Cadillac marketing chief Uwe Ellinghaus to sharpen brand identity around design

Article by Christian A., on November 11, 2013

Cadillac can regain leadership of the U.S. luxury market if it comes out with a revitalized vehicle lineup with a stronger brand identity, according to recently named new marketing chief Uwe Ellinghaus. When interviewed by Automotive News, he cited the car of the year award given by Motor Trend to the 2014 CTS sedan, saying that it’s a “good start.”

However, 44-year-old Ellinghaus (who used to be a BMW marketing executive) said that the recognitions for its quality are not enough to win over customers. He believes that people won’t enter dealerships if they don’t think that the brand is relevant. Ellinghaus’ appointment takes effect on Jan. 1. He will be reporting to global Cadillac chief Bob Ferguson.

He said that he seeks to sharpen Cadillac's brand identity around the distinct design of its vehicles. He said that being unique is Cadillac’s best competitive advantage since the other premium manufacturers are far more mainstream. San Diego research firm Strategic Vision conducted a survey, which determined that Cadillac buyers already place a bigger premium on styling than those of other luxury automakers.

In 2012, 71 percent of Cadillac buyers chose exterior styling as an “extremely important” factor in their choice. On the other hand, only 50 percent for BMW buyers and 47 percent for Mercedes buyers selected this reason.

Alec Gutierrez, senior analyst at research firm Kelley Blue Book, said that it’s a huge challenge for Cadillac to attract those who already drive Germany luxury brands. He thinks that Cadillac is releasing the right products but since these luxury import buyers are “fairly well entrenched,” they’re likely to switch to a German brand.

CTS sedan’s third-generation is founded on the high-performance rear-drive structure of the acclaimed ATS sports sedan, shifting Cadillac into the esteemed class of midsized luxury sedans. It will be the lightest in the segment, allowing the nimblest drive in its class. An array of strong powertrains support this, including the new Cadillac Twin-Turbo and eight-speed automatic transmission.

The new 2014 CTS sedan offers well-crafted design, exhilarating performance, and superior technology. The automobile that always was Cadillac's focus expands metaphorically and actually does defy the best in the world.

A lengthier, shorter, and sportier dimension is presented in Cadillac's hallmark sedan and advances the Art & Science design ideals. While being five inches (127 mm) longer, including 1.2” more at the wheelbase, the roofline and cowl, the windshield’s base, are almost an inch lower. These are proportions that balance the lengthier exterior to accent the car's slender look.

With Cadillac expanding worldwide, propelled by increased credibility, the all-new CTS lifts the brand to new heights.

As it is extended in total length and wheelbase, the new CTS sedan has a lesser curb weight than the previous model and is almost 200 pounds (90 kg) lighter than the BMW 528i. Light features, including Cadillac's first aluminium door frames, add to the lowered weight and the nearly 50/50 weight ratio. And for the first time on a CTS, Magnetic Ride Control, Cadillac's real-time damping system, can be had with base models.

Topics: cadillac, design

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