-school’ image will need to be changed, with Vurpillat admitting that some brand-building efforts will be required.
“I think we have to educate people that it’s a very modern Cadillac. But you know that the average consumer in Australia stays up to speed on car trends.”
Vurpillat said the desire from Australian consumers for Cadillac has already been seen on numerous occasions and the brand believes it has a strong business case for right-hand drive markets.
Adding support for an Australian flavour was former-Mebournian Travis Hester, who is the chief engineer of the just-unveiled Cadillac CT6, who agreed that Cadillac would work well in Australia.
“I do actually, I think that Australians genuinely like larger cars that ride and handle in a beautiful way and are nice and quiet, but there’s a strong push to get greater fuel efficiency in the car,” Hester said.
Hester believes that the era of lazy, fuel-inefficient V8s is coming to an end and the business case is shrinking, so Cadillac needs to further expand its powertrains to make it work globally.
“The days of old naturally aspirated V8s are not gone, but they are shrinking from a volume point of view. What we are doing here with some of these cars is pushing fuel efficiency into those larger rear-wheel drive proportion cars that do ride and handle beautifully with excellent vehicle dynamics and NVH characteristics.”
Cadillac’s expected launch by 2020 would recourse the previous attempt in 2008, which was cancelled at the last minute. This time around the brand promises a wider range of models with fuel-efficient powertrains.
“I think there is scope and [Australian] people will appreciate and love driving these cars, they are exceptionally good cars to drive,” Hester said.
Would Australians pick Cadillac over established luxury German and Japanese rivals?