In 2020, Cadillac was the only automobile brand to see its sales increase compared to the previous year in Canada.
In a year marked by a pandemic that caused numerous job losses and the closure of dealerships for several weeks, the General Motors luxury brand had the best year in its history in Canada in 2020, with total sales of 12,413 units. This is an increase of 4.2% compared to 2019.
By comparison, the vast majority of automakers saw their Canadian sales melt like snow in the sun in 2020. Among those most affected were Infiniti (-47.3%), Jaguar (-41%) and BMW (-30, 5%).
How do you explain Cadillac’s progress in such a difficult market? The Car Guide spoke with Shane Peever, General Manager of Cadillac Canada, to understand what happened.
Lots of novelties
“There’s not just one thing that can explain it all,” says Peever. Several factors have caused our sales to increase. “
First, the boss of Cadillac Canada highlighted the recent arrival of several new models within the brand. The XT6 was added to the SUV lineup, while the CT4 and CT5 sedans brought a breath of fresh air to the sedan category.
The XT6 is also largely responsible for the increase in sales of Cadillac. Arrived during 2019, this three-row SUV had its first full year of sales in 2020, and we can speak of a success. Cadillac sold 1,490 copies in Canada, making it the brand’s third most popular model, behind the XT5 and XT4.
The new generation of the big Escalade, although it only accounts for a fraction of sales due to its late arrival in 2020, has also helped in its own way to promote the brand. “He’s our standard bearer,” says Peever without hesitation. With its huge 38-inch screen and its great refinement, the Escalade effectively allows the American brand to generate talk and attract customers to dealerships.
Another factor that has set Cadillac apart during this pandemic year, Shane Peever says, is its Cadillac Live platform. Launched by the manufacturer in 2019, Cadillac Live allows Internet users to chat with a representative of the brand by video conference. It can present vehicles in real time and answer consumers’ questions without them having to travel.
“Cadillac Live was already well established when dealers had to close in the spring, and the popularity of our platform has grown exponentially this year,” said Peever, who believes this has kept Cadillac close to its potential customers.
“It’s all really teamwork,” said Shane Peever, who looks forward to the years ahead for Cadillac. “We have the Blackwing variants [des CT4 et CT5] which will be launched in February, ”he recalls, adding that performance will be at the heart of Cadillac’s new products over the coming months. Could we finally be entitled to an SUV bearing the V badge reserved for the brand’s sporting variants? “I can’t announce anything at the moment, but stay tuned,” he replies simply.
An electric future
For the moment, Cadillac is one of the few brands in the automotive industry that does not offer any electrified model. There was indeed the CT6 plug-in hybrid, but it was abandoned by the manufacturer.
In Shane Peever’s words, this situation is bound to change. “The Cadillac Lyriq will arrive towards the end of 2022, and it will only be the first of several electric models at Cadillac”, he assures, recalling that Cadillac wishes to become a brand offering only electric vehicles in the future.
Fine words, but let’s say that the end of 2022 is still far away, and that some of the brand’s competitors have already been offering electrified vehicles for a long time …
Finally, note that all is not rosy everywhere for Cadillac. Despite this unexpected increase in Canadian sales in 2020, the picture in the United States has not been the same. There, Cadillac has seen a pretty sharp 17.1% drop in sales in the past year. “It’s very difficult to explain that,” concedes Peever. “All I know is that we had a common goal here in Canada to have our best year ever in 2020, and we worked very hard to achieve that goal. “
The challenges remain enormous for this brand with a prestigious past, but we seem to be on the right track to restore Cadillac to its former glory.