Johan de Nysschen Chats About Cadillac
Cadillac 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.