DETROIT -- Cadillac has touted its cars as having the performance cred to take on German luxury makes -- occasionally even calling out BMW in its advertisements. But Uwe Ellinghaus wants to convey a new message: how Cadillac is different from those brands.
Ellinghaus, the 44-year-old former BMW marketing executive who became Cadillac's global marketing chief last month, says BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Audi have become "ubiquitous" and "mainstream," aping one another's design and product features. That leaves an opening for Cadillac to define "American luxury" for buyers who are pining for something new, he says.
"None of the German premium manufacturers can any longer afford to offer cars with distinctive styling," Ellinghaus told Automotive News. "Their volume aspirations are such that they must go mainstream with their major cars."
Meanwhile, "tiny little Cadillac has a higher degree of freedom," he said. "We can be a little bolder, a little more distinctive. We have something they do not have."