Published: Wed, April 18, 2018
Money | By Armando Alvarado

Cadillac President Johan de Nysschen Abruptly Fired And Replaced

Cadillac President Johan de Nysschen Abruptly Fired And Replaced

Johan de Nysschen said Wednesday he would exit immediately and would be replaced by Steve Carlisle, who's been president of GM Canada since late 2014.

The company says Steve Carlisle will replace Johan de Nysschen, who is leaving effectively immediately as head of the Cadillac group. A few months later he moved the brand's headquarters from Detroit to NY in an effort to boost Cadillac's image and attract younger buyers.

Johan de Nysschen previously headed Infiniti's American arm for two years, where he also oversaw the brand's nameplate change to much criticism and Audi America before that.

"We appreciate Johan's efforts over the last four years in setting a stronger foundation for Cadillac", GM President Dan Ammann said in the press release. Among the brand's German luxury rivals, Audi was up 7.8%, BMW was down 2.4% and Mercedes-Benz was down 0.6%.

Under Carlisle, GM Canada enjoyed an outstanding 2017. Under de Nysschen, Cadillac's worldwide sales expanded from 263,697 in 2014 to 356,467 in 2017 (largely buoyed by an expanding global presence and stellar sales growth in China). "This move will further accelerate our efforts in that regard".

Much to the ire of GM, de Nysschen made the bold decision in 2015 to move Cadillac's headquarters from Detroit to Manhattan.

. He also boldly proclaimed recently that Cadillac would be the technical leader at GM in the future, underscored by the brand's rollout of its Super Cruise automated-driving system past year, but the comment also diminishes Chevrolet, Buick and GMC.

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Still, the brand has been in desperate need of new crossovers and SUVs as consumers abandon passenger cars, such as Cadillac's ailing ATS sedan.

During the South Africa-born executive's tenure, Cadillac underwent drastic changes, which GM executives felt wasn't translating into a revamp of the brand's antiquated image.

Mr. Carlisle said the potential for Cadillac globally is "incredible". His previous position as GM Canada's top brass will be filled by Travis Hester, now vice president of Global Product Programs. "I look forward to building on our current momentum as we continue on our mission to position Cadillac at the pinnacle of luxury".

Carlisle will report to Ammann, GM's No. 2 executive under CEO Mary Barra. Since then, Carlisle has trotted the globe for GM, serving in Asia between 2007 and 2010 and then running global product planning and USA sales operations before returning to Canada as its top executive.

Hester also has an engineering background, having started with GM in 1995 as a technical support engineer at GM's Australian brand Holden.

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