Bill Peffer exits as US sales head for Cadillac

Article by Christian A., on June 19, 2014

Bill Peffer has exited vice president of US sales and service at Cadillac in the United States to pursue other interests. General Motors spokesman David Caldwell confirmed Peffer’s exit to Automotive News in an e-mail. Kurt McNeil, GM's current chief of US sales operations, will play the role of interim US sales head for Cadillac.

Peffer was Cadillac’s third US sales chief in a year. He was named to the in October 2013, after serving as chief executive of Nissan Australia. He replaced Chase Hawkins, who just spent 13 months in the job before being he was dismissed in June 2013 due to an undisclosed policy violation.

Peffer was handpicked by Bob Ferguson, senior vice president of global Cadillac. The luxury brand has seen its sales in the US in the first five months of 2014 drop 2 percent, after posting a 22-percent jump in 2013.

Ferguson has been going in and out of Washington DC to help GM concoct a good response to its ignition switch recall. He is expected to leave his Cadillac post to focus on the current task at GM.

The US sales drop in the first five months of 2014 was not in line with Fergusson’s forecast of a 10-percent surge in US deliveries for the full year. Cadillac’s deliveries were affected by a 20-percent drop in sales of the ATS compact sedan in the first five months of 2014.

Peffer told Automotive News in an interview in April that that competition in that critical segment had toughened up following the arrival of Mercedes CLA sedan and other offerings.

In his role as Cadillac's chief of US sales and service, Peffer was in charge of overseeing a sales unit that served as the face of the brand to around 940 dealerships.

Cadillac is introducing the newest member of its ATS product line – the all-new 2015 Cadillac ATS Coupe – thereby continuing the premium brand’s tradition of creating dynamic yet luxurious coupes. Cadillac designed this new ATS Coupe – its first-ever compact luxury coupe -- to be not just lighter and more agile than its rivals, but also more engaging than them. The new Cadillac ATS is out to hit dealerships this summer.

Cadillac ATS Coupe is powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder or a 3.6-liter six-cylinder engine, with power sent to either the rear wheels or all four wheels. The dynamic performance and the greater efficiency levels of this compact luxury coupe are partly thanks to its lightweight yet strong structure that also allows it to lead its segment in terms of power-to-weight ratio.

Uwe Ellinghaus, chief marketing officer at Global Cadillac, called the 2015 Cadillac ATS Coupe as a natural step in the luxury brand's progression. He also called the ATS Coupe as another fun-to-drive and technologically advanced vehicle that is made for a new generation of drivers, thereby allowing Cadillac to expand its target groups. Ellinghaus remarked that as a distinctive American alternative, the new 2015 Cadillac ATS Coupe is distinct in its class but is still able to deliver sporty and sophisticated driving experience at par with the best coupes in the world.

The driving dynamics of the ATS Coupe is derived from its mass efficiency just like its sedan sibling. In fact, the new ATS Coupe is one of the brand’s lightest and most agile models so far. Furthermore, it is the lightest car in the compact luxury Coupe segment. In addition, the 2.0-liter Turbo engine in the new ATS Coupe current is an upgraded version of the mill found in the ATS sport sedan.

As an upgrade, the 2.0-liter Turbo engine now delivers around 14 percent more torque to 295 lb.-ft. (400 Nm), making even the standard version of the ATS Coupe perform better in terms of power and weight over coupes with similar features like the BMW 428i. Furthermore, since higher level of torque means greater pulling power, the new Cadillac ATS Coupe is now more responsive at low speeds and is able to sprint from zero to 60 in just 5.6 seconds.

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