The Cadillac of Bicycles
By George Anderson
The prestigious Cadillac logo, ducks included, is coming to a bicycle path near you.
According to a report in The Detroit News, Cadillac has entered into a special licensing deal with Kent International to produce a line of Caddy branded mid- to high-end bicycles retailing from $500 to $1,900.
Doug Schumacker, accessories manager for Cadillac, said the decision to participate in this two-wheeled venture comes down to the auto maker’s focus on reaching a younger consumer base.
“The more unexpected brand contacts we can have, the more surprising it is for the consumer and the more chances we have to break through preconceptions of what they think they know about Cadillac now,” he said.
University of Detroit Mercy marketing professor Michael Bernacchi sees the wisdom in the brand extension. “The notion of trying to introduce the name into a younger demographic, at least to get them thinking (about Cadillac), makes sense,” he said.
Cadillac, with updated designs and an advertising background track powered by Led Zeppelin’s Rock and Roll, has succeeded in recent years in lowering the average age of its buyers from 50-something to 40-something.
Prof. Bernacchi said that having brought the brand this far means Cadillac needs “to guard it very, very carefully and not permit breakdowns within the brand image itself.”
The bicycles are not in widespread distribution at this juncture, being offered for sale in select bicycle shops in the U.S. and Canada, and at some Cadillac dealerships in Canada.
Cycle Therapy sells the new Cadillac bicycle line. Owner Ernie Dell said, “The Cadillac name is selling them, especially to people who are really into Cadillac vehicles.”
Moderator’s Comment: What do you think about Cadillac licensing its brand for a line of bicycles? Will this help it achieve its goal of getting more
younger consumers thinking about Cadillac when it comes to buying/leasing a new vehicle?
Employees of General Motors are eligible for discounts on the two-wheel Cadillacs, as well as those equipped with four.
– George Anderson – Moderator