A strategic realignment at General Motors Co. will establish Cadillac as a separate business unit, with its new global headquarters opening next year in New York.
“We are very proud of our Detroit roots and heritage, and the majority of the Cadillac workforce will remain in Michigan,” says Johan de Nysschen, president of Cadillac. “But there is no city in the world where the inhabitants are more immersed in a premium lifestyle than in New York. Establishing our new global headquarters in Soho places Cadillac at the epicenter of sophisticated living.
“It allows our team to share experiences with premium-brand consumers and develop attitudes in common with our audience.”
While the majority of functions with oversight and responsibility for both global and U.S. operations will be located at the new global headquarters, there will be no change to technical product development teams located in Michigan, nor does the plan impact manufacturing or assembly operations.
Cadillac management is reviewing options for which specific staffs will be based in New York and which will remain in current locations in the Detroit-area or elsewhere, de Nysschen says.
Creating a new Cadillac business unit will enable the brand to pursue growing opportunities in the luxury automotive market with more focus and clarity, says Dan Ammann, president of GM.
“Cadillac’s mission is to reinstate the brand to a pre-eminent position among global luxury brands, a bold challenge requiring a distinct and focused new organization,” Ammann says. “More than a division or brand, Cadillac is becoming a center of excellence for our company.”
Cadillac has operations in more than 40 countries. An expanded product portfolio, leading to 28 percent global growth in 2013 and an increase of about 10 percent so far this year, has driven the brand’s ongoing growth. Cadillac sales in China have grown 75 percent year to date.
The plan is not without its downsides. Ford tried to center all of its luxury brands in southern California several years ago, but wound up pulling the plug due to the high costs, limited efficiencies, and changing market trends.