Audi and Infiniti’s turnaround champion rumoured to replace GM’s Bob Ferguson

UPDATE: de Nysschen confirmed as President of Cadillac. Press release at bottom.

In a surprise announcement today, Johan de Nysschen, head of Nissan’s luxury brand Infiniti, has left the company for destinations unknown.

de Nysschen took the top post at Infiniti in July 2012 and leaves almost exactly two years later. “Personal reasons” were cited for his departure, though Nissan boss, Andy Palmer, stated the South African executive had a desire to return to the United States where his family still lives.

Infiniti’s headquarters are located in Hong Kong.

Andy Palmer will assume de Nysschen’s duties at Infiniti until a suitable replacement is found. Infiniti is currently looking at candidates inside and outside the company.

Reports are suggesting de Nysschen could find his way back to America with General Motors, replacing Cadillac head Bob Ferguson who’s been busy with GM’s recall woes in Washington. An announcement could be made as soon as later today.

[Source: Automotive News]

Johan de Nysschen Leaving Infiniti, Possibly For Cadillac (UPDATED) general news auto news

 

UPDATE FROM GENERAL MOTORS

Cadillac Names Johan de Nysschen President

Cadillac to operate as global brand, more distinct business unit

DETROIT – General Motors today announced the appointment of Johan de Nysschen as President – Cadillac. de Nysschen will be responsible for all aspects of Cadillac globally including sales, pricing and network development, strategic brand development and marketing and product portfolio planning, including critical input for product engineering and design.

de Nysschen, 54, joins the GM executive leadership team as an executive vice president of the company beginning September 1 and reports to GM President Dan Ammann.

“Johan brings to our company vast experience in the development and proper execution of luxury automotive brands,” said Ammann. “With over 20 years in this exact space, especially in the development of the Audi brand, his track record proves he is the perfect executive to lead Cadillac for the long term.”

de Nysschen said he is eager to join the GM team.

“I have for some time now been impressed by how the new General Motors has been transformed into a formidable force in the industry,” he said. “The combination of strong corporate leadership and exceptional engineering resources presents the perfect combination to restore Cadillac to its place among global premium brands.

“The recognition of the brand is immense, and the progress on the fundamental product front is widely acclaimed. I am delighted at the opportunity to join the GM executive team to lead the Cadillac business, and I look forward to working with my Cadillac colleagues and our global retail partners.”

Cadillac is the fastest-growing luxury brand worldwide, with sales improving approximately 30 percent globally in 2013, and an aggressive cadence of new models recently introduced and in cue. Some highlights include:

  • CTS – 2014 Motor Trend Car of the Year
  • Next generation 2015 Escalade arriving in showrooms
  • The summer’s launch of the 2015 ATS coupe, based on the success of ATS sedan, the 2013 North American Car of the Year Approximately 60 percent of Cadillac buyers are new to the brand

de Nysschen spent the last two years as head of the Infiniti brand worldwide. Prior to that, de Nysschen was chief executive of Audi USA for eight years and president of Audi Japan for five. He began his career with Audi in South Africa in 1993 after a variety of automotive positions with the Ministry of Transportation, BMW in South Africa and an automotive supplier.

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