Cadillac has proven hugely popular in China, with the luxury marque’s vehicles consistently racking up more annual sales in the Asian country than in the United States. That’s what happened once again in 2022, with Cadillac selling 44 percent more vehicles in China than in the United States.
Last year, a total of 194,100 Cadillacs were sold in China compared to 134,703 sold in the US. While that figure is impressive, it is far less than the previous year, when China sales outpaced US sales by 96 percent in 2021 as China sold a total of 231,800 units compared to 118,032. in the United States.
Furthermore, China’s sales exceeded US figures by 78 percent in 2020, 37 percent in 2019, and 33 percent in 2018.
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However, this is not always the case. In fact, Cadillac’s huge success in the Chinese market didn’t really take off until the turn of the decade. In 2010, Cadillac was a relatively small player in China, but a pivot occurred when the luxury marque’s parent company decided to start producing vehicles locally rather than importing them from its North American manufacturing facility. Manufacturing Cadillac locally in China eliminates high import tariffs on the vehicle, making it more affordable for Chinese buyers and pricing it on par with key rivals Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz.
Despite its popularity in China, it can be surmised that Cadillac is significantly less profitable in the Asian country than it is in the United States. While Cadillac does not break financial performance by market, we believe this is due to the fact that the Escalade, which is the marque’s most profitable luxury vehicle by a wide margin, is not yet available to buyers in the market. Chinese market.
In contrast, interested buyers in China are faced with paying a premium to own a full-size luxury SUV imported through private-party channels, thus being subject to the aforementioned import taxes along with importer fees. However, recent rumblings suggest that this may soon change, and the fifth-generation Escalade could very well reach Asian countries, further increasing the sales volume and profitability of the luxury brand.
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