Cadillac Boss Johan de Nysschen Sacked With Immediate Effect

Industry News

Daring Greatly no doubt!

The boss of Cadillac, Johan de Nysschen, is out with the brand announcing his immediate departure. Evidently, General Motors is looking for a faster turnaround at the luxury brand and is tired of waiting for de Nysschen and company to make that happen. Global sales were at record levels under his tutelage, but US sales have fallen flat. GM has appointed Steve Carlisle, who currently heads GM Canada, as president of Cadillac.

De Nysschen joined Cadillac in August 2014 after stints as CEO of Infiniti and head of Audi's US business. Since day one he has faced friction and pressure regarding his $12 billion plan to expand Cadillac's product lineup along with moving the luxury brand's headquarters out of Detroit to New York City. “We appreciate Johan’s efforts over the last four years in setting a stronger foundation for Cadillac,” GM President Dan Ammann said in a statement. “Looking forward, the world is changing rapidly, and, beginning with the launch of the new XT4, it is paramount that we capitalize immediately on the opportunities that arise from this rate of change. This move will further accelerate our efforts in that regard.”

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According to Automotive News, de Nysschen’s abrupt departure was a result of his reluctance to accelerate product plans in order to capitalize on current US market conditions, ie: not enough crossovers, bubba. Sources said GM brass acknowledge that it certainly takes time to rebuild a brand, but they needed to see more commitment to the here and now. Carlisle will be the fourth head of Cadillac since GM emerged from bankruptcy in July 2009. The move also coincides with the departure of Cadillac's chief marketing officer, Uwe Ellinghaus, who left for “personal reasons.”

De Nysschen has also been criticized in the past for trying too hard to mimic the German brands, instead of embracing Cadillac’s uniquely American heritage and brand appeal. It will be interesting to see how Carlisle fairs with Cadillac's notoriously prickly dealer group. Carlisle was lauded for his relationship building skills with retailers in the Canadian market.