Official: Johan De Nysschen Departs Infiniti For Cadillac

Derek Kreindler
by Derek Kreindler

Johan de Nysschen, the executive largely credited with Audi’s rise to Tier 1 luxury brand status, has left his post at Infiniti after just two years on the job. He will assume the top job at Cadillac, after former President Bob Ferguson was moved to a new post as GM’s head of public policy.

de Nysschen, who took the helm as Infiniti moved its headquarters to Hong Kong and re-organized its nomenclature (into the confusing “Q” and “QX” lines), was expected to lead a long, progressive turnaround for the brand, much as he did with the once-struggling Audi.

But his departure for Cadillac bodes poorly for a luxury brand that has failed to establish itself in the same way that Lexus has in North America, let alone globally. Witness the confusion around the Infiniti Q50, which was branded as a Nissan Skyline in Japan, despite a supposed push for Infiniti’s entry into the Japanese market.

While de Nysschen cited family concerns as a major motivation (he and his family have strong ties to the United States, having lived there for many years), an Automotive News story suggests that CEO Carlos Ghosn’s extremely ambitious targets may have played a part in de Nysschen’s departure.

Despite that, he will have a challenge on his hands at Cadillac. GM is also aiming for a major push into Europe – and you can bet that de Nysschen’s tenure will be focused on that goal.

Derek Kreindler
Derek Kreindler

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  • Wmba Wmba on Jul 11, 2014

    Hello, zis is Ferdy Piech. As you can see, my master plan for VW world domination is going smoothly. Ghosn was getting entirely too uppity, so I placed de Nysschen on the market subtly, and he was snapped up as a double agent. Following my orders, he urged Ghosn to make Infinitis only in Infiniti factories, and then moved Infiniti HQ to Shanghai or Hong Kong, thousands of kilometres from central Japan and the only "sort of" Infiniti factory. Brilliant! Und then - I got de Nysschen to change all the Infiniti model names so ze customers became confused! Even more genius! Of course Ghosn had to let him go, but with great cunning I made sure he was known to be available, and ze fools at GM hired him at Cadillac. Just wait for new model names like ATS Toreador, and CTS Brussels to emphasize European desirability. Ha ha. After ruining Cadillac by spending a billion trying to sell zose dumbkopf cars in Europe, de Nysschen will once again rejoin the VW Executive Board. Now, my thoughts are concentrated on making Americans buy VWs by the millions. Extra cupholders and lift kits for customization ... extra wagens and CUVs. What do you think? Baron Ferdinand von Piech

  • Victor Victor on Jul 11, 2014

    So, Cadillacs will be named CTS 10, CTS 20... Not very clever.

  • Mike978 Mike978 on Jul 11, 2014

    Seems a good move by GM since de Nysschen is well regarded in the industry and has applicable experience. Former editor BS liked de Nysschen and hated GM, will be interesting to see his reaction. This should help Cadillac, they have the product but needed extra help.

  • Hybridkiller Hybridkiller on Jul 12, 2014

    I realize that this will sound wildly fantastic and unbelievable, but I'm going to go way out on a limb here and suggest that maybe - just maybe - this is a very wealthy middle aged guy whose reached a point in his life that a major move such as this might not JUST be about career and money. (if you're under age 50 or so you probably won't understand how this can be possible)

    • See 1 previous
    • Hybridkiller Hybridkiller on Jul 12, 2014

      @BklynPete Just killing time before time kills me.