The Cadillac XT5 Lights Up Manhattan as it Makes its Debut


While the new Cadillac XT5 luxury crossover hasn’t made its official debut yet, the brand has found a way to generate a lot of attention, while turning some unexpected heads.

Much of that attention being from young, 20 and 30-something fashion-savvy professionals who aren’t impressed by blasé automobile marketing strategies and the number of horsepower a car’s engine makes. Others, like auto journalists and car lovers also witnessed the brand’s unique event launch last month for its latest luxury CUV, where the XT5 was airlifted by helicopter over the west side of Manhattan.

The vehicle lit up the night sky as it passed over Canoe Studios where guests attended a New York Fashion Week loft party hosted by up-and-coming fashion design firm and Cadillac partner, Public School. The 4,600 pound XT5 was suspended about 150 feet in the air with 44 cameras covering the event. It was the first time in 15 years that cargo flew over Manhattan, with the mayor’s office of media and entertainment, Federal Aviation Administration and Coast Guard assisting.

The goal of the American automaker was to find a unique way to introduce the 2017 Cadillac XT5 luxury crossover and to cater to a new generation of buyers – a group that has less of an interest in car ads, but an ever-growing passion for fashion and design. Arnie Bauer is told the Cadillac’s recent collaboration with Public School isn’t its first venture into the fashion industry.

The American automaker also recently launched its Cadillac Capsule Collection – a line of stylish and sophisticated menswear, styled and curated by street style icon Nick Wooster and was the presenting sponsor of New York Men’s Day, an event held in conjunction with the Council of Fashion Designers of America. Public School will soon be premiering its pre-fall collection of designs, which according to Cadillac, will be created with the XT5 in mind.

As Cadillac tries to establish itself not just as a car company, but also a style and fashion brand, it wants to reach out to an audience that it knows isn’t readily responsive to traditional marketing methods. It’s a strategy designed to capture the attention of young fashionistas rather than just the traditional automobile enthusiast.

Chief Marketing Officer Uwe Ellinghaus says the Cadillac/Public School collaboration is about “two partners coming together that really share the same values and are totally convinced that stylistic individuality is what drives purchase decisions more than anything else.” The brand’s new headquarters is located in the heart of fashion-centered Soho, indicative of the brand’s burgeoning interest in Mens’ apparel and accessories.

New York is “our home now, and New York is as much a fashion town as it is a luxury town,” says Ellinghaus. In November, Cadillac is planning the 2017 XT5’s official debut in the Dubai arts district as part of its continuing strategy to woo a younger, more fashion-minded audience.

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