TO THE EDITOR:
In 2004, I criticized Cadillac's decision to build an "entry-level" Cadillac. This makes me a gadfly; I welcome the description: "one who provokes others into action by criticism." Being neither clairvoyant nor a Mensa member, I only wish my provocations would produce positive actions.
In July 2014, I criticized the hiring of Johan de Nysschen to head Cadillac, a decision supported by General Motors CEO Mary Barra. Subsequently, I challenged the wisdom and cost of moving Cadillac to Manhattan as well as de Nysschen's first ad featuring Edith Piaf and his "brilliant" new tag line, "Dare Greatly." Four years later, de Nysschen is no longer employed at GM; Cadillac is returning to Detroit; the famous French singer of the '30s is no longer associated with Cadillac; and "Dare Greatly" is somewhere on the pile of bad ideas.
As recently as June, a Cadillac spokesman said of the New York headquarters, "It's 100 percent that we're staying here; that was never a question." The real question is: In just these few months, how could a competent GM management not have foreseen that this multimillion-dollar fiasco would result in a move back to Detroit?
The Opel/Vauxhall sale virtually eliminated GM's footprint in Europe. Terminating sales in India and operations in South Africa adds to rationale for redacting the word "global" from GM's resume.
Alfred P. Sloan and GM's co-founders kept the company on course to becoming the world's largest vehicle manufacturer. Unfortunately, recent and current self-indulgent leadership continue to dismantle their successes.
RICHARD HERDEGEN, Bloomfield Hills, Mich. The writer is a retired General Motors executive.