Marketing Boss Uwe Ellinghaus Resigns From Cadillac
After overseeing the introduction of the “Dare Greatly” campaign, a move of company HQ to tony Manhattan, and an ad spot touting Super Cruise during the MTV Video Music Awards, Uwe Ellinghaus is resigning from his post as head marketing honcho at Cadillac.
Tapped by Caddy chief Bob Ferguson in 2014, Ellinghaus arrived at the luxury automaker after a stint at Montblanc International and, prior to that, nearly 15 years at BMW.
According to the industry site MediaPost, the resignation of Mr. Ellinghaus was prompted by “health issues which will require surgery and a six-month recovery.” The post went on to say he is leaving on good terms with the company and that “the door will always be open” for him.
Automotive News, which obtained an internal memo on Friday about the development, reported that Cadillac President Johan de Nysschen commended Ellinghaus for being a “steward in driving Cadillac’s brand transformation” and making “tremendous strides” in its global marketing and advertising.
Since the arrival of Ellinghaus, Cadillac has shifted its marketing from traditional ads focusing on horsepower and financing deals to creative television spots aired in places where Cadillac once feared to tread. Television spots for Super Cruise, pitching the brand’s semi-autonomous highway driving system, debuted during the MTV Video Music Awards, for example.
Whether Lincoln or Cadillac are making compelling vehicles is not what my point was. I think that Lincoln has a better chance of being successful because they are focusing on making Lincoln what it was historically, blingy, comfortable luxury vehicles, whereas Cadillac is trying to become the American BMW, and it "ain't" working at all, because that is just not Cadillac's brand heritage. The CT6 is a sales flop because no one knows what the hell a CT6 is. It has no heritage. It's too bad, because it is an imposing car. But everyone knows what a Deville is. The big Cadillac sedan. Instant heritage.
Dare greatly. Fail bigly.
Peter M. DeLorenzo should have a good Rant on this at The Autoextremist pretty soon (I'm surprised it's not there already).
My Cadillac ownership experience - My current wife wanted an Escalade as a wedding gift. I tried to talk her out of it, but we needed to haul our new blended family of 8 (on occasion) and neither of us are minivan people. We shopped around, located a loaded two year old Escalade ESV for 1/3 the price of a new one and made it happen. She has been happily feeding it premium ever since. Total maintenance on the Escalade over 8 years has included a battery, a seat heater relay, 9 oil changes, a brake job, a set of Michelins, an air pump and rear air shocks, two windshields and most annoyingly, three exterior door handles (cheap plastic crap). Similar maintenance on German cars owned during the same period cost twice as much. The Escalade has more power and better brakes than a Yukon or a Suburban, more than enough to tow our 25’ boat. We could upsize the boat to roughly 30’ /8,500 lbs. before investing in a dedicated tow rig. The Cadi manages 13 mpg while towing 6,500 lbs on a tandem axle trailer, which about 0.6 mpg less than my German SUV averaged over the 10 years/120,000 miles I drove it. Sans trailer, the Cadillac gets better highway mpg than my 3,800 lb. Audi S5. Our Escalade has brought home a 17 drawer dresser. It has hauled away a queen sized mattress, bed frame and box springs. Its brought home a full stack guitar amplifier with two 4x12 cabinets. It hauled 30 bags of topsoil, three 12’ flowering trees and a dozen flats of annuals from the nursery. The third row seats pop right out. With those seats out, it hauled (8) 4x8 sheets of plywood, (20) 10’ 2x8s, (40) 10’ 2x4s, (8) 10’ sections of copper pipe, 12 3’x5’ sheets of concrete board, a new toilet in its giant box and all the tile, mortar and grout for a bathroom remodel. The power tailgate still shut and the air ride leveled it out despite 2,000 lbs of cargo. Try that in a Prius. The Escalade’s AWD gets us to and from the ski resorts safely and the skis and snowboards don’t have to be strapped to the top like they do on the Audi. I still enjoy taking the Audi skiing, but if more than three of us are going we can all comfortably fit in the Escalade, with snow boots on or off. Nobody really needs a car with three TV screens, two rows of heated seats and a dozen cupholders but our passengers like it well enough to argue over who has to sit way back in the 3rd row (no seat heaters back there, but they do have a dedicated screen, power outlets and cupholders. The front seats are cooled too. Useful in a giant black SUV with lots of windows. Features like these sell cars, especially to women. My wife remotely starts and warms (or cools) her car for 10 minutes before she drives three blocks to the store, or seven blocks to work and this routine happens two or three times a day. Waste of fuel? Sort of, but does fuel economy really factor into the thinking when one is using a 2.5 ton SUV as a commuter or when the point of the trip is to bring home ia $4 loaf of bread three blocks? Could she walk? Sure but not in the rain, not in the cold, not in the dark, not on a hot day nor on a windy day and not if she buys a case of bottled water or eggs and milk as well as that loaf of bread. I’d end up dropping what I had going on to pick her up, probably in the Escalade. Happy wife, happy life. Drill baby drill. People with real lives buy these things because they are useful in real life. The target audience is suburban families with 2.5 (or more) kids and a dog or two and the USA still contains plenty of that demographic. Some areas moreso than others. Are they inexpensive? Not really. Are they a good value? Absolutely. Cadillac moves quite a few of them here in the beautiful PNW at $85- $100k a pop. Hopefully they’ll keep making and selling lots of them because I’ll probably buy at least one more. Hopefully whoever they pick to lead Cadillac keeps that in mind and maybe stops trying to out BMW the Germans. GM should revive Pontiac if they want to offer a quasi-performance brand with more content than a comparible Chevy. Cadillac is supposed to be about comfort and presence. Powerful and prestigious does not have be sporty to be cool.