Cadillac Is Happy Defining Itself Outside of Germany’s Shadow

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Cadillac (NYSE:GM) is no BMW or Audi.” These words don’t necessarily mean a whole lot — a friendly jab from a brand loyalist to a rival, a comparison of a company against its benchmarks. But when those words are spoken by Uwe Ellinghaus, Cadillac’s global marketing chief and a former BMW marketing executive, those words suddenly become rather significant.

For years, Cadillac has been held to the standard set by BMW; as the reigning king luxury for the last several years (though Mercedes overtook BMW last year), BMW has been the yardstick to which all other luxury marques are compared to. However, Ellinghaus is now asserting that it’s good that Cadillac differs from the German brands, as BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Audi have become “ubiquitous” and “mainstream,” Automotive News quoted him as saying.

Ellinghaus submits that because of the immense popularity of the European trio, Cadillac now has an opportunity to define American luxury for itself, rather than weakly mimicking the German model as it has done in years past.

“None of the German premium manufacturers can any longer afford to offer cars with distinctive styling,” Ellinghaus told Automotive News. “Their volume aspirations are such that they must go mainstream with their major cars.”

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