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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Cadillac's Plan to Reclaim Its Luxury Street Cred Is Accelerating
New products, new leadership, and new marketing add up to big changes for the old Cadillac brand, as GM's long-term plan starts to unfold.
Daily Finance


General Motors' (GM) Cadillac brand has made a lot of news lately. GM is turning its old luxury brand into a standalone division, moving its headquarters to New York, and launching a new naming scheme for its models.

If it seems like a lot of fuss over a brand that has fallen far behind the German luxury-car leaders, it is. But GM isn't just looking to recapture the romance of a bygone era when Cadillac's "Standard of the World" ad tagline really meant something.

As crazy as it might seem, behind the scenes, there are very big moves being made to turn Cadillac into a global luxury-car leader. Here's what GM has in mind.

A New Future That Looks Back to the Best of Cadillac's Past

For starters, forget almost everything you know about Cadillac. Forget the cushy seats and wire wheels and whitewall tires that marked Cadillacs of old, and forget the idea that Cadillacs are cars aimed at retired folks and nobody else.

Forget all of that. But don't forget what Cadillac stood for once upon a time.

Years ago -- like, 50 years ago -- Cadillac offered a uniquely brash, American take on real high-end luxury. Back then, Cadillacs were very expensive, but they were also bold, optimistic, and sophisticated -- the three "values" that Cadillac's marketing chief says the brand will now reclaim and build upon.

Cadillac's global chief marketing officer, Uwe Ellinghaus, is a longtime BMW (BAMXF) executive who was hired by GM last year to help take the brand in a new direction. He told the Detroit News this week that the "Cadillac point of view" will become clear in a new ad campaign that will begin early next year -- starting when an all-new range-topping sedan is unveiled in January.

But this isn't about copying the German brands, Ellinghaus says. As he told the Detroit News, "If you buy an Audi, Mercedes or BMW, you show that you fit into the premium luxury norm. This is the foreseeable car, the expected car in your neighborhood. Whereas with a Cadillac, it's more about standing out rather than fitting in." [Emphasis added.]

If that sounds like a big change for Cadillac, that's because it is. But it's driven by sound business reasons: A thriving luxury brand can be a huge source of profits for a global automaker, and GM CEO Mary Barra is pushing hard to increase GM's profit margins.

Getting Cadillac to the point where it is taken seriously by BMW and Audi owners -- not just in the U.S., but also in China and eventually even in Europe -- could take years. But the process is already well underway.

GM Has Given Cadillac's New Boss a Lot of Leeway

Cadillac has a brand-new boss. Audi and Infiniti veteran Johan de Nysschen joined GM in August as Cadillac's president, and he has wasted no time laying out his vision for where Cadillac ought to go.

For a while now, Cadillac has been struggling with an interesting problem. The brand's latest models, the CTS and ATS sedans and the new Escalade, really are competitive with the best in the world. The all-new-for-2014 CTS sedan was Motor Trend's Car of the Year, and it has won numerous comparison tests against Mercedes-Benz's E-Class and BMW's 5-Series.

But sales have been sluggish, and data shows that the new Cadillacs aren't getting consideration from BMW and Mercedes owners.

That highlighted the problem: Having products that were on par with the German luxury leaders was only the first step -- now, Cadillac needs to fix its brand.

That's where de Nysschen comes in. De Nysschen spent two decades at Audi, and he was a key part of that brand's efforts to separate its image from that of its corporate parent, Volkswagen Group (VLKAY), and elevate itself to the level of BMW and Mercedes.

It's no surprise that he's drawing on Audi's playbook at Cadillac. The brand's planned move to New York isn't intended as an affront to Detroit, it's about creating a sense of separation -- so that Cadillac's people can focus intensely on Cadillac, without distraction from the rest of General Motors.
That laser-like focus is what's needed to succeed as a global luxury brand, he has said.

**Full Article At Link**
 

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Good luck and although I like the new ATS and CTS ....the new cts didn't make me want to eu. Out and buy one.

Now if the next Cadillac looks like the car in your first post that would get consumers attention..

I hope all the marketing jibber jabber makes a difference at the same time stunning new product arrives....(I'll suggest it's the product and let others say it was the more elusive marketing etc)

Better yet....let's say its a combination of both that worked to increase Cadillacs sales...

I like all the positive talk about Cadillac....hopefully the word will spread.....
 

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Over the past several weeks we've seen a flood of Cadillac articles, I wonder if that is part of the plan to keep the name constantly out in the press and therefore in the public eye. Or is it just a coincidence? I tend to think it is on purpose, Cadillac seems to be issuing separate press releases for the name of the CT6, some of the tech, etc. vs. just "one and done", plus the various articles about the new leadership, moving the HQ, future plans, etc.

I'm excited, it appears Cadillac has strong leadership, a direction, GM's commitment and resources. I'm thinking Cadillac will be a success in 5+ years as long as GM keeps these leaders in place vs. the revolving door of the past several years. Cadillac will never be a winner with leadership changing every year and therefore Cadillac's strategic plan changing every year.
 

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A bit confusing. Since when is the CT6 being shown in January 15 (NAIAS)? I thought it was March 15 (NYIAS)? But whatever date it is, and whenever GM's new marketing campaign begins, I can't wait to see it, because that is where the problem predominately lies. Cadillac's current marketing is woeful, the two ATS ads are horrific, the ATS coup ad is silly and the Escalade ad, while okay, seems to be aimed at the type of poseurs you wouldn't want your brand to be associated with. And there is no current CTS, SRX, XTS or ELR ads. But apart from the ads, there is no consistent brand message- it's just a mess. That must end. It's not rocket science GM!
 

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Forget all of that. But don't forget what Cadillac stood for once upon a time.

Years ago -- like, 50 years ago -- Cadillac offered a uniquely brash, American take on real high-end luxury. Back then, Cadillacs were very expensive, but they were also bold, optimistic, and sophisticated -- the three "values" that Cadillac's marketing chief says the brand will now reclaim and build upon.

But this isn't about copying the German brands, Ellinghaus says. As he told the Detroit News, "If you buy an Audi, Mercedes or BMW, you show that you fit into the premium luxury norm. This is the foreseeable car, the expected car in your neighborhood. Whereas with a Cadillac, it's more about standing out rather than fitting in." [Emphasis added.][/I]


All for it being an "American take on luxury" and "Standing out", why not start by doing what others do not and name your products.

Working well for Escalade sales (+120%) , not so much for the alphabet soup cars/SUV (-16%) for September.

Cadillac must fix the U.S. and grow in China where it is established and still has untapped upside before GM spends money on other global markets. Real names will sell in the U.S. and China, Cadillac needs to be truly bold and quit following as using "Alpha-numerics" makes you a "follower" and worse still; a "copy cat".
 

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Cadillac's global chief marketing officer, Uwe Ellinghaus, is a longtime BMW (BAMXF) executive who was hired by GM last year to help take the brand in a new direction. He told the Detroit News this week that the "Cadillac point of view" will become clear in a new ad campaign that will begin early next year -- starting when an all-new range-topping sedan is unveiled in January.


Huh...?
 

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If it seems like a lot of fuss over a brand that has fallen far behind the German luxury-car leaders, it is.
No it isn't.

For starters, forget almost everything you know about Cadillac. Forget the cushy seats and wire wheels and whitewall tires that marked Cadillacs of old, and forget the idea that Cadillacs are cars aimed at retired folks and nobody else.
Oh Kryst! Seriously ???
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Working well for Escalade sales (+120%) , not so much for the alphabet soup cars/SUV (-16%) for September.
I don't understand why people can't get through their thick heads that the name has nothing to do with the ****ing sales or lack thereof in some instances. The drop in sales for the ATS and CTS are due to the price adjustment. The market will adjust. Escalade didn't see the same drop in sales over it's price increase because those buyers are accustomed to paying a premium price of admission. The CTS was all value buyers that wanted to get something for nothing and have been left behind by the new CTS and don't want to step down to the ATS out of spite. Once buyers come to terms with the proper pecking order sales will increase.
 

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Well the CTS-V Series will be a "Range-topping sedan", granted not all new, but it will be range topping and for a few months it will be the Top Cadillac. Or perhaps they moved the CT6 reveal up to January?
Or it's from a non-reputable news source that knows less than nothing about what's going on and just made a mistake.

Non-reputable, maybe not, but certainly not an authority on the subject.
 

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ats, a 3series competitor is just a plain stupid idea to begin with- I said this 3 or more years ago in this forum

xts- is awful looking, make it a park avenue and round it off- then use that frame and interior and skin it with the 16's body; so 2 cars from onel
here is an idea the new ct6- make it just like this with an electric roof that folds into the trunk;
Tire Motor vehicle Wheel Mode of transport Automotive design


ok then bring back the hummer h1 and sell it as a cadiallc for the next 20 yearsl

then use the xts hearse as your top pf the line minivan - youre welcome gm!!
 

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I'm already tired of this Uwe and Johan crew. I know it takes time but they keep coming out making big promises, which is typical GM, but what we usually find is that GM under delivers. The new naming structure is massively unimaginative and a huge let down and the CT6 itself already feels that way too. I was expecting a stunning Elmiraj-style flagship the likes of which Cadillac hasn't had in years but the more we learn and see, the new "flagship" really looks more like a big CTS than the gorgeous Elmiraj and now they tell us it really won't compete with the S Class so it is more of a RWD XTS-replacement. Then there was news of a new Caddy engine family which is great but it won't show up for five years when I was hoping they'd have a twin turbo 4.5 V8 to go in the Omega at launch.
 

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De Nysshen has a huge ship to get on course. The product has long since left the HT4100s and Concours D'Elegace behind but the stigma and reputation, as well as the expectations of the traditional customers, still exist.

There are far too many people alive who think of Cadillac one way, and it's up to de Nysshen to change that. Frankly this media barrage is the best way to do it. Drill it into people's heads that this ain't the Cadillac of 1970-2013, this is the Cadillac of 1902-1969.

If you get what I am saying, you are excited as hell for this guy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I'm already tired of this Uwe and Johan crew. I know it takes time but they keep coming out making big promises, which is typical GM, but what we usually find is that GM under delivers. The new naming structure is massively unimaginative and a huge let down and the CT6 itself already feels that way too. I was expecting a stunning Elmiraj-style flagship the likes of which Cadillac hasn't had in years but the more we learn and see, the new "flagship" really looks more like a big CTS than the gorgeous Elmiraj and now they tell us it really won't compete with the S Class so it is more of a RWD XTS-replacement. Then there was news of a new Caddy engine family which is great but it won't show up for five years when I was hoping they'd have a twin turbo 4.5 V8 to go in the Omega at launch.
The only people parading this hype was the media. Plain and simple, not GM. I've been saying for a long time that people need to get used to the fact that the CT6 is going to be more CTS and less Elmiraj. It is a range topping sedan, the flagship sedan was put on hold. This has been known for a long time, but everyone wouldn't let go of it. The media kept reporting the word "Flagship", not GM. Everyone should know by now that GM doesn't put out concept vehicles for production ideas, they put them out to showcase new design styles and tech to gauge public perception of where they are going and adjust accordingly. The only, and I mean ONLY exception to this rule in a modern era that I can think of is the GenV Camaro. I understand your disappointment, but this is the reality of manufacturing cars in this day and age. You cannot simply do everything at once, it takes $1 Billion dollars to bring the CT6 to production, how many models does GM sell? Chevy, Buick, GMC, Cadillac, they all have to be updated and added to, that's a lot of Billions to operate, it's not as easy as it sounds. Now add Europe, Aust, China, Korea, Russia et al. It all can't be done at once or at a moments notice, it takes years to R&D, millions and billions sometimes, and there are still setbacks after all that. Have you read the articles about the new LT1 engine? Expectations are not reality. I'm sorry you got caught up in the hype.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I still don't know where that's at. Some articles say its a go, some don't. I hope it comes around, I like large coupes.


EDIT: Oh, I see what you were doing there, adding to the Camaro LOL
 
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