|2015 Cadillac Escalade. Photo courtesy of GM.|
Things are continuing to change at General Motors, as they well should considering the automaker's dysfunctional past. One of the problems faced by the company has to do with the Cadillac brand, which used to have a considerable amount of cache with the public. Have you ever heard the saying that something is the Cadillac of (insert whatever here)? The luxury brand stood for extreme luxury and quality, but at one point launched a model that was a rebadged Chevy Cavalier!
The transformation of Cadillac as a brand started back in the early 2000s, but it wasn't enough. Since GM went into bankruptcy, the brand has finally started to put up a real fight against the German luxury lines and Lexus, but it still isn't enough. More changes, bigger changes must be put into action if Cadillac wants to become truly relevant once more.
The catalyst for big change just come on at Cadillac not too long ago, and his name is Johan de Nysschen. As the Cadillac President, he is charged with doing what others have failed to accomplish. This means he might have to do some things that are unpopular, like severely altering the brand's culture. I suspect this is at least partially the reason why Nysschen is moving Cadillac to New York City, taking it away from the rest of GM in Michigan.
For Cadillac to truly thrive, it has to stop thinking like it's a sibling of Chevy, Buick and all the other GM brands. It has to be special, different, because if it doesn't become that there is a strong risk that Cadillac will be in serious trouble before too long.
Look at BMW, which went through a little bit of an identity crisis about ten years ago. Today, it has come out of the funky designs and nonsensical movements as a better company. Sure, I don't agree with all of the decisions BMW management has made, but there's no denying that something's working. Mercedes, Audi and Lexus have all increased their game, as have other brands like Infiniti.
The word is that Nysschen isn't just moving Cadillac to the Big Apple, he's going to be fundamentally changing its structure and how the brand goes about pretty much everything. I'm sure that within a few years we'll start to see the influence of NYC on Cadillac, from its design, vehicle architecture, marketing, and more.