Why Cadillac is setting up shop in Vietnam

Written by Staff Writer Americans love luxury cars. No one will deny it. But the wealthy Chinese have taken the luxury auto industry by storm over the past decade, with the combined sales of…

Why Cadillac is setting up shop in Vietnam

Written by Staff Writer

Americans love luxury cars. No one will deny it.

But the wealthy Chinese have taken the luxury auto industry by storm over the past decade, with the combined sales of Chinese brands such as Mercedes-Benz, Lexus and Audi shooting up to 25% of global sales between 2016 and 2017, with total production approaching 2 million vehicles.

Reuters reports that the move is “not a sign of any change of heart by China or its auto firms, as the market has virtually saturated in big cities, analysts said.”

Still, Cadillac is a prestigious brand, and one with great global exposure, so it’s understandable that the company would be keen to boost its presence in one of the world’s most populous countries.

In his first visit to Vietnam, Cadillac CEO Johan de Nysschen stressed “the importance of the country” for the brand.

“First time I ever arrived in Vietnam… Because of the importance of the country, we want to be here,” de Nysschen said on January 29.

Vietnam is “an important and under-represented market,” he added.

De Nysschen said that the brand had received great receptiveness from Vietnamese consumers, a part of which is their culture.

“The underlying values that people are actually excited about are power, creativity, generosity,” he explained.

Most importantly, his opinion was that, “The things that we do resonates in culture.”

Listening, learning

According to Reuters, the brand would help Vietnam achieve greater affluence.

Vietnam has a per capita GDP of $2,400 per year. But according to the World Bank, per capita spending on purchases of cars and trucks was $4,800 last year.

The Reuters report notes that the Chinese are faster, not only in purchase numbers, but in the sophistication of their luxury cars.

The Cadillac China website uses the slogan, “Luxury Through Passion. Passion through Technology.”

CNN’s Samatha Eastland spoke to a woman who described herself as a conservative Vietnamese mother.

“I like the Caddy very much. It was very expensive when I bought it, but I’m glad I did,” she said.

Two years ago, American companies such as Microsoft and Citigroup were awarded the rights to operate direct banking operations within Vietnam, a scheme seen as a further sign of warming relations between the two countries

Elsewhere in Asia, the luxury brand is trying to establish itself in South Korea. This January, Cadillac broke ground on a new flagship store at Seoul Grand Meridian Mall. In another coup, the brand landed the first Ferrari dealership in Korea .

Chevy is “a real American star,” de Nysschen told Reuters. “It’s the most popular brand in the US.

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