From what we can tell there were at least eight or so exchanges made between Ellinghaus and Jalopnik readers sending their questions (plus a ton of comments). There were some pretty thoughtful inquiries, as a matter of fact.
A rather interesting question was what Uwe thought of the Buick Avista, and whether or not he had any concerns of Buick taking from Cadillac’s customer base. Ellinghaus explained that he sees Chevrolet as the contemporary volume brand, Buick as the contemporary premium brand, and Cadillac as the contemporary luxury brand, and that, according to him, the differentiation of prices and products negates any form of corporate cannibalism.
One reader asked Ellinghaus what effects did the relocation of the marketing team to New York have, if any. His response was that being in New York gave the brand an edge; it allowed it to benefit from what he says is the kind of environment “only NY offers: young, cosmopolitan, international.”
There were several readers who wondered, more or less, how Cadillac was going to move away from its older image. Though there was one reader who stated that he appreciated Cadillac’s older look, and that these new vehicles didn’t suit his taste. The CMO’s response was that Cadillac had a new flavor, and it’s a bold one that some may not be fans of, but its what the (majority of) customers want.
There was also a question of when Cadillac will up its presence in the European market. Ellinghaus stated that there a plans for Europe in the future, but for the next few years Cadillac will remain a “niche player.” He admits that CO2 emissions and right-hand drive steering make it more difficult to compete there, as well. We’ll add that Cadillac also needs a dealer network in place over there that it currently doesn’t have.
There were a few exchanges that gave us a chuckle. For instance, there was the question of: “is your team concerned with subconscious emotional responses to marketing campaigns? If so, do you test for them in any way?” To which Ellinghaus replies, “only if they are sexual.”
There was a whole range of topics discussed during the AMA. But we’d like to know, if you could ask the CMO of Cadillac anything what would it be? Give us your hypothetical question in the comments below.