Cadillac is hoping New York is the concrete jungle where sales are made. General Motors, the parent company of Cadillac, is spinning off the company and moving its headquarters to New York. Maybe the new offices in SoHo will breathe life into the company.
The move is intended to be a cosmetic reworking of the brand. Cadillac was once a prestige brand, and the company is wanting to recapture that magic of decades ago. Maybe make cars that people want to buy? Nah, that’s too pedestrian. Let’s have a cool office first.
Johan de Nysschen is the man behind the move to the Big Apple. Before accepting the offer to become president of Cadillac, he discussed the move with top executives of General Motors. Sorry Detroit, you’re just not happening anymore.
Cadillac’s move is coming as a bit of a shock to observers, but de Nysschen said the move was necessary both practically and figuratively. He wanted to get the brand away from the lower tier GM brands that he said have muddled Cadillac’s image. Sorry Yukon, you are no Escalade.
Industry observers are mixed on the move, saying it will take more than a moving van to rehab Cadillac’s image against luxury carmakers such as BMW and Mercedes. For a comparison, Mercedes sold 334,344 cars in the United States last year. BMW sold 309,280, while Cadillac sold 182,543.
Maybe Cadillac should set up satellite HQs in South Beach, Los Angeles and Vegas. Shotgun the whole ‘we’re still cool’ approach.
De Nysschen’s statements regarding the move weren’t exactly kind to native Detroiters. He said being in SoHo placed the brand in the middle of sophisticated living. I’m guessing he was already out of the city when he threw down that gauntlet.