DETROIT — Cadillac's foray into New York City will officially end by April 1.
The brand, said Cadillac President Steve Carlisle, has been winding down the operations and will sublet the space or break the agreement and return the space to the landlord. The lease agreement for the space, which Cadillac reportedly spent $12.7 million to renovate, runs until 2025.
Carlisle expects roughly half of the brand's 110 New York employees could move to suburban Detroit, but that process is ongoing and being decided case by case.
Shuttering Cadillac House is a change from when the brand initially confirmed it would move back to Michigan from New York's trendy SoHo neighborhood in September.
At the time, Cadillac said it would "maintain a brand presence in New York City with the Cadillac House."
Cadillac, marketing chief Deborah Wahl said, may have a presence in the Big Apple in the future, but the current location has run its course.
"Some of the challenges in New York are if you're in one place in New York, you get one crowd," she told Automotive News Monday on the sidelines of the Detroit auto show. "What I'm looking at is, we want to have a presence in New York, but it's been four years of Cadillac House in SoHo on Hudson Street. Where else do we go? Where else do we engage?"
Wahl, who was named chief marketing officer in March, said Cadillac House, which featured a public space that included a coffee shop and rotating art exhibits and concerts, made a statement and got people engaging with the brand, but it's not what the brand needs now.
Wahl, who previously was based in New York, is based in Detroit with Carlisle and the rest of the executive team.
Cadillac's new headquarters will be in a General Motors-owned building north of Detroit in Warren, Mich., across the street from the company's technology and design campus. The space, Carlisle said, is being built out and is expected to be completed by April.
GM has touted the move, which followed a series of executive shake-ups, as a way to "further support" the brand's launch of a new or redesigned vehicle every six months through 2021.
"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 September.
The move to New York City occurred under ousted Cadillac President Johan de Nysschen, but the decision was made before his tenure. Then-Cadillac marketing chief Uwe Ellinghaus, who started before de Nysschen and left the company at the end of 2017, was believed to be a main proponent of the New York headquarters.