Despite financial crises around the world, the global luxury car market has enjoyed growth in the past decade, driven by emerging markets and increasing disparity of incomes. BMW, Audi and Mercedes-Benz account for approximately 80% share worldwide. The success of these brands has also eclipsed domestic incumbents Cadillac and Lincoln, who compete with other challenger brands Jaguar, Range Rover and Volvo.
Despite great product innovation and performance, Cadillac’s growth was slow worldwide and in steady decline domestically – down 6.5% in 2014. The German brands were growing rapidly, shaping category norms and preferences.
Cadillac’s brand had drifted into clichéd images of gangsters and retirees, alienating young, affluent consumer driving growth in luxury auto sales. And an internal ‘culture of creative license’ had fragmented the brand and eroded any one sense of identity.