Cadillac will not be released in Australia any time soon. The decision by parent GM comes only a few weeks before dealerships there were to get the luxury brand.

Cadillac lovers in Australia will have to wait if they want to get their hands on a model from GM's luxury brand. Only weeks before Cadillac was supposed to appear in dealerships there, General Motors has decided to delay their plans to release Caddies in Oz.

GM's decision to delay the launch also affects New Zealand, where Cadillacs were also set to take to the highways. The Australian web site for Cadillac only turns out an automatic not-found message.

Mark Reuss, the head of the U.S. automaker's down-under subsidiary, said, "With the downturn of the Australian automotive market and the broader global financial situation, we have made a common-sense, commercially responsible decision to not introduce the a new brand into the exceptionally challenging Australian market at this time."

Australia has fallen on hard times economically, like much of the rest of the world. December new car sales for the nation dropped 11.3% compared with a year earlier, while 2008 auto sales dipped by 3.6% for the year. Many analysts believe 2009 new vehicle sales will be even lower.

The Big Three saw sizeable declines in that nation. GM Holden sales fell by 31%, Ford down 32%, and Chrysler sales figures dropped a massive 53%.

Competition is already tight in Australia, with Toyota holding 23.6% of the market. Holden vehicles accounted for 12.9% of 2008 sales, while Ford cars and trucks owned a 9.8% share. Reuss acknowledged that to enter into a market like Australia, an automotive company will have to have good timing. He believes now is simply not that time.

"This was a difficult decision but the only viable decision," he said. "There is no doubt the Cadillac CTS is a magnificent vehicle and the response since it was revealed at the Australian International Motor Show in October 2008 has been very positive."

Other than Holden, GM distributes Saab and Hummer in Australia.