What Dealers Can Expect Under Cadillac President Steve Carlisle39
On Tuesday, Automotive News (subscription required) reporter Michael Wayland penned an open letter telling dealerships what they can expect under Cadillac President Steve Carlisle. Long story short, he isn’t Johan de Nysschen.
Carlisle stepped in after General Motors upper management ousted de Nysschen abruptly earlier this year. Carlisle comes from the top post at GM Canada as president and managing director and his appointment to the top position at Cadillac was meant to speed up the luxury brand’s rebirth. Former president de Nysschen gave the brand a 10-year turnaround window, which clearly wasn’t quick enough for some at the GM
mothership Renaissance Center headquarters.
The 55-year-old executive makes his debut as Cadillac’s new face at a dealer meeting this week in Las Vegas, Nevada, and he will showcase what the brand has planned through 2021. Wayland described Carlisle as somewhat of an antithesis to de Nysschen. While de Nysschen was boisterous and perhaps upset a few along the way, Carlisle is a GM lifer and has spent 36 years with the automaker.
“Carlisle is mild-mannered, methodical and data-oriented when he speaks. He doesn’t want or command attention (he may even not move an inch while up on stage), but don’t necessarily take that as a weakness. It’s just different from what we’ve come to expect from Cadillac under de Nysschen,” Wayland wrote.
While Carlisle may not be the vocalist we somewhat grew to adore from de Nysschen, his intentions are good and he plans to stick with the former executive’s timetable for now. We’ll see Carlisle launch a three-row XT6 crossover, two new sedans, a next-generation 2020 Escalade, electric cars, and maybe even a range-topping halo vehicle with an electric powertrain.
One thing is certain: Cadillac needs stability and an end to revolving management. It needs one vision and a long-term individual to execute. Perhaps Carlisle will be just that.
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With all due respect to Mr Carlisle, why would the dealers take him seriously & spend money to comply with his requests when they know they can stall & wait for GM to replace him in a few years like Johan, Bob & others before them? Especially with the rumor of him being a temporary CEO until they find a suitable replacement.
Anyway, I wish Steve best of luck & I hope he succeeds where his predecessors failed.
So the dealers will trash Caddy just to “get their way”. Anybody need more proof the dealer concept sux for the 21st Century of nationwide instant digital advertising? Why should Caddy have to have their market limited, by the government, to only selling to dealers? Why can’t GM have a single-price deal (like apple) to sell their cars to whoever they want whenever they want, like FREEDOM? Why should any company in America not be FREE to do business exactly how they want? Dealers are using big government to force free money to them from hardworking GM Business leaders. It’s truly farce-funny reading diehard trumpets loving this big-government anti-Business free-handouts from companies to protected-class dealers. It’s like these folks don’t even know the details and structures of the political theories they love so much. Fools.
Journalist Luft! It matters what you think, sir! Your hard work and insightful research makes this website we all enjoy so much! Your thoughts are productive, useful, informative, and entertaining to every one of us readers. Thanks very much for your work sir, and your thoughts Matter a lot to us. Cheers!
In 7 years when they’ve hit reboot 2 more times they will wish they had stayed with Johan and not tried multiple quick fixes that neither fixed anything nor were overall faster.
Another corporate bean counter. Bring on the highly discounted rebadged “luxury” cars.
As a passionate enthusiast I already miss Johan. He was so committed to the brand.
Johan had a vision for Cadillac, no doubt. Was it original? Was it enough? Time will tell ’cause Carlisle sure doesn’t seem to have one of his own.
I wouldn’t expect much more from Mr. Carlisle than ‘fealty’ – a vassal’s (Carlisle) sworn loyalty to the lord of the manor (Reuss and/or the BofD).
Didn’t mean to dump on Mr Carlisle.
Maybe a cool head and steady hand are exactly what Cadillac needs – especially with product in the pipeline.
Time will tell – meanwhile, best of luck/bon chance to Carlisle and crew.
(Bilingual – it’s a Canadian thing).
cadillac should have not lost john deNyshhen ( excuse spelling )
They really need to lose the ugly bumpy plastic wheel hub more than anything.
as well athey need to lose the ugly black bumpers although my friend Alex Luft thinks they are beautiful
they use chrome on truck bumpers; why isn’t on other vehicles as well??
sounds like cost cutting to me
Not a single luxury automaker uses “chrome bumpers” today. Not one. They may have chrome strips here an there as accents… but that’s completely different from “chrome bumpers”.
More importantly, it does not matter what I think. It matters what luxury car buyers at large think. And what they think and want is trending toward body-colored and blacked-out accents and away from chrome. This is why every luxury brand offers black-out packages with aggressive, sporty styling – a trend that wasn’t around 30, 20 or 15 years ago. One must follow the evolution to understand it.
Cadillac has had no offerings to compete with the Lexus RX for over 10 years
they just don’t get it
Cadillac has had the SRX and XT5 to compete with the RX for the last 10 years and beyond. You sure “they just don’t get it”?
That said, the Lexus RX is not the vehicle at which Cadillac should be aiming. Instead, Cadillac needs to target the likes of the BMW X5 and MBZ GLE-Class, while Buick should be fielding an offering like the current XT5.
its all about size my friend ; the SRX and XT5 are significantly smaller
You are woefully mistaken, Neil. The XT5 and RX are nearly identical in size.
Here’s some hard data for ya – 2019 Cadillac XT5 / 2019 Lexus RX, in inches and cubic feet, as applicable:
Wheelbase: 112.5 / 109.8
Length: 189.5 / 192.5
Width: 75 / 74.5
Height: 66 / 67.7
Seating capacity (front/rear): 2-3 / 2-3
They are almost identical… and the XT5 was developed specifically with the RX in its crosshairs.
In fact, the XT5 has more usable interior space while the RX seems longer on paper due to longer overhangs and bumper treatments that don’t translate into usable space on the inside.
Are you here just to argue and pick a fight? You sound ridiculous and misinformed.
SRX was RWD/AWD at one time, so why didn’t anybody buy it? That’s wean Cadillac went too a FWD/AWD platform, for these crossover’s. VSS-R chassis will allow then too put these crossovers on a RWD/AWD configuration.
The first-gen SRX was RWD/AWD, and it didn’t sell well because it simply was not a good vehicle, especially when compared to its competition. It was also marketed poorly, not only in terms of advertising but also in the way it was offered/configured.
Had the first-gen SRX been executed like the first-gen XT5, it would have flown off dealer lots and into driveways, potentially beating the Lexus RX and establishing Cadillac as the leader in the space.
PS: there is zero evidence to support the notion that the the VSS-R vehicle set (it’s not a chassis) will support crossovers… though I sincerely hope that it will be able to.
chrome would sell on other vehicles besides trucks as it has from the early part of the century ( and not the cheesy painted plastic the automakers are calling chrome: Blasphemous !! )
“chrome would sell on other vehicles besides trucks”…
Allow me to fix that for you…
“chrome would sell on other vehicles besides trucks in limited quantities.”
It seems that you’re arguing for something that was a thing decades ago, and that buyers have collectively rejected en masse over the past 10-15 years. Your own statement that it was a thing “from the early part of the century” is proof positive of that notion.
Heck, very few things in cars aside from four wheels and a steering wheel are the same today as they were at the “early part of the century”. Tastes and desires have changed and progressed… and the products have followed.
“chrome would sell on other vehicles besides trucks as it has from the early part of the century”
Which century, as it seems you’re grossly out of step with the present one.
Mass chrome is dead. I bet next you’ll be complaining because Cadillac doesn’t do fins anymore.
It telling how out of touch with luxury vehicles of you’re eager to hang all of Cadillac’s problems on chrome.
Johan shouldn’t have gotten the boot.
That said, what upcoming products will be as a result of his leadership? I believe XT4 is one, but beyond that?
Carlisle is a mistake. See 36 year GM suit. GM should have kept Johan because he was an outsider. Sure, he had some goofy things such as the naming schemes of Cadillac and Infiniti, yet Infiniti made a strong turnaround,
VSS-R, R=stands for Rear wheel drive, All wheel Drive. Next gen XT4/XT5/XT6 will be RWD/AWD. VSS allows for BEV/hydrogen electric drivetrains.
I am acutely familiar with GM’s VS strategy, having been one of the first in the world to have sat through a presentation on it years ago (before it even had a name) and then having been one of the very first to report on it, as well. See my GM VSS report
Measuring of phallic organs aside, you seem to be missing my point, which is that there is zero evidence to support what you are stating:
1. There is zero evidence to the assumption that VSS-R will be able to support crossovers (the only application that GM has discussed thus far for VSS-R is passenger cars – sedans/coupes)
2. There is zero evidence to support the notion that GM will actually pick VSS-R over a front-drive vehicle set like VSS-F or VSS-S for Cadillac’s next-generation crossovers
So while I hope that VSS-R can support crossovers (alongside cars) and that GM will actually use it for future Cadillac crossovers, there is currently a grand total of zero evidence to support this notion.
Ultimately, what you are stating is a hope-based scenario, which is different than a scenario supported by evidence and/or fact. It’s vital to make this differentiation so as not to create false hopes or expectations, or to start false rumors.
its the other way around
real chrome was eliminated due to high costs and therefore we consumers did not have the option to purchase it as it simply stopped being offered, even as an option
No, it’s not the other way around, it’s around the other way.
Chrome became a thing of yesteryear because:
1) it was heavy, and cars needed to become lighter
2) people wanted the look of chrome but didn’t care what material was ultimately used
Fast forward a few decades to today, and about half of potential luxury car buyers are turned off by shiny bits on their car, whether chrome or otherwise.
Want proof? Check out the leading luxury cars:
– Audi and its Black Optic packages
– Mercedes-Benz and its Sport and Black models
– BMW and its Sport line and Shadow Line models
– Lexus F-Sport
– Acura (black packages)
Even Cadillac is hopping on the bandwagon. It’s the last to do so, because of the tumultuous leadership situation at the brand… but Cadillac’s new Sport and V-Sport models eliminate pretty much all shiny bits from the car.
So what are we ultimately talking about here, cars that were relevant decades ago and no longer are?
Cadillac President Steve Carlisle will try to run the company like Chevrolet and try selling as many vehicles as possible because unlike Johan de Nysschen who didn’t want the streets to look like a Cadillac parking lot, Carlisle’s approach is the polar opposite and not afraid to introduce high performance models by the announcement of expanding the V brand of Cadillac models.
For those who miss Johan de Nycsshen, time will tell how good of a job he was doing as more of his work (meaning products) begin to be revealed. Having said that my impression from what I’ve seen so far was that de Nycsshen had a sort of luxury formula that was his signature and no matter where he went, he attempted to implement it. Infiniti under JdN was a lot like Audi and ultimately Cadillac appeared to be morphing into a brand that followed the same formula.
My own prescription for Cadillac would be quite different. I’ve never been sure the world needs another luxury brand in the Audi/BMW vein and to try and make Cadillac into a performance luxury brand with hard-charging Corvette powered V-Series sedans has never seemed to work. I’ve long believed a better path for Cadillac is to be a modern version of what they were at their height, not a copy of what someone else is today.
I look at what BMW AG has done with Rolls Royce, a nearly extinct carmaker with a storied history. In 2003, when the Bavarians took over, they didn’t make Rolls more Teutonic although that would’ve been easy. Rather they took the more difficult course and made it more unabashedly English. They made it an anti-BMW and had to learn a new way of tuning and testing cars. They returned it to the classic values of its heyday. The company (BMW AG) has often described a modern Rolls as a car that can be found “wafting along”. In other words, gliding effortlessly and silently. BMW’s engineers surely found developing cars to do that an entirely foreign concept. Yet, it was precisely what was expected of a Rolls so they learned how to make cars waft. Interestingly, despite the love affair the world has with BMW’s ‘Ultimate Driving Machines’, there’s been no shortage of takers for the distinctly different formula employed in creating and crafting a Rolls Royce. They sell well too. Turns out, its like ice cream; people like different flavors.
I would suggest that Carlise study more of Cadillac’s rich and storied history as he moves the brand forward. The JdN plan which apparently had Cadillac pretending to be Germanic might need to be abandoned beyond 2023 and replaced with a more authentic true-to-self image for Cadillac that is more Rolls and less BMW.
I suspect he’ll share both near-term and longer term plans with dealers this week. Nobody seems to know what he’s thinking but as a GM lifer, perhaps he’s thinking more about Cadillac’s past than JdN and his crew of outsiders ever did.
my friend Alex ;Cadillac’s main problem is they have been missing the target due to primary reason of lack of big cars
and with all due respect, the biggest car they offer today would barely qualify as a compact when vehicles had the correct nomenclatures
its not a matter of what occurred in past; it’s what still is applicable to Cadillac today
it’s not what’s applicable to Cadillac, it’s what is relevant in the market.
Cadillac does not exist in a bubble and its products must deliver/cater to the general wants, needs and desires of luxury car buyers.
Now then, your argument involves large cars. According to you, Cadillac has been missing the mark because of a lack of large cars. But have you looked at the Escalade and the CT6? Both are as full-size as full-size luxury vehicles get nowadays. Consumers do not care for anything much bigger than that. You are pretty much describing a subset of buyers so small (niche), that sales would be in the 50-100 units a month range – a volume that is completely unsustainable to come close to breaking even, let alone make a profit on the vehicle line.
Honestly, it sounds like the ideas you have are those that would have worked about 30-50 years ago in the market… and are highly irrelevant today. Your statement about the “the biggest car they offer today would barely qualify as a compact when vehicles had the correct nomenclatures” underscores that sentiment.
If you want to go down that road, then you should also look at the usable interior volume of modern vehicles compared to those you describe. The cars you are describing (Fleetwood, Brougham, etc.) were huge on the outside, but had very little space inside. By comparison, today’s CT6 has more usable room than any of the old Cadillacs you can name.
I recommend spending some time in a Cadillac, Audi, BWW, Lexus or Mercedes-Benz dealership and just observe the customers, conversations, and shopping process. Do that, and you’ll realize that a market simply does not exist for the kinds of vehicles you are suggesting/describing. There is room for a model above the CT6 as a true full-size, flagship car offering (not necessarily a sedan)… but this is a model that will not be that much larger than the CT6 already is. It seems like you’re suggesting a vehicle that might as well be classified as a limousine…
the interior of a CT6 is larger than a Fleetwood Brougham of the 1970’s ?
what are u smoking?
how about 4 across in the rear bench seat? btw besides trucks there are no bench seats offered fyi
Neil – can you use the REPLY button when replying to comments? Not doing so makes it extremely difficult to follow the conversation/thread.
Four across eh? You can put four across in the CT6. I just did that a few months ago when I had no other choice. Four full-grown adults.
But the bigger question is why? Why would you want to seat four adults ass to ankles in a luxury car? If that’s what you need, you are much better off getting a minivan…
There is a reason that bench seats, like chrome, has gone away: because people do not want it. If there demand existed for these things, it would be around. Simple as that.
i agree and disagree re: chrome
the majority of trucks have chrome bumpers
my opinion is SUV’s and cars would also have a similarly high percentage of chrome bumpers if item was simply available
Again, you need to pay closer attention to what’s taking place on a day-to-day basis here.
Trucks have chrome bumpers because they are the last bastion of “old school” styling elements. However, notice that the trend is swinging the other way – toward body-color and black.
Here’s one example for ya:
Regarding the issue of whether buyers really want large luxury vehicles with traditional attributes like three-across seating, BOF construction, RWD, V8 engines, and, yes, chrome, I’ve always felt Escalade supported that contention. It suggests that folks like an actual name too.
As Cadillac began to transition their cars away from their hallmark attributes and to a more Euro-centric flavor, sales have generally fallen. Meanwhile, the Escalade, which eschews all that and is the most traditional product in the fleet, sells well for the highest ATP and is Caddy’s cash cow. It’s also the one modern Cadillac that people can remember what’s it’s called.
I’m not suggesting Cadillac revert to products akin to a 1976 Fleetwood Talisman but I do think there’s evidence that products with more of Cadillac’s DNA and less of BMW’s might improve their fortunes. The Escalade seems to prove that premise every time a buyer drops $90K on what is honestly just a glorified Tahoe but as such is also a product with so many of Cadillac’s historic virtues like space, comfort, road presence, etc.
You’re dead wrong Alex. Truck buyers want solid metal bumpers, the kind that won’t crack and fall apart if you happen to run into something, etc. My silverado’s chrome front bumper has several dings and dents in it that I don’t care to repair. It adds character. If that was a plastic bumper it would be cracked and terrible looking. I’m not sure you understand truck buyers…
CT6 is a pretty big car. In terms of current sizing categories, it’s considered a “large” car.
The vehicle’s Cadillac would like to be competing with, the S-Class and 7-Series are 206.5 and 207, respectively whilst the Caddy is 204.1 so it’s a bit smaller but still in the same league.
The issue I think is that while the Germans have been selling large, prestigious RWD sedans in the US since the 1970s, Cadillac abandoned the market 25 years ago in favor of cheaper-to-build FWD products that shared underpinnings with mainstream models and were priced significantly lower than the Germans. Thus, Cadillac has to re-establish themselves in the large luxury strata and with CT6 sales being low and few of them on the road, not many consumers are yet thinking of Cadillac as an option.
There are other hurdles: The name CT6 is way to similar to another Cadillac, the CTS, which is, in fact, a smaller car leading to buyer confusion. The design is also not distinctive. While I personally find it quite attractive, it’s merely a stretched CTS, which is itself a stretched ATS, and all of them share their lines with the ungainly XTS. I think if the average large luxury car buyer were polled and asked about Cadillac’s new large sedan, few would realize it even exists. And can you blame them? They may have seen a few on the road but didn’t realize it and there’s been no advertising of the product so how are they to know. Mercedes and BMW don’t have to advertise as 40 years worth of their large sedans are out strolling the roads every day.
I think CT6 is plenty big enough although it could be stretched a bit but it was seemingly built to be anonymous and to go unnoticed. Nothing about it stuns people or shatters perceptions. If it goes unnoticed and isn’t memorable, it’ll also go unsold. I think that’s where we are today.
After being out of the large luxury market for 25 years, Cadillac needed a more flamboyant design and a memorable name in order to get noticed and begin the process of wooing car buyers away from the cars hailing from Stuttgart and Munich.
Great, another politcian out of GM corporate who has no vision or passion and views cars as just another widget.
No more competing with BMW, Audi, Alfa Romeo, etc. My guess is they just copy what Ford is doing with Lincoln and return to making cushy road barges. When nobody buys them they’ll de-content them further and have a big sale prior to shuttering Cadillac for good.