NEW ORLEANS -- Cadillac is looking to follow its 22 percent sales growth last year with at least another 10 percent gain in 2014, helped by the introduction of at least three new or redesigned vehicles.
"The message was 'it's all-around growth,'" Bob Ferguson, senior vice president of global Cadillac, told reporters after the make meeting here. He confirmed that Cadillac is shooting for "double-digit" sales growth in the United States but declined to cite a specific figure.
Despite Cadillac's 22 percent rise last year, to 182,543 units, the brand fell short of its 30 percent goal as the pace of sales slowed during the fourth quarter. Ferguson's 2014 forecast suggests Cadillac is looking to boost its market share, since most forecasters predict overall light-vehicle sales increasing in a range of 3 to 5 percent.
"They're projecting double-digit growth, and I can't see how we won't hit that," said Lynn Thompson, a Cadillac and Buick-GMC dealer in Springfield, Mo. "We've already got a ton of new product, and more coming."
Dealers were shown a new commercial for the 2014 ELR plug-in hybrid coupe, which began arriving in dealerships this month. Ferguson said the spot will be broadcast during NBC's coverage of the Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia, which start this week.
About 550 of Cadillac's roughly 900 dealers are signed up to carry the ELR, Ferguson said. Dealers are required to have special tooling to service the car, and some dealers have pegged the cost of equipment and training at around $20,000.
Ferguson said many Cadillac dealers who also sell Chevrolet already have the tooling required for the Volt, which shares the ELR's powertrain.
Bill Peffer, Cadillac's vice president of U.S. sales and service, said the ELR -- which is priced at $75,995, including shipping -- is being offered as a lease at $699 per month.
Dealers have begun ordering the redesigned 2015 Escalade SUV, which should arrive in showrooms by late April, Peffer said. The ATS coupe, unveiled last month at the auto show in Detroit, is expected to go on sale in the summer.