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Cadillac names new strategy head, positions itself for global growth

Don Butler will lead the push to expand brand's success outside the U.S.

Published April 12, 2013

General Motors Co., pushing to expand Cadillac’s success outside of the U.S., has promoted Don Butler to a new position overseeing the luxury brand’s global strategy and hired an outsider to direct marketing.

Butler, who led Cadillac’s U.S. marketing, including the introduction of the new ATS compact sedan last year, becomes vice president of global Cadillac strategic development effective Friday. He continues to report to Bob Ferguson, the Cadillac brand’s head for the past six months.

“Don’s international experience and deep product knowledge will be major assets as we take our global growth to the next level.”

The ATS, aimed at customers who might otherwise buy a BMW 3 Series, helped fuel a 49 percent Cadillac sales gain last month in the U.S. It was the sixth straight month of gains for Cadillac, which is rolling out 10 new models by 2015. Chief executive officer Dan Akerson wants the luxury brand to rival Bayerische Motoren Werke AG’s BMW and Volkswagen AG’s Audi.

As marketing vice president, Butler has helped change the perception of the brand during the past year with the introduction of the ATS and XTS, a new full-size sedan, and the redesigned CTS, revealed at the New York auto show last month.

The XTS began production earlier this year in China and the ATS is planned to go on sale in that country later this year or next. GM aims to increase Cadillac sales in China to more than 100,000 by 2015 from about 30,000 last year.

GM also named Steve Majoros to lead Cadillac’s global marketing team as a director reporting to Ferguson. He joins GM from Campbell Ewald, where he was a managing director, GM said.

In March, GM announced it was conducting a review of its advertising agency for Cadillac. Fallon Worldwide, which has the account, was invited to participate with the other agencies, the automaker said.

While the automaker didn’t disclose which other agencies it’s talking to, GM executives have already been in communication with Campbell Ewald about the Cadillac business, two people familiar with the efforts said at the time.

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