Cadillac Is Your Great-Grandfather's Car, and Here's Why Its CMO Is Cool With That

Uwe Ellinghaus on brand's NYC move, fashion focus and more

Uwe Ellinghaus hates clichés. As CMO of Cadillac, his main directive is to avoid them: no ads with SUVs zooming down a mountain, or a litany of hot features. Some of Cadillac's latest ads don't even show a car. When your sales lag far behind your competitors, you have the freedom to do something drastic, and Ellinghaus, who joined Cadillac as marketing chief in 2014 after a stint as evp of marketing and sales at Montblanc and 15 years as a marketing exec at BMW, relishes that freedom. Once the height of cool in the 1950s and '60s, Cadillac today is a 114-year-old underdog brand. While its sales rose 2.6 percent in 2015, the automaker remains far behind the three top-selling luxury car brands—BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Lexus—according to Automotive News.