Today Cadillac officially announced a “strategic alignment” that will establish the 112-year-old as a “separate business unit,” which will include new global headquarters in New York City. GM feels this move will enable the luxury brand “to pursue growing opportunities in the luxury automotive market with more focus and clarity.”
“With the relentless upward repositioning of successive new-generation Cadillac products, the next logical step is to provide Cadillac more freedom to cultivate the brand in pursuit of further global growth,” says GM President Dan Ammann. “Cadillac’s mission is to reinstate the brand to a pre-eminent position among global luxury brands, a bold challenge requiring a distinct and focused new organization. More than a division or brand, Cadillac is becoming a center of excellence for our company.”
Johan de Nysschen, who joined the company in August as president of Cadillac, is spearheading the operation. He heads Cadillac’s leadership council, which includes vice president of sales and service Jim Bunnell; chief marketing officer Uwe Ellinghaus; chief financial officer David Colasinski; executive chief engineer David Leone; and executive director of design Andrew Smith. Cadillac may still promote others to the leadership council.
This move was hinted in GM Authority‘s article yesterday on how de Nysschen desires the Cadillac brand to have more autonomy from GM. However, technical product development teams in Michigan will continue, as well as the manufacturing and assembly operations. Cadillac management is currently reviewing which staffs will head to New York and which will remain in metro Detroit or elsewhere. Cadillac currently has operations in more than 40 countries, with a 28-percent growth in 2013 and an increase of about 10 percent so far for 2014. In China alone, Cadillac sales have grown 75 percent this year to date.
“We are very proud of our Detroit roots and heritage, and the majority of the Cadillac workforce will remain in Michigan,” de Nysschen said. “But there is no city in the world where the inhabitants are more immersed in a premium lifestyle than in New York. Establishing our new global headquarters in Soho places Cadillac at the epicenter of sophisticated living. It allows our team to share experiences with premium-brand consumers and develop attitudes in common with our audience.” Translated, this means that all engineering efforts will remain where they are in Michigan, but more flexible departments such as marketing will find themselves in Manhattan. However, specifics still remain vague.