China will eventually become Cadillac's largest market.

Cadillac may be a thoroughly American luxury brand, but China will soon become the marque's largest market.

The United States is currently Cadillac's largest single market, but its lead is dwindling. Last year Cadillac's U.S. sales fell by 3 percent to 170,006 units while deliveries in China shot up 46 percent to 116,406. The U.S. could hang on for another year or two (sales actually increased by 2.6 percent between July and December), but Cadillac President Johan de Nysschen says it's inevitable that China will overtake the U.S. as the brand's largest market.

"We are moving Cadillac from having this very strong U.S.-centric focus to having a global focus," de Nysschen told Automotive News. "The time will come when we will sell more Cadillacs in China than here."

Despite that shift, de Nysschen says the U.S. will remain critical to Cadillac's bottom line because profit margins are much better here. "Whatever you make in China, you share," he said, referring to a Chinese law that requires foreign automakers to partner with local companies. "The U.S. will remain more important for a very long time."

Photo by Drew Johnson.