DETROIT -- General Motors has picked the head of Nissan Australia to become Cadillac's vice president of U.S. sales and service, GM said today.
William Peffer Jr., 43, leaves his post as CEO of Nissan Australia after having held several sales and marketing roles for Nissan since 2006. Before that, he spent 13 years in Ford's U.S. sales division, GM said in a statement.
Peffer, whose appointment is effective today, is relocating to Detroit from Melbourne, Australia. He will report to Bob Ferguson, senior vice president of global Cadillac.
"Bill's experience and leadership applies directly to the sales, service and customer experience areas that are crucial to our brand as we grow," Ferguson said in a statement.
Cadillac's top U.S sales post has been vacant since June, when former sales chief Chase Hawkins was dismissed from the company for an undisclosed policy violation.
In his new post, Peffer will lead the brand's U.S. regional sales and service staffs, about 100 to 150 employees, and coordinate with Cadillac's roughly 940 dealerships.
Peffer arrives at a busy time for Cadillac, whose sales have grown 29 percent this year through September. The brand set an ambitious target early this year of 35 percent U.S. retail sales growth for 2013.
Growth has been driven by sales of the ATS compact sedan and the XTS large sedan, both new nameplates that were added to the lineup in spring and summer of 2012.
This week, GM began shipping to dealers the first batches of the redesigned 2014 CTS mid-sized sedan, a key launch for Cadillac as it continues to position its lineup to compete head-to-head with German luxury brands.
The next-generation CTS is one of 10 new or redesigned vehicles that Cadillac is rolling out by mid-2015. The next entries will be the redesigned 2015 Cadillac Escalade, which GM will unveil next week at an event in New York City, and the ELR plug-in hybrid. Both vehicles are scheduled to be launched by spring.
Peffer has an MBA from Duke University and a bachelor's degree in advertising and business from Michigan State University.