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Cold on Caddy

Doubtful starter: We may never see the Cadillac Catera here if it is perceived as a threat to the Holden Commodore.

Holden chairman Peter Hanenberger has poured cold water on suggestions the Cadillac brand may be introduced here

26 Feb 2001

HOLDEN chairman and managing director Peter Hanenberger has vowed to block any attempt to introduce Cadillac to Australia or New Zealand if it would negatively impact on Commodore or Statesman sales volume.

While Saab Australia managing director Tony Jennett earlier this month confirmed Cadillac planned to arrive Down Under within three years, Mr Hanenberger has poured cold water on the project.

"This company has a very strong say about what's going on here in Australia and New Zealand, and if it (a proposed import) doesn't fit into the portfolio properly I'm not going to let us make competition amongst ourselves," he said.

The cars that could inflict most damage upon Holden would be the next generation Commodore-sized Catera and long-wheelbase DeVille.

But Mr Hanenberger said there had been no strategic discussions at a senior management level about the American brand being introduced here.

"That all at first has to happen and, when all of this is being discussed, I will be at the gate," he said.

"We will have a very, very strong voice in that - and if it fits, ultimately, why not?" Cadillac is currently being sold alongside its GM stablemate Saab in countries such as Japan and South Korea, and would probably be sold through Saab dealerships in Australia and New Zealand.

If Cadillac did reach the Antipodes, Mr Hanenberger said it was unlikely the brand would make much of an impact.

"I don't think Cadillac wants to come into Australia and New Zealand at this time because it's a very tough market and you have to have in this market absolutely high-tech, high-quality products," he said.

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