Last November, at the Los Angeles Auto Show, I noticed something different about Cadillac. They seemed to be on the eve of a re-invention.
These new ads, with the tagline “Only those who dare drive the world forward” seems to confirm my observations. Cadillac seeks to reinvent its 112-year-old brand as one The ad, features “those was dare,” innovators Jason Wu, Anne Wojcicki, Njeri Rionge, Richard Linklater, and Steve Wozniak and the song: Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien performed by Edith Piaf
In addition to the ad which features all the innovators, there is also a video specific to Jason Wu:
Jason Wu came to the US as a boy of 9 with a love for dressing dolls. He dared to follow his passion and went from fashion intern to an arbiter of style tasked with revolutionizing one of the world’s most iconic fashion brands.
Here is a message from the President of Cadillac, talking about what today’s Cadillac is about:
MESSAGE TO CADILLAC ENTHUSIASTS AND THE ODD SKEPTICAL OBSERVER:
CADILLAC IS EMBARKING UPON A BOLD NEW JOURNEY, AND THE CADILLAC ORGANIZATION IS INVIGORATED. IT’S NOT OFTEN THAT A 112-YEAR-OLD ICON WITH SUCH A LEGACY REINVENTS ITSELF, AND IT’S AWESOME FOR ALL OF US TO BE PART OF IT.
Of course, those of you who follow our industry know that, over the last few months, we have already begun to disturb the status quo. In the process, we have unavoidably ruffled some feathers: moving part of our operations from Detroit to New York City; placing Cadillac in charge of its own operational destiny; outlining a plan to dramatically expand the product portfolio; creating a consistent nomenclature for our cars. And yes, as far as the car names go, I know it appears as if we are changing one set of “alphabet soup” names for another, but as they say in the classics, there is “method in the madness.” Have faith, it will all fall precisely and logically into place over time.
Furthermore, if you’ve been following our new product launches, you will know that the latest generation of Cadillac vehicles are among the very best available on the market today. Not only have we impressed every industry expert, the cars have received award after award.
Cadillac is back. The fact is that Cadillac’s resurgence as an automaker of exceptional prowess and producer of superlative automobiles is well underway, and this is reflected in many of the strong gains achieved around the world last year. Cadillac has never produced better product than is available today — and we have only just begun our product offensive—with a single-minded focus to stun friends and foes alike, with one fascinating new Cadillac after another.
While product fascination provides substance for our ambitions, we must also embark on a philosophical shift to match these ambitions.
To once again become the standard for excellence around the globe, we cannot follow any of the examples set by the luxury market “establishment”, nor meekly succumb to preconceived notions about this great brand, or even, perceptions about our rivals. We respect each and every one of our competitors, but Cadillac will chart its own course, and we will speak our own truth.
Cadillac is on a mission to shatter the status quo. Cadillac will lead with highly aspirational products packed with advanced technology, superlative craftsmanship and distinctive design. And a brand character that symbolizes quality and respect. We don’t aim to be the biggest. We aim to be the best, the highly aspirational domain of the few.
In the words of one of the great American presidents, Theodore Roosevelt: “It is not the critic who counts.” Only those who are willing to accept risk, who have the courage to dare greatly, shape the future.
At Cadillac, we are about shaping our future, and with it, the future of the luxury automobile industry.
The presentation of the ATS-V in Los Angeles late 2014, followed by the CTS-V in Detroit in January this year, was the first salvo directly into what constitutes the very essence of the luxury segment. The next reveal under our bold philosophy of excellence will be in New York, on the 31st of March. The unveiling of the CT6 Sedan will be the latest, most daring expression of Cadillac’s ambition.
But that’s not where it ends—as I stated, we have only just begun.
Advanced plans are underway to introduce 8 all-new vehicles before the end of the decade. The transformation of Cadillac is happening all around us. And it has been a while since our industry has witnessed change of this magnitude.
The auto industry is a long-cycle business, and we cannot execute all our plans nor reach all our goals overnight, but Cadillac is now firmly on course to reclaim its rightful place as the iconic, global luxury brand, made in America. As we have our supporters, so too we will have our detractors—those who express their discomfort about this bold challenge to the status quo, through criticism and skepticism. We accept these loud protests at the disruption to the established order and understand it means we simply have to work harder and to convey the truth of today to those whose perceptions are still rooted in yesterday.
We know for some it may be a long and arduous journey.
But we are ready.
Johan de Nysschen
Disclosure: Cadillac and GM Diversity recently invited me as a guest to CAAMFest 2015, an event that they are a major sponsor of. I also attended a Cadillac “Drive and Ride” event where I was able to test drive the Cadillac Escalade, ATS Coupe, and ATS Sedan. This post is made independently from those events and is in no way sponsored by GM or Cadillac.