Dan Akerson Remarks at Cadillac Plant Groundbreaking


dan akerson (select to view enlarged photo)

SHANGHAI--June 21, 2013: General Motors Chairman and CEO Dan Akerson spoke Tuesday at the groundbreaking of a new plant in China where GM will build Cadillac models for the Chinese market. Remarks prepared for the event follow. As always, the speaker’s words are definitive.

Good morning.

Vice Mayor Shen, Vice Mayor Zhou, Chief Jiang, Mr. Hu and Mr. Chen

It is an honor to be here today for this important milestone for General Motors in China.

We made a long-term commitment to China when we established our first facilities in Shanghai more than 15 years ago. Today, we are renewing that commitment; honoring our relationship with SAIC and recognizing the great team here at SGM. To succeed in China, we need to continue to grow our design, engineering, manufacturing and dealer network to meet the needs of local consumers. The plant we are breaking ground for today is especially important to the growth of our Cadillac brand, which competes in one of the market’s fastest-growing segments.

In China and America, luxury is linked to tradition and culture: people in both countries value beauty, advanced technology and craftsmanship.

For more than 100 years, these qualities have defined Cadillac and made it synonymous with the word “luxury.” The link has never been stronger than it is today. Our newest vehicles like the Cadillac XTS are winning critical praise, and our sales in the United States are growing faster than they have in nearly 40 years. We are also on the cusp of launching all-new products like the Cadillac CTS and ELR, which will rank among the most beautiful and advanced vehicles in the world. I am here to pledge the support of the entire GM organization to ensure that we are successful.

There is a proverb that says that the best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago and the second best time is now. This perfectly captures the opportunity we see for Cadillac in China.

Starting production of the XTS in Shanghai earlier this year showed our intention to lay down deep roots for Cadillac. The car is off to a very fast start. We’re pleased with consumers’ response to it and to the refreshed SRX, our top seller in China.

Our drive to grow Cadillac in China does not end there, as today’s event makes clear.

By 2020, the Chinese vehicle market could reach 30 million units, and we expect that more luxury cars will be sold here than anywhere else in the world – as many as 3 million. Our new plant underpins our plan to introduce a new Cadillac model in China every year through 2016 and achieve a 10 percent share of the luxury market by 2020.

Our confidence is high because we have such a strong and experienced SGM team, great partners, fully dedicated Cadillac dealers, and the valuable support of the Shanghai government.

Together, we will achieve many more milestones in China. Thank you.

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