Cadillac’s Penalty of Leadership

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With the recent announcement of Cadillac relocating their headquarters from Detroit to Manhattan, GM is poised to reinvent the brand as the “Standard of the World.” That slogan was explained in a 1915 full page ad in the Saturday Evening Post as an impassioned response to auto journalists who derided the successes of a mass produced American luxury car.  (Click Here For A Copy Of The Ad) This page only ran for one week, but became one of the most influential pieces of advertising ever written.

As the story on their website describes, Cadillac was under fire for selling out to General Motors, and the motoring press made assumptions that their independence and innovation would be lost within GM. Henry Leland sold Cadillac to GM in 1909 for $4.5 million, and they chose to keep him in control in order to keep Cadillac on the cutting edge. With GM’s backing, Cadillac became the first car with an electric start and electric lights. (See our article on Cadillac’s history here)  History has a way of repeating itself, and in a post bankruptcy and post recall GM, Cadillac is poised to once again be a direct competitor in the ultra-luxury market.

(See Also: Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat: 2015 Best Bang for the Buck)

2015 Cadillac ATS Coupe
2015 Cadillac ATS Coupe

For a new leader, Johan De Nysschen left his position as President of Infiniti to be Cadillac’s new CEO. On September 23, Cadillac announced in a press release that New York would be the new headquarters, with Cadillac becoming a separate business unit of GM. De Nysschen will be in control of overall performance, without the influences of the other brands. In a Sept. 24 press release, they announced their intentions to build the big rear-wheel-drive sedan on an all-new chassis. Named the CT6, it has been seen testing in Michigan wearing heavy disguises to keep us guessing to the final shape.

Competing against Rolls-Royce, Bentley and the upcoming Maybach will be a tall order, but being unencumbered by Detroit might give them the ability to pull it off. Stay tuned to Autofluence for Cadillac news and CTS-V/ATS-V info as it becomes available.

(Source: Cadillac)
(Image Source: Cadillac)