GM Holden Ltd. says it is delaying indefinitely the introduction of Cadillac cars in Australia due to the market downturn in the market and the global financial crisis.

“We have made a common sense, commercially responsible decision to not introduce a new brand into the exceptionally challenging Australian market at this time,” GM Holden Chairman and Managing Director Mark Reuss says in a statement.

Cadillac was to become the 47th vehicle brand in the Australian market, returning after a 40-year absence. But Reuss says GM Holden was faced with making a significant investment to launch a new, niche marque in a tough market.

“There is only one chance to properly launch this brand in Australia, and in these challenging times, we believe we couldn’t give it the best chance of success,” he says.

Reuss says there’s no doubt the Cadillac CTS is a magnificent vehicle, and the response since it was revealed at the Australian International Motor Show last October has been positive.

“But since then, the market for new cars has continued to deteriorate, the challenging broader economic environment remains largely unchanged and the exchange rate has worsened for imports,” he says.

“At GM Holden, we will devote our energies towards our core operations that include a range of alternative-fuel technologies, a second car line at Elizabeth to build a new fuel-efficient 4-cyl. small car and future-generation Commodores.”

Reuss also says Saab and Hummer premium brands sold by GM Holden will continue to focus on sales and planning for future introductions of new models.

Parent General Motors Corp. is looking to.sell the niche brands.