Ellinghaus: We can allow more passion than the Germans allow, because passion is infectious. The German (auto) brands are ordered and disciplined. They are about technology; we aim for ingenuity.
But is this credible for Cadillac? Yes. Passion is in our blood, in our body, in our birthplace. After all, a 61-year-old founded the brand. And in the Fifties, Cadillac design showed a forward-looking spirit, like the cars wanted to get to the moon!
But we won't "outdo" luxury; we won't use "attention to detail" and other craftsmanship cliches. "Luxury" is associated with European brands more than with American brands; we're not LVMH or Bentley.
Luxury consumption has become so much more intrinsic over the last 20 years. It is about stylistic individuality, not status. And now so many more people have access to luxury goods, with low interest rates [in the US enabling big-ticket purchases].
We want to "outwit" luxury, to dare greatly and create interplay among the brand values of boldness, sophistication and optimism, and yet be inviting and approachable. We want to inspire. We want people to dream Cadillac again instead of demonstrating one-upsmanship such as "more horsepower," "more torque," etc.