General Motors is replacing the head of its Cadillac brand as the luxury lineup struggles to gain traction in the U.S.
The Detroit-based automaker announced Tuesday that it is appointing Steve Carlisle as GM vice president and president of Cadillac, replacing Johan de Nysschen, “who is leaving the company effective immediately.” Carlisle was previously president and managing director of GM Canada.
No details were immediately available about why the move was so abrupt. GM said in a statement that de Nysschen is leaving “to pursue other interests.”
His departure comes as the brand is falling behind its luxury competitors.
Cadillac’s U.S. sales fell 8% in 2017. Among the brand’sGerman luxury rivals, Audi was up 7.8%, BMW was down 2.4% and Mercedes-Benz was down 0.6%. But Toyota luxury brand Lexus fell 7.9%.
GM hiredformer Infiniti brand chief de Nysschen in 2014 in a bid to give Cadillac a boost. Soon thereafter, de Nysschen took the unusual step of moving Cadillac’s headquarters from GM’s base in Detroit to New York in hopes of absorbing an upscale mentality. He also renamed Cadillac models with a mix of letters and numbers, allowing only the Escalade SUV to retain an actual word as its nameplate.
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One bright spot has been China. Cadillac is surging in the world’s largest automotive market, having posted a 51% sales increase in 2017. Last year marked the first year GM sold more Cadillacs to retail customers in China than in the U.S.
Still,the brand has been in desperate need of new crossovers and SUVs asconsumers abandon passenger cars, such as Cadillac’s ailing ATS sedan. The company last month showed off a new crossover called the XT4 at the New York Auto Show.
We appreciate Johans efforts over the last four years in setting a stronger foundation for Cadillac, GM President Dan Ammann said. Looking forward, the world is changing rapidly, and, beginning with the launch of the new XT4, it is paramount that we capitalize immediately on the opportunities that arise from this rate of change. This move will further accelerate our efforts in that regard.
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Olds Motor Works was founded in 1897, the same year it created the first Oldsmobile. General Motors was incorporated in 1908 and Oldsmobile became a part of GM. Here’s a look back at the history of General Motors and its many iconic vehicles. General MotorsFullscreen The first Cadillac’s were produced in 1902 and were modeled after horse drawn carriages. Cadillac became part of General Motors in 1909. General MotorsFullscreen In 1907, the first Oakland automobile was created. The company was soon bought by GM and would become know as Pontiac. General MotorsFullscreen Cadillac placed the first order for closed-body cars in 1910. General MotorsFullscreen The Pontiac brand was introduced in 1926 by General Motors. General MotorsFullscreen The Chevrolet Suburban first came out in 1935 and is one of the longest-running nameplates in production. General MotorsFullscreen Widely regarded as the industry’s first concept car, the Buick Y-Job is a landmark vehicle in automotive history. Constructed in 1938 under the direction of Harley J. Earl, GM’s first design chief, the Y-Job was the first to have retractable headlamps, power windows, power convertible top and integrated side panels. GM, WieckFullscreen The Buick XP-300 was one of two dream cars built in 1951. The original styling and a super-charged engine, helped give way to a new era of cars. General MotorsFullscreen The 1951 Le Sabre concept car set the trend for the 50s. General MotorsFullscreen In 1953, Chevrolet rolled out its first sports car, the Chevy Corvette. General Motors.Fullscreen General Motors produced the first Cadillac Eldorado in 1953 and it was used in President Dwight Eisenhower’s inaugural parade. General MotorsFullscreen The 1953 Firebird I concept car was the first gas turbine engine car. General Motors built the car as an engineering and styling exercise. General MotorsFullscreen The 1953 Buick Wildcat was a concept car that featured a new front fender style. General MotorsFullscreen The 1954 Oldsmobile Cutlass concept car got its name and avionic design from a Navy fighter plane. General MotorsFullscreen The 1955 Chevrolet Nomad station wagon. General MotorsFullscreen The 1957 Chevrolet Bel-Air is known for those classic fins. General MotorsFullscreen The 1961 Mako Shark Corvette concept car. General MotorsFullscreen The most prominent feature of the 1963 Corvette was the split back window. General MotorsFullscreen Though it wasn’t the first muscle car, the 1964 Pontiac GTO is heralded as a trend setter for the era. General MotorsFullscreen The 1966 Oldsmobile Toronado is often credited as being the first front wheel drive vehicle. General MotorsFullscreen 1967 was the year that heralded the classic Camaro pony car. General MotorsFullscreen The 1971 Monte Carlo. General MotorsFullscreen The 1977 Pontiac Trans Am Firebird. General MotorsFullscreen The 1984 Corvette. General Motors.Fullscreen The 1992 Ultralite concept car could get up to 100 miles per gallon. General MotorsFullscreen The 2009 Corvette is one of the fastest vehicles produced by General Motors Richard Prince, General MotorsFullscreen The 2017 Chevrolet Bolt electric car was named North American Car of the Year. General MotorsFullscreen The 2017 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport General MotorsFullscreen The 2017 Cadillac Escalade. General MotorsFullscreen 2017 marks the 50 year anniversary of the Camaro. General MotorsFullscreenLike this topic? You may also like these photo galleries:Replay1 of 302 of 303 of 304 of 305 of 306 of 307 of 308 of 309 of 3010 of 3011 of 3012 of 3013 of 3014 of 3015 of 3016 of 3017 of 3018 of 3019 of 3020 of 3021 of 3022 of 3023 of 3024 of 3025 of 3026 of 3027 of 3028 of 3029 of 3030 of 30AutoplayShow ThumbnailsShow CaptionsLast SlideNext Slide
The company said Travis Hester, vice president of global product programs, will succeed Carlisleas president and managing director ofGM Canada.
Carlisle started at GM in 1982 as an industrial engineering co-op student at the Oshawa Truck Assembly Plant.
Carlisle’s previous leadership positions with GM have included vice president of global product planning and vice president of U.S. sales.
The potential for Cadillac across the globe is incredible and Im honored to be chosen to be a part of mapping that future, Carlisle said in a statement. 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.