DETROIT -- In one of his first meetings with dealers after getting Cadillac's top job last summer, Johan de Nysschen warned that sales would get worse before they get better.
Now, many dealers are getting a glimpse of what "worse" looks like.
Some missed out on lucrative incentive cash in the first quarter because they fell short of sales targets under a General Motors incentive program. Dealers in lease-heavy markets such as the Northeast and Midwest were especially hard-hit.
Consumer discounts have shriveled, too. Cadillac did dangle big incentives and lease deals in late 2014 and early this year to clear a glut of ATS and CTS sedans. But those largely have dried up on 2015 models.
Cadillac marketing chief Uwe Ellinghaus acknowledged in an interview last month that April would be "the first month where we see the natural demand for ATS and CTS." The results weren't promising: ATS sales last month fell 23 percent, while CTS deliveries plunged 47 percent.
It's a new reality for Cadillac dealers, one that de Nysschen has clearly and frequently tele-graphed since his arrival.