Cadillac goes from being a traditional luxury brand to challenge Tesla in the electric luxury segment. There will be no more models launched with combustion engines from coming from the brand.
The Cadillac brand borrowed its name from a French nobleman, Antoine de la Mothe, who was proclaimed Duke of Cadillac in the French region of Gironde. De la Mothe went to America in the 17th century and settled down in the then French Détroit - which in the 20th century became the center of American car manufacturing. The name Détroit later losts it accent sign.
The Cadillac car brand arose from the remnants of a schism with Henry Ford, who did not want to keep that sort of cars within the Ford Motor Company. The founders of the evicted company borrowed the coat of arms from de la Moth, and used home region of the nobleman as a brand name.
The first Cadillac was delivered in 1902. The car brand became a division within General Motors (GM) in 1909, which also included Chevrolet, Pontiac and Buick.
Cadillac quickly made a name for itself as a manufacturer of luxury cars. The brand became a status symbol, a proof of success (Especially in the US). Their V8 engines became a model for American car culture.
When Elon Musk took foot on the car- scene - almost exactly one hundred years later - many in the car industry were convinced that it would never be possible to establish a new car brand , escpecially not if its about electrical cars. Anyone who defined a car engine by cubic inches and number of cylinders had a hard time keeping up with what was going on.
GM had already tried with its EV-1, which was manufactured between 1996 - 1999. It did not go so well. Would an outsider succeed better than an established player? Unlikely - so the industry kept looking away for a few more years.
Mary Barra took the steering wheel
One day, however, the realization crept up on the indsutry that they could no longer ignore electric cars. One can only guess how the discussions went in the boardrooms of GM, Chrysler, Ford and others.
Something happened in 2014. GM got a female CEO, Mary Barra - the first in an American car company ever (Mary Barra is currently on the board of both Disney and Boston Dynamics). GM bought into startups to accelerate the development of driverless cars. For example they acquired Strobe.
The Chevy Bolt EV was launched in 2017 as the first electric car priced under forty thousand USD. GM has not been twiddling their thumbs, and now they have a new strategy: Cadillac converts from internal combustion engines to electric.
GM announces that Cadillac will not launch any new models with internal combustion engines from now on. Converting from being a status symbol for the 20th century to really start competeing with Tesla is a challenge. Cadillac launches the electric SUV Lyriq 2023.
Does Cadillac have what it takes to challenge Tesla? Time will tell. One thing is for sure - they will not be alone in launching exciting electric cars.
We say as we have always said - let the future come faster. Read more about when electric cars will be cheaper than petrol cars.
Read what facts say about when electrical cars will be cheaper.
Photo by : Michael Buholzer | World Economic Forum/swiss-image.ch