On the occasion of Montreal Auto Show, we had the opportunity to discuss with the person responsible for the colors, materials and finishing of Cadillac models, Laetitia Lopez, to learn more about its role and the brand’s directions. Unsurprisingly, we touched on the themes of eco-responsibility, as Cadillac is committed to selling only electric vehicles from 2030. According to the manager, the challenge she faces is to effectively marry the eco-responsibility of materials with the criteria that the brand’s customers expect.
According to what she says, customers of Cadillac expect a certain level of quality, luxury and craftsmanship when it comes to their vehicle’s interior. Without commenting on the importance of this, she also affirms that the brand’s customers expect to have responsible materials in their vehicle, particularly since Cadillac is a luxury brand.
Asked about the feasibility of combining all these criteria, she immediately replied that it was possible. In fact, this would be the main challenge for her and her team, to be able to offer a so-called “eco-responsible” material without sacrificing the criteria of luxury, quality and craftsmanship. She also mentions that a material without animal contribution was used to replace leather in the Cadillac Escalade IQ, and that this will be an option for consumers who want to move away from traditional leather.
Technology integration, a new challenge
Whereas previously the job of color, materials and finish managers was to directly develop new materials or colors to dress the interiors, now they must combine them with technological integrations.
For example, in the Escalade IQ, some real wood inserts are laser cut and engraved, in addition to being backlit. This therefore allows you to mix decoration with a practical function for the living space. Also, the headrests of the first two rows of the Cadillac Escalade IQ (with presidential seating option) have integrated speakers. The materials therefore need to be cut and arranged so that the sound can reach the passengers in the right way, without sacrificing appearance.
Finally, according to her, details are also essential to reinforce the brand identity. For example, in the Escalade IQ, we find insertions of the brand’s old logo in a few places. The design of the speaker grilles is also similar to that of other elements of the cabin, to promote a certain cohesion. This is what distinguishes a luxury brand from other brands with more affordable products.