The Cadillac Automobile Company was founded in Detroit, Michigan on August 22nd, 1902 – making 2019 the brand’s 117th anniversary.
While not a notable milestone (we anticipate GM will make a point of celebrating the 120th or 125th anniversaries of its longstanding luxury brand) it’s interesting to see that a near 120-year-old brand can still produce innovative technologies like Cadillac Super Cruise today.
As GM Authority’s sister site Cadillac Society points out, Cadillac has introduced a number of innovative technologies over the years, including the first electric starter motor (invented by Charles Kettering and later appearing on the 1912 Cadillac M30 A.K.A “The car that has no crank”), the first fully synchronized manual gearbox, first in-car air conditioning unit, first rearview camera mirror and the first seats with a vibration safety warning system. Cadillac even put the first V8 and V16 engines into production.
Potentially one of Cadillac’s biggest contributions to the automotive industry was the traditional control layout that every single car has today. The Cadillac Type 53 was the first car to feature a gear selection lever and handbrake in between the two front seats, along with a key started ignition and three pedals for the gas, brake and clutch.
Today, Cadillac is looking to the future as it prepares to roll out its Super Cruise semi-autonomous driving system out across its entire vehicle lineup and introduce a range of innovative new electric vehicles. The brand is also shifting its strategy to focus more on innovative technology (just as it did in the early 1900s) and distancing itself from being just an American alternative to a vehicle like an Audi or a BMW. In a recent op-ed, GM President Mark Reuss defended the doubters of the strategy and said the brand has a strong future, with global sales expanding amid the arrival of new products like the Cadillac XT4 and Cadillac XT6 crossovers.
Source: Cadillac Society