Cadillac is the second-oldest American automotive brand after its sister marquee, Buick. Both are part of the General Motors stable of brands. Interestingly, in 1902 Cadillac was founded by a master mechanic of Henry Ford Company, Henry Leland, who named the new company after Antoine Laumet de La Mothe, sieur de Cadillac, founder of Detroit, Michigan. The now-famous Cadillac crest is based on the de La Mothe coat of arms. The very first Cadillac cars were luxury versions of Ford's Model A. GM then purchased Cadillac in 1909.

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Since the beginning, the Cadillac company has been building luxury vehicles for the automotive market. With a storied past full of iconic American vehicles, the current lineup of Cadillacs can be found in 34 automotive markets globally, with the United States, Canada and China being its largest. Historically, Cadillac has introduced many new technologies to automotive, including laying the groundwork for modern mass production. It was the first automotive brand to include full electrical systems, clashless manual transmissions, and steel roofs. It also developed the V8 engine as a staple of the American automotive industry and was the first American brand to win the Dewar Trophy from the Royal Automobile Club of England in 1908 and again in 1912.

Today, Cadillac is entering a new era of automotive which it calls the Art and Science philosophy. The design language this incorporates includes bold, high-technology design and forward-thinking electronics combined in a package of engineering on wheels. Most Cadillac vehicles are rear-wheel and all-wheel drive sedans and SUV/crossovers.

Cadillac currently has three U.S.-based assembly plants, one Canadian plant, one plant in Mexico, and one in China. The company's best-selling model is the SRX crossover and total U.S. sales in 2012 were about 150,000 units.