Movin' Out - Johan De Nysschen Leaves Cadillac Immediately [UPDATE]

Tim Healey
by Tim Healey
movin out johan de nysschen leaves cadillac immediately update

There’s a Billy Joel lyric about trading a Chevy for a Cadillac. That same song talks about movin’ up and movin’ out.

Well, under Johan de Nysschen’s leadership, Cadillac traded Detroit for New York City for its global headquarters, saw global sales rise to levels not seen in 30 years thanks to China, and implemented a new naming strategy.

Now de Nysschen is moving out himself — he will be replaced by Steve Carlisle, who will be serving as the new senior vice president and president for Cadillac. Carlisle leaves GM Canada, where Travis Hester replaces him as president and managing director. Hester was formerly vice president of global product programs.

There’s no word on why, just a standard boilerplate quote from GM president Dan Ammann thanking de Nysschen for his service. There appears to be no public comment from de Nysschen. We’ve reached out to Cadillac for further comment but they have not replied as of this writing.

De Nysschen was hired as Cadillac’s boss in July 2014 after working for Audi and Infiniti.

Despite Cadillac’s global success, the brand was struggling to generate sales in the U.S. That’s likely due in part to a lineup that has been car-heavy during a time of an extreme shift in buying habits toward crossovers and SUVs. The venerable Escalade SUV has carried a lot of the sales load while the brand works to build more crossovers, such as the upcoming XT4.

U.S. sales in 2017 were down 8 percent from the previous year. Not only does Caddy currently offer just two vehicles in the crossover and SUV category — the XT5 and Escalade — but it has a smaller lineup in general than its rivals.

This doesn’t mean de Nysschen’s exit is necessarily product or sales related, especially since he implemented a 10-year plan that was said to include up to five new crossovers.

Nor does it mean a move back to Detroit for Cadillac — GM hasn’t mentioned that one way or the other.

We’ll keep an eye out for more information, as this is a story that is still developing.

UPDATE: It appears a disagreement over the timetable for product launches prompted the departure. Automotive News reports via Bloomberg that de Nysschen said that he and other GM executives agreed to disagree over what he called “philosophical differences.” The report further states that de Nysschen was hesitant to accelerate product plans to match the current market.

Reading between the lines, it suggests to us that Cadillac wanted more crossovers quickly and de Nysschen wasn’t willing to speed up the launch times, for whatever reason.

[Image: Cadillac]

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3 of 128 comments
  • Thornmark Thornmark on Apr 19, 2018

    ok, what will happen to the hipster Cadillac coffee salon? Make Cadillac the old style Am luxury and extend the Denali brand for what they're peddling as Cadillac now

  • TomLU86 TomLU86 on Apr 19, 2018

    I think deadweight has nailed it. Would he accept the job? One more item: ALL Cadillacs should have V8s. Even if there is an EPA mpg penalty. Build a proper 3.0 liter V8 if you must. "V8. Because it's a Cadillac"

    • Markmeup Markmeup on Apr 19, 2018

      V8's across the board, varied sizes. if only. wouldn't that be nice. i'm not one to live on hope generally, but, we can dream.

  • SCE to AUX Toyota the follower, as usual. It will be 5 years before such a vehicle is available.I can't think of anything innovative from them since the Gen 1 Prius. Even their mythical solid state battery remains vaporware.They look like pre-2009 General Motors. They could fall hard.
  • Chris P Bacon I've always liked the looks of the Clubman, especially the original model. But like a few others here, I've had the Countryman as a rental, and for the price point, I couldn't see spending my own money on one. Maybe with a stick it would be a little more fun, but that 3 cylinder engine just couldn't provide the kick I expected.
  • EBFlex Recall number 13 for the 2020 Explorer and the 2020 MKExplorer.
  • CEastwood Every time something like this is mentioned it almost never happens because the auto maker is afraid of it taking sales away from an existing model - the Tacoma in this instance . It's why VW never brought the Scirrocco and Polo stateside fearful of losing Golf sales .
  • Bca65698966 V6 Accord owner here. The VTEC crossover is definitely a thing, especially after I got a performance tune for the car. The loss of VTEC will probably result in a slower vehicle overall for one reason: power under the curve. While the peak horsepower may remain the same, the amount of horsepower and torque up to that peak may be less overall. The beauty of variable cam lift is not only the ability to gain more power at upper rpm’s on the “big cam”, but the ability to gain torque down low on the “small cam”. Low rpm torque gets the vehicle moving and then big horsepower at upper rpm’s gains speed. Having only one cam profile is now introducing a compromise versus the VTEC setup. I guess it’s possible that with direct injection they are able to keep the low rpm torque there (I’ve read that DI helps with low rpm torque) but I’m skeptical it will match a well tuned variable lift setup.