Posts Tagged ‘cadillac sales’

Cadillac Exposed!

Here's how brand boss de Nysschen plans to use a new fleet of cars, crossovers and EVs to double U.S. and Chinese sales and even – finally – crash Europe. Exclusively on

by on Apr.06, 2018

Cadillac President John de Nysschen had two big intros in NY, including the CT6 V-Sport.

Cadillac is covering both ends of the spectrum at this month’s New York International Auto Show, offering up both the new entry-luxury XT4 sport-utility vehicle, as well as a high-performance version of its flagship sedan, the new CT6 V-Sport.

The two mark the start of an unprecedented product roll-out that, Cadillac President Johan de Nysschen announced during a NYIAS news briefing, will add 11 models to the brand’s line-up by 2021. But that’s only a glimpse at what’s actually coming, the South African-born executive revealed in an exclusive interview with

The Last Word!

Long positioned as “the standard of the world,” Cadillac fell off its perch in the 1990s, dethroned by high-line European and Asian imports like Lexus, BMW and Mercedes-Benz. It’s had a few false starts in its bid to regain its former glory. But de Nysschen has put in place a do-or-die strategy that is aimed at more than doubling Caddy’s global volume with a mix of new products, advanced powertrains and a new approach to sales and service. Much will depend on the booming Chinese luxury market, but the Caddy chief is also determined to take on key rivals in their home, European market.


Caddy Chief “Highly Optimistic,” Despite Struggles in U.S.

De Nysschen counting on new crossovers to help reshape the brand.

by on Jan.17, 2018

Cadillac President Johan de Nysschen has had to reshape his product plans to favor SUVs.

Cadillac chief Johan de Nysschen is proving himself to be a “glass full” kind of guy. Despite ongoing struggles in the U.S., he is optimistic General Motors’ luxury brand’s revival is “proceeding according to plan.”

Of course, it helps to know that Caddy is rapidly gaining ground in China, the world’s largest market – which also happens to be generating more sales than the U.S. these days. There’s also the fact that the new XT4, a critically needed new SUV will be in dealer showrooms late this year, with another new product set to roll out every six months through at least the end of 2020.

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“At the conclusion of this first phase of the plan, Cadillac will be armed for the first time with a family of premium crossover vehicles, positioning us well to exploit market preferences,” de Nysschen said during a presentation to the Automotive News World Congress.


Cadillac to Slash Sedan Line-Up, Shift Focus to SUVs

De Nysschen Confirms Earlier Report by

by on Jul.28, 2017

Despite solid reviews, sales of the Cadillac CT6 haven't lived up to expectations.

Cadillac will pair back its existing sedan line-up to no more than two models, while eliminating coupes and shifting focus to utility vehicles, according to the brand’s global chief Johann de Nysschen.

That appears to confirm a report last year by that said the brand was getting major pushback from parent General Motors in light of slow sales growth and the overall shift in the luxury market from passenger cars to SUVs and crossovers.

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“We have to rebalance our sedan portfolio,” de Nysschen told the Reuters news service in an interview. The Cadillac chief previously refuted a report by this publication outlining Cadillac’s shift in product focus.


GM’s Barra “More Impatient…More Determined”

CEO lays out strategy for 2015; zero defects, more trucks – but more green cars, as well.

by on Jan.08, 2015

GM CEO Barra, "less patient." than before.

It was a “year of great disappointment, but also a year of great progress,” said General Motors CEO Mary Barra as she summed up her first, tough year on the job and outlined the challenges and goals she is facing for 2015.

The first female CEO of a major global automaker, Barra took on her new role just weeks before GM announced the recall of 2.6 million vehicles equipped with faulty ignition switches now linked to the deaths of at least 42 people. That was clearly apparent in the comments the 53-year-old Barra made, stressing her intent to turn GM into a “zero-defects company.”

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On a personal level, the GM CEO said the events of the last year have made her “more impatient and more determined” to deal with a corporate bureaucracy that had, in the past, made it difficult to achieve any real change – and which led to not just the recall crisis of 2014 but the GM bankruptcy five years earlier.


BMW, Mercedes Slugging It Out for Sales Title

Duel over luxury crown headed for photo finish.

by on Nov.11, 2014

BMW is holding a slim lead over rival Mercedes-Benz in the U.S. luxury market.

BMW and Mercedes-Benz are locked in a battle royal for the sales crown in the prosperous market for luxury cars in the U.S. BMW held the title for the two previous years, but one of the two has been the leader since 2011: the last year Lexus held the crown.

“One of the noteworthy facts in the October U.S. new vehicle sales results is that BMW now leads its archrival Mercedes-Benz by just 5,389 sales through the first ten months of this year,” IHS Automotive Analyst Tom Libby said.

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“With such a small gap in sales through 10 months, the two makes will most likely use marketing tools extensively through the end of the year, including numerous types of incentives, to gain an edge.” (more…)

Sales in a Slump, Cadillac Loses Another Key Executive

Global chief Ferguson returns to Washington as top lobbyist.

by on Jul.11, 2014

Cadillac's global chief Bob Ferguson with the 2015 Escalade during its NYC debut.

General Motors is looking for an executive to head up the Cadillac division, following the announcement that the luxury brand’s current leader Robert Ferguson has been named Senior Vice President, Global Public Policy.

It’s the latest in a string of top management departures for Cadillac, and comes at a critical time for the brand which is struggling to regain momentum as it rolls out key new products in a bid to reverse a sharp and unexpected sales dip.


A veteran Washington hand who spent 10 years in the nation’s capital as AT&T’s top lobbyist, Ferguson had spent only two years as Cadillac’s global chief. But his departure isn’t entirely unexpected, as he has been splitting his time between the luxury brand and a key role as part of the management team responding to the recall crisis that has engulfed GM since February.


Cadillac Loses Another Top Exec

Turmoil at the top as sales bottom out.

by on Jun.19, 2014

Bill Peffer becomes the third U.S. sales chief to leave Cadillac in less than two years.

This was supposed to be a big year for Cadillac as it rolled out new models like the CTS and updated Escalade, and solidified the gains of other recent models, such as the compact ATS and big XTS sedans. But instead of growth, the brand has been wracked with turmoil, losing a procession of senior managers as sales have unexpectedly tumbled.

Cadillac’s only recently hired U.S. sales chief has left the company for supposedly personal reasons. Whether he fell short of expectations, General Motors isn’t revealing, but the luxury brand’s volume was down 2.3% for the first five months of the year, a sharp disappointment considering Caddy had been anticipating double-digit sales growth in 2014.

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The departure of Bill Peffer, who joined GM just last autumn, is the latest in a series of executive departures, a list that includes former Cadillac global strategic development chief Don Butler, who left the company last August, and Peffer’s predecessor Chase Hawkins, who was fired as sales chief for “violating a company policy.”


Cadillac Sales Stage Sharp Upturn

New products like ATS give Caddy a much-needed lift.

by on Mar.04, 2013

Cadillac is gaining momentum on the competition with new models like the ATS.

After a disappointing finish to 2012, Cadillac got some much-needed momentum when its new ATS compact luxury sedan was named North American Car of the Year. That big boost from a panel of 50 U.S. and Canadian journalists is clearly paying off.

Along with the traction it’s gaining from other new and updated products, such as the flagship XTS sedan, Cadillac is beginning to regain some of the ground it has lost in recent years to imports like Lexus, BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Audi.

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And with a remake of its mid-range CTS set to debut later this month, General Motor’s flagship brand is finally seeing some upside after years of decline, sales for the first two months of this year climbing by nearly a third over the same period in 2012.

Sean McAlinden, executive vice president of research at the Center for Automotive Research in Ann Arbor, Michigan, noted Cadillac is also benefitting from the broader revival of GM’s product development efforts. “This is the year GM product development catches up,” said McAlinden.


Cadillac Soars, Lincoln Sags

January sales tell two very different tales.

by on Feb.04, 2013

A Cadillac ATS shown during filming of the sports sedan's debut ad campaign.

It was, to mangle Charles Dickens, the best of times and the worst of times for the two domestic luxury makers last month.

For Cadillac, January brought a sign of vindication suggesting that, after a slow start for the 2013 model-year, critical new products like the compact ATS sedan are finally building the sales momentum needed to help restore General Motors’ flagship brand to its former luster.

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For Lincoln, however, January delivered an unexpected setback, sales plunging by 73%, year-over-year, despite parent Ford Motor Co.’s strong aspirations for the luxury brand’s new MKZ sedan.

While Lincoln’s numbers plunged 18%, to their lowest level since the Reagan era, Cadillac posted its best performance at the retail level in 23 years, demand overall surging by 47%.

The new Lincoln MKZ reached showrooms late in 2012 and production has only slowly been ramping up.

“When you look inside the numbers, we’re even more encouraged to see our products building momentum, drawing new luxury consumers and expanding our brand,” said Chase Hawkins, vice president of sales for Cadillac.

The executive pointed to two key products for building brand momentum, the SRX crossover-utility vehicle and the new ATS sedan. Roughly the size of a BMW 3-Series, Caddy’s new 4-door has been winning wide praise since its launch last year, most notably being named last month the North American Car of the Year by a panel of 49 U.S. and Canadian journalists.

To industry analysts, one of the most significant measures of Cadillac’s rebound is the fact that it is rapidly gaining converts in the retail market, rather than by pumping cars into fleets, as it had done in the past. A full 94% of the brand’s sales were racked up at retail showrooms last month.

Of course, January alone won’t guarantee that Cadillac – which long billed itself the “standard of the world” – has truly recovered.  The maker has, in fact, been promoting its “renaissance” for more than a decade, ever since it introduced the dramatic “Art & Science” design language with the launch of its original CTS sedan.

But after some early signs of success, the promised revival faltered as consumers turned their backs on other edgy designs, such as the bigger STS sedan and the XLR sports car.

The arrival of the ATS and the XTS, the latter also new for 2013, appear to be putting the brand back on track, but analysts caution Cadillac will need to continue building momentum month after month.

And it will face another big test when it reveals the third-generation CTS sedan later this year. The first versions were so-called “tweener” cars, according to analyst Jim Hall, of 2953 Analytics, in Detroit, falling somewhere between the BMW 3-Series and 5-Series models.  With the ATS directly taking aim at the smaller of the Bavarian models, the 2014 CTS will move up in size – and price.

Cadillac has even more ambitious product plans in the works, including a replacement for the massive Escalade sport-utility vehicle. And it has hinted at product development programs underway that could result in a variety of other much-needed offerings, including a compact crossover, a convertible and other models.

For its part, Lincoln also is looking to broaden its appeal with a newer, more modern design language that will be shared across an expanding line-up of products. It has announced plans to introduce four new models by 2014 while Ford CEO Alan Mulally recently confirmed in a interview that even more vehicles are now under development for the rest of the decade – including Lincoln’s first rear-drive passenger car since the aging Town Car was pulled from production.

The MKZ is the first step in Lincoln’s revitalization. But despite generally positive reviews, and what Lincoln officials had claimed to be record advance orders, January did not deliver a strong launch.

The entire brand’s line-up generated just 4,191 sales – less than the total for the Ford division’s Fiesta – and the lowest monthly tally since July 1981.

Despite that weak performance, company officials put as positive a spin on the results as possible.  A key reason for the slow take-off, they stressed, was not a lack of demand.  If anything, there are more customers waiting in line than for any product in Lincoln history, asserted Ken Czubay, Ford’s vice president of sales, marketing and service.

But in light of the problems the parent company had with the debut of the Ford Fusion – which shares the same underlying platform with the Lincoln MKZ – it’s perhaps no surprise the maker is putting the luxury sedan through a rigid inspection process that has sharply reduced production rates.

“We are going over them as we have never gone over vehicles before,” said Czubay, during a conference call discussing Ford’s January sales. “As we re-launched Lincoln … we know the quality finish of all of our competitors,” and wanted to ensure Lincoln would match the best it will face off against.

Despite the short supply, Lincoln went ahead with plans to advertise the new model – and to emphasize the brand’s transformation – on the Super Bowl, perhaps the highest-profile venue an automaker can participate in all year.

Lincoln took some flak when it previewed its Super Bowl campaign on Youtube, Mark Simon, the chief creative officer at Detroit’s Campbell Ewald – an ad agency that, until recently had long represented Chevrolet – offered a put-down on Twitter. The spot, chided Simon, “doesn’t change my opinion about the brand.”

Whether potential luxury buyers will agree remains to be seen, but it’s clear that Lincoln, like its cross-town rival, Cadillac, will have to change plenty of minds as it struggles to regain its former glory. And that will be all the more difficult considering the solid gains by rivals ranging from Porsche – which set a new sales record in January – to Lexus, Mercedes-Benz and BMW.

Both U.S. luxury marques have slipped well behind the imports and face the fight of their corporate lives to win back buyers. Ford Cadillac, January showed signs that this just might be possible. For Lincoln, the New Year is off to a worrisome start.

Cadillac, Lincoln Stuck in Neutral

Domestic luxury brands gain little traction in 2012.

by on Jan.04, 2013

Cadillac is hoping to see the ATS win North American Car of the Year honors, which could put its sales push back into gear.

The long-promised revival of Detroit’s two main luxury brands failed to materialize in 2012 despite the launch of some major new products that generated largely positive reviews.

Both Ford Motor Co.’s Lincoln and General Motors’ Cadillac wound up losing market share last year – 4.1% and 1.7% respectively — despite the makers’ anticipated improvements . Only the near-luxury GM brand Buick posted a modest, 1.6% gain for the year, though company officials insist the real test will come in 2013.

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That’s quite likely the case, says David Sullivan, of AutoPacific, Inc. “Looking back at 2012, I would say they were semi-disappointing and if we didn’t know there was promising new product in the pipeline it would be pretty bleak.”



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