GM has announced that it will “strategically realign” the flagship brand by establishing it as a separate business unit.
As a start, Cadillac will expand to New York with a new global quarters set to open in 2015.
“Cadillac’s mission is to reinstate the brand to a pre-eminent position among global luxury brands, a bold challenge requiring a distinct and focused new organization,” said GM president Dan Ammann.
“More than a division or brand, Cadillac is becoming a center of excellence for our company.”
The majority of the brand’s functions for both global and US operations will be centred at the new HQ in New York. However, the company says there will be no change to the technical product development team located in Michigan, nor will the plan affect manufacturing or assembly.
The company says it is still reviewing options as to which staffers will be moved and which will remain in the current Detroit location, or moved elsewhere.
New president, new flagship, new models and new names
The announcement comes less than three months after Johan de Nysschen was appointed Cadillac president and executive V-P of GM to help jumpstart the Cadillac brand.
A seasoned executive, de Nysschen, 54, previously served as president of Infiniti Global starting in July 2012. He will have the job of accelerating Cadillac’s overall operational performance. He is also credited with spearheading the brand’s move to New York.
Quick to make a name for himself at Cadillac, he announced the brand would create a new, range-topping rear-wheel-drive flagship sedan, to be called CT6.
GM says the new model, set to arrive in late-2015, will be a showcase of the brand’s technical know-how and Cadillac promises CT6 will reach new levels of luxury and refinement, previously unseen.
GM expects the CT6 will carve a niche for itself at the top of the range, positioned above CTS and XTS, and will not replace any current Cadillac product.
Currently in development, Cadillac says the yet-unseen RWD-sedan will use an entirely new architecture.
Aside from launching a new flagship sedan in a rarified market space Cadillac has yet to tackle, CT6 also marks a change in the way future Cadillac products will be branded.
In order to “simplify” its product portfolio in the eye of the customer, a new naming scheme will feature a “CT” prefix for all car models. To further simplify the range, the number following will indicate the relative size and position of the car in the hierarchy of the Cadillac model range.
To fill out the range Cadillac expects to introduce three new vehicles in North America in 2015, in addition to CT6. It will also introduce nine new models in China in the next five years.
de Nysschen said Cadillac will only rename existing models once they are significantly redeveloped or refreshed.
“As we expand the portfolio, we can assist consumers in placing the cars within a structure, as they compare cars both within our showroom and across the market generally,” said Uwe Ellinghaus, Cadillac chief marketing officer, in a press release, “However, this will be an evolutionary process – we will only change a product’s name when the product itself is redesigned or an all-new model is created, as in this instance.”
Cadillac promises CT6 will be the lightest and most agile car in the class. The vehicle will be assembled at the Detroit-Hamtramck plant and production is set to begin in the fourth quarter of 2015.