Cadillac President Johan de Nysschen celebrated his one-year anniversary with Cadillac and, his message still rings relevant to this day: slow and steady.
There have been ups, and downs, surrounding the brand one year since de Nysschen took the reins, but he is adamant on his long-term strategy to position the brand as a luxury all star.
“Right now we have to put image development ahead of sales development,” de Nysschen said in an interview last month, from Automotive News.
“Unless you take time to work on those building blocks, you are forever in this circular reasoning: You have great cars, but they don’t gain traction.”
Those words come after a barrage of bad baggage following Cadillac’s move to New York City, and sales of his brand staying stagnant over the past 10 of 12 months he’s been in charge. But, sales volume doesn’t occur overnight. Especially without the right message.
In his defense, there have been a few bright spots with de Nysschen’s Cadillac. Transaction prices of Cadillac vehicles have surged, with the 2015 CTS commanding higher prices than a comparative BMW 5-Series, though, the 2015 Escalade has led the charge, with an average $86,000 price tag. Incentives spending has plummeted, too, which makes for strong resale values, an important factor for any luxury product.
But, for some dealers, the clock is ticking. The minimal growth has hurt standalone Cadillac dealers as they pass time and wait for de Nysschen’s vision to become a reality. Add in the news of a product hiatus following the 2016 Cadillac XT5, and it doesn’t help paint the brightest picture.
But, de Nysschen has an impressive track record with brand building. Take one look at Audi today, and you can see his fingerprints all over its rise to luxury prominence.