It seems like right-hand drive markets including the UK, Japan, Australia and New Zealand are not that big of a priority for Cadillac. In August, Cadillac President Johan De Nysschen reportedly said that GM is postponing Europe expansion plans “beyond 2020”. Now a report from Motoring.com.au suggests that it’s not just Europe, but possibly every potential right-hand drive market including Australia, New Zealand and Japan where Cadillac will remain just an alternative luxury brand at least till 2020.
The Australian publication also cites Mr. de Nysschen, and says that Cadillac isn’t likely to enter Australia before 2021 or 2022. The New York-based luxury automaker’s President admitted that they won’t have the engineering capacity to work on right-hand drive model range for up to seven years. Thus, the 2018 Cadillac XT4 would also be left-hand drive only, at least initially.
“The issue for us is that we want to do right-hand drive, but we want to do it so that when we enter the right-hand drive world, we do not go to it with a piecemeal basis,” Mr. de Nysschen said.
“We need to finesse the timing so we can give the dealers a full showroom of cars. That timing, when we look at it against the life cycles in our portfolio, gets out towards 2021 or 2022. That is the first time when the sun and the moon and the stars align to give it to us.”
Coming to the main part, the next-gen Cadillac sedans will be developed in-house, as per the report. The new architecture underpinning the sedans will be rear-wheel drive only, and will be enabled for right-hand drive, Mr. de Nysschen said. The company is more likely to have unique architectures for the sedans and use parent company GM’s architectures for the crossovers, he added.
“For the dynamics and sophistication we want on a sedan, it dictates a more expensive architecture. We can achieve all that we want to do with two sedan architectures, Alpha and Omega.”
The global expansion plans with the current generation models will focus on major LHD markets like China, the Middle East and Russia.