De Nysschen leaves headroom for über-Cadillacs, goes right über Jonny Lieberman’s head


After calling out “armchair marketing experts,” Cadillac retirees, and Detroit fans, Cadillac-Chief Johan de Nysschen noticed he had forgotten the fourth estate. That lapse was soon corrected. On Facebook, Cadillac’s new boss chided Joan Muller, who wrote at Forbes a story titled “Poor Cadillac: BMW Took All The Good Car Names.” BMW is welcome to “call their cars whatever they like,” de Nysschen wrote, and added: “And we aren’t poor, Forbes.”

The on-line exchange barely had begun, when Motor Trend’s Jonny Lieberman waltzes into the line of fire:

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Cadillac-boss Johan de Nysschen: “Detroit fans – don’t mess with me.”

De Nysschen's Hong Kong apartment, destination Manhattan.

De Nysschen’s Hong Kong apartment, destination Manhattan.

He has been on the job as president of Cadillac for less than 2 months, and Johan de Nysschen is already being turned into the company’s scapegoat #1. His biggest mistake in the eyes of his critics: Moving America’s former luxury brand to New York. When the Daily Kanban reported hints of a move a month ago, it was dismissed as making “no sense,” as the Detroit News’ Mark Phelan declared. Last week, the nonsensical became official when GM finally confirmed that Cadillac is moving its HQ from Detroit to Manhattan. This being announced, “the wrath of hell descends upon me, I’m accused of moving the entire company just because I prefer to live in New York,” de Nysschen wrote today to his 291 Facebook friends. Apparently, the criticism rattled the usually unflappable de Nysschen. He writes:

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Toyota: Read my lips, no new plants

Toyota's new factory plans

Toyota’s new factory plans

Two weeks ago, Mark Hogan, formerly at GM, and now freshly minted board member at Toyota, told Reuters that Toyota absolutely needs more and bigger plants in Mexico. Days later, Bloomberg saw Toyota execs “scouting the country for possible factory sites.” A minor media frenzy ensued, touting the low labor costs and favorable trade accords south of the border. Yesterday, the story was shot down.

A new Reuters story says that the expansion south of the border was put on ice. Whoever cooked it up should have asked Toyota’s boss first. [Continue Reading]

Keep climbing down: Delta Air holds bags of Cadillac CEO hostage

de Nysschen in Beijing, bags in Detroit

de Nysschen in Beijing, bags in Detroit


As I write this, the CEO of Cadillac is crammed into steerage class of American 187, Chicago to Beijing. The CEO of Cadillac will arrive in his Beijing hotel long after midnight, and will take his morning meetings in a suit crumpled from the 13 hr flight in the back of the bus. No fresh clothes, his bags are in Detroit, and if he’s lucky, the luggage will catch up with him some day. Knowing Delta, however, the bags will be last seen in Mogadishu, Somalia. An inauspicious start of a fresh initiative for exporting American luxury abroad.

Johan de Nysschen, freshly minted Cadillac CEO, went to Detroit Airport on Saturday morning, to take the Delta flight to China’s capital. In Beijing, he wanted to meet Cadillac’s China team, to discuss plans for enlarging Cadillac’s share of the world’s largest car market.

The plans collided with a tardy Delta crew. And just in case you are wondering: This is a true story, no satire.

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Reuters crack auto reporter Klayman struck by #IceBucketChallenge virus, deemed insane by his boss


After wreaking havoc among CEOs of some of the world’s largest automakers, the #IceBucketChallenge virus struck the people who come into daily bodily contact with the wet leaders of industry. Ben Klayman of the Detroit Reuters automotive team contracted the disease in his vacation hideout at North Truro, Cape Cod. His condition is reported as guarded. [Continue Reading]

Will Cadillac defect Detroit, and take Manhattan? GM says it’s “possible.”

New perspectives for Cadillac

New perspectives for Cadillac.

According to usually reliable contacts close to the upper echelons of GM management, the company is thinking very seriously about moving its premium brand Cadillac from grungy Detroit to swank Manhattan. [Continue Reading]

Reporters banned from tweeting during GM’s shareholders conference, can tweet freely at Nissan’s


In an attempt to win friends and influence the influencers, GM “prohibited reporters from e-mailing from within its shareholder meeting,” an obviously miffed Bloomberg reporter Tim Higgins wrote. Reporters had a choice of watching the proceedings in situ, but with a smartphone off. Or they could go to a separate room, where they were served coffee, bagels, and the meeting on monitors. They were not allowed to photograph or videotape the monitors.

The interesting part: There are people who think keeping reporters from doing their job is the right thing to do. [Continue Reading]

Michigan Chevy dealer turns recall-profiteer: “Let your problem be our problem.”

GM has, at last count, recalled 15.4 million units globally this year, 13.6 million of them in the U.S. alone. By the time you read this, this number is likely outdated, news of fresh GM recalls have become as routine as the morning sunrise. This hasn’t impacted GM’s sales in an appreciative way. Some dealers even try turning GM’s misery into increased sales, offering allegedly extra trade-in allowances to owners of recalled cars, thereby fostering the impression that lemons are highly valued at a Chevy dealer.

Subscribing to the axiom that there is no such thing as bad publicity, and that a car dealer should know no shame, Davison, Michigan Hank Graff Chevrolet runs this TV ad: [Continue Reading]