Johan de Nysschen has returned to VW after four years as president of Cadillac. Following his tenure at the premium U.S. auto brand, de Nysschen will now assume the role of COO for the North American region at Volkswagen, according to a recent press release. He will start his new position October 1st, and will report to Scott Keogh, head of Volkswagen Group of America.
For Johan de Nysschen, the move likely feels like a return home, as his resume includes more than 20 years with the VW Group leading Audi in markets that include South Africa, Japan, and the U.S.
“I’m looking forward to rejoining a Group and leader I know well and admire,” Johan said in a press release. “This is a great opportunity to play an important role at a company of this scale at a fascinating time.”
Johan de Nysschen also led Infiniti for two years before joining Cadillac in 2014. De Nysschen suddenly left Cadillac in April of 2018 after four years in the position, and was replaced by the current Caddy President, Steve Carlisle.
Johan de Nysschen is known for being brash and blunt at times, personality traits that perhaps both aided and hindered him during his time with Cadillac. He took the reins as Cadillac made its controversial move from Michigan to Manhattan, and was tasked with revitalizing the premium brand to help it more ably compete with German rivals.
During his time with Cadillac, Johan de Nysschen helped the brand move forward on future-leaning ideas like Super Cruise Driver Assistance Technology, and he helped to usher in the twin-turbo 4.2L LTA V8 engine, a.k.a. the Blackwing, while also revitalizing the customer experience through an overhaul of Cadillac dealerships.
However, Johan de Nysschen also missed out on the exploding popularity of the SUV and crossover segment. After four years, Cadillac only managed to roll out one new vehicle, the Cadillac XT4, in 2018. What’s more, Cadillac’s revamped advertising message, “Dare Greatly,” never really caught on, and sales failed to show a significant uptick during his time with the company.
All told, it’ll be interesting to see how Johan de Nysschen handles his return to VW, especially in his new role of COO for the North American region. In the meantime, subscribe to GM Authority for more Cadillac news and around-the-clock GM news coverage.