Yesterday, Cadillac-chief Johan de Nysschen promised to double the brand’s sales and models by 2020, he raised the possibility of a $250,000 halo-Caddy (HC10?), he presented the Cadillac ATS-V without a tie, as if it’s post-Fukushima cool biz in Yokohama, and OMG, he even “wants Cadillac to report its earnings and losses separately from General Motors.” As if this is not making enough headlines, he also revealed that he, by a hair’s breadth, evaded arrest for making comments on a lady’s hot ass. His words.
On Facebook, de Nysschen recounted an episode with a New York hotel clerk. It went like this:
“The hotel had given my room away, and the assistant behind the counter was rather unapologetic about it. So after some exchange of dialogue I told her “you don’t have to be so hard-assed about it”, which is an expression sometimes used in South Africa to describe people who are being difficult. With my accent, she misunderstood, concluding I had said she had a hot ass, which of course was an entirely different thing. Following intervention by the security people, at least we clarified the misunderstanding, even though I still had no room. Which by now, having been threatened with arrest and a jail cell, seemed like a really good deal.”
The episode happened back in 2005. Today, de Nysschen would most likely be sitting in that cell, plucking tazer wires out of his suit. Yesterday, de Nysschen recounted the assinine run-in to his exclusive circle of Facebook friends (the tally stands at 299) because his headline-making day had ended
“at the Renaissance hotel, only to discover that they had given away my “guaranteed reservation” room. At least they were apologetic about it, I didn’t make reference to anybody’s ass and they secured a room for me at the nearby Marriott Marquis. Which is precisely the hotel where I had the same experience in 2005. Damn. I have come the full circle, right back to where I started.”
Cadillac’s new boss keeps his Facebook friends entertained and sometimes appalled with his steady fare of travelogues covering the downward spiral of the American service industry. But he never spelled out “ass” three times in a row, not counting the assistant. In a politically correct world where a not even naked Kim Kardassian creates a sh*t storm, and where even the most daring blogger shies away from calling the derriere by its proper three letter noun, Johan deserves our admiration and support. He also deserves a better choice of company-paid accommodations. Both the Times Square Renaissance, and especially the Marriott Marquis, are rather half-assed lodgings. Back at Audi, his colleagues preferred the Carlyle, or the Waldorf Towers when in Manhattan. Internationally, the choice skewed towards the Park Hyatt, where a reservation would never go asstray.
Disclosure: This reporter once owned a Cadillac Coupe DeVille (mint green with dark green vinyl top,) and he might buy a new Caddy if Johan keeps this up. If anyone can save GM’s sorry asses and turn Cadillac around, it’s him. And if anyone wants an asstounding amount of headline-worthy material, befriend Johan de Nysschen on Facebook.
PS: Johan’s former Nissan colleague and shortlived Tesla spokesman Simon Sproule (now Aston Martin) just disclosed on Facebook: “Taxi 1 Uber 0. Hint : Cancelling on me twice does not create brand loyalty.”
PPS: “Who’s Johan’s PR, do you know?” one of his former colleagues IM’ed me. “Dunno, but they must be very afraid,” I sent back.
PPPS: After reading the Facebook post, the senior operations manager for the Renaissance NY Time Square hotel sent de Nysschen a Platinum Elite Membership card as a make-good. He sent it to Tracie Kimiayi, de Nysschen’s former assistant at Audi. The fact that de Nysschen is now at Cadillac after a two year stopover at Infiniti, did not register.