Cadillac has seemingly been part of a whirlwind since the turn of this decade. Leadership and strategies have come and gone, but now, it seems parent company General Motors has staked out what it wants the brand to be: an American luxury brand.
GM President Mark Reuss, who oversees the Cadillac brand, spoke with Cheddar about the Cadillac strategy moving forward and future electrification efforts. Reuss wasn’t shy to admit there have been mistakes regarding the brand, some of which have occurred in “recent history.”
He said Cadillac was positioned as a brand people couldn’t relate to. We imagine he’s taking shots at the brand’s short-lived marketing mantra “Dare Greatly,” and the dramatic scapes that surrounded the division. Reuss also noted Cadillac practiced what he called “followership,” that is, “imitating other brands that were successful,” in Reuss’ words.
Today, that changes, per the executive. Cadillac will be Cadillac again and the tip of the brand’s calling card has always been technology, he added.
Cadillac has said the brand will be GM’s technology spearhead and major breakthroughs will debut on Cadillacs first. Eventually, they’ll trickle down to Buick, GMC, and Chevrolet, but for a while, they’ll be a Cadillac-exclusive fixture. Think features like Super Cruise, GM’s semi-autonomous driving system.
Reuss also followed up on the automaker’s commitment to make Cadillac its electric-car brand with major EV products heading to the luxury division first. We’ll see Cadillac’s first all-electric vehicle, an unnamed SUV, debut early next decade with at least 300 miles of range on a dedicated electric-car architecture. Crucially, GM has said the platform will help produce profitable EVs.
Yet, the internal-combustion engine isn’t going away at Cadillac. Reuss said special engines like the Blackwing V8 and other powerful mills found in cars like the ATS-V and CTS-V are part of Cadillac’s heritage, and we’ll see them stick around for some time.