General Motors Co., the largest U.S. carmaker, named Robert Ferguson Cadillac global chief. Dan Akerson, chief executive officer at General Motors Co., believes that Robert Ferguson will improve sales of Cadillac, acting as vice president of global public policy. Cadillac, the 110-year-old brand, has been facing many challenges in the market.
Ferguson – New Face of Cadillac
Dan Akerson has informed that Robert Ferguson was named vice president in charge of worldwide marketing, brand management and advertising for Cadillac. In his new role, Robert Ferguson will report directly to Dan Akerson, chief executive officer at General Motors Co.
Robert Ferguson, 53, started his adventure with General Motors Co. in 2010 after working in telecommunication industry. He also worked at Public Strategies.
The position of vice president in charge of worldwide marketing, brand management and advertising for Cadillac has been created especially for him as GM CEO Dan Akerson is convinced that only Robert Ferguson will be able to help struggling Cadillac. As it has been stated by Ryndee Carney, a spokeswoman for General Motors Co., Robert Ferguson starts his new job, effective immediately. In addition, after the 1st of January Cadillac’s sales will be added to his duties.
General Motors Co.’s officials claim that GM CEO Dan Akerson was impressed with the way Robert Ferguson helped him go through congressional hearings regarding the safety and business logic of the firm’s commitment to Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid.
Some analysts are convinced that Robert Ferguson might succeed in his new role as he has an experience as a lobbyist which might be very helpful while coping with difficult situations, including the possibility of Cadillac entering China's market. Yet some analysts, however, believe that the GM CEO Dan Akerson’s choice was not the best one. Maryann Keller, an analyst of the auto industry since 1972, noted: “Was there nobody inside GM who could’ve done this job, who knows something about cars, knows something about Cadillacs, understands the brand, knows the competition, who couldn’t have done this job -- sort of hit the ground running?”
Challenges ahead of Ferguson and Cadillac
GM CEO Dan Akerson does whatever it takes within his power to make Cadillac a stronger competitor against German luxury brands, in particular, in the U.S. and China's markets. Certainly Robert Ferguson also faces a tough challenge regarding reversing Cadillac’s sales declines. According to data, Cadillac noted a drop of 8.6 percent in the U.S. sales through September from a year earlier, to approximately 103,500 vehicles. And even though the Cadillac’s brand is well-known in Europe, it had sold only 350 vehicles in Europe in the first half of the year, down roughly 10 percent from 2011. However General Motors Co. sees a big opportunities in China therefore the company has been working with SAIC Motor Corp. to expand Cadillac sales in the world’s largest car market.
In addition, General Motors Co. also plans to double the 2010 sales of Cadillac in the next two years. According to compiled data, the carmaker sold 146,925 Cadillac cars that year. Within three years General Motors Co. is to introduce 10 new or refreshed Cadillac models.
Certainly all these recent changes and plans suggest that General Motors Co. is trying to rebuild itself after post-bankruptcy.