"Looking forward, the world is changing rapidly, and, beginning with the launch of the new XT4, it is paramount that we capitalize immediately on the opportunities that arise from this rate of change", said Amman.
Outgoing Cadillac chief Johan de Nysschen.
Mr.de Nysschen leaves after leading Cadillac to the second best sales year on record globally last year, but an 8 per cent decline in USA sales-the second straight drop in a market where the brand's name was once synonymous with luxury. As a result, it had its second-best year ever in 2017 and de Nysschen said, during his interview, that he expected 2018 would bring an all-time record.
In a statement, GM President Dan Ammann thanked de Nysschen for "setting a stronger foundation for Cadillac", adding that installing a new Cadillac boss will accelerate the brand's efforts to compete better with luxury rivals.
In De Nysschen's defense, Cadillac launched a full-size sedan, the CT6, just as United States sales were shifting to SUVs. Global markets also now crave CUVs.
Caldwell said the sales numbers weren't the only sign of trouble at Cadillac, noting that the average Caddy vehicle sat on a GM lot for 112 days during the first quarter of this year, compared to 48 days for Mercedes-Benz, 60 for BMW and 74 for Lincoln, that other struggling US luxury brand.
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In the same period, Cadillac's US market share fell to 0.91% from 0.97%, while Mercedes grew to 2.17% from 2.14% and BMW inched down to 1.78% from 1.79%. He began as an engineer at a truck assembly plant in Ontario, Canada, and has worked in sales and product planning in several global markets.
China was the key on volume of 24,534 vehicles. But Cadillac has been slow to expand its SUV lineup, and de Nysschen's decision to raise prices reportedly created friction with dealers.
Cadillac has the potential to generate stronger profits for GM, especially as luxury buyers flock to SUVs. The automaker laid out a plan in January to push Cadillac global sales in a growing luxury market to almost 600,000 units annually by 2021 and profitability up 100%, with the USA playing the main role in driving profits. Soon thereafter, de Nysschen took the unusual step of moving Cadillac's headquarters from GM's base in Detroit to NY in hopes of absorbing an upscale mentality.
However, sales lagged, falling 11 percent since Nysschen's first full year as boss in 2015.
Also in the mix recently was the unveiling of an all-new twin-turbo V-8 for the Cadillac CT6 large sedan.
Caldwell expressed a view held by many in the industry: that De Nysschen's preoccupation with "chasing the German brands instead of embracing Cadillac's unique heritage" undermined the brand's mojo. Carlisle was previously president and managing director of GM Canada.