General Motors Company (NYSE:GM) announced on Tuesday, September 23rd that it plans to move its Cadillac brand headquarters to the Big Apple. Cadillac, which has seen sales slip over the last few quarters as German rivals gain luxury vehicle segment market share, will also become a separate business unit, which should give it more leverage to compete globally.
Most of Cadillac’s operations are currently managed as a part of the rest of GM, with the Cadillac headquarters ii Detroit at the Renaissance Center. Of note, some Cadillac operations will remain at the GM Warren Tech Center in Detroit, and no changes in manufacturing facilities are anticipated.
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New Cadillac headquarters in NYC
In its statement released Tuesday, General Motors Company (NYSE:GM) said it was moving the management team and the marketing operations of the Cadillac brand to loft offices in the SoHo section of Manhattan. Some employees will start moving in as soon as the first quarter of 2015.
Statement from Cadillac President
“There is no city in the world where the inhabitants are more immersed in a premium lifestyle than in New York,” Johann de Nysschen, Cadillac’s new president, said in a statement Tuesday announcing the move. “It allows our team to share experiences with premium-brand consumers and develop attitudes in common with our audience.”
“We want to put a little bit of distance between Cadillac and the rest of the General Motors entity so that we can begin to put together a team that is able to give 100 percent mindshare to meeting the challenges of the premium market,” Cadillac President Johan de Nysschen explained in an interview with The Detroit News.
As the Detroit Free Press notes, this is not the first time a major automaker has decided on a new location as a means to jump-start a brand. Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F) moved the headquarters for Lincoln and Mercury to trend-setting southern California. in 1998, but just four years later it moved the Lincoln-Mercury headquarters back to Dearborn.
De Nysschen previously worked at luxury automakers that separated their headquarters from parent companies: Audi’s headquarters is in Ingolstadt, Germany, separate from Volkswagen’s base in Wolfsburg. Infiniti also decided to headquarter in Hong Kong separately from Nissan Motor Co. Ltd. in Japan.
If he tried to create a division for Cadillac in Detroit apart from the rest of GM, de Nysschen said it’s possible nothing would change. A real physical separation “forces us to find new ways of doing things,” de Nysschen explained.