The two US domestic luxury brands, Cadillac and Lincoln share some traits entering into 2015: they have lagging sales – a failure they intend to amend thanks to new chiefs, new strategies and new product designs.
There’s one thing that’s entirely different – the philosophy to return to their former glory after since the 2000s foreign luxury names have dominated the sales in America. While the US still counts as the world’s largest premium auto market, local brands have not been on top since 2000, when Japan’s Lexus took command of the segment and only relinquished a decade later to the pressure of German brands BMW and Mercedes-Benz. Now both Cadillac and Lincoln seem to be in a race that has seen efforts soaring to get the ultimate prize – long-term profitability.
Cadillac has a new chief in the person of the well-known Johan de Nysschen and his larger-than life plans include moving Cadillac’s HQ from Detroit to New York, operating the brand as an independent unit financially and investing $3 billion to develop and produce vehicles and powertrains by 2020. The end goal is to reach global deliveries of 500,000 units annually.
Lincoln has a less-known new boss, Kumar Galhotra, which has already surprised the industry experts by announcing the brand’s plans to introduce two new nameplates to the already announced four new vehicles being presented once per year. Lincoln also has its cash register full, courtesy of Ford CEO Mark Fields and wants to invest $2.5 billion during the next half decade for new products to increase sales to around 300,000 vehicles worldwide by 2020. There’s a catch, Lincoln’s strategy is heavily reliant on the Chinese market – and the brand is a runner up in the market it only entered last year.