Ford did it with the “Lincoln Motor Company” and now GM is doing the same with Cadillac, as the auto conglomerate has allowed the luxury automaker to crawl out from under the General’s umbrella and become a standalone business unit. This comes as no surprise as hiring Johan de Nysschen, a virtual genius in growing luxury brands, was a sign that GM was prepared to remove the leash from Caddy and allow it to do its own thing.
This unleashing of Cadillac will give the brand the freedom it needs to test out new concepts in the world of luxury without the bean counters at GM pinching every penny and analyzing every move. Sure, GM will still have a lot of say in Cadillac’s operations on a whole, but the day-to-day interference will no longer be there.
Along with this separation, Cadillac will also open up a new global operations center in New York to allow the newly freed arm to truly work separate from Chevy and Buick. Having said that, Cadillac will still have a major presence in Detroit as the manufacturing and assembly processes will remain in Motor City, as will a select members of management.
The new operations center will open its doors in 2015, but there is no mention of when GM will start allowing Cadillac to handle its own affairs. I suspect this change will occur on January 1, 2015 so Caddy and GM both start the new year with a clean slate.
With this realignment, maybe the Cadillac brand will once again become the gold standard for the auto industry. Only time will tell.