Monday, April 23, 2012

GOV'T MOTORS to open 600 dealerships -- in China!

GM CEO Dan Akerson said on Monday that the company would expand its dealership network in China this year by about 600.

"We will expand our dealer network to 3,500 stores from the 2,900 that we ended up with in 2011," he told reporters.

Will build new Cadillac there, too...

General Motors Co. announced Monday at the Beijing auto show that it will begin building its all-new 2013 Cadillac XTS sedan in China this year and later will build the ELR luxury electric coupe in the country.

The production announcements mark a significant step in GM's push for Cadillac to become a global brand.

"Introducing the XTS is part of our strategy of adding one new model per year to our Cadillac lineup in China through 2016 to address the needs of luxury car buyers nationwide," GM Chairman and CEO Dan Akerson said in a statement.

ELR technology details, production location and its Chinese introduction date will be announced at a later time, according to a news release. The XTS will be available in the fourth quarter in China and will be manufactured by Shanghai General Motors, a partnership between GM and SAIC Motor Corp.

The announcement follows a report earlier this month in The Detroit News that GM was expected to announce at the auto show that it would build XTS in China later this year. Joel Ewanick, GM's global chief marketing officer, also told The News that the all-new Cadillac ATS, a compact luxury sedan, and the popular midsize CTS sedan will eventually be built in China.

Ewanick said GM will build its brand in China and then Europe to grow the brand over the next decade.

Currently, only the Cadillac SLS, an extended length luxury sedan, is built in China. Cadillac imports the CTS, SRX crossover and Escalade from plants in the United States and Mexico.

GM began selling Cadillacs in China in 2004. Sales have grown from essentially zero at the end of 2007 and early 2008 to 30,000 last year. Its 2011 sales were up 72.8 percent from 2010.

Cadillac also expects to double its dealer network of about 50 in China in the next year or two, Cadillac spokesman David Caldwell previously has told The News.