Small is big in the premium sector these days. At least that’s what Cadillac’s new vice president Johan de Nysschen has been preaching at Infiniti for the last two years.
As the former head of the Japanese luxury brand (and previously Audi North America), de Nysschen believes “there is a strong component of young people that are beginning to enter the market. By the end of this decade, 80 percent of sales in the premium sector will be to the Millennials,” writes Automotive News.
“All the manufacturers are reading the same tea leaves and coming to the same conclusions. That is why BMW has chosen to go down that route with Mini and now 1 series. Audi has gone in with the A1 and the Q1,” he continued.
Cadillac has already proven it can build a competitive and compelling compact luxury car in the ATS, but can it bring that magic to a smaller luxury vehicle? Better yet, can it translate that magic into sales?
“The whole idea is to begin to position cars with premium brand attributes at price points that are more accessible for these newly empowered premium shoppers, who can’t afford the rest of the range. The theory is supposed to be that they enter brand and migrate upwards,” AN quotes de Nysschen as saying.
Noted by Automotive News is de Nysschen’s struggles with establishing the Infiniti brand as a recognized luxury player. de Nysschen believed that Infiniti needed a “truly luxurious four-door” or a “bona-fide luxury-class racer” to gain recognition among luxury car shoppers. As AN points out, Cadillac is already a recognized brand. Better yet, it will soon have its own “truly luxurious four-door” in the forthcoming LTS and there’s the distinct possibility the Elmiraj concept could be built as the brand’s “bona-fide luxury-class racer.”
It seems then the key to Cadillac succeeding is the luxury small-car segment. As Automotive News says, “the question won’t be ‘whether’ [de Nysschen] should take Cadillac in that direction. His challenge will be doing it in such a way that new small cars wear the Cadillac crest proudly.”