Published: Thu, April 19, 2018
Markets | By Noel Gibbs

Cadillac President Johan de Nysschen Out After Nearly Four Years

Cadillac President Johan de Nysschen Out After Nearly Four Years

Outgoing Cadillac chief Johan de Nysschen.

Jessica Caldwell, senior analyst for the vehicle buying website, said de Nysschen bet heavily on the German luxury model of rolling out cars at a time when the market was shifting dramatically toward SUVs and compact crossovers.

De Nysschen was hired away from Nissan's Infiniti luxury brand with much promise and named president of Cadillac in August of 2014. Both DeNysschen and Ellinghaus have said a massive expansion of Cadillac's crossover and SUV offerings is in the works to counter the numerous models offered by competitors.

But Cadillac has been far behind luxury market leaders Mercedes, BMW and Audi to catch the rising shift to crossovers from sedans. Global markets also now crave CUVs.

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Cadillac sales had been up in the US this year more than 8 percent through March compared to the same period last year, but the brand's sales had struggled previously against some of its global rivals.

In the same period, Cadillac's US market share fell to 0.91% from 0.97%, while Mercedes grew to 2.17% from 2.14% and BMW inched down to 1.78% from 1.79%.

Carlisle started at GM in 1982 as an industrial engineering co-op student at the Oshawa Truck Assembly Plant, according to the company. Ongoing growth for the XT5 has helped the brand recover slightly in the first three months of 2018, but dealers will have to wait until fall before the XT4 arrives.

China was the key on volume of 24,534 vehicles.

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In media interviews, de Nysschen talked about the shift coming, but Caldwell said the brand didn't move quickly enough to capitalize on it. He was also a driving force behind Project Pinnacle, an ambitious plan to overhaul not only the brand, but its retailers as well. Nysschen shifted Cadillac's headquarters to NY from Detroit.

Cadillac's US sales fell 8 percent in 2017.

Also in the mix recently was the unveiling of an all-new twin-turbo V-8 for the Cadillac CT6 large sedan. By the time the Detroit brand bottomed out sales fell to barely half their one-time peak and Caddy was struggling to be seen as what some analysts at the time referred to as a sort of "blue-collar luxury brand".

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According to GM, Carlisle led a resurgence of GM brands in Canada, where past year it was the top-seller of vehicles to individual retail buyers.

"The potential for Cadillac across the globe is incredible and I'm honored to be chosen to be a part of mapping that future", Carlisle said in a statement.

Unlike de Nysschen, his successor, Carlisle, has spent his entire career at GM.

Although sales grew globally, they fell during Nysschen's tenure in the U.S., GM's most lucrative market.

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In a release, GM said Steve Carlisle will become the new president and senior vice president, while Travis Hester will take over as president and managing director of GM Canada.

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