General Motors To Import Plug-In Hybrid Cadillac CT6 From China To Sell In U.S.

2 years ago by Mark Kane 56

Cadillac CT6 PHEV

Cadillac CT6 PHEV

The Cadillac CT6 PHEV Debuted In China In April - And Features 37 Miles Of Electric Range

The Cadillac CT6 PHEV Debuted In China In April – And Features 37 Miles Of Electric Range

Later this year, Cadillac will be offering in the U.S. a new plug-in hybrid model called the CT6 PHEV.

The Cadillac ELR is expected to disappear from the automaker’s lineup in the near future.

According to Bloomberg, unlike the US-made conventional CT6, the plug-in hybrid version of the CT6 will be imported from China where there’s a second manufacturing line for the CT6.

Editor’s note:  For more information on the extended range CT6, check out our coverage of the debut/specs here, and the live Shanghai gallery here.

Why will the CT6 PHEV be made only at the Chinese factory? Well, because GM expects high demand for it in China and only low demand in the U.S. Exporting loads of CT6 PHEVs would result in high import taxes in China.

GM imports the Buick Envision from China too.

“The decision to import two high-end models from China shows that GM increasingly views its factories there as capable of building vehicles with good enough quality to sell in the U.S. Plus, the Chinese tax imported cars heavily, which encourages automakers to manufacture there rather than bring in models produced in other countries.

“Longer term, we should see more of this because GM’s Chinese operations have every capability required to provide cars for North America,” said Eric Noble, president of CarLab, a consulting firm in Orange, California. “They would import here instead of from Europe because Chinese consumer tastes align more closely to American tastes than Europe’s ever did.”

As the standard CT6 production is also being done in Detroit as well, it was originally thought the plug-in version would be built in the US alongside, but surging China plug-in sales, and low ELR sales may have influenced this decision.

For whatever reason, GM has deemed the CT6 PHEV to be a low volume seller ahead of its debut in the US.  Unfortunately, adding in the cost of importing a low volume/premium car from China will likely only make pricing (which we will pass along when announced) that much more prohibitive.

Of interest:  Thanks to a slip-of-the-tongue by Cadillac boss De Nysschen in China at the debut, we can report that the Cadillac CT6 PHEV is estimated at 37 miles of all-electric range.

Cadillac CT6 at 2016 NAIAS:

Source: Bloomberg

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56 responses to "General Motors To Import Plug-In Hybrid Cadillac CT6 From China To Sell In U.S."

  1. kdawg says:

    “Plus, the Chinese tax imported cars heavily, which encourages automakers to manufacture there rather than bring in models produced in other countries.”
    ———–
    So why doesn’t the US do that as well???

    1. kosee says:

      Heavy import tax is a selfish and nationalistic way of doing good for yourself but in the meanwhile telling other to go screw themselves. China needs to do this because China is a rising nation without the economic wealth of the United States or any other real first world country. The United States would only cut itself in its own fingers, because having a low import tax means developing not just you but the world around you as well. An economically more developed world will have benefits for the us as well.

      About the car.. we don’t have this in Europe. Import tax!

      1. Speculawyer says:

        China has been growing up though. They need to start dropping much of their protectionist measures.

        Or perhaps the rest of the world needs to create a China carbon tax that taxes all their exports until the air in the cities is clean and they burn much less coal.

        1. Trollnonymous says:

          China also requires that outside companies that want to manufacture inside China must partner with a company based in China. This requires them to share IP with chinese companies.

          1. ffbj says:

            They pretty make the rules and say play by our rules or don’t play.

            1. sven says:

              Then why did the world let China into the World Trade Organization? If the WTO can’t enforce fair trade practices among its member, what good is the WTO?

              1. ModernMarvelFan says:

                WTO rules allow that for a specific duration..

                China was classified as “developing nation” instead of developed nation. So, the rules are more lax for those nations due to its economic status. As they grow, the rules will slowly tighten and eventually meet the commitment that was agreed during the negotiation done during the entry phase of WTO membership acceptance.

                If China violates those “agreements”, any member nation can take China to WTO courts and punitive tariff can be applied if WTO courts rules in favor of the plantiff nation.

                China has lost many of those cases recently and so has US and EU. So, it does happen. But the other complains as far as auto market goes is still acceptable within the frame of agreement but I think those terms will expire in few years down the road…

                1. Speculawyer says:

                  But when a country has a rover on the moon, hydrogen bombs, and stealth fighters . . . they are really no longer a ‘developing nation’. They are just a nation with a really skewed wealth distribution system.

                  1. ModernMarvelFan says:

                    I am not sure if you are still talking about China or the US. =)

                    China had H2 bombs back in the 60s.. But it doesn’t make you a wealthy nation. A country (a very large one) can concentrate the power on few projects even though it is still relatively poor.

                    India is another good example of that. India already have aircraft carrier, moon probe, rockets, hydrogen bombs but it is still considered as a “developing nation”.

                    Both China and India lacks in many key economic metric.

                    As far as “wealth distribution goes”, I think US is worse than China as far as “wealth gap” goes.

                    1. You think the US is worse than China on the “wealth gap?” I don’t know about that. I didn’t google any stats, but common sense would tell me a communist nation (where the few always control the many) would naturally have a larger wealth gap.
                      Of course I also don’t really care about the wealth gap, it’s a non-issue in a free nation where opportunity to improve one’s own situation exists. Most people who are considered poor in the US are in that situation because of their own bad decisions. Don’t get me wrong, it’s sad and I feel bad for them, but you reap what you sow.

                    2. ModernMarvelFan says:

                      RightofPeople wrote:

                      “You think the US is worse than China on the “wealth gap?” I don’t know about that. I didn’t google any stats, but common sense would tell me a communist nation (where the few always control the many) would naturally have a larger wealth gap.”

                      Common sense would have said look up the facts before posting? =)

                      Also common sense would have said the “idealistic” communist country supposes to distributes income equally so everyone stays poor. =)

                      (sorry for being snarky).

                      “Of course I also don’t really care about the wealth gap, it’s a non-issue in a free nation where opportunity to improve one’s own situation exists. ”

                      That is not the topic at hand.

                      “Most people who are considered poor in the US are in that situation because of their own bad decisions. Don’t get me wrong, it’s sad and I feel bad for them, but you reap what you sow.”

                      Well, that certainly answer some of your own questions doesn’t it? So I guess you have no problem allowing rich people to buy off politician that are corrupt to benefit the rich even more?

                      Lastly, since you have a pretty “twisted” view as far as rich and poor is concerned, instead of arguing back and forth, here are some links to show the income inequality across the world. US is ranked near the top if not the top in terms of biggest “income equality” in the world.

                      http://fortune.com/2015/09/30/america-wealth-inequality/

                      “America is the richest, and most unequal, country”

                      http://inequalityforall.com/fact-4/

                      THE U.S RANKS 4TH IN INCOME INEQUALITY

                      http://www.therichest.com/rich-list/poorest-list/10-countries-with-the-worst-income-inequality/?view=all

                      “the top 1% in the U.S. claimed 95% of gains from the economic recovery”

          2. sven says:

            And split the profits 50/50.

            1. Trump Palin Casinos says:

              The profit, be the way, will be around $25k. Money saved on $10k PHEV gear will be offset by $5-8k Chinese labor savings.

      2. GrokGrok says:

        While China still has significant areas of poverty, it is a middle class country overall, which explains why more iPhones are sold there than anywhere else. No one should have a problem with the Chinese competing on equal terms, but failing to take action when they uses taxes or other measures to artificially capture manufacturing areas like auto (or airplane) manufacturing is essentially unilateral disarmament. We run a huge trade deficit and the Chinese a huge trade surplus; they should be able to import California-made Teslas without imposing a 25% import duty designed to advantage local auto makers.

        1. Trollnonymous says:

          For some reason no politician will try and tackle that issue. The only one that might is the presidential candidate with effe’d up hair.

        2. ModernMarvelFan says:

          “We run a huge trade deficit and the Chinese a huge trade surplus; ”

          They are true. However, the whole picture is that China runs a huge surplus against the US but runs a huge deficit against just about every nations in the world.

          It is truly a concentrated world factory.

          It buys components and raw materials from every nations in the world and then manufacturing the goods and then export them to the US. So, it is almost like all major exports run through China to get to US.

          So, overall, China’s export/import account isn’t nearly as favorable as people think. It is just concentrate to the US/China trade which is very politically sensitive.

          China runs a huge trading deficit against EU, Japan, South Korean and every BRICS nation…

          1. GrokGrok says:

            The overall Chinese world trade surplus for 2015 was $600 billion, and December’s alone was $60 billion (Bloomberg story from yesterday). Only about half of the surplus is with the U.S. China also runs a trade surplus with the EU and with Japan. It runs trade deficits with raw material producing countries such as Australia. Automobiles are capital intensive. If it wants to produce them fine, but then we should insist our manufacturers have equal access.

            1. ModernMarvelFan says:

              I stand corrected.

              My figures weren’t the latest. It looks like 2015 is the best year ever compared with last decades for China.

              The Trade surplus with Japan is a recent development.

              Germany enjoys a fairly large trading surplus with China. But the rest of the EU doesn’t do nearly as well. EU is the China’s largest trading partner.

      3. Open-Mind says:

        “China is a rising nation without the economic wealth of the United States”

        Huh?

        The US federal government is almost $19 trillion in debt, which is $58,488 per citizen.

        The Chinese government is only $5.3 trillion in debt, which is only $3,946 per citizen.

        1. ModernMarvelFan says:

          Two economy is about similar size but China has about 4.5x the population.

          So, it is effectively 1/4 poorer per person.

          US worker is also generating far more GDP than China on per person basis and has almost 8x the per capita GDP. That indicates almost 2x the efficiency in terms of GDP generation.

          The biggest holder (majority) of US debts are still American. (China and Japan are biggest foreign US debt holder).

          1. Open-Mind says:

            OK, but the US national debt per citizen is still 15X that of China. I think if average folks knew our debt is $158,000 per tax-payer, they would freak. Every eight years it doubles. This is not sustainable.

            1. Nick says:

              Yes, but we owe most of that money to ourselves.

              Makes the economics of the national debt quite strange.

              1. SJC says:

                The government has borrowed from the Social Security Trust Fund, the money to pay that comes from the general fund and tax payers. It is MORE debt no matter how you count it.

  2. Trollnonymous says:

    Good thing the tax payers bailed out GM so they could send jobs to China!!

    What a God Damn JOKE!

    1. ModernMarvelFan says:

      Jobs to China?

      GM is still the biggest US auto employer in the country. It still build more cars in the US than any other automaker. It also tops the list or dominates the list of models with “highest domestic contents”…

      Yes, some jobs will go to China, but profits will come back to the US.

    2. JeremyK says:

      As the article states, most of these cars are being built in China FOR the domestic Chinese market, not the US. Who are you to say that these are “U.S” jobs?

      If sales projections are true, then it would make ZERO economic sense to manufacture this car in the U.S. whether there was an import tax for China or not.

    3. No says:

      Are you blaming Bush or Obama?

  3. Andrew says:

    Shameful

  4. ModernMarvelFan says:

    Not surprising since Americans don’t buy Cadillac anymore or at least those who do will die off slowly due to old age. =)

    So, you got to build cars where they are selling hot. That is why we are importing Buick and Cadillac. The Chinese love those “American luxury cars” more than Americans…

    1. kdawg says:

      Cadillac & Buick are very popular in my neck of the woods. Not so much on the coasts where imports seem to dominate.

      1. kdawg says:

        Maybe once we tell the coasts that the Cadillac CT6 PHEV is imported, they will want it then.. HA

        1. ModernMarvelFan says:

          Did “imported from Detroit” work for FCA?

          =)

          I guess “imported from China” just doesn’t have the same “zing” to it…

          Maybe it works, I don’t know.

          Maybe it should copy the Apple line, “designed in the USA, Assembled in China”.

  5. Blastphemy says:

    Just goes to show you how badly Cadillac understands the U.S. market. It never even tried to market the ELR beyond the awful “Poolside” ad shown during the Olympics that managed to offend so many people and make ELR owners look like a$$ holes. The CT6 is the car everyone wanted the ELR to be, and if 37 miles is the actual range, it would have siphoned thousands of affluent Volt owners. But the real range is 30 miles per the official specifications, and now the Volt gets 53 miles. So again… too little too late for clueless Cadillac.

  6. pjwood1 says:

    Could be Chinese PHEV demand, could be a wonderfully evil plan.

  7. Dan says:

    What the **** is happening to the comment section? It looks like a Bernie and Trump troll fest out here.

    Look folks, Cadillac just introduced a new plug in – in fact, the first of the new models after they changed their electrification strategy. It’s big news. Get your heads out of each other’s behinds and read the article instead!

    1. ModernMarvelFan says:

      Yes, anytime anyone mentions China, it becomes a “semi” political argument. I guess news media has its share to blame to “politicize” it (not inside ev of course).

      I blame it on KDawg to start the thread on “trade barrier talks”. =)

      Yes, it is significant. But the underling story is just as significant since GM is deciding to “import” the luxury PHEV from China instead due to expected “low interest” or “low sales” from US.

      This speaks volume by itself as it views China as a more favorable market for the luxury PHEV model.

      1. Dan says:

        Demand IS lower compared to China. Barring Norway, China is pretty much the center of the EV industry at the moment. The US and the EU are footnotes. In addition, the Chinese really like GM cars. That seems more like stating reality than anything else. Where they build it seems less relevant than the fact that it is available here.

        1. ModernMarvelFan says:

          If you actually excludes the so called “NEV” (aka low speed EVs) from China’s figure, US is actually the #1 PEV market in the world…

          But the fact that GM doesn’t see the “luxury” PHEV doing well in the US vs. China is a surprising case due to the “purchasing” power difference.

    2. Ziv says:

      I have purchased too much cr** that was made in China to think that a car is something I would import from China. I don’t care if it has a plug, it is going to be a tall pile of dung if it is built in China. And a rather unreliable pile of dung, at that.
      GM has managed to bungle it yet again.

      1. Dan says:

        I don’t buy crap. Most of my high end electronics are made in China. I’m sorry that you buy so much crap.

        1. SJC says:

          It was said Japanese was inferior in the 50s, Korea in the 70s…notice a pattern here?

      2. ModernMarvelFan says:

        I don’t want get off track here.

        But your kind of attitude of “everything made in China” are crap is kind of overblown by media.

        iPhone are made in China but nobody assume they are crap.

        Many of the top electronics are made in China as well.

        China just makes a lot of stuff in general. I don’t dispute that a lot of stuff made there aren’t craps. But they also make some good stuff as well.

        It all depends on what you are willing to pay and are the stuff held to the same standard or brand it carries.

        if GM can hold the stuff that are made in China to the same quality that they are made in the US, then it won’t be so bad. (Okay that might not be a good example as GM isn’t exactly known for quality). But the point is really if you buy an ultra low price product that are often so cheap that you wonder how can it be so cheap? It is pretty a piece of crap. More likely than not, it is probably made in China since China got the “low price” market “cornered”. But is it really a problem due to China or due to the fact that the price is below what a reasonable quality product should sell for?

        Chinese suppliers will never say no to anything. If you want a $100 product for $10, then they will give 1/10 worthy of quality and sell it to you for $10. Hey, you wanted it for $10, right? If you want a $100 product for $200, then you will get a good quality out of it.

        The pursuit of low price is what drives low price products to be ultra low quality.

        1. Ziv says:

          5 years ago I might have agreed with you about the iPhone being a great product. I can’t today. I am back with Samsung, not missing Apple’s lack of reliability.
          China sells cheap products, and they are almost always less than reliable. Looking for Chinese items to be decent is a lesson in “Waiting for Godot”.

          1. Tech01x says:

            Samsung makes their phones in China, Vietnam, and South Korea.

            Apple’s iPhones are assembled in China, but the point of manufacturing of many of its critical parts isn’t in China.

          2. Trace says:

            Yeah, funny thing about Samsung. Once in the 90s a cheap, knockoff, Korean brand of products with negligible quality, all of the sudden becomes the prestige CE brand in the 2010s. How did that happen?

            By Slick marketing, flooding the market, and heavy advertizing… oh yeah. and IP theft. It’s not just Apple who sued them…

            Sony-CD royalties
            Sharp-Magnetron tubes & LCD tech
            Pioneer-Rear projection CRTs
            Matsushita/Panasonic-Plasma display tech
            Ericsson-Digital Cell bandwidth
            Dyson-Practically identical vacuum cleaner
            Toshiba/Warner Bros.-DVD royalties
            And probably more.

            Samsung lost to all of them, but while they were delaying the court cases, they flooded the market with their knockoffs, and blanketed it with advertizing, forcing Pioneer to stop making televisions, Ericsson to get bought out by Sony. It is the only corporation in the world whos CEO is a convicted felon who got out of jail through a S Korean Presidential pardon, who BTW is on Samsung’s dole.

            Strange company to hitch your argument on.

        2. Phr3d says:

          ” If you want a $100 product for $10″
          precisely, it is often lost on the US consumer what Walmart et al did to the Perception of chinese quality of workmanship.

    3. No says:

      I’m a communist liberal according to some and I still recognize the hypocrisy of Chinese IP theft and unfair business tactics. Why can’t you?

  8. James says:

    I’m guessing a Chinese-made Caddy is not going to sell well to their core constituency. That said, the range numbers are respectable for such a behemoth. But for the money, I’m guessing you can simply buy a Tesla and drive off in a fine American-made ride.

  9. Lad says:

    This means they can use Harbor Freight for their showrooms.

    I’m thinking this is a desperate move for a U.S. auto brand and highlights yet more poor management decisions. Is this the death knell for Cadillac?

  10. goaterguy says:

    And there goes all the chances for me to trade up my Volt… Oh look, a Tesla Dealer just a few miles from home!

  11. Chris O says:

    “For whatever reason, GM has deemed the CT6 PHEV to be a low volume seller ahead of its debut in the US.

    I wonder if the fact that the car it was made to look like, the Mercedes S550 PHEV only got 118 sales in the past 7 months since introduction has anything to do with that.

    The high-end low AER PHEV concept is wildly unpopular in the US.

  12. Martin T. says:

    GM in the USA with this
    (It really is the end of the world for both)

    It goes to prove it really is accountants screwing over the world and if they think Chinese made vehicles even by GM are at the tipping point for full importation.

    Think again they need a few more years still on a few fronts, but then how is America going to end up paying for this? Oh yes print more money.

  13. JeremyK says:

    10 years ago I would have said I’ve never buy a Chinese built car. However, last year I was in China (for the first time in 10 years) and I rode in a Buick Mini-van that was built for the China-only market. It was really really nice. Leather everything, DVD players in the seat backs, wonderful high-res. large screen navigation system, heated/cooled seats, even for the rear passengers. It was also quiet and had a good ride. Not at all what I would have expected.

    GM does have a global Bill or Process and Bill of Materials. The idea is that a vehicle built in China for the US market would be held to the same standards as one build here. Honestly, most of the suppliers that we have in the US are also located in China…and a component plant in China often is just as nice as the ones I’ve seen here in the US. Often times the equipment is newer, because the investments are more recent.

    I agree that this will not play well with potential Cadillac customers in the US, but I’ll try to remain objective and see how this plays out.

    1. No says:

      No surprise, gm is managing quality, not the local culture.

      Still the issue is tariffs, low wages, abused workers downstream, IP theft and a plan to subsidize manufacturing till US plants need to be shut down.

      If you invented something and a particular big country didn’t respect your patents and then taxed your product so you couldn’t even sell it their market, how would you feel?

  14. RAilfan says:

    I have heard rumors from various sources that in China, yes, you must play by their rules. Which includes sharing all your tech, materials, etc., with them. The railroad model industry has learned first hand (so I have been told), that if, heaven forbid, you decide that you don’t want to produce in China anymore and wish to pull up stakes and leave, they have legal right to your molds and such. While allowing you to leave, you must leave all your tooling and molds behind as China claims ownership of them. Of course as soon as you return back to the USA (or where ever), China will produce the exact same product and undersell you.

    1. No says:

      According to the politically correct liberal apologists suffering from guilt, that’s ok. It’s like white privilege compensation.

      And this is coming from a liberal eco hippie (me).