GM returning Cadillac HQ to Michigan from New York
DETROIT -- General Motors is moving Cadillac's headquarters back to Michigan roughly three years after the brand moved to New York City's trendy SoHo neighborhood.
The decision comes less than six months after GM executives ousted Cadillac President Johan de Nysschen, a former Infiniti and Audi executive, in exchange for Steve Carlisle, a GM lifer who most recently led the automaker's Canadian operations.
Cadillac on Wednesday confirmed that the automaker has decided to relocate the luxury brand's headquarters back to Michigan, citing the move "will further support" the brand's upcoming launch cadence of a new or redesigned vehicle every six months through 2020.
A GM spokesman confirmed that Cadillac will move to a location near GM’s technical center in Warren, Mich., north of Detroit. A probable location would be the former headquarters of longtime GM ad agency partner Lowe Campbell Ewald in Warren, Mich., north of Detroit. GM bought the 150,000-square-foot building for $2 million in 2014.
"The move will place the Cadillac brand team closer to those responsible for the new Cadillacs, including design, engineering, purchasing and manufacturing, ensuring full integration of Cadillac's global growth strategy," Cadillac said in an emailed statement to Automotive News.
GM says Cadillac will maintain a brand presence in New York City with its current Cadillac House headquarters, which the company reportedly leased for 10 years and spent $12.7 million to renovate.
It's unclear how many of the brand's roughly 110 employees in New York will relocate to the Detroit area. A Cadillac spokesman declined to comment past the company's statement.
Carlisle told The Wall Street Journal, which first reported the decision, that the move back to its home state is an attempt to streamline “the communication process between the Cadillac team and the GM partners.”
Time in Detroit
Earlier this month, Carlisle told reporters that he was spending a lot of his time in Detroit, not New York.
The original move occurred under de Nysschen, however it was believed then-Cadillac CMO Uwe Ellinghaus, who started before de Nysschen and left the company at the beginning of this year, was a main proponent of the New York headquarters.
"Cadillac's move to New York made sense in theory, but in practice it didn't address what Cadillac really needs to turn the brand around -- a laser focus on the product,” said Jeremy Acevedo, Edmunds' manager of industry analysis, in a statement. “Moving the headquarters to Warren, where the heart of GM's design and engineering teams are, is a big statement that Cadillac is serious about bringing the brand and product visions together.
Acevedo said the brand has spent “a lot of time and money trying to emulate the Germans,” but maybe the move back to its home state “is a sign that the company is ready to embrace its Detroit heritage and lean into its unique place in American culture.”
Since the move to New York was announced in 2014, Cadillac's sales have dropped 12 percent and the brand's share of the luxury auto market has fallen from 9.3 percent to 7.7 percent, according to Edmunds.
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