GM's Cadillac names head of strategy as it eyes global growth

DETROIT, April 12 Fri Apr 12, 2013 11:59am EDT

DETROIT, April 12 (Reuters) - General Motors Co on Friday named Don Butler head of strategy for Cadillac, as the luxury brand seeks to become a globally recognized name. Butler, 49, had been marketing chief for Cadillac.

In the newly created role of vice president for global Cadillac strategic development, he will be in charge of driving the luxury brand's growth internationally. Butler, who had been in charge of global marketing for the brand, will continue to report to Bob Ferguson, GM's global Cadillac chief.

GM's drive to make Cadillac a global brand took shape after the company's 2009 bankruptcy and restructuring. While Cadillac has been marketed around the world, the pre-bankruptcy GM lacked the financial clout to boost demand beyond the small numbers sold outside the United States.

People familiar with the company's discussions with suppliers previously said Cadillac might double its vehicle lineup to as many as 10 models over the next four years as part of GM's strategy to turn the brand into a global power. Besides the new ELR plug-in electric coupe due next year, the plans may include a flagship sedan, a small crossover and a smaller car to take on BMW's 1-Series.

In addition, Butler said last summer that the brand in two years should be challenging foreign automakers for the top spot in the U.S. luxury auto segment, a position it has not held in 15 years. Officials said U.S. sales of the brand should be double the 2010 total of about 147,000 vehicles within a couple of years.

Cadillac's U.S. sales fell 1.7 percent last year to 149,782 vehicles. The United States accounts for about three-quarters of the brand's global sales, which totaled about 200,000 in 2011 and 2012, down from 241,000 in 2007.

"Cadillac is continuing to expand in our home market and globally, which demands that we continually enhance our team's focus and capabilities," Ferguson said in a statement. "Don's international experience and deep product knowledge will be major assets as we take our global growth to the next level."

GM hired Steve Majoros to be Cadillac's director for global marketing from advertising agency Campbell-Ewald, where he had been a managing director. He will report to Ferguson as well.

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