At the launch in Cagliari, Sardinia, of the redesigned 5 series, BMW's top executive took time out to praise Cadillac.
"Cadillac has made a strong effort to reposition itself in North America - and do it consistently," said Helmut Panke, chairman of BMW.
"Everybody [now] knows what BMW stands for, and maybe at the end everybody will know what Cadillac stands for," he added. "Let's see if Cadillac's new products will be accepted or not, but at least it's a clear-cut effort to make the brand discernible in the marketplace."
In the USA, Cadillac will start this summer selling two new vehicles with the angular CTS design theme: the XLR roadster and the SRX sport wagon.
Also moving to re-establish their images, Panke said, are Chrysler, with cars such as the 300C, and Ford, with its Mustang concept.
Panke said: "What you see is a revisiting of where the strength of the North American industry lay in the past, not just copying what others are doing. We should all look to a coming back and strengthening of position among the North American makes."