Roundtable Participants Hear Why Cadillac Focuses on Fastest Lap

Jeremy Detgen

It may be an “audacious ambition,” but Cadillac plans to become a global luxury brand, according to Don Butler, vice president of marketing for the Cadillac division of General Motors. It’s especially audacious since 95% of the luxury vehicles sold in the U.S. are from brands outside the U.S. Additionally, imports account for 80% of the U.S. market. However, Cadillac believes it is the “original” American luxury brand.

In a keynote speech at last week’s Automotive Marketing Roundtable (AMR) in Las Vegas, NV, Butler pointed out that Cadillac knew that if they wanted to become a global luxury brand, they would have to meet a higher standard. The 2009 Cadillac CTS-V proved they were up to the challenge when it set a single-lap record at the famed Nürburgring race course in Germany, becoming the fastest production vehicle in its class at its release.

Bold Marketing Sets Global Stage for Cadillac

Currently, the BMW 3 Series is the market leader in the Compact Luxury segment, which is an important segment because it is where most luxury buyers first enter the market, Butler said. Cadillac figured it would have to use innovative and bold marketing strategies to break through this segment, beginning with the product itself. Starting with the Cadillac ATS, the company knew they could take on their competitors. Continue reading ›

Innovation: Critical to Development of China’s Auto Industry


Marvin Zhu

After two years of strong growth, the car market in China has begun to slow. Chinese brands, which have grown considerably over the past few years, seem to have lostmomentum faster than their joint-venture counterparts. According to the J.D. Power Asia Pacific 2011 China New Vehicle Intender Study,SM the purchase intent toward local brands has fallen from 26% in 2009 to just 20% this year.

Although the local OEMs have continued launching new products, more and more car buyers are voting with their feet, as they find most of those “new models” are facelifts or copies of other popular models. Meanwhile, the joint ventures are offering cars of similar size at increasingly competitive prices. Continue reading ›

Frankfurt Auto Show to Feature Green Innovation and Technology

Mike Omotoso

One of the more influential and oldest auto shows in the world is Germany’s Frankfurt International Motor Show, which started in 1897 with just 10 models on display in a Berlin hotel, and now showcases hundreds of automaker production and concept models in an Exhibition Center in Frankfurt am Main and is held every other year. This year’s show, which is the 64th event, features the theme, “Future Comes as Standard.” According to a number of media reports, automakers and exhibitors will be focusing on the elements of consumer technology and green innovation in their introductions and in their concepts.

Press days for the September 15-25 event in Europe begin tomorrow. Some highlights of several significant models and automakers to appear at the show include:

Toyota Extends its Prius Family in Europe and for the US Market

Toyota plans to sell the plug-in version of the Prius hybrid to retail customers in the US starting in early 2012. The Prius plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) will use a lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery and will have an all-electric range of 10 to 13 miles. The Prius PHEV can reach 60 mph on electric power only, Toyota claims. The hybrid battery for the Prius PHEV is supplied by Panasonic Electric Vehicle Energy, which is a joint venture company owned by Panasonic and Toyota. In the United States, the Prius PHEV is expected to be priced at about $4,000 more than the conventional Prius gasoline-electric hybrid. The version shown at the Detroit Auto Show in January 2011 had a 1.8-liter gasoline engine mated to a fuel-efficient continuously variable transmission (CVT). The hybrid battery in the Prius PHEV powers a 50-kW electric motor. Continue reading ›