DETROIT -- General Motors has hired former BMW executive Uwe Ellinghaus as Cadillac's new chief marketing officer as the automaker seeks to strengthen the brand outside the United States.
Ellinghaus, 44, held several marketing posts during a 14-year stint at BMW, including head of brand strategy from 2010 to 2012. While at BMW, he also did work for the company's Mini and Rolls-Royce brands.
"Uwe's expertise in marketing and luxury brand building will help us extend our growth globally," Bob Ferguson, senior vice president of global Cadillac, said on Tuesday in a statement.
Ellinghaus most recently was based in Hamburg, Germany, working as executive vice president of marketing and sales for Montblanc International, a maker of luxury watches and other accessories.
Ellinghaus' appointment comes three months after Don Butler, Cadillac's former top marketer, left for personal reasons.
Cadillac has been rebuilding its vehicle portfolio to better match BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Audi, with a greater emphasis on performance.
While the ATS compact and just-launched redesign of the CTS mid-sized sedan have garnered critical praise, many analysts and dealers say Cadillac's marketing has struggled to overcome its reputation as a brand for older buyers who want a big, comfortable ride.
"Cadillac has a new momentum and energy, embodied in its new products," Ellinghaus said in the statement. "This creates a unique opportunity to build the brand globally."
Last month, Cadillac named former Nissan executive Bill Peffer as vice president of U.S. sales and service, replacing Chase Hawkins, who left the company in June.
An overhauled and expanded product lineup helped Cadillac increase U.S. sales 27 percent during the first 10 months of the year from the same period a year ago, to 148,206 units.
GM also is busy pushing the brand into China, with the goal of tripling sales there, to 100,000 units, by 2015.