Johan de Nysschen Chats About Cadillac

Johan de NysschenCadillac chief Johan de Nysschen spent some time during a journalist roundtable discussing the current and future state of the Cadillac brand.

As part of the discussion, de Nysschen gave as reasons why sedans are not selling well in the US market as being a result of cheap fuel, younger buyers that don’t value performance driving as much as a vehicle that enables their lifestyle and activities, as well as road conditions.  While it is certainly true that none of these help – it is also significant to note that the German competition are handily outselling the Cadillac sedans.  So, it would seem that brand cachet has at least a bit to do with it.  Hopefully Cadillac has a plan for how to build this missing ingredient.

As to motorsports, Cadillac plans to stay their current course and has no immediate plans to field/sponsor a Le Mans team.

The question was also raised about Cadillac bringing more Chinese built models (like the current CT6 Plug-in Hybrid).  Mr de Nysschen did not completely shoot down the idea, but stated that such a choice would be limited to models where building in China makes sense (Chinese consumers want the product) but worldwide volume would not call for the tooling investment to build in multiple locations.  Specifically, he mentioned that the need to share profits with their Chinese manufacturing partner would keep them from bringing high volume models to the US from China.

As to China-only products, de Nysschen reiterated something we have heard before, that luxury buyers are becoming more sophisticated world-wide which drives their tastes to converge.  So, this would tend to drive out the need to sell a China-only model…though it is interesting to note that the ATS is sold in China only in its ATS-L long-wheelbase model.  Since the ATS, CTS, and XTS are soon to be replaced with the new CT5 sedan – this could mean that varying wheelbase models are just part of the platform and will be offered in multiple markets.

So, there was nothing earth shattering in this latest set of observations and direction for the brand.  But it does suggest that Cadillac is continuing on the same course we have heard before.  More crossovers for the US are on the way, investments are made in places where they make sense.

Source: Autoblog and MotorTrend

Cadillac Names Deborah Wahl as New Global Chief Marketing Officer

Deborah Wahl, Cadillac Global Chief Marketing OfficerCadillac has named Deborah Wahl as their new Chief Marketing Officer, replacing former CMO Uwe Ellinghaus.  She will be based in Cadillac’s offices in New York City, NY and will report directly to Cadillac chief Johan de Nysschen.

Ms. Wahl comes to Cadillac after her most recent stint as CMO of McDonalds, and before that at Pulte Group.  Though, before you jump to the conclusion that she doesn’t know how to sell anything but happy meals and houses, she has over a decade of experience in automotive marketing with a history as CMO of Chrysler and marketing roles at Toyota, Mazda, and Ford.

She officially takes the reins of Cadillac marketing on March 26th.

We wish her luck.

Source: Cadillac and AdAge

Read on for the press release from Cadillac:


The Tease Continues – Cadillac XT4 and the Oscars

Cadillac has released their 2018 Oscar ad lineup.  The 3 commercials culminate with the XT4 from many different angles than what we saw Friday morning in the grill teaser.  This 30 second spot will be Cadillac’s last to air during the 2018 Oscar broadcast.

The XT4 is slated to debut at the end of March at the 2018 New York Auto Show.  Expect plenty of coverage of the newest model here at the when it is available.

Cadillac will also be airing 2 other spots during the Oscars this year.  A 60 second spot titled “Future is Here” shows off the 200 mph CTS-V, the CT6 with Super Cruise, as well as providing a few teasing images of the XT4 (in advance of the XT4 spot that will air later in the evening.  For those that can’t wait, they posted the full commercial:

In their second spot of the night, we have “Future Cars” that opens with a selection of futuristic visions of cars over time leading up to a demonstration of the CT6 with Super Cruise.

Cadillac Teases New XT4 Crossover

Cadillac XT4Cadillac posted a teaser video early this morning showing the front of their upcoming XT4 crossover.

Included is the simple text overlay giving us an availability date of ‘Fall 2018’.

As we have said before, Cadillac can’t get this new model into production fast enough to satisfy crossover hungry buyers. 

We would expect to get a chance to see the new luxury utility vehicle at the New York Auto show at the end of the March.

Deep Dive – Chinese Cadillac Sales

January 2018 Chinese Cadillac Sales - DetailIn the last several months, we have been limited to sales detail only for the United States.  However, we have finally found details of the 4 models that Cadillac sells in China.  Yes, this means that China’s strength is due to sales of only 4 models – no Escalade, no Escalade ESV, no CTS.  China only offers 3 sedans (the CT6, XTS, and the long-wheelbase ATS-L) and the XT5 crossover.

Comparing these against the US sales (included below for the same month), we can see that China loves the XT5 crossover…but also enjoy the sedans (much more so than US consumers).  Where the US sales of the XT5 almost hit 4000 units, China devoured over 10000.  Chinese sales of the ATS exceeded US demand 5-to-1.

CT6 in China outsold 2-to-1 and the XTS outsold almost 4-to-1.

It is only strong sales of the Escalade and a few CTS sales that kept China from completely overwhelming the US market.

What I am seeing here is the new XT4 (soon to debut at the 2018 New York Auto Show) will likely keep the Chinese market strong…not allowing the US to catch back up – because the Chinese appear to love crossovers as much as the US customers while snapping up all the other Cadillacs far in excess of what we are seeing in the States.

We will continue to break down Chinese sales numbers in the coming months as it is certainly a significant and fascinating part of the modern Cadillac story.