ST. PETERSBURG – General Motors plans an extensive update of its range of Cadillac and Chevrolet models in Russia in 2019.
The effort will begin in the first quarter with the sales launch of the restyled Chevrolet Camaro coupe and Cadillac CT6 sedan. They will be followed in the fourth quarter by the Cadillac XT4 compact CUV, XT5 midsize CUV and XT6 SUV.
Prices for the new models will be announced later. GM in September raised prices for its Cadillac and Chevrolet models in Russia by up to RR400,000 ($6,000), but this has not impacted sales, which have been slowly recovering throughout the year.
Wards Intelligence data shows GM sold 101 Cadillacs in Russia in November, the same total as prior-year and a significant improvement over the 182 deliveries recorded in the entire first quarter. The 998 Cadillac sales over the year’s first 11 months were down 19.6% from year-ago, while overall light-vehicle sales in Russia rose 13.7%.
Chevrolet sales were down 7.7% through November, but GM hopes they will be buoyed by the Camaro, traditionally a strong seller in Russia’s premium segment.
GM has said since idling its then-7-year-old St. Petersburg assembly plant in 2015 that strengthening the Cadillac brand will be a priority in the Russian market. The automaker has set an annual sales target of 10,000 units – Cadillac’s best year in the country was 2011, with 2,226 deliveries – and plans to expand from 12 dealerships to 17.
GM also will step up marketing and will focus on boosting sales of the SUVs and CUVs that are popular among Russian consumers.
Cadillac prices in Russia start at a relatively affordable RR2.5 million ($41,000). But Russian Ministry of Industry and Trade analysts say Cadillac does not have the same premium brand image in Russia as in other countries and may find it difficult to compete with German makes and other premium models.