Jerry Flint’s latest column in Forbes Magazine gets well-and-truly on the case of Cadillac and GM Europe:
I would like to call your attention to what seems to be a blunder by General Motors – the European Cadillac, called the BLS. GM builds this new model in Sweden from a Saab platform. The company does not sell this car in the U.S. Sad to say, it barely sells it in Europe, either.
In the six months–April through September–that the BLS has been on the market in Europe, Cadillac sold only 820 units. That is fewer than 150 sales a month, and that spells failure in any language.
Jerry goes on to spell out his plan, being the patriotic American that he is. He reckons they should stop building these phony, smaller Caddies and just export and discount real made-in-USA Caddies to build market share in Europe.
If he loves them, why shouldn’t everyone else?
I agree that GM should stop pouring money into Cadillac for Europe. It’s a bottomless pit that’s going to turn around and bite someone on the arse as soon as someone admits to the gargantuan blunder they’ve made.
All that money they’re wasting on Cadillac could be going into further development for Saab – a brand that has a firm footing in Europe, no gas-guzzling preconceptions to overcome and huge potential upside.
Memo to anyone from GM Europe reading this – whilst walking around the corridors today, if you happen to pass anyone that you know is partially responsible for Cadillac’s presence in Europe (you know who they are) – then slap them upside round the head and tell them “that one’s from Swade”.
Saab could have a heck of a future. Stop pouring money down a tasteless hole for a market that doesn’t want your product.
And Jerry Flint, when you say that GM has no global luxury brand, try and focus your squinty old eyes beyond your own backyard.
Saab, once again, is GM’s best contender for a global premium brand. Just give them the resources they need and monitor the way they spend. I’m sure you’ll be astounded at the results.