Cadillac abruptly ousted Johan de Nysschen from the top leadership position this past April and replaced him with Steve Carlisle, formerly head of GM Canada.
With the change, rumors have circulated over how Carlisle will lead the division as it works to transform itself from bargain luxury brand to a competitive premium line of cars and SUVs. Even though de Nysschen may be gone, we now know his plan will largely stay the course.
Cadillac confirmed with the Detroit Free Press that the 10-year turnaround plan will remain in place. It’s very likely what comes from the brand in the years to come will still have de Nysschen’s fingerprints all over.
“We are staying the course with our 10-year strategy that we put into place a few years ago. If anything, Steve will be looking at ways to accelerate that strategy,” Cadillac spokesman Andrew Lipman said.
It’s largely understood that GM’s upper management grew impatient with Cadillac’s turnaround time, and the emphasis to “accelerate” the strategy appears to confirm the thinking. We’ll still see a new Cadillac vehicle pop up every six months, per the brand. On the docket are CTS and ATS replacements (likely called the CT3 or CT4 and CT5), a three-row crossover called the XT6, a new Escalade and the potential for a production Cadillac Escala flagship.
Carlisle still has quite a challenge on his hands: shifting brand perception. According to the report, many consumers still look at the brand as tarnished after years playing to a specific consumer and highly subsidized lease rates to move metal. Carlisle must help Cadillac find its own identity once again.