Cadillac used to be the go-to brand for rich folks, not just in the USA but also in European and Russian cities. But today it’s quite low on the list of luxury automobiles, while Benz and BMW rule the charts.
The brand started over a century ago in 1902 after Engineer Leland discontinued his association with Henry Ford.
Leland named it after the French explorer Antoine de Lamothe Cadillac, the founder of Detroit city.
Its fancy catalogues were carbon copies of Ford, but its features were unique among the cars of that era.
By 1927, Cadillac became an established luxury car with a convertible coupe, thanks to designer Harley Earl.
Its characteristic tail became a staple for luxury cars and was nicknamed Dagmar bumpers after the famous American actress.
Cadillac reached its peak in the 1950s and driving it became a status symbol. But in the 1970s, there was an oil crisis, and an economic decline followed this.
Meanwhile, European cars entered the market with their sleek design and low fuel requirements.
This brought a downfall in the popularity of Cadillac cars and most people with pressing economic needs gravitated toward the new European cars.
Cadillac responded by introducing fuel-efficient compact cars. But this attempt failed because of poor marketing strategies.
Cadillac was a brand associated with money and standard and when it propagated its new cars by saying that they were lowly priced, it did not sit well.
The elite section turned away because of its low price while the middle-class, at whom these cars they aimed, did not want to buy vehicles which were “cheap”.
It was on a middle ground, vacillating between luxury and comfort, but it never tried to excel in a particular field.
By the end of the 20th century, no one preferred it, as the brand had nothing different to offer.
Cadillac launched the Escalade as a competition to Lincoln’s navigator in 1999 and, surprisingly, it was successful.
It became a popular choice among youngsters, but unfortunately, this phenomenon could not be repeated by the ill-fated company.
Its latest strategy was aimed at the second and third world countries, China in particular.
Between, 2016 and 2017 there was a 50% rise in sales of Cadillac in China.
Cadillac plans to expand its network in China but there are low chances of it being a permanent solution because the Chinese people have mostly stuck with domestic brands in the past.
Next year Cadillac will launch a new SUV Lyriq with a driving range of over 300 miles and a power of 255 kilowatts.
The company also gave the ambitious statement of delivering only electric vehicles by the end of the decade.
The future of Cadillac is certainly not uneventful, but it remains to be seen whether it can rise again in the competition of big brands.
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