Despite iconic status in the US, Cadillac has failed to make an impact on the UK market, but its latest launch, scheduled for the first quarter of 2005, includes an increased range of right-hand drive models tailored for European driving conditions.
Cadillac has hired automotive PR specialist PFPR to implement a media relations campaign before the launch that attempts to turn around the perceptions of the Cadillac brand.
Previous unsuccessful efforts to launch in the UK have been plagued by a lack of right-hand drive models and small scale.
‘It has never become established in the UK, so the first task is to educate people about today’s Cadillac and get journalists to understand the new approach,’ said PFPR executive director Peter Frater.
‘There has got to be a focus on the motoring press because they’re the opinion formers of the industry,’ said Frater, but added that although Cadillac’s cars have tended to polarise opinions with their distinctive style, new models will appeal to the mainstream so broader lifestyle media and nationals will be important.
While rival car brands traditionally ‘throw huge amounts of money at advertising’, PR will take the lead in Cadillac’s marketing, said Frater, because of the complexity of the re-education job it needs to deliver.
PFPR will also develop a trade media PR campaign as Cadillac establishes a dealership network. While PFPR’s remit is for the UK, it will report to Dick Van Braakhekke, PR director at Cadillac Europe, which has been recently established.