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Johan de Nysschen Explains Big Changes at Cadillac

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 9/30/2014 Kelly Pleskot

Nothing signifies a fresher start than moving to a different city and changing your name. In many ways, that is what Cadillac has done over the past week. As part of a new brand strategy, Cadillac is branching off into a separate business unit to be headquartered in New York starting next year. The brand has also introduced a new CT6 flagship, which will herald in a new naming system for future Cadillac models. Behind these changes is Johan de Nysschen, Cadillac's new president who arrived from Infiniti last month to help bolster the brand's premium image against German giants like BMW and Mercedes-Benz. Lately, Cadillac's new leader has taken to social media to sound off on the recent maelstrom of changes.

nissan-senior-vice-president-for-infiniti-johan-de-nysschen-2© Provided by MotorTrend nissan-senior-vice-president-for-infiniti-johan-de-nysschen-2

Cadillac, a brand named after the man who founded Detroit, has received plenty of flak for moving its headquarters across the country. "The wrath of hell descends upon me, I'm accused of moving the entire company just because I prefer to live in New York," de Nysschen said of the controversy on his Facebook page. He went on to explain: "We must develop corporate processes, policies, mindsets, behaviors, attitudes, which are right sized for Cadillac and which are immersed in focusing on and responding to what it takes to win in the premium segment. No distractions . No side shows. No cross- brand corporate considerations. No homogenized lowest common denominator approach. Just pure, unadulterated, CLASS." He also said that moving the physical location of Cadillac would ultimately bring about a change in procedure, which should help the company moving forward.

Starting off Cadillac's product transformation will be the CT6, the new flagship sedan that is expected to go into production late next year. Cadillac had previously claimed the CT6 will be the "most agile car among in the class of top-level large luxury sedans," but de Nysschen is now clarifying that the flagship is not meant to be positioned against the Mercedes-Benz S-Class, BMW 7 Series, or Audi A8. Instead, he says it will offer similar refinement but more technology and a smaller body. In light of this, we think that the CT6 could rival a BMW Gran Coupe, and that a possible CT8 could end up as an S-Class fighter down the line.

And anyone who had hoped for a revival of the Escalade EXT may be disappointed. "Cadillac will not build a premium truck because the entire concept is an oxymoron. The end," de Nysschen said succinctly.

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