SHANGHAI (Bloomberg) -- General Motors Co. expects Cadillac sales in China to increase 40 percent this year, as it prepares to reorganize its luxury brand as a separate unit based in New York.
The company forecasts delivering about 70,000 Cadillacs by year’s end in the world’s largest auto market, after selling more than 45,600 units through August, GM’s China President Matt Tsien said in Shanghai. That would put the brand on track to meet its goal of selling 100,000 units in 2015, double last year’s total of 50,005. GM announced on Tuesday that it plans to make Cadillac a separate New York-based unit run by Johan de Nysschen, who was named president of the brand in July.
“We’re very optimistic about the luxury market, we believe that the luxury market by 2016 here will become the largest luxury market in the world, surpassing even the size of luxury in Europe,” Tsien said. “With Johan, we have somebody that really is an executive that understands luxury, but he also is very, very keen on understanding what do we need here in China for Cadillac to be successful.”
Luxury cars are one area of focus for the U.S. automaker to regain ground on Volkswagen AG, which last year ended GM’s nine- year reign as China’s top-selling foreign automaker. One in 10 vehicles sold annually in China will be luxury models by the end of the decade, the company estimates.
GM plans to spend $12 billion through 2017 to increase capacity and expand its product line in China, which the company projects will buy 33 million to 35 million vehicles a year by 2020. It aims to offer a local line-up of 60 models by 2018, up from about 40 now.
The carmaker plans to roll out a redesigned Chevrolet Sail, a small sedan, and a nine-seat Wuling vehicle, Tsien said.
GM is keeping its growth outlook and still expects the industry to expand by 8 to 10 percent this year, Tsien said. The company would be “ahead” of that growth and gain market share, he said, without providing details.