Detroit is welcoming Cadillac back to its original home just four years after the American luxury brand made the jump to the glamorous streets of SoHo in New York City. The move is scheduled to begin in April 2019.
According to The Detroit News, General Motors will begin transitioning its luxury automaker to a new Michigan headquarters in the coming months. Cadillac's former president, Johan de Nysschen, moved Cadillac to the Big Apple as part of a $12 billion company overhaul when he came onboard in 2014. Reportedly, the brand's boss was seeking a separation between its parent company, GM, and its luxury offerings.
Nysschen spun up advertisements for Cadillac over the next few months which showcased its vehicles as being part of New York culture, shifting the brand's identity to align more with German automakers than its American roots. Ultimately, Cadillac ousted Nysschen earlier this year, replacing him with General Motor Canada's managing director, Steve Carlisle, and claimed that this decision would not result in the company leaving SoHo.
Although new talent acquisition has been a success in the New York relocation, Carlisle believes that it hasn't done much to help accelerate the development of new vehicles. As a result, Cadillac will pack up its bags and be relocated to Warren, Michigan, a suburb outside of Detroit. Its new headquarters will be centralized in a building that once belonged to its former advertising agency, Lowe Campbell Ewald, closeby to General Motor's 710-acre Technical Center campus.
The Cadillac House, a showroom and brand experience gathering place, will remain in Manhattan until the automaker can establish what it calls "longer-term brand plans". Currently, Cadillac is in a design frenzy, as the brand has made it a goal to reveal a completely new or redesigned vehicle every six months from now until 2020, and Carlisle's team feels that the automaker will be better positioned for this goal at its original home in Detroit. Most recently, Cadillac revealed its XT4 compact crossover at the company's latest launch event.
“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 told Fox Business in a statement.
The shift in Cadillac's location indicates that the brand has identified needs that it believes have not yet been fulfilled, and the company's sales numbers agree. As of June, Cadillac has reported 75,949 total vehicle sales in 2018. Comparatively, Mercedes-Benz reports that its North American sales had topped 176,408 during the same time period and BMW reported 153,386 of their own.
Cadillac may be beginning to realize that it can embrace its domestic heritage without needing to target German luxury brands. With a plethora of vehicle offerings planned over the next several years, the automaker can seek out the approval of enthusiasts and luxury owners alike without sacrificing its brand identity in the name of change.