'Outdated and obsolete'
The plan to discard the wreaths was prompted in part by feedback from potential customers, the sources said. "Every time it was tested, the reaction was almost universally negative," a Cadillac insider told Automotive News, adding: "The wreath is seen as outdated and obsolete."
That's an image that Cadillac has been working hard to shed with successive generations of products aimed at younger buyers.
Cadillac's emblem has morphed nearly 40 times in the brand's 111-year history, and the wreath has come and gone over the years. The emblem was last re-engineered in 1999 to project a more streamlined, contemporary look and signal a departure from its legacy of producing old-fashioned, luxurious land yachts. An assortment of birds, a vestige of the original company logo, was stripped from the main crest, but the surrounding wreaths survived in a modified form.
That change coincided with the launch of a new brand signature that Cadillac called Art and Science, which was reflected in angular and aggressively styled concept cars such as the Cien and the Evoq. The look quickly trickled down to production cars, beginning with the first-generation CTS sedan and XLR coupe.
More recently, Cadillac has embraced a European approach to engineering and performance, a high-tech image that's at odds with the old-fashioned wreath. The Art and Science design language also is evolving, from sharp edges to sleeker, more-sculpted styling elements.
A single-piece logo would give designers more flexibility to play with the "face" of future Cadillacs. The new logo could be positioned in the center of the grille, as it is now, or above the hood.
But it would have implications for dealers and the sales organization as well, requiring new signage and stationery, for example.
The original Cadillac crest was inspired by the historic family coat of arms of Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac, the founder of Detroit and namesake of the brand.