Monday, April 23, 2018


Digging a little deeper into the current Cadillac conflagrations, and talking to some old friends among the huge American network of multi-franchise dealers, there are several new tid-bits of information dribbling in.

It seems there are some flash new cars in Cadillac’s future product plan; created by the design team led by Australian-born Andrew Smith.

However, the pressure to oust Johan de Nyscchen did come from the dealers – and it’s due to big changes in dealer operations in the USA.

Dealer consolidation is all the rage these days.

Big dealer groups and venture capitalists are buying up smaller dealers and consolidating into huge networks which rely solely on turnover to make money – so units sold is all the managers care about.

AutoNation, led by Mike Jackson (centre) is probably the largest owner of multi-franchise new dealerships, and huge used car operations in America, and they weild a big stick.

There are fewer and fewer Mom and Pop, family-run dealers these days, and they simply can’t exert any pressure on the carmakers. However, the consolidated networks have a loud voice at GM headquarters, and they are simply too impatient to get buyers through the door, to wait for de Nyscchen’s ‘Project Pinnacle’ plans to come to fruition.

These big groups, like the Penske Automotive Group (left), have got Cadillac franchises amongst their vast holdings and they want sales, and soon!

It’s just about numbers right now - never mind brand building for the future.

Also, Johan de Nyscchen has an abrasive nature. It’s his best-known character feature, which many have experienced. I'll just bet when GM’s President Dan Ammann (right) told Johan he had to create a ‘Plan B’; dump Project Pinnacle; and quickly come up with ideas to get buyers into dealerships, I can guess what happened.

Johan said no, and the GM management said ‘go’ – and that was that.

Stay tuned, this drama has more developments on the way.

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