Pretty much every luxury car manufacturer that Johan de Nysschen has touched in recent years has undergone massive changes and been better off for it. With this precedent set, we would have been crazy to think that he would leave Cadillac unchanged once he took the reins. In just a few short months, de Nysschen has announced plans to separate Cadillac from GM in terms of business operations and move the company’s headquarters to New York, released an all-new sedan in the CT6, and unveiled a new naming scheme for Caddy’s entire lineup. Yeah, the man’s been just a little busy…
Reuters recently had a sit-down with this fast-moving executive to discuss his plans for Cadillac between now and 2020, and boy does he have some big ideas. The biggest news was that there will actually be one model that sits above the future CT6 by the end of the decade, and it will compete with the longer-wheelbase versions of the BMW 7 Series and Mercedes S-Class. This new model will carry the CT8 or CT9 name.
Additionally, he has obviously recognized that the slow-selling ELR plug-in hybrid has floundered around on showroom floors long enough. He plans to replace the model in the near future, but the successor to the ELR may not be a two-door coupe.
Johan went on to imply that two new crossover SUVs will hit the market by 2020. These new models will straddle the existing SRX in the lineup, with one sitting above it and one below it. These models will likely compete with like-sized Germans including the BMW X1 and X5, and the Mercedes GLA-Class and M-Class. Inside sources told Reuters that the smaller of these two crossovers will likely carry slightly revised underpinnings from the next-generation Cruze and that a redesigned SRX, which will likely be renamed to carry the new XT name, is due in 2016.
These changes are all on top of the previously reported small sedan that de Nysschen briefly spoke about with Reuters. This model will sit below the ATS and rival the BMW 1 Series and Mercedes CLA-Class.
Johan is certainly one ambitious man, which is likely why Cadillac hired him in the first place. The brand has been getting better over the years, but hasn’t made as large of an impact in its German rivals as GM would have liked. It looks like de Nysschen is certainly the man to either make or break Cadillac in the next six years; only time will tell how these changes will impact the brand.