The designer of Cadillac’s recent ULC city car concept seems to think so. Niki Smart tells Autocar
The time is ripe for Cadillac to make this car. We need a bigger spread of models, particularly for Europe. The Mini’s success is proof of people’s open-mindedness.
Whether or not Cadillac needs a subcompact car in its lineup, Smart’s point that the MINI is proof of consumers’ “open-mindedness” is worth examining. Specifically because MINI was launched as a unique brand, its success is more of a testament to the brand’s slick marketing than any consumer “open-mindedness.” After all, BMW made certain to launch the MINI as a MINI before bringing out a BMW version of its front-drive chassis… and when it does bring out a BMW-branded version, it can probably expect a certain amount of pushback from hard-core fans of the brand.
And that strategy comes from a brand that has no lack of brand equity, especially in the European market where a city car would be sold. Cadillac, on the other hand, has enjoyed little of BMW’s marketing mojo, especially in the European market (and American consumers have their own share of Cadillac=big prejudices). Cadillac should probably take Smart’s enthusiasm for his own concept with a grain of salt before discussing any future production plans.