Could Cadillac Leave General Motors to Be on Its Own?

Aaron Cole
by Aaron Cole
could cadillac leave general motors to be on its own

According to Cadillac CEO Johan de Nysschen, it probably could.

According to Automotive News, de Nysschen told analysts that Cadillac would have a “a far higher degree of autonomy and self sufficiency” within two years, and the company could report its own profits and losses, separate from GM.

Already, Cadillac contributes “a very sizeable contribution to the overall profit at General Motors” de Nysschen said, so let’s cut the dead weight already and keep the ugly sorority sisters in the basement?

Not so fast.

The Cadillac CEO admitted that the brand’s narrow portfolio and fledgling dealer overhaul could keep it under the GM umbrella — at least until 2018. The company is planning on several new models, including crossovers and sedans to help steady its financial base, that would begin arriving around 2018.

The company will sell 500,000 cars globally by 2020, de Nysschen reiterated to analysts yesterday. Last year, Cadillac sold 263,697 cars — more than 170,000 of those in the U.S. alone.

Chief engineer Dave Leone said that in the interim Cadillac needs to offer more than its German competitors for less money to gain traction in the luxury market — unlike it had in previous years.

Already, Cadillac has changed substantially its relationship with its dealers. The automaker said it would begin focusing its incentives on dealer experience and not necessarily sales, and it’s encouraging dealers to build standalone, boutique showrooms.

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  • VenomV12 VenomV12 on Aug 12, 2015

    I can see why he would want to do this. I assume that he has traveled to some of the Cadillac dealerships that weren't in major Metros and was horrified at what he saw. You know what I am talking about, the dreadful Cadillac dealerships that are combined with Chevy or GMC. Two different ones in two states I regularly travel to stick out to me. One is in The South and it still uses that shiny birthday type lettering and they also do that ghetto advertising where they have the cars near the road and have the lights flashing and the hoods up with giant letters under each one and the vampire salesmen that were meth dealers the week before crawling the lot. The second dealership is in the Midwest. It had the giant USA flag the size of a football field and then as if that wasn't enough, they put a USA flag on a stick on every single vehicle on the lot's window, every single one. The message you send me when you do that is that you want the business of the rednecks that drive around with giant flags on the back of their 30 year old trucks, not professionals like myself. Mercedes, BMW, Audi, Lexus and Jaguar would never engage is such crass and low-class marketing and that is why GM, Corvette and Cadillac will never shed the image they have, not in my lifetime anyway. So JdN can move Cadillac to NYC and attempt to change people's perceptions, but as long as these types of dealerships and the people that work at them exist, it won't happen. Also, as allegedly good the new CTS-V is, that car is downright embarrassing to drive if you are over 30 with all the Pep Boys add-ons. The M5, E63 AMG, RS Audis etc work because the are subtle, distinct enough, but subtle. You can go to the country club, meeting, pick up clients, go to church, whatever and the car looks like something an adult drives. Another thing that is not pertinent but JdN can pass is since I know he reads this is why does GM act like the Corvette is the prized pig at the farm? They don't want anyone to drive their precious $50,000 Corvette or even sit in it which is a big turnoff from their dealerships in general. On the other hand, if you go to the Porsche dealership and test drive something like say a Boxster, they will practically force you at gunpoint to drive a 911 also, totally different experience and treatment.

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    • RideHeight RideHeight on Aug 13, 2015

      @mopar4wd Ewww... that must have made "professionals like myself" queef.

  • Wmba Wmba on Aug 12, 2015

    "Last year, Cadillac sold 263,697 cars — more than 170,000 of those in the U.S. alone." 170,000 in the US ALONE, eh? What a surprise! Goodness gracious me. Well, it is an American brand after all. Of course, in the first seven months of this year BMW sold over 115,000 vehicles ALONE in the US, compared to 95,000 Cadillacs. In 2014, BMW made over 350,000 X3, X4, X5 and X6 vehicles in Spartanburg, SC. That's 90,000 more than Cadillac made of all its models and it was just SUVs. They exported 70% of those 350,000. Let's not even mention Lexus, who sold 188,000 in the first seven months of this year in the US, more than Cadillac did all last year. Then there's Mercedes-Benz and Audi, and if you stretch a point, Acura and Infiniti. So, if we're realistic, Cadillac is just one giant screw-up from beginning to end and an utter joke to boot. It is merely a large pimple on the skin of worldwide premium car sales. De Nysschen just issues these silly pie-in-the-sky forecast sales notes from time to time to keep the shed-out-back operation that is Cadillac from disappearing completely from the memory of common folk. Still, not a bad gig. Free room and board in New York City, and all the time in the world to think up ways of spending $12 billion on a brand that has not the slightest chance of succeeding. And where the so-called bespoke chassis and engines are quickly farmed out to Chevrolet cars and trucks in order to make an actual return on investment. Sometimes truth is indeed stranger than fiction.

    • Bd2 Bd2 on Aug 13, 2015

      How many models do BMW and MB have? Cadillac doesn't have "4-door coupes", fastbacks, sport crossovers (or whatever they are called), much less a full basic crossover lineup (or sedan as of yet). As for Lexus, the bulk of what they sell are cheaper, FWD-based models which really is the provence of Buick.

  • Inside Looking Out Inside Looking Out on Aug 12, 2015

    Apparently TTAC commenters are more experienced in car business than Johan. You guys should start running or simply start car companies instead of wasting time on stupid comments about Cadillac and Tesla. I would be the first in the line to buy your car since it will surely beat competition and make it irrelevant.

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    • Buickman Buickman on Aug 14, 2015

      @VenomV12 knowing a thing or two about the industry, as do many contributors here, is why we are called the B&B and why TTAC is my favorite automotive site. I have a few ideas, but mainly visit to learn.

  • RideHeight RideHeight on Aug 13, 2015

    My question: Which brand receives the greatest number of internet comments per units sold, Cadillac, Scion or Mitsubishi?