A US-based columnist in the respected English weekly car magazine Autocar has criticised General Motors for deciding not to sell new Chevrolet and Cadillac sports models in the UK, though they will be sold in Europe. However, the new European distributor says right hand drive cars for the UK are under consideration, and that RHD versions could also be sold in Japan.

Writing in the 30 September Autocar, Howard Walker said the 400bhp Cadillac CTS-V sports saloon and the Mercedes SL-rivalling XLR roadster, the Caddy SRX crossover and the 400bhp, 0-60mph-in-four-seconds Chevrolet Corvette due to be shown at January's Detroit Show will be sold in Europe by GM's new Dutch-based distributor - but not across the English channel.

Walker noted, as reported earlier by just-auto, that Kroymans Corp. plans to re-establish Cadillac in Europe by opening 15 new Cadillac-Corvette 'experience centres' in major European cities, with the first opening next summer.

"Here are four of the coolest GM vehicles to be built in 30 years, and it's unthinkable that Brit enthusiasts won't be getting a look-in," Walker said.

He added that GM responded to the question of 'Why no UK experience centre?' by throwing out "that old argument about the poor economics of right-hand-drive production"

The columnist said the answer is short-sighted because Britain in the biggest sports car market in Europe and second only to Germany in the number of high-end luxury cars sold.

"The [Cadillac] CTS-V would go down a storm [in the UK]," Walker claimed.

He added: "…if GM wants Cadillac to become a world player and shed its 'Yank Tank' image for good, ignoring the UK will prove to be a false economy".

Dick P. Braakhekke, general manager public relations for Hilversum-based Cadillac Europe B.V. [the new Kroymans-owned distribution company], confirmed his company is responsible, from October 1,  for the distribution of Cadillac, Chevrolet and Corvette in all European Union countries plus Norway and Switzerland.

"In these countries we will have local sales and marketing offices, 25 Cadillac Experience Centres - not 15 as stated in the [Autocar] article - and approx. 100 Cadillac, Chevrolet and Corvette dealers. A clear strategy for these countries has been developed.

"With regards to the UK market, GM is currently investigating possibilities for RHD vehicles. These cars could be sold in the UK and Japan. A decision has not been taken yet, which makes it way too early to conclude that there will be no Cadillac Experience Centres nor Cadillacs, Chevrolets and Corvettes distributed via Cadillac Europe and a potential new partner in the UK.

"For the Cadillac CTS V series the story is hardly different. The car has not been homologated for Europe, but as we see a market for the CTS-V series in Europe, GM is now looking at possibilities to have the car on the road at this side of the ocean. When this decision will be made is not clear. The Cadillacs XLR and SRX hitting Europe next year will have a V-series version, homologated for European countries."