DETROIT Aug 21 General Motors Co's
premium Cadillac group is considering expanding its offices from
Detroit to Manhattan, GM said Thursday, as part of an effort to
remake the brand's image and broaden its appeal outside North
America under new boss Johan de Nysschen.
"As Cadillac grows, it's possible we could look to add to
our team or expand," said Cadillac spokesman David Caldwell.
"But as of now, no changes."
De Nysschen, in his previous role as head of Nissan Motor
Co's Infiniti brand, engineered a relocation of that
unit from Yokohama to Hong Kong, in part to give the Infiniti
team more autonomy from the Japanese parent and the opportunity
to explore new ways to expand in global markets.
GM has been on a similar quest to expand 112-year-old
Cadillac, one of the world's oldest surviving brands, beyond its
home base, while resurrecting Cadillac's earlier status as one
of the world's top luxury marques.
De Nysschen, the brand's third leader in two years, so far
has not publicly disclosed how he plans to revive Cadillac.
But an expansion of Cadillac's offices to Manhattan could
help attract additional talent and put some distance -
physically and culturally - between Cadillac's management team
and GM headquarters in downtown Detroit.
While such technical functions as design, engineering and
product development likely would remain in southeastern
Michigan, it is possible that de Nysschen could shift marketing,
advertising and strategy to Manhattan.
Word of a possible move by Cadillac to Manhattan was
reported on Thursday by the Japanese website dailykanban.com.
Ford Motor Co briefly pursued a similar strategy for
its premium Lincoln brand, which was relocated to southern
California in 1999 and folded into the company's Premier
Automotive Group, then under the direction of former BMW AG
executive Wolfgang Reitzle.
When Mark Fields replaced Reitzle as head of PAG in 2002,
Lincoln was separated from the group and returned to Ford
headquarters in Dearborn.
(Reporting by Paul Lienert and Bernie Woodall in Detroit.
Editing by Andre Grenon)