Reviewers love the 2014 Cadillac CTS. GM's next challenge: Getting German-brand loyalists to pay attention. Photo credit: General Motors.

General Motors (NYSE:GM) CEO Dan Akerson has made no secret of his goal with Cadillac: He wants GM's old luxury brand to be the equal -- at least -- of the German brands that dominate the global luxury-car market.

That's a tall order. BMW (NASDAQOTH:BAMXF), Audi, and Mercedes-Benz have spent decades honing their engineering and building their brands. It's no accident that their vehicles are chosen by well-heeled buyers around the world.

Cadillac was once in that league, but that was a long time ago. The Standard of the World fell on hard times as GM spent too many years cutting costs, but its latest models have begun a remarkable turnaround. Reviewers, and the customers who have tried them, have been deeply impressed by Cadillac's new ATS and CTS sedans, pronouncing them the equal of Germany's best -- and in some ways, arguably even better. 

But it's one thing to build the cars, another thing to build the brand -- and Cadillac needs to become an exceptional brand if it's going to charge BMW-sized prices (and get BMW-sized profits). In this video, Fool contributor John Rosevear explains the challenge now facing GM with Cadillac -- and at what GM must do next to continue Cadillac's push up the global luxury ladder.

Fool contributor John Rosevear owns shares of General Motors. You can connect with him on Twitter: at @jrosevearThe Motley Fool recommends BMW and General Motors. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.