It has been mooted for several years, but this week General Motors confirmed that its premier brand, Cadillac, will be sold officially in New Zealand
Cadillacs will be sold here from 2008, in a range of models: first out of the blocks will be the 2008 model CTS sedan (above), fresh from winning the world’s oldest Car of the Year Award – handed out by authoritative American magazine, Motor Trend.
Modern Cadillacs are very different from the extravagant land yachts of the 1950s through 1970s.
There are still vestiges of the razor-edged evolution of the traditional Cadillac fins in the new millennium cars’ faceted styling, but modern Caddies are out to take on and beat such European benchmark brands as BMW and Audi.
GM Holden boss Chris Gubbey said this week that the flagship brand will come to New Zealand and Australia next year.
“We’re excited to have Cadillac,” he said.
“Cadillac is undergoing a brand renaissance and global expansion driven by dramatic design and technical innovation.
“With cutting edge design, serious performance and luxury appointments, (we think) Cadillac will appeal to both markets’ prestige car buyers and quickly establish itself in a segment traditionally dominated by European brands.”
Cadillacs are sold around the world with increased sales of 45.3 per cent in Europe, 98.4 per cent in Asia Pacific and 49.4 per cent in Latin America, Africa and the Middle East in the first three quarters of 2007.
Cadillac will be managed in Australia and New Zealand by GM Premium Brands, led by Parveen Batish. Caddy joins Saab and Hummer in the portfolio.
The first Down Under Cadillac model, the CTS, will arrive near the end of 2008.
The rear-wheel drive CTS is powered by the 3.6-litre VVT direct injection Global V6 engine, generating 227kW and 370Nm of torque.
Direct injection fuel delivery enables efficient combustion, helps reduce emissions and allows higher compression ratio for better fuel economy.
The 3.6-litre runs on regular-grade unleaded petrol.
Both markets will have the choice of two performance tuned suspension packages in the six-speed automatic transmission.
Standard kit includes Stabilitrak electronic chassis/stability control system and front, side and curtain airbags.
The cabin has hand-cut and sewn interior trim, an ambient interior lighting system, integrated iPod/MP3 compatibility and an advanced audio system.
New Zealand CTS pricing, full technical and feature specification and certification details will be available closer to the car’s launch.