GM President: Cadillac Is Returning to Roots, While Innovating for Electric Future

February 27, 2019
2mo ago

By Amanda Weston

In the Cadillac brand's long history, the company has made plenty of mistakes ー some of which occurred in "recent history," according to the president of General Motors. But as the auto industry readies itself for electric, the brand is reclaiming an old strategy: being itself.

"There's been mistakes," Mark Reuss told Cheddar.

"There's been positioning of the brand that's been something that people couldn't relate to. There was some followership going on with Cadillac as well ー with imitating other brands that were successful, which was really tough. And now, we've said Cadillac needs to be Cadillac, and a great American luxury brand once again," he said adding, "And a pivot point to be able to do that and show sort of the point of the sphere of what makes Cadillac special, and it's always been around technology."

While Cadillac is embracing its classic roots, GM is innovating for the electric future of automobiles. According to Reuss, the company's resources include an unmatched battery lab and experiments with cell chemistry that go into production on the same campus. He gave Cheddar's Tamara Warren rare access to the facilities.

"I'm not sure I want to tell the complete technical story," Reuss said. "I'd rather put it in the car and have people be wowed by it. Things like mirrors that don't have headrests because it's using the actual rear camera of the car. Things like Super Cruise that you can actually drive across the country hands-free on our freeway systems. I'd rather do than tell, and I think in the long run that's a better way of looking at 'wow, I can't believe they did this. This is so cool. I want that.' That's what I want."

In late 2018, GM ($GM) announced it would double the amount of resources dedicated to electric vehicles. On January 13, GM announced its lead electrification brand would be Cadillac.

Reuss said you'll still see combustion engines, but Cadillac still has its gaze fixed on electric.

"We have a really cool bumper sticker that says 'coexist' between our internal combustion engine folks and our electric vehicle propulsion folks, and it's true. Going and being all-electric will happen over time. But I can tell you that Cadillac will be the first and the most exclusive and the very leading edge of our technology will be Cadillac."

For full interview click here.