Cadillac's new President Johan de Nysschen has faced a fair amount of criticism since assuming his position at the head of the American luxury manufacturer. From the company's move to New York City to a controversial new naming scheme, the first few months of his tenure have not been smooth sailing. Now, the embattled exec is firing back against his critics, notably Automotive News Editor-in-Chief Keith Crain, in a new column running in AN.

De Nysschen countered Crain's claim that the move to the Big Apple, "can only mean that someone wants to live in New York."

"The relocation decision is entirely unrelated to the personal living preferences of any Cadillac executive. No corporation would tolerate such indulgence by its leadership," de Nysschen wrote. "It is about structurally entrenching a challenge to the status quo by reinforcing the psychological and physical separation in business philosophy between the mainstream brands and GM's luxury brand."

The 54-year-old exec also responded to Crain's criticisms of Cadillac's derided new alphanumeric naming scheme, which will be pioneered by the CT6 sedan. Crain argued (rightly in your author's mind) that the new naming scheme was as wrong as the move to NYC.

"What ever happened to names like Fleetwood, DeVille and Eldorado?" Crain wrote in an editorial last week.

"Those romantic names have little relevance to a millennial premium shopper in China, for instance, where the reality is that alphanumeric nomenclature is a deeply entrenched industrywide practice," de Nysschen wrote. "The obvious emotional appeal of historical subbrand names such as Eldorado, Fleetwood, etc. should be balanced against the fact that those names resonate more with baby boomers and are U.S.-centric. Cadillac must go global."

While de Nysschen's moves have raised eyebrows, the exec did reach out to critics – particularly those that are unhappy about the relocation – at the end of his column.

"Regardless of where its executives are located, Cadillac is and always will be from Detroit," de Nysschen concluded. "It is our hometown, and as we venture forth to challenge the world with our unique set of American values, we would like to think our hometown is rooting for us."

Cadillac Information


Share This Photo X