To the Editor:
I read the observations regarding Cadillac in Keith Crain's Oct. 6 column with interest ("Cadillac is making big mistakes").
Without wishing to consume valuable column space elaborating the rationale behind the various changes taking place at Cadillac, I am, however, compelled to respond to some of the issues he has raised.
The relocation of about 100 executives to New York -- representing a net loss of no more than 50 jobs, as many multibrand roles will likely be back-filled at General Motors headquarters -- is not a vote against Detroit.
It is about structurally entrenching a challenge to the status quo by reinforcing the psychological and physical separation in business philosophy between the mainstream brands and GM's luxury brand. In any event, the handful of jobs lost to the city is insignificant compared with the more than 1,600 jobs secured by the decision this month to produce our flagship CT6 in Detroit.
The relocation decision is entirely unrelated to the personal living preferences of any Cadillac executive. No corporation would tolerate such indulgence by its leadership.
The disadvantages to business efficiency that Crain rightfully points out have been anticipated and will be overcome by making changes to current corporate processes. Cadillac leadership will decide on all matters Cadillac, at every touch point, and will be accountable only to GM top management and stakeholders.
The obvious emotional appeal of historical subbrand names such as Eldorado, Fleetwood, etc. should be balanced against the fact that those names resonate more with baby boomers and are U.S.-centric. Cadillac must go global. Those romantic names have little relevance to a millennial premium shopper in China, for instance, where the reality is that alphanumeric nomenclature is a deeply entrenched industrywide practice.
While I have the utmost respect for Crain's view, on this occasion we may have to agree to disagree.
Regardless of where its executives are located, Cadillac is and always will be from Detroit.
It is our hometown, and as we venture forth to challenge the world with our unique set of American values, we would like to think our hometown is rooting for us.
After all, our success is also a victory for Detroit.
JOHAN DE NYSSCHEN