The results of that drive will show up in April, said the 45-year-old marketing chief, when Cadillac unveils its range-topping CT6 sedan, the first car to carry its new vehicle-naming system, at the New York auto show, along with a revamped strategy that will seek to position Cadillac not just as a car brand, but as a pure luxury brand.
“Johan de Nysschen, my boss, and I always say we want to build the first luxury brand that just happens to make cars,” Ellinghaus said in an interview at the Los Angeles Auto Show. “That sounds like a joke, but we’re serious about it.”
The new image will come from a General Motors division that is in transition under de Nysschen’s leadership, preparing to distance itself from the GM mother ship in Detroit and set up as a new business unit with its own headquarters in New York. After a hot 2013, Cadillac sales have slid this year as higher sticker prices repelled customers, leading to gluts of CTS and ATS sedans on dealer lots.