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Cadillac will be taking on Tesla Motors, the underdog EV manufacturer that's seen heaps of critical acclaim and stock market buzz with its most recent sedan, the Model S. "If you want to compete head-to-head with Tesla, and we ultimately will, you want to do it with a Cadillac," Dan Akerson, the chairman and CEO of General Motors, told media in Washington, according to The Detroit News.
Akerson continued, telling The News, "We'll sell more Volts and lose less money on the Volts than they'll lose on the Model S." He also took time to point out that Tesla getting vehicles out to customers isn't a guarantee of success or permanence, using Fisker as an example, saying "Does anybody even remember Fisker? I mean, there were a number of them; they are all gone."
This strong talk from Akerson comes after Doug Parks, another GM exec, let slip that the Detroit-based manufacturer has an EV in the works that will cover 200 miles per charge and only cost about $30,000, a massive upgrade over similarly priced EVs that struggle to top 100 miles per charge. Until that vehicle arrives, though, GM is preparing the Cadillac ELR, a small coupe that, like the Volt with which it shares technology, uses a gas engine as a mobile generator to recharge the batteries. Akerson took aim at Tesla again, saying, "But I do think when the ELR comes out late this year, early next - it's certainly the same postal code as Tesla, but now we're going to move up. It's not going to be a mass-produced car."
Cadillac has rearranged its executive suite in order to take full advantage of its sales momentum. Don Butler is moving from his role as US VP of marketing to a newly created position with the title VP of global Cadillac strategic development. It will be his job to "drive the next phase of Cadillac growth internationally," planning strategy and developing new markets.
He will be replaced by Steve Majoros, an exec poached from Chevrolet's ad agency of record, Campbell Ewald. Majoros, who has the Chevrolet campaigns "Like a Rock" and "American Revolution" on his resume, will oversee Cadillac's US and international marketing.
Another component in the brand's renewed global focus includes conducting an ad agency review. Announced last month, Fallon Worldwide remains Cadillac's agency of record, but others, said to include Campbell Ewald, will be bidding to make the creative that helps Cadillac expand sales percentages by triple digits here and in China. Scroll down below for the official press release.
We're set to record Autoblog Podcast #326 tonight, and you can drop us your questions and comments via our Q&A module below. Subscribe to the Autoblog Podcast in iTunes if you haven't already done so, and if you want to take it all in live, tune in to our UStream (audio only) channel at 10:00 PM Eastern tonight.
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