Head of GM Canada picked as new boss at Cadillac

De Nysschen lifted Cadillac globally but not quickly enough

Effective immediately, President Johan de Nysschen is out, replaced by Steve Carlisle that was, up until now, president of GM Canada. Sales declined 8 percent previous year and dropped another 4.6 percent through March, leading to his ousting as Cadillac president. He spearheaded moving the company's headquarters out of Detroit to New York City. He led a variety of efforts to strengthen the sedan-centric brand, including, most recently, the introduction of Cadillac's first compact SUV, the XT4. "It is paramount that we capitalize immediately on the opportunities that arise from this rate of change", Ammann said.

Johan de Nysschen previously headed Infiniti's American arm for two years, where he also oversaw the brand's nameplate change to much criticism and Audi America before that. German rivals such as Audi, Daimler's Mercedes-Benz and BMW's namesake brand have had more crossovers for consumers to choose from for years.

In a phone interview, de Nysschen said he left amicably and declined to go into detail on what spurred his departure.

Head of GM Canada picked as new boss at Cadillac
Head of GM Canada picked as new boss at Cadillac

But the clock was clearly ticking for de Nysschen, signaled by the departure of Uwe Ellinghaus as Caddy's marketing chief late previous year. The change at the top "will further accelerate our efforts in that regard", the statement quoted Mr. Amman as saying. And with an updated crossover lineup on its way through the next few years, Caddy's sales only promise to grow, particularly in the SUV-happy US market. He also boldly proclaimed recently that Cadillac would be the technical leader at GM in the future, underscored by the brand's rollout of its Super Cruise automated-driving system previous year, but the comment also diminishes Chevrolet, Buick and GMC. It gives Cadillac a powerful engine to compete with rivals at the upper end of the auto segment, but was a puzzling investment given the surge in electrification at premium global brands and given Cadillac's inability to compete with higher-volume, lower-displacement powertrains. Carlisle had been managing director of GM's Canadian operations.

"I look forward to building on our current momentum as we continue on our mission to position Cadillac at the pinnacle of luxury", Carlisle said.

Like de Nysschen, Carlisle also will report to Ammann. In the years since, the Ontario native has held a number of senior positions within the company, including posts as Global VP of product planning, VP of USA sales and Managing Director in southeast Asia. His previous position as GM Canada's top brass will be filled by Travis Hester, now vice president of Global Product Programs. Succeeding him as GM Canada's boss will be Travis Hester.


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