By on April 18, 2018

2019 Cadillac XT4

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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128 Comments on “Movin’ Out – Johan de Nysschen Leaves Cadillac Immediately [UPDATE]...”

  • avatar

    Where’s DeadWeight when you need him?


    • 0 avatar

      perfect time for his comeback.

      comeback < "… I hate that word, it's 'return'!"

      • 0 avatar

        Just the third of the trilogy.

        Cadillac: A New Hopeless.
        Cadillac: The Marketeers Strikes Back.
        Cadillac: Return of the Deadweight.

      • 0 avatar

        Don’t call it a comeback
        I’ve been here for years
        I’m rocking my peers
        Puttin’ suckers in fear
        Makin’ the tears rain down like a monsoon
        Listen to the bass go boom

        Don’t you call this a regular jam
        I’m gonna rock this land
        I’m gonna take this itty-bitty world by storm
        And I’m just gettin’ warm

        That Johan and Mary Barra are real brain surgeons. Johan basically crafted an idiotic plan, the equally brilliant Mary Barra paid 12 billion dollars for it, saw it go sideways in the worst possible way (ATS, 3rd gen CTS, CT6…and now, EVEN Escalade sales are falling YoY), then pretty much wiped their a$$ with 12 billion dollars, and this is the NEW PLAN as predicted by me a long time’ago (the quote below):


        I predicted this in 2015 as I watched Johan-Melody CTLee-Uwe flail around in helpless drowning –

        GM (Mary Barra )’could have saved itself 12 billion USD by canning the Johan and his idiotic plans.

        Here’s what I said and that which I predicted would replace the utter failures that are now the ATS, 3rd gen CTS, CT6, and (now defunct) ELR:

        “XT1 – Rebadged Chevy Spark-based CUV (this can actually be seen in the Cadillac Urban Luxury concept)

        XT2 – Rebadged Chevy Sonic-based CUV

        XT3 – Rebadged Chevy Cruze-based CUV

        XT4 – Rebadged Chevy Malibu-based CUV

        XT5 – *exists*

        XT6 – Rebadged Chevy Impala-based CUV

        Escalade – *exists* – badly outdated, with its 3 advantages of a great V8 in the 6.2, a great sound, and a bold, unabashed presence being outweighed by 1) a abysmal ride quality, 2) abysmal interior space relative to overall exterior dimensions, 3) abysmal reliability (it’s a Guangzhou Motors product, after all), 4) CUE, 5) it’s a blinged out Tahoe/Suburban selling for 35k to 20k more.

        XT7 – Coming with length in 2020, using the same platform/chassis and powertrain from a Chevy, no doubt…

        And there’s your future Cadillac lineup, that ROGER SMITH FROM THE GRAVE WOULD BE EXTREMELY PROUD OF!, brought to market with pleather trim, CUE and the storied Cadillac emblem, now monochromatized and devoid of wreath, to distinguish CADILLAC (“standard of the world”) from its less “prestigious”Guangzhou Motors siblings…./SARC


        GENERAL MOTORS GENIUS, SINCE THE 1970s (GM went from 50% market share in the late 1960s to 15% today).


        Johan was a moron, brought on by an equally moronic Mary Barra (blessed with the backing of te U.S. Government/Taxpayer), who tried to mold Cadillac into the image of Audi and Infinity – which is his one-trick circus.

        One would have to struggle mightily to find a corporation in all of history (even with Guangzhou Motors being bailed out by the public, involuntarily), that’s as completely, hopelessly incompetent as GM.

        Cadillac represents 1 out of 20 sales (5%) for Guangzhou Motors, yet Mary Barra gave Johan a 12 billion dollar blank check for his idiotic vision 2020 wet dream (500,000 Cadillacs sold by 2020); with that 12 billion USD representing about 31% of GM’s total, global outlay for product development for ALL BRANDS GLOBALLY through 2020.

        And now, the icing on the cake is that GM lifers (as incompetent by definition, if not more so, than Johan), are the crack team now charged with trying to rescue Clack-i-lack.

        GM, and particularly, the Cadillac division, have their a$$ exposed more than nearly any other automaker just in time for the next, inevitable, deep cyclical downturn in motor vehicle sales.

        I take no joy in Guangzhou Motors total and complete failure in applying rational analyses to the auto market, its inability to design and build truly world-competitive, reliable, desirable products/vehicles, and keeping a long-standing tradition alive of employing some of the dumbest mother****ing executives in the history of the auto industry, particular because Guangzhou Motors is now a de facto SOE.

        Cadillac’s total and complete failure, and reversion to the Cadillac of Roger Smith v2.0, is a tragedy worthy of Greek Literature.

    • 0 avatar

      Was DW banned?

  • avatar
    Felix Hoenikker

    Cueing Deadweight

  • avatar

    OMG this is the funniest thing I have heard all year.

    Baghdad Johann signing off!

  • avatar

    Best. News. Ever! Good riddance.

    Now, let’s see if they can finally stop aspiring to be BMW and focus on Cadillac once again building Cadillacs.

    • 0 avatar

      I’m thinking the same thing, except for they were trying to be Audi. Get out of New York, give the cars names that resonate, and build the stuff people want to drive.

      • 0 avatar

        I’d sure love to see those 3 things happen. and can’t start soon enough.

      • 0 avatar

        So in other words, build BMWs, Mercedes, and Audis? Because nobody wants to drive a Cadillac. Other than the Escalade, evidently, and even those buyers are going to Lincoln. Those people have all died. There aren’t enough of those people left to keep Lincoln going, never mind Lincoln AND Cadillac.

        I honestly don’t have a clue what they should do, other than more CUVs seems like an unfortunate no-brainer.

  • avatar

    “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.”

    Nah. This is simply a combination of your products suck and proles be broke, yo.

    Perhaps now an adult will be in charge.

    “especially since he implemented a 10-year plan that was said to include up to five new crossovers.”

    In fairness, I believe this man may just have rubberstamped dysfunctional GM “strategy” and not his own. Counting seems to be his only professional talent.

    • 0 avatar

      Actually quite the OPPOSITE; JdN wanted to do things the proper way in rebuilding the Cadillac brand, but Ren Cen wanted to do things on the cheap and it appears that they got their “Yes-man” in Carlisle.

  • avatar

    Let’s see—this was the guy who changed all of the nomenclatures while at Infiniti for 2 years before he suddenly left for Cadillac.

  • avatar

    So, back to more sensible names?

  • avatar

    That didn’t last long.

  • avatar

    I never understood why Cadillac missed the SUV/crossover switch. GM has a full lineup of utility vehicles at Chevy and GMC – all hot selling. No one thought it would be a good idea to make some Cadillacs out of them? Cadillac should have had 3-4 utility vehicles 10 years ago, but instead we are still waiting.

  • avatar

    “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.””

    He had nothing to do with the current product strategy or Chinese sales. The next leg of products he may be credited for some influence on but the product cycles which debuted since 2015 were underway long before his arrival. JdN could be credited with spending big bucks to move to posh NYC, but I feel he is more pragmatic and one of the idiots underneath him hatched this one. JdN can’t even take credit for the stupid model name strategy, he simply added numbers to the mess he found. Johann is simply a calculator in disguise :D

    In fairness, he was up against a tsunami of fail but his claim to fame seems to be I added numbers to model names at Audi. The repeat of this brilliance has not succeeded for Infiniti and Cadillac. Perhaps, Audi succeeded for reasons other than model names and this man really can’t take credit for sh!t?



    • 0 avatar
      Tim Healey

      Whether he had anything to do with sales success in China or current product strategy is debatable. What isn’t debatable is that the numbers were good during his time there. That’s factual. How much credit/blame he gets for successes and failures, that’s subjective.

      • 0 avatar

        China numbers were good. US numbers were not.

        He was also the genius that publically stated he wanted to get rid of the Escalade (which might literally be the most profitable vehicle in existence) and was against a future FWD Cadillac sedan even though GM likely needs that for their glorious China sales to remain glorious.

        • 0 avatar

          Cadillac sales, in an overall ebullient market during he same time frame, have fallen precipitously from 2013 to 2017, in the United States.

          The whole “Cadillac has grown sales in China” is a weak-a$$ attempt to excuse away and deflect from both Johan’s and Mary’s gross incompetence (Buick sales and VW sales have also done really well in China over the last 5 years, too, as well as JUST ABOUT EVERY OTHER MAKE – just wait until China has a downturn).

      • 0 avatar

        “What isn’t debatable is that the numbers were good during his time there.”

        Cadillac sales in USDM declined 8% YoY from 2016 to 2017, the brand’s home market, whereas they increased 50.8% percent in China and 10.1% in R.O.W..

        These sales figures are based on product which the man had little to no impact on developing. His primary role was PR, strategic planning, and some say in next cycle product development. Johann did not move his base of operations to PRC and personally conduct a sales campaign to help achieve a 50.8% increase in sales, nor did he do the same from Manhattan to help stem the 8% loss. This is not his role.

        Arguing you are responsible for the organization you inherited having a success or failure is specious. Using your logic, the President can be credited with the DOW Jones run from 17,888 to 26,616. So are you asserting Trump somehow had a real hand in creating all of that wealth or agree he simply takes credit for something good he had no control over?

        I reiterate, Johann was not in place long enough to have an impact on the current product cycle. He cannot be credited or demeaned for it. His primary contributions were department reorganization, propaganda, [poor] staffing choices, strategic direction, and perhaps could have directly contributed to the next product cycle.

        This site had some data on Chinese sales by model which I found interesting:


        Very true, and some products are unique to China which skews the sales figure comparisons. The Chinese also have a completely different type of economy and price structure. The ATS-L for example has/had a trim called 28T Elite which cost 338,800 Yuan, or, $53999.64. The USDM MY17 ATS started at $34,595. If the ATS-L sold here at that price, I doubt it would sell well, or if the ATS-L sold at the USDM pricing, it would sell better. Its not quite apples and oranges but it is not apples to apples either.

        Another point, the ATS-L is developed and assembled in China. Therefore it could offer completely different motors, trims, and materials which may even be superior to the US version. Same argument, if the USDM model were made of the same materials or had the same assembly, how would this affect sales?

        “The Chinese-market ATS-L is assembled by SAIC-GM in Shanghai.”


        My point exactly.

        • 0 avatar
          Tim Healey

          Yes, I meant Chinese numbers. Sorry for being unclear. Also, I am not saying de Nysschen automatically gets credit for the good that happened under his watch — as I said, it’s debatable whether he should get credit or it was just a coincidence that was fortunate for him.

          All I was saying is that some good things happened during his time there. I was not crediting him — again, it’s debatable, and many observers don’t credit him. I just want to be clear that I was citing things that aren’t in dispute — debate his impact all you want. That’s what the comments are here for!

        • 0 avatar

          ‘Why am I reminded of the 3 Series GT, a car that looks just lost in the USA…oh yes, that’s the three in China for people who are Driven, as opposed to those who drive. I’m off to look up the ATS-L

          Welcome Back DW. You know, Caddy came out with a new CUV, right ?

          • 0 avatar

            The XT4 is a CUV version of the Malibu, aka the Chevy Equinox.

            This new CUV will only further cement Cadillac’s deeply entrenched reputation as a designer and producer of absolute mediocrity; I type this as I literally am watching a commercial for the Cadillac XT5 (an upgrade from the XT4 but still a total badge-job ripoff from another Chevy) being advertised for $269/month with $1,600 down at lease signing.

            Let’s be clear here: If Cadillac is ever to again become what it pretends and projects to be (a true luxury vehicle producer), and build up a true and enduring reputation as a designer and producer of luxurious, high-quality, refined, reliable, and desirable vehicles, drawing top $$$ sales and genuine customer satisfaction as such, it needs to stop the badge jobs that share Chevy/Buick/GMC drivetrains, powerplants (with few exceptions such as the 6.2, even if there are now alleged problems already surfacing re the 6.2, and there are), suspensions, and GM interior/exterior bin parts shared with the rest of GM’s divisions (I can’t wait to review the XT4 to see just how closely it feels to Equinox/Terrain, even loaded up with Cadillac window dressing).

            Mercedes has recently gone down this road with the GLA/GLC, and it’s going to severely hurt their credibility and luxury bona fides, ultimately (even if Cadillac can’t touch their genuine product such as the S Class in terms of refinement, suspension, interior, quality of materials or fit/finish, or dealership experience).

            Cadillac’s HQ should be moved back to Michigan, where there’s great substance and depth in engineering talent and an abundance of high quality suppliers, even if GM has thus far failed to tap into the right pool of talent in terms of competent individuals or choosing the top notch suppliers (the whole “[Y]ou can’t beat our low-bid supply contracts from Chinese suppliers and can’t wait 120-180 days for payment?” bullsh!t with GM is crazy and needs to stop, especially when it comes to Cadillac).

            If Cadillac wants to be taken seriously in flyover country (it’s not) AND on the coasts (it’s definitely not), it needs to seriously up every aspect of its product line, in terms of differentiation, and in putting out seriously bold, refined, high’quality vehicles, that aren’t viewed any longer as giant pieces of typical, rebadged General Motors sh!t, serviced by middling (at best) or rat-tat dealerships.

            Cadillac, before and during JdN’s tenure, tried to market instead of make its way out of its rat hole, viewing its issues far more as a perception rather than engineering issue (even when the Cadillac in question had a unique chassis/architecture, it was riddled with quality control issues, plagued by lack of refinement in NVH and ride quality, and suffered serious reliability woes, in addition to suffering pricing and packaging – interior space and bundled options – issues).

            Cadillac is one of the least reliable makes of vehicles according to the best and most comprehensive/credible surveys.

            Given their current pricing (way too high, particularly on leases) and reputation (extremely poor), fixing this problem should be a priority.

            They then can tackle the other things referenced, such as top-notch materials, best-in-class NVH and ride attributes,’cutting edge aesthetic design and ergonomics, and engine choices that put them at an advantage versus their desired competition (Mercedes, Lexus, Audi and BMW).

    • 0 avatar

      The only Audis that ever had names that I can remember are the Fox (which was the Audi 80 everywhere else) and the Quattro Coupe. The rest always had numbers and letters. He just changed them to different numbers and letters. I don’t think A4 A6 is a particular improvement over 80, 90, 100, 200.

      So what did this clown ever actually accomplish other than being at the right place at the right time to take credit for something he probably had little to do with.

    • 0 avatar

      Actually, the decision to move HQ to NYC came before JdN joined Cadillac (Uwe Ellinghaus) and JdN was the one who made the aggressive move to build a Cadillac plant in China when sales didn’t warrant it (Lincoln, took the safer “wait and see” approach) which paid off big time.

      It was a risk that JdN had to take b/c GM’s Board was unwilling to fund new product (even the XT4) w/o greater sales projections than what the NA market would bring.

      JdN’s successor will likely get the credit for the XT4, XT6 and the following new product from Cadillac (that is under development and was greenlit by JdN), but it was JdN who primed Cadillac for a comeback.

  • avatar

    Did Trump fire him?

  • avatar

    Great, so where I am supposed to get a cappuccino in SoHo now?

  • avatar

    Thank-you God. There is a God.

    I hope they move headquarters to Detroit.
    I hope they use real names.
    I hope they get rid of CUE and use proper knobs.
    I hope they use the fire breathing engine 6.2 liter V8 used in Vette.

    Thank-you God.

  • avatar

    The FWD XTS, which Cadillac had planned to kill at least two years ago, is their best-selling sedan.

    That’s all that really needs to be said

  • avatar

    This feels reminiscent of a struggling baseball team. Find talent, produce the goods on the field, fire the coach if they don’t make the playoffs. One of the big reasons I feel that Cadillac and Lincoln have not made the playoffs or world series for that matter, is that there is a constantly moving target in who we are marketing to, what resources we have available, are we parts bin top trims of lesser vehicles or something special and unique, are we New York or Detroit, Lincoln or Lincoln Motor Company, Catera, CTS or CT6????

    The heritage is gone, left the building. The model names mean absolutely nothing, I bet 90% of the buying public doesn’t know the difference between the XTS and XT5 or that either one of them are even cars for that matter. Caddy builds some beautiful sedans in my opinion, but I have no confidence that any of the models on sale today will be here tomorrow because there is no consistency, no heritage anymore. (See Exhibit A: Cadillac ATS, bye) I have no confidence who the target audience will be next year or if the message the brand attempts to convey will be completely different tomorrow.

    • 0 avatar

      I never truly understood when/why, for practical purposes the sport sedan became synonymous with luxury. Cadillac did best when Cadillac did American Luxury. Behold, the vehicle that most closely embodies American Luxury, the Escalade, is a great performer for them.

      IMO, I think Lutz was right to want to make the Alpha cars Pontiacs. Though then the challenge is to get buyers to pay a premium for a Pontiac which would have been hard a tough sell.

      • 0 avatar

        “I never truly understood when/why, for practical purposes the sport sedan became synonymous with luxury.”

        On da nose.

        Maybe it’s just being 40, rapidly approaching 41 but I want my next vehicle to be whisper quiet and smooth riding. I eagerly read comparisons of the tested interior decibel levels in the auto rags.

        • 0 avatar

          I’m 10 years older than you and while I very much appreciate a quiet car, I want a float barge traditional Cadillac like I want a hole in the head. The Germans have long proved that you can have quiet, comfortable, and athletic at the same time. Which is why Mercedes, BMW, and Audi are the top of the luxury heap. A Lexus LS is probably as close to a trad American barge as you can get today, but hardly anyone buys those either.

          I think the Escalade succeeds because there are people who like obnoxious, and it is about the biggest, blingiest, most obnoxious vehicle on the road. At least until the new Navigator showed up, which seems to be stealing that crown.

          I think the Lincoln Continental pretty well proves there is very little market for traditional style American barges. And making it a RWD V8 wouldn’t move the needle in the slightest, because everyone who actually cares is on TTAC and won’t buy one anyway.

      • 0 avatar

        It’s not that difficult to understand, this happened in the 80-ties as Boomer generation stopped being “youth” and became adults “sporty” adults as opposed to their parents. Sport in all forms and guises took off as a spectator or participant activity.

        • 0 avatar

          It was really M-B that did in Cadillac and Lincoln by offering a true luxury car engineered better than than the US cars and more exclusive than either with no commonality with down market brands. BMW and Audi have picked up in M-B trail. Lexus seems more similar to the US brands in that it’s open association with the Toyota brand/products diminishes it’s exclusivity as a true luxury product. The days of Cadillac or Lincoln being a top-tier luxury brand are long gone.

          • 0 avatar

            MB, BMW and Audi hurt Cadillac and Lincoln, but Acura stuck a dagger in both their hearts in the 90s, and building off of its inception in 1988, Lexus with the LS400 dropped kicked that knife handle through their backside (the Acura attacked them from below, while the big, MB S-like LS400 ravaged them from above).

            Nothing was ever the same since.

            I’d venture that 90%+ of people that once drove Cadillacs and Lincolns defected permanently to the Germans and Japanese (I’d venture that maybe 96%+ of people that went to Lexus in the very late 80s/early 90s NEVER WENT BACK TO A DOMESTIC BIG 3 VEHICLE, EVER, even if they alternated between Lexus, Acura, MB, Audi, etc thereafter).

        • 0 avatar

          Yes, we know when “sport sedans” became popular. CUVs are popular, but they aren’t necessarily “luxury”. At a certain point it seems that “luxury” went from purchasing pure opulence to simply “pay more”. The luxury became what was paid rather than what was bought.

          I would hardly consider BMWs south of a 7 Series a “luxury car”, certainly in the 80’s an 90s. Even now, they offer practically nothing that mainstream brands don’t offer, including exclusivity, except the privilege to pay more.

          This is where Cadillac lost sight and basically copied the BMW formula. People who want a BMW will buy one, a small percentage will defect for a lower price.

          At this point, Cadillac should refocus on the top tiers only and completely forget about the bottom where they will only compete with Buick and leathered Chevrolets. Volume be damned. Luxury isn’t about volume, it’s about precisely the opposite.

          Sadly, GM doesn’t think this way.

  • avatar

    At age 58, Johan de Nysschen needs just two or three more gigs from credulous automakers to make it to retirement age, having achieved precisely nothing of import. Taking credit where none was due, he parlayed non-achievement into a lucrative career. Next preferred stop – Tesla.

  • avatar

    Like so many other corporate bozo’s, he will find a way to land on his feet. At his level a title means more than a history of success.

    Meanwhile, the Escalade still has a live rear axle…product matters more than branding.

  • avatar
    Richard Chen

    Mark Fields came up with a plan to save Lincoln from Mulally’s axe, and we’re seeing the product after his departure. Guessing here that de Nysschen’s impact on product is also yet to come.

    • 0 avatar

      Richard he is developing a V8 engine when GM already has one of the great V8s in the world. He is renaming vehicles again. He again wants to develop a car above CT6 when CT6 was supposed to be that. He spent money moving headquarters of a automobile company to a city that you can hardly drive at. He distanced his vehicles from their American legacy.

      You know what, if you want to see how little substance he has, look at the instrument gauge for ATS and base CTS. It looks like a Berretta’s. A real car CEO would have changed that in one year, when GM has so many better instrument gauges they could use (or just use the CTS premium instrument gauge).

      The emperor had no clothes. It is high time to admit. And I am sure even his GM bosses finally had to admit this guy is full of it. Good riddance.

  • avatar

    GM has a way of making people disappear without a trace like only an old-school evil corporation can. Remember Joel Ewanick, the hero who “saved” Hyundai? He came over to GM and promptly disappeared.

    I do think Johan’s dismissal has less to do with the performance of the Cadillac brand, and more he just pissed off the wrong higher-up at GM with that mouth of his.

    I appreciated his boldness and candor, but he was one notch too high with all his bluster.

  • avatar

    DW called he would like to comment but he is too busy dancing naked in the streets.

    I really do not get all the hate for this guy, except for DW, it must be personal

    He turned things around at Infinity they sell more stuff now than before I believe

    he goes to Caddy and tries to shake things up no small task at GM or Caddy, they produced some very good cars , like the ATS that the public did not warm up to, he had a lot of headwind to drive against, Caddy sales are up on his watch, perhaps by luck, perhaps by China but they are up. Did caddy do everything right, hell no but is he leaving the place in a better place than he found it I would say yes.

    Yes most hear want the old caddy back , but we are not the real world, if everyone wanted big, named cars w history that scream America Lux Lincoln would not be scrapping the Continental now would they??

    I am not a fanboy of his but I do not get all the hate.

    • 0 avatar

      I’m with you on this.

      I don’t envy anyone trying to sell second tier luxury here in the US, I think Sisyphus would have gladly kept rolling that stone rather than take that on…

      I, like others, don’t care for the nomenclature. I would like to see model names return to cars, ALL cars. We have so many variations of the [letter][number] or [number][letter][number] or [number][letter] scheme that some cars are just unknown to me. Infiniti and Audi both have Qxx cars in their line up, I’ve lost track and no longer care.

      Let see if the new boss is the same as the old boss…

    • 0 avatar

      Shhh…EVERYONE bought a Continental. Didn’t you know?

    • 0 avatar

      I think the issue boils down to the strategic decision to fill the sedan pipeline first at a time when the luxury market was quite obviously moving rapidly toward *UVs. China helped make that decision look a bit less awful, but it was still awful. By developing the CT6 before an XT7, JdN left many millions on the table.

    • 0 avatar

      The problem with the Continental is that it looks just like an MKZ.

  • avatar

    Not exactly unexpected.

  • avatar

    Not only Billy Joel wrote about Cadillac. there is “on the backseat of your Cadillac” and “Geronimo’s Cadillac”, “Pink Cadillac”, “Black Cadillac”

    will johan de nysschen stop for a cup of tea?

  • avatar

    The sad thing is, it’s probably too late.

    When it comes to new segments, it’s much better to be early and OK, than late and great. From a business standpoint, the whole Alpha sedan lineup should have been Epsilon based crossovers, with only the CTS as their sedan, on whatever platform. 4 years in a booming market down the drain, just as we head into tightening credit and climbing gas prices. Good job JdN…. sorry, I meant GOOD RIDDANCE

  • avatar

    Looks like Mary Barra is much less afraid than a certain reality cheeto to say “You’re Fired!”

    • 0 avatar

      I would wager he left on his own and upper management was not prepared for it. My speculation is either it is simply too dysfunctional above his head (or perhaps he was being micromanaged) or he’s really an idiot and his ruse was being uncovered (better to quit and make up sh!t than be fired/blackballed).

      • 0 avatar

        The tone of the communications around voluntary resignations from big public companies is very different from this. This was a forced departure, no doubt about it.

  • avatar

    The time was good for Nysschen in 2014 because Lexus just introduced their spindle grill and people want more luxury status cars. Nysschen came in with the opposite strategy of what the market wanted however. He want all Cadillac’s to be BMW performance fighters at the same time .BMW models were going more luxurious! In addition, people were heading into truck based SUV like the Escalade which Nysschen wanted to renamed. Nysschen was a car guy not a SUV, crossover fan and never understood the U.S. marketplace trends until 2016!

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    The author described Caddy a “global success”. I fail to see Caddy as a global success …… China?

    How would the author describe the German prestige marques?

  • avatar

    Smith and Gerosa could come back since reporting is now quarterly~

  • avatar

    JdN did a reasonable job, in my opinion. Unfortunately, his tenure was plagued by many inexcusable failures.

    Dare Greatly was an epic fail. The base interior in the XT5 is an epic fail. Lack of V8 power in the CT6 was an epic fail. CUE’s linger problems were an epic fail.

    I’m not sure to what degree any of these missteps were JdN’s fault, but it was obvious someone would feel the wrath of the investor groups.

  • avatar

    Hate the move to Manhattan. Terrible idea. Has not and will not fix Cadillac’s problems and I’ll venture the possibility Cadillac loses touch with it’s advantages.

  • avatar

    GM excuses > HRC, market share Arkansided.

    Russia behind Alpha Numerics, JdN Career 187



  • avatar

    “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.”

    Cadillac has a long history of speeding up timelines and screwing up product launches, one more would not have mattered.

    1981 – V4-6-8 (368ci)
    1982 – 4100 (which was not even designed for RWD applications)
    1993 – Northstar
    1997 – Catera
    2003 – Catera 2.0
    2014 – ATS (the whole thing)
    2014 – ELR

    Johann did not look at the above list and become all noble to the cause. He was tired of the people above him for whatever reason. His visible strategy was window dressing and propaganda. He tried to put lipstick on a pig not of his making with little success. He did not cull the 933 dealers as he needed too, and when he pushed whatever Pinnacle was supposed to be they rebelled. He tried to convince us his marque was somehow bad-ass and sporting, when it is exactly the opposite. I want to give the man the benefit of the doubt because I understand the position he was in, but I get this feeling he’s just a huckster – a smart one – but huckster nonetheless.

    Essentially, in my view a Elon Musk-light is needed if RenCen wants to turn it around, not a Dutch accountant with the charisma of Bob Dole.

    Here’s your shortlist to do so (or some combination thereof in committee):

    1. Deadweight.
    2. BTSR.
    3. PrincipalDan.
    4. Buickman.
    5. Myself.

    • 0 avatar

      I am honored to be mentioned. I would certainly place you higher on the list than I.

      Committee might work. We’ll let Buickman do the marketing since he’s long claimed that marketing/sales is GMs biggest problem.

    • 0 avatar

      I support this list and think you should ALL be hired to form a steering committee. However, the spokesperson HAS TO BE deadweight.

    • 0 avatar

      Cadillac’s winning comeback is more achievable than the morons at GM would lead one to believe.

      Okay, here’s the successful recipe for the truly luxurious vehicle cake, that I gave -‘for free (gratis)- to the massively overpaid GM imbecilic execs 4 years ago:

      1) PLUSH riding vehicles over any road surface. Just achieve it. No excuses or compromises.

      2) As solid as a bank vault (carved from a single block of titanium feel). Just achieve it.. No excuses or compromises (35,000 NM/degree torsional rigidity or greater in every vehicle).

      3) As quiet inside as a fortress of solitude, even at speed.p (unless the windows are down, to let occupants soak up the deep and glorious V8 soundtrack, as piped through a properly throaty exhaust).

      4) Genuinely awesome interior materials inside, whether wood, metal or leather, genuinely precisely sourced, crafted and installed.

      5) Enough motor under the hood to outrace any hurricane or Mad Max-style posse.

      6) More elbow, hip, leg, head, shoulder and any other room to seat a minimum of 4 to 7 (depending on vehicle) people in first-class style comfort.

      7) Top of the chart, consistent reliability.

      8) A stress-free buying/leasing & ownership experience from the 1st to last day. NO STRESS FOR CUSTOMERS, and even a lot of unexpected and bountiful good will for non-warranty claims (i.e those who may have “run outta warranty coverage,” but are stuck with a problematic vehicle that slipped through the otherwise stout QC process, or have an issue that’s part of a pattern).


      *Cadillac will lose money (a lot of it, especially if they price to conquest Mercedes/Lexus/BMW/Audi owners so as to prove their newfound, inherent strength and quality of their vehicles) for many quarters and for some years executing this, but they’ll rebuild their badly tarnished brand, reputation, and respectability that will begin to pay off in spades within 3 to 5 years, and will endure if they keep this up, and lead to serious sales’volume (relative to other luxury marques), and lead to long-term, consistent profitability and customer satisfaction, which is what the entire automotive end game is all about.

      *This won’t happen; GM executive structure and corporate culture won’t allow for it.

  • avatar

    De Nysschen sucked

    Audi was and is a success w/o him

    His Cadillac performance was terrible

    when does Melody leave

    • 0 avatar

      Melody became head of the subscription program last fall.

    • 0 avatar

      JdN raised Cadillac’s profit margins and ATP in the US, and put Cadillac in place to achieve record global sales this year.

      And that’s despite the poor hand that he was given by the prior regime.

      Also, can’t really judge JdN’s record at Cadillac until the models that were greenlit by him hit the lots (starting with the XT4).

  • avatar

    IMO De Nysschen ruined Cadillacs reputation and history when he started naming everything XTWhatever. I understand he was trying to be different, just as Lincoln was doing, but to diss Cadillacs heritage by trying to become like BMW, made them look weak and pathetic. Be original and be who you are, if selling hundreds of thousands of Cadillacs to old people work for so many years, why change up the strategy?

    Most young people are broke, and aren’t making as much money like there parents did because the cost of living and inflation has skyrocketed for everyone in the last decade. So they can’t really afford the $50,000+ Cads like an older gentleman can. What they failed to do was to build a truly comfortable sedan that older people would love to own. Former Caddy owners are now probably buying a mid size Camry or Sonata because they rise better than a rock hard ATS and a rock hard CTS. Even the XTS/Impala’s ride is nowhere near the smoothness and gentleness of Cadillacs from the 90’s and 2000’s like the DTS.

    So that’s where they messed up. Another screwy thing they (GM) continue to fail at, is building Cadillacs that are truly unique to the brand and aren’t shared across different platforms. We all know this, Ford is guilty too with Lincoln, but the parts sharing is so severe with American car brands that they make it too obvious that their cars are no different than their typical Ford and Chevy counter parts.

    I know we’ll never see the big ole Caddy’s we all love from the 50’s-70’s being built in the future ever again. So that is why I own a couple classic ones myself to remind me of when Cadillac was truly Cadillac. Long wheelbase, monster of a car gliding down the highway in total silence and surpreme comfort with that big hood ornament to direct you to your destination. Not this half ass attempt to be something that it’s not. Cadillac has been dead to me since around 79, the last of the cool ones with beautiful, ultra plush interiors, like how a Cadillac should be.

    • 0 avatar

      i agree with much of what you wrote.

      As many did, I grew up with almost exclusively GM cars in every tier of my family. And for me, there were certainly a few Cadillac’s past ’79 that worked for me. Unfortunately, across the 80s, 90s, 2000s, time and time again, many had great things going for them in one dept. and then blew it all in another. Example: 1979-’85 Eldorado styling that dreams were made of, but then throwing in the HT4100 from ’82-’85, deal-breaker. Later in 90s, last couple gen Sevilles, great looking, well executed, ruined yet again by a horrid, troublesome, unreliable drivetrain and GMs awful cheap-ass interiors, plastics and buttons in that era.

      Overall, what seems to have become typical GM fashion from the Roger Smith 80s thru some still today, (see; CT6). Put out a new car, compromise on alot, especially key things like a drivetrain, then spend the model run improving it. Once it’s a decent or even great car, discontinue it and start the cycle over again.

      There really is no reason that Cadillac can’t build a Cadillac again, but to fit what today’s version should be… yet, they don’t, and so far, won’t.

      I’m not calling for wire wheel covers, padded Elk Grain vinyl tops, 9″ thick velour pillows on the seats, or 21 wreath/crest emblems on one vehicle. Take the best in design/feel from the amazing most recent concepts they’ve put out, (hell, even the Sixteen is still a looker), along with a car like the 300C Platinum. That would be a great baseline vehicle to build off of to create a modern Cadillac.

      I guess that’s why there aren’t 2 Cadillacs in my garage when there would be. Instead, a new Chrysler 300S AWD, and a 1979 Cadillac.

      I came so close to a new XTS AWD. It def has one of their better executed interiors, but the center-stack design, lack of real buttons/knobs & CUE turned me off. Styling-wise, the XTS pulled me in 2 directions, but what won out was that it is strangely bulbous with ‘weird/off’ proportions. Something that seems to have been avoided in the Impala and previous LaCrosse.

      I wanted a Cadillac again for the new DD, but just too many things wrong (engine/trans offerings, CUE, haptic ‘buttons’, mismatched, poorly executed, cheap interior materials, stale art/science design, to name a few), with new offerings for me to make the move. it’s sad really.

      Instead of wanting the next new Cadillac, upon any announcement of the current LX 300’s going away, I’m planning to hit the Chrysler Dealer once again, and order up a full-tilt 300S/C to own, what looks like will be, the very last of a breed. I’d have the Hemi, but it’s honestly not needed, and moreover, I’d give up their awesome, (IMO best around), AWD setup.
      (And, thanks again to DW for steering me to the Chrysler dealer to check out the 300s. I seriously love my car.)

      As it stands right now, for me anyhow… I’m enjoying each car for what it is and have a bit of the best of both worlds.

  • avatar

    When asked to leave, leave. Simple.

  • avatar

    Y’know where the Caddy HQ needs to be? Oklahoma City. Midwest. Heart of Flyover Country. *Then* they’ll understand their target market.

    I continue to believe that the reason the Escalade sells so well is because it’s the only Caddy that kinda sorta embodies traditional Cadillac values: style without regard to social convention, i.e.- “I have made it”-style; big engines and good sound; great ride (well, not so much in the current Escalade, but better than the rest of the line-up).

    The Lincoln Continental and the Lexus ES are the best Cadillacs on the market these days.
    Yeah, the old sales base is aging. But there will always be a market for super-comfy land yachts that soothe away your cares.

    Traditionally, Oldsmobile and Buick men were still striving, still comparing the size of their Wang Chungs. They have been exactly replaced by 3-Series and E-Class owners. But the Cadicallac man isn’t striving anymore, isn’t competing, has nothing left to prove. The Cadillac man isn’t in a hurry, because wherever he’s going others are waiting on him. That was the ethos and can be again.

    Give the cars real names, larger-than-life Vegas styling, huge power from V8 or V12 engines, blah blah we’ve all said it to death. But the market is not on the coasts; it’s in the Heartland.

    • 0 avatar

      Caboose: “Y’know where the Caddy HQ needs to be? Oklahoma City. Midwest. Heart of Flyover Country. *Then* they’ll understand their target market.”

      Great post. Cadillac is not Audi, and the people who buy them are not aspiring Mercedes owners.

  • avatar

    I really don’t understand why someone like Cadillac doesn’t throw an old school body on a truck chassis, make it CUV ride height, make it tough and stout, and a have really comfy ride. Hire a few Lexus LS engineers to up the build quality and charge 50-60K. I guarantee a lot of sales on either side of the Pacific.

    Build in Detroit and be proud of it. This strategy worked well US auto companies for quite awhile.

  • avatar

    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

  • avatar

    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”

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