The new Corvette Stingray and Cadillac CTS models may be racking up all kinds of prestigious honors in their homeland, but several thousand miles away, it remains to be seen if that hardware will pay off in the form of increased sales in Japan.
GM Japan is anxious to see its efforts pay off in Japan, where it has expanded its lineup of cars to 10 from four in 2010. Despite that expansion, GM still managed to eke out just 1,200 sales in 2012.
Still, GM says it isn’t ready to throw in the towel in the third largest automotive market in the world.
“We have just begun our fight,” GM Japan Managing Director Sumito Ishii told reporters last week at the Foreign Correspondents Club in Tokyo. “We offer attractive qualities that you can’t find in Japanese and European cars.”
Things like risk taking, coolness, and Hollywood celebrities especially with the new Corvette and Cadillac models, both of which will go on sale in Japan next spring.
Prices sound competitive, with the Stingray going from $92,900 to $115,900 and the CTS selling for $59,900 to $69,900.
Ishii said GM hopes to lure buyers who may not have predetermined (negative) opinions about the American automaker, which has finally started offering models with right-hand drive there (the normal way in Japan).
Regardless, GM has a long way to go to catch up with leaders like Lexus and BMW, which sell about 40,000 cars each in Japan each year.
GM officials say they’re optimistic that the positive reviews of the Stingray and CTS may be able to keep its sales momentum going in Japan, where it has doubled the sales of its luxury car nameplates in the past three years.