September 23rd, 2014
The new head of Cadillac, Johan de Nysschen is already making big changes at the brand's owner, General Motors according to Forbes. De Nysschen was named president in August and is shifting the auto manufacturer's structure to make Cadillac a separate business headquartered out of New York.
The move was announced Sept. 23, and is touted as part of the expansion of the Cadillac brand. By becoming a separate unit of GM, Cadillac can better focus on the luxury auto market, according to Cadillac's statement.
"With the relentless upward repositioning of successive new-generation Cadillac products, the next logical step is to provide Cadillac more freedom to cultivate the brand in pursuit of further global growth," said GM President Dan Ammann.
What's really moving?
The Soho location will be responsible for oversight of all global Cadillac operations, including the operations in more than 40 countries. However, the technical product development teams and manufacturing facilities will remain located in Michigan.
"We are very proud of our Detroit roots and heritage, and the majority of the Cadillac workforce will remain in Michigan," said de Nysschen, according to the company statement.
How does this affect consumers?
For people who already own a Cadillac, nothing will change - their costs including loan payments, auto insurance and maintenance will remain the same. However, the consumers the company targets as its customer base will evolve. De Nysschen has made it clear he wants to shoot for high-end customers to really push into the luxury market, Forbes reported.
Don't sound shocked
GM and de Nysschen's expansion of Cadillac is supported by the brand's recent growth. In 2013, Cadillac's portfolio grew 28 percent and so far in 2014, it's grown approximately 10 percent, according to the statement.
The relocation shouldn't come as too much of a surprise because de Nysschen made a similar mov when he worked with Nissan. In that case, he moved Infiniti to new and separate headquarters in Hong Kong, Auto Blog reported. This is also exactly the bold move GM was looking for when hiring de Nysschen, according to Forbes. De Nysschen helped improve Audi of America's brand and after attempting to build up Infiniti, accepted GM's offer to boost Cadillac.
Other big changes
De Nysschen and GM have created a Cadillac leadership council, according to Forbes. The group consists of de Nysschen himself, Chief Marketing Officer Uwe Ellinghaus, Chief Financial Officer David Colasinski, Executive Chief Engineer David Leone, Executive Director of Design Andrew Smith and Vice President of Sales and Service Jim Bunnell.