Product and profits were the main discussions between Cadillac executives and dealers Saturday, according to several retailers who attended the make meeting.
Cadillac President Steve Carlisle, making his NADA Show debut leading the brand, said dealers "were very engaged" and "liked the future direction" and marketing for the General Motors luxury brand.
Dealers who attended the meeting said Carlisle as well as other Cadillac executives such as Chief Marketing Officer Deborah Wahl and Rory Harvey, Cadillac vice president of sales, service and marketing, showcased some of the brand's future advertising and reconfirmed Cadillac's near-term product plans.
Those plans, according to one dealer official, included the arrival of a freshened XT5 midsize crossover and the new CT5 sedan toward the end of the year.
Carlisle neither confirmed nor denied the product plans, which are in line with previous reports from Automotive News.
"That's some of the confidential aspects of the conversation; just keeping them up to date because they're our partners," Carlisle said. "It's our goal to be transparent and timely so that they can plan their business."
The freshened XT5 crossover is expected to follow the arrival of the XT6 three-row crossover this summer — the second product in Cadillac's plans to release new or redesigned vehicles every six months on average through 2021.
"I thought it was a good meeting," said Scott Casebeer, owner of Capitol Chevrolet-Cadillac of Salem in Oregon. "I think the new leadership team at Cadillac is very open and, obviously, very enthusiastic about what the brand is doing."
Casebeer, without offering specifics, described Cadillac's upcoming marketing and advertising as being more colorful and having more "upbeat music" — both characteristics Wahl has increased in Cadillac's ads since joining the brand in March.
Wahl this month said Cadillac will continue its prominent partnership next month with the Oscars. She declined to comment on exact plans for the awards, but she stressed the products that are changing Cadillac's image as a large-car brand.
There was little discussion, according to dealers, regarding concerns over Cadillac's Project Pinnacle dealership program — a point of contention in recent years.