Johan de NysschenEnlarge Photo
Since taking over the reins at Cadillac two years ago, Audi veteran Johan de Nysschen has set about distinguishing the brand from its General Motors Company [NYSE:GM] parent by moving its headquarters to Manhattan, turning it into a separate business unit and convincing its dealers to avoid dropping prices simply to move metal.
In the future, de Nysschen hopes to have an even higher level of autonomy and be able to deliver separate financial reports, similar to how his former employer Audi works within the Volkswagen Group. According to him, separate profit or loss statements could come from Cadillac as early as 2017.
His latest comments were made during yesterday’s J.P. Morgan industry conference, where, the Detroit Free Press reports, de Nysschen confirmed plans for a new model blitz that would include five crossover SUVs by the end of the decade. In addition to these high-riding models, there will also be a new subcompact car and three additional models that straddle the line between compact and mid-size cars.
Some of the new models we can confirm are a compact crossover to be built in GM’s Orion plant in Michigan, the SRX-replacing XT5, and a large crossover with third-row seats. The three models straddling the gap between compact and mid-size cars are likely to be the replacements for the ATS range. These will be in addition to previously confirmed models like the upcoming CT6, a replacement for the ELR and two new range-topping models including a true flagship sedan and possibly a coupe or sports car.
During the conference, de Nysschen also confirmed a sales target of 500,000 vehicles by 2020, or about 5 percent of the global luxury vehicle market. Last year Cadillac sold 263,697 vehicles, good for about 3.4 percent of the market, and this year the brand expects to sell approximately 300,000 vehicles.
But simply increasing sales isn’t the main goal, as de Nysschen also wants dealers to be more disciplined when it comes to reducing prices. He also wants to see an improvement in customer experience at dealerships. Previously, he said he wanted to see some smaller Cadillac dealerships—those shared with other GM brands—turned into ‘boutique’ locations that better show off the Cadillac brand and give customers a more upscale experience.