Bob Lutz, GM Vice Chairman for Product Development and Chairman, GM North America, General Motors Corporation, today announced plans to re-introduce the Cadillac brand and launch the new Corvette brand into the UK.
He explained the significance of this development: "Our intention is to establish Cadillac and Corvette as successful worldwide brands and this is not possible without a concerted effort in Europe and that means tackling the ultra-competitive British market. The brands, while well-known names to most people and automotive icons to many, now need to be brought to market in such a way that they will appeal to a new but discerning customer base. Using European expertise to do this on a market-by-market basis fits the bespoke type of operation required to succeed."
Kroymans Corporation, based in Hilversum in the Netherlands, took control of distribution of Cadillac and Corvette products throughout Europe on 1 October, 2003 by forming Cadillac and Corvette Europe, which is a subsidiary of Kroymans responsible for running the Cadillac and Corvette business throughout the EC and Norway and Switzerland. Kroymans Corporation is an established European distributor and retailer of prestige car marques.
Bert Kreber, President of Cadillac & Corvette Europe said: "The British car market is the second largest in Europe and has a strong heritage in the luxury sector. Apart from increasing our availability of right-hand drive cars it is essential to develop a new network dedicated to this high quality and distinctive brand. I am pleased to be able to announce that our partner in Great Britain is the highly respected Pendragon Group."
Responding to this announcement Trevor Finn, Chief Executive Officer of the Pendragon Group plc said: "Cadillac and Corvette are welcome additions to our portfolio of brands and we look forward to building a dealer network in Britain which properly reflects the status and capability of the brand. Our experience with other top brands gives us the confidence to know that Cadillac and Corvette will be successful here. An important aspect of our decision has been the strength of product now coming through and the attention Cadillac’s top management team is giving to Europe."
Pendragon made its name representing prestige franchises and has added volume makes such as GM Vauxhall in more recent years. The Group operates 250 dealers in the UK, eight in Germany and nine in the USA.
The first Cadillac and Corvette showroom, at a prestigious site on Park Lane, was officially opened today. The new Corvette will be sold alongside Cadillac models in the UK. The plan is to open Cadillac Experience Centres in major urban areas across Great Britain, which compare to those in other top European cities, in the next few years. The first target locations are in the process of being identified.
It was also announced that the CTS sports saloon will be available in right-hand drive from the beginning of 2005, with other models due to be available in right-hand drive in the near future. However, the XLR luxury roadster and the new Corvette, for which there are no plans yet for right-hand drive production, will also go on sale early in the New Year in left-hand drive form.Published 23 November 2004