GM Canada president leaving to run auto maker's Cadillac unit

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No details were released regarding de Nysschen's departure, who joined Cadillac in 2014 after a short stint at Infiniti, so its not known if he left of his volition or was forced to walk the plank, though the choice of words within the announcement point toward the latter.

Cadillac abruptly fired company president Johan de Nysschen, 58, replacing him with Steve Carlisle, according to Automotive News.

The company was coy on details but GM President Dan Ammann said the automaker appreciated de Nysschen's efforts in "setting a stronger foundation for Cadillac". The transition will begin immediately. Even though the first quarter of 2018 saw sales rise 8.1 percent, that was with the help of hefty incentives.

Cadillac's US sales past year fell 8.0% to 156,440 units, while BMW deliveries slumped a more modest 3.4% to 352,790 light vehicles and demand at Mercedes was off just 1.4% to 375,409, reflecting the ability of the Germans to respond more quickly to the market's shift. The new chief attempted to make Cadillac a more distinct entity, establishing a new headquarters in a trendy New York City neighborhood.




Caldwell said the sales numbers weren't the only sign of trouble at Cadillac, noting that the average Caddy vehicle sat on a GM lot for 112 days during the first quarter of this year, compared to 48 days for Mercedes-Benz, 60 for BMW and 74 for Lincoln, that other struggling USA luxury brand. Cadillac, GMC, and Buick posted all-time high sales for the year. "This move will further accelerate our efforts in that regard", Amman continued, sounding like he was displeased with Cadillac's product strategy.

"The appointment of Carlisle, a GM-bred executive with a strong pedigree of global expertise, product planning acumen and history of building relationships with dealers speaks to the company's desire for a more back-to-basics, comfortable approach", she added. He led a naming shift, starting with the flagship CT6 sedan. Carlisle was most recently president and managing director of GM Canada.

"The potential for Cadillac across the globe is incredible, and I'm honored to be chosen to be a part of mapping that future", says Carlisle. He was also a driving force behind Project Pinnacle, an ambitious plan to overhaul not only the brand, but its retailers as well. His previous position as GM Canada's top brass will be filled by Travis Hester, now vice president of Global Product Programs.

"There's no question Johan is a visionary automotive leader, but given GM's conservative culture he may have pushed things a step too far", Jessica Caldwell, an executive analyst at consumer auto site Edmunds.com, said in an email.

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