Cadillac president departs as turnaround hits snag

Jeannie Matthews
April 19, 2018

De Nysschen was poached from Infiniti in 2014 after Cadillac had been left out of the broader double-digit growth in the luxury segment.

The automaker said that Johan de Nysschen, Cadillac's now-former president, has been replaced by GM Canada president Steve Carlisle.

Johan de Nysschen, a longtime automotive industry executive, is out the door at Cadillac after four years at the helm of GM's flagship luxury brand.

Though Cadillac's sales are up this year, they slid 8 percent last year.

In media interviews, de Nysschen talked about the shift coming, but Caldwell said the brand didn't move quickly enough to capitalize on it.

Rumors also swirled of a power struggle between GM brass and de Nysschen, who in his trademark bravado moved Cadillac's headquarters from Detroit for the tonier SoHo neighborhood of New York City.

General Motors has just announced a major change within the Cadillac luxury brand. The GM veteran joined the company in 1982 and once served as vice president of USA sales operations. In the years since, the Ontario native has held a number of senior positions within the company, including posts as Global VP of product planning, VP of US sales and Managing Director in southeast Asia.

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It started to rebound with the 2002 launch of the CTS, a more European-style midsize sedan that introduced the brand's edgy "Art & Science" design language.

Carlisle comes to Cadillac from GM Canada, where he served as president and managing director. It gives Cadillac a powerful engine to compete with rivals at the upper end of the auto segment, but was a puzzling investment given the surge in electrification at premium global brands and given Cadillac's inability to compete with higher-volume, lower-displacement powertrains.

Carlisle began his GM career in 1982 as an industrial engineering co-op student at the Oshawa Truck Assembly Plant. "This move will further accelerate our efforts in that regard", Amman continued, sounding like he was displeased with Cadillac's product strategy.

"The potential for Cadillac across the globe is incredible and I'm honored to be chosen to be a part of mapping that future", said Carlisle in a statement.

Mr. Carlisle will be replaced after about 3.5 years on the job by Travis Hester, who will leave his job as vice-president of global product programs for GM.

Getting GM Canada back to leadership in the sales race as of March was one of Mr. Carlisle's highlights, said David Paterson, GM Canada's vice-president of corporate and environmental affairs.

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