General Motors Returns to Europe to Off-Load BEVs

Paul Myles, European Editor

October 6, 2023

1 Min Read

General Motors is returning to the European market this time to off-load premium BEVs it’s struggling to sell in its domestic US market.

The automaker, which sold the loss-making Vauxhall and Opel brands to Groupe PSA in 2017 only to see the new owner quickly turn a profit on the brands, now plans to sell its all-electric Cadillac vehicles in Switzerland before rolling them out to other markets in Europe, Reuters reports. GM's European head, Jaclyn McQuaid, said in a blog that Swiss direct-to-consumer sales of the premium brand would be followed by five additional European markets over the next couple of years, with Sweden and France next in line.

The Cadillac Lyriq, a car that has sold less than 2,500 units in the US during the first two quarters of 2023, will be the first model available to Swiss drivers and McQuaid said customers will be able “complete the entire purchase online in a matter of minutes.” The BEVwill have a starting price of 82,000 Swiss francs ($89,490).

GM is hoping to exploit the healthier BEV sales market in Europe where more than one-in-five new cars sold in the European Union in August were fully electric. However, the automaker is likely to face stiff competition with a number of Chinese BEV makers targeting European consumers with cheaper products benefiting from generous Chinese government production subsidies.

Chery, China's eight largest automaker by sales volume in 2022, said earlier this week that it would launch three car brands in Europe over the next two years, including its all-electric Exlantix brand. Other carmakers, including market leader BYD and smaller rivals Xpeng and NIO, have also announced European expansion plans.

— Paul Myles is a seasoned automotive journalist based in Europe. Follow him on Twitter @Paulmyles_  and Threads

About the Author(s)

Paul Myles

European Editor, Informa Group

Paul Myles is an award-winning journalist based in Europe covering all aspects of the automotive industry. He has a wealth of experience in the field working at specialist, national and international levels.

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