Hilversum, Netherlands – General Motors will pull Cadillac out of more than half of the European markets in which it’s currently sold, according to Automotive News Europe. The announcement follows the bankruptcy of Kroymans Corp., the Dutch-based company that distributes Cadillac, Corvette and Hummer in Europe.
Cadillac is currently sold in 25 European markets. According to the report, General Motors will reduce Cadillac sales to less than a dozen markets in Europe. It will focus on markets such as Russia, the U.K. and Switzerland, where it competes against German premium brands, and where the brands are distributed by the automaker itself.
On March 20, Kroymans won court approval to suspend debt payments for four of its business units, including Kroymans Import Europe, which distributes the three GM brands. The company said it has an “acute liquidity shortage due to a collapse in new- and used-car sales.”
A Kroymans spokesman said court-appointed administrators took possession of 3,500 unsold Cadillacs, Corvettes and Hummers at 165 dealerships. GM said it is working with Kroymans on a new strategy for distributing the brands, including transferring Cadillac sales to its European dealerships.
GM appointed Kroymans as the brand’s distributor in 2003, and projected sales of 7,500 Cadillacs in Europe by 2008. Last year, Cadillac’s European sales fell five per cent to 4,556 from 2007, while Hummer sales dropped 1.8 per cent to 2,327, and Corvette sales fell 15.3 per cent to 1,086.
In a statement, Kroyman said that “although Cadillac is one of America’s top-selling luxury brands, many Europeans are put off by the brand’s brash styling.” The company also said that Cadillac was late in introducing diesel models in Europe, where more than half of all new cars sold are equipped with diesel engines.