Deep Dive – Chinese Cadillac Sales

January 2018 Chinese Cadillac Sales - DetailIn the last several months, we have been limited to sales detail only for the United States.  However, we have finally found details of the 4 models that Cadillac sells in China.  Yes, this means that China’s strength is due to sales of only 4 models – no Escalade, no Escalade ESV, no CTS.  China only offers 3 sedans (the CT6, XTS, and the long-wheelbase ATS-L) and the XT5 crossover.

Comparing these against the US sales (included below for the same month), we can see that China loves the XT5 crossover…but also enjoy the sedans (much more so than US consumers).  Where the US sales of the XT5 almost hit 4000 units, China devoured over 10000.  Chinese sales of the ATS exceeded US demand 5-to-1.

CT6 in China outsold 2-to-1 and the XTS outsold almost 4-to-1.

It is only strong sales of the Escalade and a few CTS sales that kept China from completely overwhelming the US market.

What I am seeing here is the new XT4 (soon to debut at the 2018 New York Auto Show) will likely keep the Chinese market strong…not allowing the US to catch back up – because the Chinese appear to love crossovers as much as the US customers while snapping up all the other Cadillacs far in excess of what we are seeing in the States.

We will continue to break down Chinese sales numbers in the coming months as it is certainly a significant and fascinating part of the modern Cadillac story.


January 2018 Cadillac Sales

Cadillac saw it’s sales increase, worldwide, for the 20th consecutive month in January.  As we have come to expect, this was despite a drop in US sales (by 3.9% or 403 units this month).  China more than made up for this drop with a sales gain of 2211 units (12.3%)…continuing its streak of being Cadillac’s #1 market.  The rest of the Cadillac’s worldwide sales were down by 17.3% (but due to the low number of units sold in all other countries – that is merely 254 units lost).

For reference, China is making up 64.5% of Cadillac’s global sales.  US makes up 31.5% in the latest month.

But, let’s dive a bit into the sales numbers for the US market…there are a few surprises this month vs in the last several months…such as some actual sales gains we didn’t expect.

While we see drops in sales of the CTS, CT6, and XTS sedans…drops for the CTS and CT6 are both lower than we have seen lately.  CT6 was down 6 units (yes, 6) or just 0.9% from January 2017.  CTS was down 4.2% (29 units).  More in keeping with past performance, the XTS was down 629 units (34%).

The surprise move in the sedan front is a sales increase of the ATS.  The sportiest of the current Cadillacs saw a sales jump of 18.6% year over year (181 units).

Other sales wins include the Escalade family (up 44 units in January), XT5 (up 106 units, or 2.7%).

Fortunately, we are very close to an unveiling of the new XT4 at the New York Auto Show in late March.  XT4 should boost US Cadillac sales as soon as it can hit dealer lots.  Production of the XT4 is expected at GM’s Fairfax Assembly plant in Kansas City, Kansas and has already begun prototype builds.  We should know more about when it will go into production soon after the unveiling.

I’m sure Cadillac dealers are eager to get the new product on their lots.


December 2017 Cadillac Sales

December 2017 Worldwide Cadillac SalesCadillac ended 2017 on an overall high-note.  Sales have grown to the second highest level in the brand’s history with sales up 15.5% over 2016’s numbers.  This, as will come as no surprise to anyone, comes from massive increases in sales in the Chinese market.  In December, Chinese sales grew 28.5% (3817 units) over 2016’s results.  This helped offset softness in the US market where sales were down 28.6% (6142 units).  ‘Rest of World’ sales were also up 10.1% (227 units).

As a result, December global sales were down 6.8% (2553 units).  

December 2017 Cadillac Sales - USSo, as every month, let’s take a look at how the US market got to its 6000 unit drop in 2017 (close to half of the 13566 drop in this market for the year.)

In a surprising turn of events, not a single model saw a sales increase in December.  Sedans were all down (again).  ATS continued its slide (down 1199 for the month/ 8405 for the year.)   CTS declined yet again (down 892 in December / 5567 for the year.)  XTS dropped even more (down 1905 for the month / 5896 for the year.) – despite its recent refresh.  Only the CT6 flagship wasn’t down in both measures (down 452 last month, but up 1373 for the year.)

The normal savior of the brand, the XT5 saw an unusual downturn in December by a surprising drop of 7.4% (548 units) while being up strong when looking at the entire year (28,827 units or 73%).  It and the CT6 were the only offerings that saw sales growth for the year.

Even the brand’s legendary Escalade saw a drop both for the month (1020 units) and for the year (1358).  This may show a hit being taken by Lincoln’s recent launch of the brand new Navigator taking a bite out of Cadillac’s big SUV…it will take a few more months to judge this vs a potential move of customers away from big body-on-frame SUVs.  We are seeing that the big SUVs are pretty flat, sales-wise, with large crossovers like Audi’s Q7 seeing significant growth.

Looking at the big picture, we can see why Cadillac is planning to merge their sedan offerings (profitability on 4 models splitting this few sales is hard to come by) as well as rushing new crossover models to market.

As we have said before, this can’t come fast enough.



November 2017 Cadillac Sales

Cadillac continues to drive sales growth outside of the US market in November. 

Worldwide, Cadillac sales were up 3.7% (1128 units).  They certainly enjoy their year-to-date increase of 18.5% over 2016’s sales (a 50,000 unit sales increase).

As we have come to expect this year, this was in spite of a sales drop in the US market (down almost 2000 units and 12.8% in the home market).  Offsetting this is a massive increase of 23.4% in China (over 3100 units).  The rest of the countries Cadillac sells vehicles in were up 2.8%…but with sales of just over 2000 units for the month, they pale in comparison to the big-two markets in which Cadillac competes.

Because we and Cadillac reside in the USA – let’s go a bit deeper into the November results in the home market.

This month, continuing the same tune from earlier this year, sedan sales are down massively.  In order of least awful to worst…XTS sales were down 715 units (27%), CT6 is down 392 units (a 33.5% drop), CTS was down 386 (37%), and the ATS – our personal favorite Cadillac – dropped 659 sales or 44.2%.

Unlike in months past, the XT5 didn’t show a large gain to offset the sedan drops.  However, it does continue to be Cadillac’s best US-market seller.  Sales of the mid-sized crossover were up 259 units or 4.8%.  These 5623 sales outnumbered sales of all 4 sedan models…combined.  It also outsold the combined sales of Escalade by over 2000 units.

For those lamenting the low sales numbers in the US, just keep telling yourself that the XT4 will be on sale soon…and this story will turn around (unless you happen to be a sedan fan).