In recent years, Cadillac has struggled to establish and lock on to a true brand identity.
Former Cadillac President Johan de Nysschen had his own vision for the company, moving it to a ritzy new office in Manhattan in order to inject a sense of sophistication into the brand and rid it of its “discount luxury” image. General Motors eventually adjusted its strategy for Cadillac, though, moving it back to Detroit to put the brand closer to its engineering division in Warren.
Under this new plan, led by de Nysschen’s replacement, Steve Carlisle, Cadillac plans to let the products do the talking. As Carlisle explained in a recent interview with GM Authority, the brand is placing a new-found focus on technology and innovation and also looking to recapture its true “American luxury” essence.
“I think we’re getting there,” Carlisle told GM Authority Executive Editor, Alex Luft. “We feel like we have it, particularly since moving back to Detroit.”
“If you look at our advertising, you’ll see the value and energy and attitude and color and life start to come through, so I think we’re getting our arms around what it means to be American luxury and how important it is to lead with technology and innovation, like Super Cruise, OLED, our new digital platform and everything like that,” he added.
The efforts Carlisle is referencing are on full display with the 2021 Cadillac Escalade. With a standard 38-inch widescreen OLED display, available Super Cruise, a high-end AKG stereo and other truly high-end features and options, the Escalade is representative of the American flavor that once made Cadillac’s brand identity and name recognition so strong.
While Carlisle is confident about the future, he’s not scared to acknowledge the difficulties Cadillac has faced with regard to its brand image in recent years.
“Life is a journey, right? And I think in luxury we had to go through the process of learning our identity and we’ve evolved from there,” he said.
Cadillac sees the transition to electric vehicles as a good opportunity to continue and expand its efforts with regard to technology and innovation. Behind the scenes, the brand is working full-tilt on its Cadillac Lyriq electric crossover, which will go on sale in 2022, as well as the Cadillac Celestiq electric sedan.
This post was created in collaboration with our sister publication, Cadillac Society.