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Cadillac sets itself up for future glory on its own.

Dubai: As far as seismic changes go, this could score a perfect 10 on the Richter. Cadillac, the prestige totem within General Motors, will soon have to stand up on its own as a separate business unit rather than be mollycoddled in the protective grip of its parent company.

Not just that, the global headquarters of Cadillac in its new form will be in New York, which is as far removed -- symbolically or otherwise -- from the heart of the American automotive industry, Detroit.

Suffice to say, things are changing big time over at Cadillac. "This change is about expanding Cadillac ... creating a more distinct business unit enables us to pursue growing opportunities in the luxury automotive market with more focus and clarity," said Felix Weller, who recently took over as the regional Sales and Marketing Director for Cadillac. "The growth of the Cadillac brand is a key factor in GM's strategy.

"Cadillac is a dedicated organisational entity within GM, not a aACAycompany' nor a aACAysubsidiary'. Now, GM does not plan to change its manufacturing or R & D," he said.

At the Middle East operations, Cadillac will be having separate sales and marketing teams. Other changes could follow in short order, but more in line with how its regional dealer network needs to adjust to the changes. "In some of our markets, such as the UAE, we have stand-alone Cadillac showrooms and service centres," said Weller. "As part of our premium strategy, we will be reviewing our dealer network to ensure that our customers are receiving the premium service they deserve."

Generic carmakers these days prefer to create enough layers of separation between their volume operations and those of their prestige marques. Such a distance, they believe, would better position them against the entrenched German heavyweights. And as Weller puts it, a sharpened clarity of focus can only do good for a brand.

Cadillac, in recent years, has got the models coming out to help its future cause. The entry-level ATS did all that was asked for it, and has been reinforced with the latest introduction of the all-new ATS Coupe, the brand's first compact level coupe and priced upwards of Dh194,000. While having the same wheelbase width -- 277.6cm -- as the standard version, where it differs is on the bodywork. It also became the first of the Cadillac models to bear the brand's revised crest.

"Five additional new Cadillacs will emerge in the next 24 months to further expand the brand, and sharpen its focus," said Weller. Apart from the ATS Coupe, there will be the next-gen V-Series cars (ATS-V Sedan, ATS-V Coupe and CTS-V) and an all-new top-of-the-line CT6.

"Aluminium and steel components are being used in many aspects of our vehicles -- ranging from aluminium door structures to rear steel suspensions. Cadillac engineers continue to explore ways to enhance the overall design and engineering of Cadillac vehicles and adjust accordingly to lead in competition."

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Publication:Gulf News (United Arab Emirates)
Date:Oct 29, 2014
Words:501
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