De Nysschen: Cadillac Moved To NYC, Alphanumerics To Be Global Player

Cameron Aubernon
by Cameron Aubernon

Cadillac boss Johan de Nysschen has taken a lot of flak as of late for the brand’s moves to New York City, and to (albeit standardized) alphanumeric naming conventions. The first time, he took to Facebook to address his critics.

This time? De Nysschen took it to the source.

In response to Automotive News editor-in-chief Keith Crain’s letter lamenting both issues in the name of Detroit, de Nysschen penned a letter to the editor addressing Crain’s concerns.

Regarding the CT/XT nomenclature chosen in lieu of proper names — including Eldorado, Seville and Fleetwood — the president said such emotional attachment to those names “should be balanced against the fact that those names resonate more with baby boomers and are U.S.-centric,” and are not relevant to Cadillac’s intended global audience “where the reality is that alphanumeric nomenclature is a deeply entrenched industrywide practice.”

As far as the notion of Cadillac abandoning Detroit for SoHo, de Nysschen says the move was not due to any personal preference, stating that “no corporation would tolerate such indulgences by its leadership.” Instead, it was done to help reinforce “the psychological and physical separation in business philosophy” between the premium brand and the rest of General Motors. He adds that the net loss of 50 jobs in Detroit would likely be filled by GM, and pale in comparison against the 1,600 new manufacturing jobs secured by the automaker’s decision to green-light the CT6 earlier this month.

Finally, he does acknowledge Crain’s concern over business efficiency disadvantages as a result of the move, noting that said disadvantages were anticipated beforehand, “and will be overcome by making changes to current corporate processes.” De Nysschen concludes that all business decisions will be made by the brand’s leadership every step of the way, answering only to GM’s top brass and the automaker’s shareholders.

Cameron Aubernon
Cameron Aubernon

Seattle-based writer, blogger, and photographer for many a publication. Born in Louisville. Raised in Kansas. Where I lay my head is home.

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  • Chicagoland Chicagoland on Oct 16, 2014

    I agree, names conjure up images,...Numbers and letters do not ..." How about: GTO, 300C, 442, Z-28, SJ, GS, SS396, SS454, GT40, SVT, SVO, SHO, or plain old GT? Paying new car buyers should decide what sells. Not a hobbyist buying a 55 year old project car. Where does GM get profit? New cars. They hardly get any cut from B-J auctions of collector cars. And one more thing, the car fans complaining loud about new cars will most likely say "I never buy a new car, too much depreciation...", on and on, since you know, they are "experts". So, if not buying new, then you really have no 'skin in the game'.

    • See 3 previous
    • Pch101 Pch101 on Oct 16, 2014

      356 911 320i 2002 Model T 328 944 S-class A4 205GTI GTI 300 500 RX7 Yep, some of those do seem to work. The "real names" shtick is a bit tiresome. Some "real names" work, while others are forgettable and a few should be deliberately forgotten.

  • CRConrad CRConrad on Oct 17, 2014

    From the article: "de Nysschen says ... 'those names resonate more with baby boomers and are U.S.-centric'." Uh, so any remaining cachet that the Cadillac name has in the rest of the world... Where did that come from, then? Didn't they used to be called Eldorados and Broughams and stuff in the rest of the world, too?

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