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New Cadillac Chief Says No to Cutting Prices in Spite of Slow Sales

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 9/16/2014 Alex Nishimoto

Newly appointed Cadillac boss Johan de Nysschen said the brand has no plans to lower its prices to improve U.S. sales, which have been lackluster despite critical acclaim for many of its recent products.

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"We cannot deny the fact that we are leaving behind our traditional customer base," de Nysschen told Automotive News. "It will take several years before a sufficiently large part of the audience who until now have been concentrating on the German brands will find us in their consideration set." Audi CEO Johan de Nysschen© Provided by MotorTrend Audi CEO Johan de Nysschen

Around 73 percent of Cadillac's global sales in 2013 came from the U.S. Sales volume in that market fell 5 percent through August, despite a gain of 8 percent for luxury brands as a whole that same month. Some Cadillac dealers and analysts see Caddy's pricing strategy as the problem, as the lineup is currently priced to go head to head with the likes of BMW and Mercedes.

But de Nysschen is confident in the brand's offerings, saying that the ATS and CTS are "segment-leading" in design, craftsmanship, and driving dynamics. He believes legacy buyers turned off by the higher stickers will eventually be replaced by import buyers, who will turn to Cadillac as it enhances its brand appeal with a better customer experience and a more fleshed-out portfolio. 2015 Cadillac ATS Coupe© Provided by MotorTrend 2015 Cadillac ATS Coupe

"Either you have to bring your volume aspirations into alignment with reality and accept that you will sell fewer cars," de Nysschen said to AN. "Or you have to drop the price and continue to transact at the prices where you were historically… I think the logical conclusion is that it's better to build off a very solid base in terms of [product] credibility, charge a fair price for the car and realize you have to wait until the volume comes."

De Nysschen has reportedly been given more authority than any Cadillac chief in recent years. His areas of oversight will include sales and dealer network development, product planning, and marketing. He'll even have "critical input" on engineering and design. One of de Nysschen's primary objectives is to grow Cadillac in China, with a goal of doubling sales in 2015 to around 100,000 vehicles. 2015 Cadillac ATS Coupe© Provided by MotorTrend 2015 Cadillac ATS Coupe

According to Automotive News, de Nysschen intends to remain at Cadillac for the balance of his career. He estimates it will take between 10 and 15 years for Cadillac to regain the prestige it formerly enjoyed.

Source: Automotive News (Subscription required)

2015 Cadillac ATS Coupe© Provided by MotorTrend 2015 Cadillac ATS Coupe
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