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Cadillac Shifts Design Direction with Escala Concept

A more buttoned-down take on Art & Science.

by on Aug.19, 2016

Cadillac smooths out the edges of its Art & Design design language with the Escala concept.

It’s been more than a decade since Cadillac set out to rebuild its once trend-setting credentials with the introduction of the edgy Art & Science design language. Since the debut of the first generation CTS sedan, it’s been tweaking the theme but as General Motors’ luxury brand gets set for what it’s calling an “unprecedented” product blitz, it seems we’re in for another major design makeover.

But if anyone was expecting an equally radical new look, it seems that Caddy is going in a different, more buttoned-down direction. The new Cadillac Escala Concept making its debut ahead of this weekend’s Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance won’t get lost in the crowd, but it’s certainly not the bold showstoppers of other recent Caddy concepts, like the Elmiraj Coupe Concept that was unveiled in Pebble Beach three years ago.

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The concept “marks an inflection point” for Cadillac, said its President Johan de Nysschen, who declared the Escala, “the next design chapter” for the brand, and promised key elements of the show car “will be incorporated in every one of our new products over the next five years.”

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Cadillac Shifts Focus to China and Beyond

Overseas expansion key to long-term strategy,

by on Mar.08, 2016

Cadillac President Johan de Nysschen plans to add 11 new or updated models by 2020.

While it might still bill itself “the standard of the world,” Cadillac has long been a largely American-focused luxury brand. But as it begins the most aggressive roll-out of new products in its 113-year history, the focus is increasingly shifting overseas.

Though an assault on the European market is on hold, according to Cadillac brand boss Johan de Nysschen, the marque’s future – and, thus, its product strategy – will be increasingly centered on China which is expected to soon become the world’s largest luxury car market.

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“China has to be prioritized,” the South African-born executive stressed during a media drive of the new XT5 crossover-utility vehicle. Developing vehicles that appeal to that country’s increasingly affluent buyers must be “our primary mission.”

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Cadillac to Launch All-New, Ultra-Premium V-8

“Developed more for refinement…than pure horsepower.”

by on Jan.22, 2016

Cadillac President Johan de Nysschen.

As part of its ongoing push to rebuild its image and challenge the best of its import luxury competitors, Cadillac will launch an all-new twin-turbo V-8 engine in models like the new CT6 sedan and the even more upscale CT8 to follow later in the decade.

The launch of the new 4.2-liter powerplant is still “a few years off,” Cadillac President Johan de Nysschen told TheDetroitBureau.com during an exclusive interview, and final details have yet to be resolved, including the transmission it will be paired with and whether it will be packaged in an all-wheel-drive configuration.

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The new V-8 is being “developed more for refinement, sophistication and torque, rather than for pure horsepower,” explained de Nysschen during an interview in Los Angeles where he is attending the first media drive of the 2017 Cadillac CT6.

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GM Set to Add Array of New Utility Vehicles

Chevrolet to get new midsize CUV.

by on Dec.29, 2015

The Cadillac XT5 at its LA debut, along with Caddy Pres. Johan de Nysschen and GM global product development director Mark Reuss.

This year’s slide in fuel prices has led to a big surge in sales of utility vehicles, whether conventional sport-utes or the newer, car-based crossovers. And General Motors plans to take advantage of that shift away from conventional sedans and coupes by adding an assortment of new utes to its line-up.

They range from downsized models, such as the soon-to-debut Buick Envision, to the big Cadillac XT5. And GM’s four U.S. brands plan to fill in as much white space as possible with either all-new utility vehicles or variants such as the GMC Acadia Denali.

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“We keep expanding the plan.” Johan de Nysschen, the president of the Cadillac brand, told TheDetroitBureau.com following the official unveiling of the new XT5 at the Los Angeles Auto Show last month.

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Cadillac Teases New XT5 Crossover Ahead of Dubai Unveiling

Replacement for Caddy SRX will be critical line addition.

by on Sep.10, 2015

The Cadillac XT5 replaces the old SRX.

Forget Chevrolet, which sports the ad tagline, “Find New Roads.” It’s sibling brand Cadillac that is looking for new routes to reach out to the global luxury car market.

The process began with the move of its corporate headquarters from Detroit to New York last year. Now, Caddy has decided to reveal its all-new 2017 XT5 crossover at the Dubai Motor Show in November before rolling it out at the Los Angeles Motor Show later in the month.

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And the Mideast preview will be staged as part of a new partnership between Cadillac and the well-reviewed fashion house, Public School. The design house will stage its own debut, a showing of its Pre-Fall collection in Dubai.

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Cadillac Aims to “Reinvent” Premium Luxury Segment with New CT6

Bigger, yet lighter, the CT6 aims to redefine a once-dominant brand.

by on Mar.31, 2015

The Cadillac CT6 makes its official debut the night before the opening of the 2015 NY Auto Show.

With the official unveiling of its new CT6 sedan, Cadillac is setting out to “reinvent the premium luxury segment, global president Johan de Nysschen declared Tuesday evening. But the debut of the big sedan is also about reinventing the once-dominant Cadillac brand itself.

In the works since late 2009, shortly after parent General Motors emerged from bankruptcy, the Cadillac CT6 will go up against some of the world’s toughest competitors, vehicles such as the Mercedes-Benz S-Class, BMW 7-Series and Audi A8. But Caddy officials insist they went to play the game on their own terms as they begin an $8 billion product program that will more than double the breadth of the brand’s current line-up.

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The process began with the debut of the small ATS and mid-range CTS, and now moves to the premium segment where Caddy hasn’t been a significant player in years. “The challenge, us to reinvent the large luxury segment, a category Cadillac once called its own,” said de Nysschen, during a preview ahead of the official opening of the New York Auto Show.

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Cadillac Turns to Teddy Roosevelt in New Ad Campaign

New ad campaign debuting during Oscars broadcast.

by on Feb.19, 2015

Cadillac's new Dare Greatly ad campaign focuses on scenes from New York, rather than product.

Where are the rocks and trees?

A new ad campaign from Cadillac takes a big detour from the traditional automotive marketing approach. Rather than focus on one of the luxury maker’s products, such as the new CTS-V performance sedan, it picks up on one of the more inspiring speeches delivered by President Theodore Roosevelt back in 1910.

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To some observers, it has brought to mind the controversial approach introduced for the 1989 launch of the then-new Infiniti brand which focused on a zen-like natural environment, rather than product. Except the rocks and trees of that campaign have been traded for a slow-motion rendering of New York – which just happens to be where Cadillac is moving its headquarters this year.

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better,” declared Roosevelt at the Sorbonne in Paris on April 23, 1910.

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Infiniti Set to Decide Future of Eau Rouge

New brand chief Kruger will soon decide if it’s go or no-go for performance sub-brand.

by on Jan.16, 2015

The original Infiniti Q50 Eau Rouge concept made its debut at the 2014 Detroit Auto Show.

Infiniti’s new President Roland Kruger will be facing a tough decision in the coming weeks: whether to pull the plug on the high-performance Eau Rouge project launched by his predecessor.

The 550-horsepower Q50 Eau Rouge was meant to serve as the halo car for a brand desperate to establish a stronger global identity. But the project has been wracked by turmoil following a series of key defections from the automaker and its parent Nissan, notably the departure of former Infiniti President Johan de Nysschen who left to become the head of Cadillac.

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Despite some reports that the Japanese luxury maker has scrubbed Eau Rouge, Michael Bartsch, the head of Infiniti operations in the U.S., stressed that no decision has yet been made. “We still don’t have an answer on whether it’s a go or no-go,” he said during an interview at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

“We’re waiting for Roland to find out how he feels about (Eau Rouge),” Bartsch added.

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Cadillac Taking on Market Leaders with Aggressive Product Plans

New chief lays out future product cadence.

by on Jan.13, 2015

Cadillac President Johan de Nysschen outlined his ambitious product plan to fill out Caddy's line-up.

If the folks from Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz heard the sounds of cannon shot flying by during the two-day media preview of the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, it’s no surprise. And those shots very likely were launched from the Cadillac stand nearby.

Vowing to take the fight to the enemy, Cadillac’s new global President Johan de Nysschen has outlined an aggressive product launch program that will begin to fill in critical holes in the Detroit maker’s line-up.

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“We’re here to disrupt, to shatter the status quo and change perceptions,” de Nysschen declared during the unveiling of the new 640-horsepower CTS-V sedan. “We will take on the market leaders head-on with vehicles aimed at where they are strongest.” (more…)

Cadillac ATS-V the “Next Chapter,” Says New Brand Boss

High-performance model will introduce no-lift stick-shift.

by on Nov.20, 2014

Johan de Nysschen, Cadillac's new boss, noted the performance of the new Cadillac ATS-V is "perfect for the Autobahn."

When the new Cadillac ATS-V comes to market next year, the compact performance model will introduce a new feature the luxury maker is calling “no-lift shift.” Buyers who opt for the six-speed manual transmission will be able to keep their foot flat on the floor, rather than lifting off the accelerator to change gears, explained new Caddy brand boss Johan de Nysschen.

It’s an appropriate metaphor for what the South African-born executive has in mind for Cadillac. The launch of the ATS-V – available in both sedan and coupe trim – comes at the start of “the next chapter” for General Motors’ flagship brand. And there’ll be plenty to follow, with an array of new performance models, sedans, coupes and an all-new flagship now in the development phase.

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“We have to shape consumer attitudes,” de Nysschen said during a preview at the Los Angeles Auto Show. It is all too apparent, he admitted, that luxury buyers no longer follow the brand or know “how competent our vehicles are.” (more…)