(KoreaTimes)– Cadillac Representative Director Kim Young-sik said Friday the luxury brand of General Motors (GM) sold more than 2,000 vehicles in 2017, for the first time since GM Korea was established in 1996.
According to Kim, who is also GM Korea president, Cadillac sold 2,008 cars last year, up 82 percent from 1,103 in 2016. The surge was far above the average imported cars sales growth last year with 3.5 percent.
“Cadillac sold 300 cars in Korea five years ago,” Kim said during a press conference held at the company’s showroom in Gangnam, Seoul.
“And our sales grew almost seven times during the period, which seems to be a miracle given that Korea’s imported car market is dominated by German automakers.”
Kim attributed the growth to the robust sales of its flagship CT6 sedan.
Last year, Cadillac sold 805 CT6s in Korea, up from 328 in 2016. Of them, the CT6 Turbo, which debuted here in September, accounted for 40 percent of these in the three months after its launch.
Along with CT6, 386 XT5 crossover vehicles, 296 ATS sedans, 134 Escalade SUVs and 31V-Series high-performance vehicles also contributed to the brand’s solid growth in 2017.
“We believe we have established a rich product lineup and that helped the brand to post a number of record-highs last year,” Kim said.
For this year, Kim said Cadillac will add a number of advanced models to its Korea portfolio.
They will be highlighted by the 2018 Escalade, equipped with 10-speed transmission and scheduled to hit the market at the end of this month.
Also in the pipeline are the luxurious Escalade Platinum and the XT4 compact SUV. Cadillac will start to market them in the United States and China in the second half of the year. Kim said GM Korea is in talks with the U.S. headquarters over introducing the XT4 into Korea.
Regarding this year’s sales, Kim said he does not dream of duplicating the surprise growth in 2017. Rather, he hopes to improve the sales network and service quality of Cadillac.
“We plan to convert 19 outsourced maintenance centers into ones directly run by Cadillac to improve the quality of service, as well as increasing the number of service centers,” Kim said. “We believe Cadillac can sell at least 2,500 cars this year in Korea.”