Oct 9 (Reuters) - General Motors Co has created thenew position of global brand chief for Cadillac as the U.S.automaker looks to broaden global demand for the luxury line ofvehicles.
Robert Ferguson, who assumes the position immediately, willlead Cadillac's worldwide growth and development, and reportdirectly to Chief Executive Dan Akerson. GM has designatedCadillac and Chevrolet as its two global brands.
Ferguson, 53, will be responsible for marketing, brandmanagement and advertising for Cadillac in markets around theworld. Responsibility for sales is also expected to shift toFerguson at the start of 2013, GM said on Tuesday.
"The opportunity to strengthen and grow Cadillac is ours forthe taking," Ferguson said in a statement.
Ferguson's new job comes at a time when GM's luxury brand isplanning its most extensive round of product launches andupgrades in its history, including the new ATS small luxurysedan.
Cadillac executives said the brand should be challengingforeign automakers for the top spot in U.S. luxury auto sales ina few years, a position it had not held in 15 years.
Akerson said in April that he would like Cadillac sales inChina, a key growth market for the brand, to match U.S. levelsby 2015 or 2016. GM's Cadillac sales in China topped 30,000vehicles last year, while U.S. sales were about 153,000.
"Successful global automotive companies must have a majorglobal luxury brand that competes around the world and winsaround the world and in China," Akerson said at the Beijing autoshow in April. "Our mission for Cadillac is to make it part ofour global brand strategy and we have plans to grow Cadillac'spresence around the world."
GM also said on Tuesday that U.S. vice president forCadillac marketing Don Butler and U.S. vice president forCadillac sales and service Chase Hawkins will report toFerguson.
Ferguson, who joined GM in 2010, had been vice president forglobal public policy, providing a voice for the company inWashington and with its many regulatory agencies on such topicsas energy, taxes, labor and finance.
Prior to joining GM, Ferguson was a senior strategist atcommunications firm Public Strategies, where he worked withinternational clients including the International OlympicCommittee leading up to and during the 2008 Beijing Games.Before that, Ferguson spent 10 years as an executive atAT&T.
Ferguson's previous responsibilities in Washington will beassumed by Selim Bingol, who will also retain his currentcommunications role and will become vice president, globalcommunications and public policy. Bingol, 52, joined GM in 2010.
(Reporting By Ben Klayman in Detroit; Editing by SteveOrlofsky)
Keywords: GM CADILLAC/