NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Cadillac's new CT6 sedan, introduced this week at the New York International Auto Show, takes the 113-year-old brand back into the market where people expect it to be, said the luxury vehicle-maker's president, Johan de Nysschen.
"The CT6 is the new flagship," de Nysschen said in an interview before the show, which opens to the public on Friday at the Javits Center. "It's positioned above where the existing lineup ends."
The car is one of eight all-new vehicles Cadillac will launch by the end of the decade as part of a $12 billion upgrade. With dimensions similar to BMW's short-wheelbase 7-Series, it features four- and six-cylinder engine options and high-pressure aluminum castings for a quieter ride, the General Motors (GM) brand has said. The CT6 will sell for around $65,000, Bloomberg News reported.
"Cadillac, for many years, its history has been very U.S.-centric," de Nysschen noted. "Part of our mission now as we expand our global footprint is to set up particularly China as a second volume hub for the brand. It's the world's fastest-growing market and now the world's largest luxury market, and it stands to reason that we'd be there."
Indeed, China led Cadillac's 5% sales-volume growth in 2014, with 47% gains, the company said in a January statement. The number of total vehicles sold there, 73,500, still lagged behind the 170,750 sold in the U.S.
The luxury brand ranks fourth in its market in China, and "we're only just starting our local production of vehicles," de Nysschen said. The CT6 will also be built there, he added, and "we have great optimism for the prospects of the brand in that important market.
Production on the CT6 will begin in November, and the first cars should hit showrooms in December.
In overall sales, Cadillac has been forced to "adopt a little bit of a wait-and-see attitude" in Russia amid political and economic uncertainty, de Nysschen said. The U.S. dollar's strong performance against the euro has had virtually no effect because Europe is a minor market for Cadillac, he said. The region, combined with Russia, accounted for less than 1% of the brand's 2014 sales volumes, or about 1,600 cars.