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  • William Maley
    William Maley
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    Johan de Nysschen Steps Down From Infiniti, Becomes President Of Cadillac

      A Familiar Name Becomes Cadillac's President


    After spending two years at Infiniti, Johan de Nysschen has stepped down from his position as President and become the president of Cadillac. The news was announced yesterday in a press release by General Motors. In his new role, the 54-year-old will be responsible "for all aspects of Cadillac globally."

    “Johan brings to our company vast experience in the development and proper execution of luxury automotive brands. With over 20 years in this exact space, especially in the development of the Audi brand, his track record proves he is the perfect executive to lead Cadillac for the long term,” said GM President Dan Ammann.

    “I have for some time now been impressed by how the new General Motors has been transformed into a formidable force in the industry. The combination of strong corporate leadership and exceptional engineering resources presents the perfect combination to restore Cadillac to its place among global premium brands." said de Nysschen.

    “The recognition of the brand is immense, and the progress on the fundamental product front is widely acclaimed. I am delighted at the opportunity to join the GM executive team to lead the Cadillac business, and I look forward to working with my Cadillac colleagues and our global retail partners.”

    Cadillac's former head, Robert Ferguson has been named Senior Vice President of Global Public Policy.

    Source: Cadillac

    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.

    Press Release is on Page 2


    Cadillac Names Johan de Nysschen President

    • Cadillac to operate as global brand, more distinct business unit

    DETROIT – General Motors today announced the appointment of Johan de Nysschen as President – Cadillac. de Nysschen will be responsible for all aspects of Cadillac globally including sales, pricing and network development, strategic brand development and marketing and product portfolio planning, including critical input for product engineering and design.

    de Nysschen, 54, joins the GM executive leadership team as an executive vice president of the company beginning August 1 and reports to GM President Dan Ammann.

    “Johan brings to our company vast experience in the development and proper execution of luxury automotive brands,” said Ammann. “With over 20 years in this exact space, especially in the development of the Audi brand, his track record proves he is the perfect executive to lead Cadillac for the long term.”

    de Nysschen said he is eager to join the GM team.

    “I have for some time now been impressed by how the new General Motors has been transformed into a formidable force in the industry,” he said. “The combination of strong corporate leadership and exceptional engineering resources presents the perfect combination to restore Cadillac to its place among global premium brands.

    “The recognition of the brand is immense, and the progress on the fundamental product front is widely acclaimed. I am delighted at the opportunity to join the GM executive team to lead the Cadillac business, and I look forward to working with my Cadillac colleagues and our global retail partners.”

    Cadillac is the fastest-growing luxury brand worldwide, with sales improving approximately 30 percent globally in 2013, and an aggressive cadence of new models recently introduced and in cue. Some highlights include:

    • CTS - 2014 Motor Trend Car of the Year
    • Next generation 2015 Escalade arriving in showrooms
    • The summer’s launch of the 2015 ATS coupe, based on the success of ATS sedan, the 2013 North American Car of the Year
    • Approximately 60 percent of Cadillac buyers are new to the brand

    de Nysschen spent the last two years as head of the Infiniti brand worldwide. Prior to that, de Nysschen was chief executive of Audi USA for eight years and president of Audi Japan for five. He began his career with Audi in South Africa in 1993 after a variety of automotive positions with the Ministry of Transportation, BMW in South Africa and an automotive supplier.

    GM Names Ferguson to Lead Global Public Policy

    DETROIT — General Motors today appointed Robert E. Ferguson to Senior Vice President, Global Public Policy. Ferguson will report directly to GM CEO Mary Barra and is responsible for GM's federal, state and international government relations and public policy activities in the U.S. and its markets around the globe. The appointment is effective immediately.

    Ferguson returns to the top public policy position having guided GM's ignition switch recall response among lawmakers and regulators while also serving as Senior Vice President, Global Cadillac. During his tenure at Cadillac, the iconic nameplate became the world's fastest-growing full-line luxury brand and sold record volumes in the important China market. With the introduction of acclaimed new products such as the CTS, ATS coupe and Escalade, the brand is positioned for even greater success.

    "We need Bob's leadership and full focus on rebuilding relationships and instilling confidence in GM's efforts to create a new industry standard for safety," said Barra. "As GM's voice in critical policy issues, Bob will communicate a clear sense of purpose and collaborative spirit."

    Ferguson, 54, joined GM in 2010 as Vice President for Global Public Policy and served in that position through October 2012. He is credited with helping GM strengthen its position on Capitol Hill, and with its many regulatory agencies, on a wide range of business challenges related to energy, tax, labor, and finance policy.

    Ferguson was tapped by then-GM CEO Dan Akerson to head Cadillac's global marketing team. During that time, Cadillac saw nearly 30 percent global growth, highest among all full-line luxury brands, and U.S. growth of 22 percent. Cadillac's 66 percent growth in the white-hot China luxury market resulted in record sales of 50,000 units, putting the brand on a path to double sales there in two years.

    Prior to joining GM, Ferguson was at the business advisory and strategic communications firm Public Strategies, where he worked with a diverse and international group of clients as a senior strategist.

    Before joining Public Strategies, Ferguson spent more than 10 years as an executive at AT&T, where he served as the president of state legislative and regulatory affairs and also as group president and CEO of SBC's Enterprise Business Services.

    Ferguson, who succeeds Selim Bingol, also will serve as Chairman of the GM Foundation and oversee the philanthropic organization's contribution to the communities where GM employees live and work. Ferguson's replacement at Cadillac will be named later.


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    the lux market is driven by badge seekers nowadays.  Long time ago when Cadillac was about plush, it was the older crowd who earned $$$ over time that bought a lot of them, and the big soft riding cars were what folks wanted.  Non lux cars had a hard time getting quiet and comfy ride, and bigger was better.

     

    the demographics change over time and people in their older years won't have as much cash (although the few that do, have a lot).  And like my dad says, "I've given GM money for over 50 years, I'm not going to give them 50 grand more on a new Cadillac".  So I think some of the older crowd is tired of throwing money at cars (disclaimer, my dad seldom bought new or expensive but I think his sentiment is shared by many his age).

     

    I think the younger generations see cars as fashion more than anything these days.  BMWs and such are the equivalent of Hollister or something. And German marques despite being perhaps the best drivers, their success is more fashion and badge snobbery than anything.  Lots of 20 somethings buying Audis.  (including a coworker recently).  That's why we get Mercedes CLA's.  I really believe Audi's big lure is the stale design which is viewed as contemporary....and their typically well done interiors (tiny gaps, amazing plastics, etc.)  There is a group of the younger set that definitely appreciates the driving dynamics and such, but I bet the percent is quite small.  This group I think, pretends they don't need a big car because they either don't have kids or big families yet, or they finally got a new car after 5 years of driving a small cracker box college car, they just don't feel the need to spread out much yet.  They have not had a car with room so they don't know how nice it can be.  Or, they live in a tight setting and don't have a lot of room to park a car.  So a lux marque small tiny car like an A3 makes perfect sense.

     

    Then there is the middle generations like mine where a lot of folks grew up on Japanese cars because as one coworker put recently (without any factual data) 'they are just better' and people get sick of the Japanese bland stuff but still want something non American, so they move up to a Japanese lux make or a German marque.  These folks maybe had an Accord when younger, which only recently became a large car.  So a huge older Caddy would seem oversized.

     

    There is also the movement of today's buyers where if they want a large do it all vehicle, they get a crossover.  the midsize sedan segment seems to be large enough for a lot of buyers today.  Even the lux marques sell so many more crossovers now, the need for huge sedans is seemingly small.  And with the EPA and govt out to eradicate bigger cars anyways....

     

    But there are still folks like my dad who has his DTS and looks at an XTS and says it doesn't look as roomy.  He's always thought the CTS was too small.  He thinks the ATS is a toy car.  I think a lot of the ATS low sales is due to simply 'small interior, small trunk'.....Cadillac despite the chassis magic really screwed the pooch on the usable size of the ATS. I remember riding in the 2 previous gen 3 series back seats and thinking they weren't so tight, I sold a C class once (prob at late 2000's one) that i recall having tons of room in the back.  A ten cubic foot trunk and no back seat is a hindrance to sales to even people who would not get too often get worked up about space otherwise.

     

    The 20/21 year old i had to try to sell a 135i to one time (the real $$$$ was his mom) was a part time assistant manager at either Aeropostale or Hollister and was such a little pricktard.  A complete badge seeker.  No doubt the 135 was a nice driving car, and the vehicle dynamics interested him, but really it was just about status for him. 

     

    I don't see Cadillac cracking this group of assholes for at least 10 years, even if they wanted to.  The original CTS to this day you see the drivers that drive them are younger and not the old stereotype Caddy owners.  And they are diverse.  I think you build off a few of those types, you really try to cultivate Cadillac as a brand that appeals to a diverse crowd, and try to stay away from the fashion seekers.

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    I would pretty much agree with Reg, a lot of people just don't like the Cadillac image.  My mom is 60 and mention a Cadillac and the response is "ewww, I hate them, they are for geezers" because she remembers her grandparents getting a new Cadillac every other year, my great grand parents bought over 20 Cadillacs, all land barges of the 60s, 70s and early 80s.  They could sell Cadillacs at half price and she still wouldn't consider one just because of the negative image she has formed of them.  I think a lot of 20 somethings are probably the same way, they see Audi as cool and hip, and Cadillac as grandpa's car.  And Cadillacs are big, some people don't want a mid size car even, they only want small or compact.

     

     

    The SUV line up I would propose is make the SRX smaller on the outside, same on the inside and keep the base price at $35k.  It could be FWD because the mindless crossover buyer likes that, Acura, Lincoln and Lexus get sales on FWD crossovers because those Rav4 and CR-V and Ford Escape buyers have to go someplace when they trade up, and they are clueless to why RWD is better.

     

    The middle SUV should be on Alpha, more like the CTS in size and price, 3.6 V6 base and twin turbo V6 optional (or whatever engines the CTS has at that time), this would be more in the $50-65k range like an X5 or ML350.

     

    Escalade will stay as it is, the Tahoe is already there so it is easy to do.  Rumor is they are thinking of a turbo V6 or diesel V6 since the Navigator has a turbo V6 and the Mercedes GL has a diesel.  Other than powertrain or trim changes, the Escalade formula works for now.  Probably one day body on frame SUVs will die, just as body on frame cars died and body on frame mid-size SUVs died, but for now they are still holding on.

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    At one point or another, that's been said about 1. convertibles, 2. high power outputs, 3. inline engines (over 4 cylinders), 4. V8s, 5. diesels in cars, 6. digital dashes... and the list goes on & on.

     

    "And Cadillacs are big" lol- what is this; 1976? ATS & SRX are small, CTS is only mid-sized. The days of 'big Cadillacs' (Escalade aside) are long gone. Your mother's 1980 impressions need updating.

    Edited by balthazar

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    Some people don't like big cars, my mom thinks my E-class is too large and it is smaller than the new CTS.   I'd imagine the sort that buy Mini Cooper, Golf GTI, Jetta, Prius Impreza, etc see the ATS as almost too big.  Those cars I mentioned are in the 175-180 inch length area.  Spend 10 years in one of those cars and no way would they go to a large mid-size like a CTS.  That is where the Audi A3 and BMW 1 or 2 series come in.  Urban buyers like small cars. 

     

    The SRX isn't small either, it is a foot longer than a Mercedes GLK, 8 inches longer than a Lexus NX200, 7 inches longer than a BMW X3.  The SRX is just on a dopey platform that doesn't utilize space well.  The CTS has gotten big too, at 195.5 inches long, it is just 2 shy of a Chrysler 300.

     

    I think Cadillac should have a small, medium, large SUV line up, the SRX is covering 2 segments, it needs to pick small or medium, and then they can release a 3rd SUV.  They should use Alpha, but they could make their small and medium crossovers FWD, crossover buyers won't care.

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    Some people don't like big cars, my mom thinks my E-class is too large and it is smaller than the new CTS.   I'd imagine the sort that buy Mini Cooper, Golf GTI, Jetta, Prius Impreza, etc see the ATS as almost too big. Spend 10 years in one of those cars and no way would they go to a large mid-size like a CTS.

    Well, if that were true & widespread, all the OEMs are in deep crap because they've all made huge investments & taken the long-term public stance that buyers will "trade up" to bigger & more expensive cars. It's how mercedees has justified the cheap crapbox the CLA is. Of course, that lil' chestnut is handily disproved by owner loyalty stats.

    Your mother has a particular, very limited restriction, size-wise, on vehicles she likes. It has nothing to do with Cadillac there, but sounds like ANY vehicle that exceeds that criteria. In other words, according to you it's a "problem" for mercedes also.

    -- -- --

    But your sentiment, only ever directed at Cadillac as a "problem" is true for any & all makes. Seen the recent commercial from audi that shows a BMW driver intentionally splashing water on bystanders; for a great many people BMWs= pricks and mercedes = old money/old men and for them, they have no desire to own that brand, either.

     

    Not sure Cadillac needs a 3rd SUV, some folk will only endlessly bleat about GM having too many SUVs, or something.

    SRX is doing a fine job outselling the M-class, must mean the SRX is automatically the better SUV.

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    It is interesting but in Seattle, if you are rather tiny, then you tend to buy Asian auto's, Big American people tend to buy American or German. Yet the whole youth market who has money buys performance so you see plenty of AMG, M's, V's, Porcheses, etc. Old folks are the ones buying BMW, MB and Cadillac cars. Young affluent families are buying the CUV's and SUV's from the Luxury makers here as they live a far more active life style.

     

    Over all I think Cadillac is fine with the SRX and Escalade. If they feel they need something between these two fine, but I see no reason to take the Encore and rebadge it a luxury version. Waste of R&D money. Encore is perfect where it is in Buick.

     

    Those that are willing to spend money are going to buy Compact or bigger. Not Subcompact for Luxury.

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    I agree... Encore is probably too small for Cadillac.  Besides, they are having trouble keeping up with worldwide demand for that car and its variants as is.

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    I do think GM has a lot of SUVs, that is why I don't think the GMC brand should exist since they are all Chevy clones.  You could give Buick and Cadillac each 3 SUVs (not clones) and Chevy has SUVs and you don't need GMC.  I would also argue if it isn't a global brand, they don't need it.   But I know GM won't cut GMC.

     

    There could be an argument made that Cadillac should just keep 2 SUVs in order to put more R&D dollars into the ATS and CTS, because as long as you have to make Buick and GMC SUVs, they only have so many dollars to spread around.   But the SRX is pretty comparable to the RX350 and MKX, and Lincoln and Lexus both saw the need for a smaller crossover.  Granted Lincoln has one foot in the grave too and could just be desperate.

     

    On the image and buyer preference issues, Audi seems to be the hot brand among younger and newer luxury buyers.  But Audi also relies on the A3, A4 and Q5, their bigger cars don't sell.  The CLA proves that Mercedes buyers aren't just after a badge, because they aren't buying it, and the E-class has been the best selling Mercedes.  If they just wanted a badge, they wouldn't skip over the 2 cheaper models and go for the more expensive one.  BMW is pretty strong up and down the lineup in sales, despite them watering down steering feel and driving dynamics.  Consumers don't seem to care.

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    While I like the Corvette and Camero, I doubt I will ever own one. The rest of Chevy lineup of Auto's outside of the last generation Tahoe / Suburban that I liked better than the last generation Yukon/Yukon XL does nothing for me. In fact not since the mid 80's when they had their Monte Carlo SS Areo have they produced any Chevy I would want.

     

    GMC on the other hand excluding the poor design of the last generation Yukon series has had hit after hit for design styles that I have enjoyed. GM can get away with Chevy and GMC as I do not see the buyers cross shopping the two lines very much if at all. What I do see is people who own GMC come back to buy buicks to add to the family.

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    I thought I was the only one who thought the GMC front end styling was unattractive. The only two that have it correct are the Terrain and the new Canyon.  The Sierra has the headlight design all wrong and the Yukon is not great at all as you said.

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    pffft; I was staring at a new 1500 Denali in traffic tonight- white, it was gorgeous.

    I agree the New Denali's are sexy compared to the dog they replaced.

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    I agree... Encore is probably too small for Cadillac.  Besides, they are having trouble keeping up with worldwide demand for that car and its variants as is.

    Along withe the new impala its actually one of my two favorite gm cars.

    pffft; I was staring at a new 1500 Denali in traffic tonight- white, it was gorgeous.

    I agree the New Denali's are sexy compared to the dog they replaced.

    Sexy enough to turn a small car lover like me into an SUV kind of guy!

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