Cadillac shows stretched SLS for Chinese market

SLSCadillac SLS? ‘What’s that?’ I hear you saying…

Well, the SLS is a new, Chinese specific, model just announced by Cadillac.

It begins with a standard STS and then adds 100mm (about 4 inches) of length in the rear seat area. This is in deference to the primarily chauffeur-driven nature of the Chinese luxury segment.

It is not yet known if the SLS will become a model for other markets, but since the engineering is done, it would be relatively simple.

The SLS is available with the 2.8l and 3.6l VVT V-6 engines as well as the 4.6l Northstar V-8.

And now, the press release:

Detroit -The General Motors China Group recently reported another sales record for the first nine months of 2006 (645,680 vehicles). These record sales are driven by Buick (+ 27.8 percent), Chevrolet (+51.0 percent), Cadillac (+27.1 percent) and Wuling (+38.7 percent), China’s number one brand of mini-vehicles. At “Auto China 2006”, this year’s international motor show in Beijing, Shanghai GM is showcasing new models such as the Cadillac SLS and Escalade. In addition, an important new offering from the Wuling brand is to be premiered. Furthermore, GM concept cars such as the Saab Aero-X, Buick Enclave and Chevrolet WTCC Ultra will make their public debuts in China.

GM’s luxury brand, Cadillac has enjoyed remarkable success since its introduction to the China luxury market in 2004. The Cadillac China portfolio, consisting of the CTS sedan, the XLR roadster and the SRX crossover, will now be complimented with the all-new SLS and the Escalade SUV. Based on the STS sport sedan, the SLS has been lengthened by 100mm to add rear seat legroom. The interior is designed to meet specific local needs in this primarily chauffeur-driven luxury segment. Three engine options will be available which include the 2.8L V6, a 3.6L V6 and the top-level Northstar 4.6L V8 with 239kW/320hp. The new SLS will be built at the Shanghai GM plant for the Chinese market.

“The Cadillac SLS is a very important addition to our line-up in China as it meets very specific market needs,” said Jim Taylor, general manager of Cadillac. “Cadillac reacts to country specific requirements and is proud to offer the SLS to Chinese luxury customers who demand extra space in the rear and other features.” Earlier this year, Cadillac introduced the new BLS sedan in Europe and other international markets to satisfy the need for a smaller Cadillac model and a turbodiesel engine option.

“The Cadillac SLS is a strategic addition for the Cadillac brand in China, which will enable Cadillac to strengthen its presence in the luxury sedan market,” said Mr. Ding Lei, president of Shanghai GM.

“The new Cadillac SLS and Escalade as well as the new offering from Wuling will strengthen our position as the market leader in China. GM’s multi-brand approach in China enables us to successfully compete in all important segments of the fastest growing market in the world. I am looking forward to finishing 2006 as another year of record growth for GM in China,” said Kevin Wale, president and managing director of the GM China Group.

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