Cadillac to move back to Detroit after brief New York stay

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Cadillac confirmed on Wednesday that it will move its headquarters back to Detroit, ending a brief stay in New York.

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The General Motors-owned brand opened its Big Apple headquarters more than three years ago as part of a plan by its former president, Johan de Nysschen, to embed Cadillac in a key market for luxury-car sales. Cadillac’s advertising also reflected the move, as many spots featured vehicles on the streets of New York.

But at a time when Cadillac is preparing to quickly expand its product lineup, the company wants to bring together its marketing staffers and GM’s Detroit-based vehicle development teams.

“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 said in a statement.

The impending move, scheduled for April 2019, was first reported by The Wall Street Journal. Steve Carlisle, Cadillac’s new president, told the Journal that the New York headquarters helped attract new talent, but the brand has turned its focus to developing new vehicles after working to build up the brand.

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Cadillac will relocate to Warren, Michigan, a Detroit suburb that’s also home to GM’s technical center.

The Cadillac House, which is located on the ground floor of Cadillac’s Manhattan office and showcases the brand’s vehicles, will remain open “until longer-term brand plans are in place,” the company said.

“Cadillac’s move to New York made sense in theory, but in practice it didn’t address what Cadillac really needs to turn the brand around – a laser focus on the product,” Jeremy Acevedo, manager of industry analysis at Edmunds, said in an email. “Cadillac has spent a lot of time and money trying to emulate the Germans, but perhaps this is a sign that the company is ready to embrace its Detroit heritage and lean into its unique place in American culture.”

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In the first eight months of 2018, Cadillac has seen its share of the U.S. luxury market drop to 7.7 percent compared to 9.3 percent four years ago, based on Edmunds data.

GM announced in April that Carlisle would replace de Nysschen as Cadillac’s top executive. Carlisle now reports to GM product chief Mark Reuss, a recent change to the automaker’s reporting structure.

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