As the Californian electric carmaker rose from a start-up to America’s sweetheart, even Cadillac sees it now as a threat, with Uwe Ellinghaus, the brand’s new CMO striving for great sales of the new plug-in hybrid ELR.
The new CMO, who joined Cadillac not long ago, made from the start a big decision, putting the ELR instead of an unnamed model in the global “Poolside” commercial made for the Sochi Olympics.
“It’s the most progressive statement Cadillac has in the market,” Ellinghaus told me. “So I said, why don’t we use this ‘Poolside’ commercial for ELR?” During tentpole events such as the Olympics, he said, “You have a reach that you have on very few other occasions during the year.”
As long as the brand was “going to reach so many people,” Ellinghaus figured “it would be lovely to reach all of them positively with a car they might not expect from Cadillac –- and still may not know we have it.”
Judging the success of Tesla and the soon arrival of BMW’s i subbrand (himself coming from BMW marketing and brand strategy), alongside their own ELR model, has Ellinghaus also saying that EVs are only now being well aimed at the market. In his opinion, pitting them at the bottom of the market was wrong, as the industry is discovering that “customers interested in electromobility are educated human beings and make good money and don’t want to give up the joy of driving” for being eco.
While a few years ago analysts predicted big, chunky full size pick-ups would die even in the US, now they are setting again record sales, so might they have been wrong also about the mid-size US pickup segment?
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