What is in this article?:
- Cadillac Design to Add Dose of Old-Fashioned American Swagger
- Elmiraj Concept Future of Art & Science
“I’m very passionate about playing up the fact Cadillac is not European, Cadillac is American,” new design chief Andrew Smith tells WardsAuto.
Cadillac design chief Andrew Smith introduces CTS Coupe.
DETROIT – If consumers find the latest television commercial from Cadillac for the ELR electric coupe unsettling, they’ll need to get used to the tenor because the rejuvenatedluxury brand intends to go all-American at full throttle.
Andrew Smith, who is seven months in as executive director-design, Global Cadillac and brand champion, says the brand’s unique roots are its greatest differentiator in the U.S. and internationally.
“I’m very passionate about playing up the fact Cadillac is not European, Cadillac is American,” Smith tells WardsAuto in an interview.
Winter Olympics viewers got a taste of just how American the brand’s caretakers consider Cadillac with the commercial, “Poolside.” A successful, middle-aged family man espouses on the superiority of the nation’s hard-working, trailblazing spirit before unplugging his ELR and dashing off on the morning commute.
The spot has drawn cheers and jeers. It’s patriotic to some and ethnocentric to others.
For Cadillac it stakes out the brand’s future direction, from how it markets its current vehicles to how future ones will look and feel. The latter falls under Smith’s purview.
“Philosophically for me, I want to go with cars that are very memorable, that you could look at and do two or three lines on a napkin sketch and say, ‘This is the car I saw,’” he says. “But then when you see it in real life, there’s so much more to it. That’s what I really want to start getting to, the beauty of surface and the beauty of detail.”
Cadillac set its design philosophy of Art & Science in motion more than a decade ago with the introduction of the Evoq and Imaj concept cars, although Smith would argue the idea dates back to the beginning of the brand in 1902. Three successive generations of the CTS production sedan between 2002 and 2013 refined the approach.