Thereâ€™s a Billy Joel lyric about trading a Chevy for a Cadillac. That same song talks about movinâ€™ up and movinâ€™ out.
Well, under Johan de Nysschenâ€™s leadership, Cadillac traded Detroit for New York City for its global headquarters, saw global sales rise to levels not seen in 30 years thanks to China, and implemented a new naming strategy.
Now de Nysschen is moving out himselfÂ â€” he will be replaced by Steve Carlisle, who will be serving as the new senior vice president and president for Cadillac. Carlisle leaves GM Canada, where Travis Hester replaces him as president and managing director. Hester was formerly vice president of global product programs.
Thereâ€™s no word on why, just a standard boilerplate quote from GM president Dan Amman thanking de Nysschen for his service. There appears to be no public comment from de Nysschen. Weâ€™ve reached out to Cadillac for further comment but they have not replied as of this writing.
De Nysschen was hired as Cadillacâ€™s boss in July 2014 after working for Audi and Infiniti.
Despite Cadillacâ€™s global success, the brand was struggling to generate sales in the U.S. Thatâ€™s likely due in part to a lineup that has been car-heavy during a time of an extreme shift in buying habits toward crossovers and SUVs. The venerable Escalade SUV has carried a lot of the sales load while the brand works to build more crossovers, such as the upcoming XT4.
U.S. sales in 2017 were down 8 percent from the previous year. Not only does Caddy currently offer just two vehicles in the crossover and SUV category â€” the XT5 and EscaladeÂ â€” but it has a smaller lineup in general than its rivals.
This doesnâ€™t mean de Nysschenâ€™s exit is necessarily product or sales related, especially since he implemented a 10-year plan that was said to include up to five new crossovers.
Nor does it mean a move back to Detroit for CadillacÂ â€” GM hasnâ€™t mentioned that one way or the other.
Weâ€™ll keep an eye out for more information, as this is a story that is still developing.