General Motors is planning to tap Johan de Nysschen to head global sales at its Cadillac once he exits Nissan’s Infiniti, two people privy with the carmaker’s plans told Automotive News. De Nysschen would be succeeding Bob Ferguson, who recently quit his post after returning to his previous position as the GM’s top government lobbyist.
Ferguson has been in Washington most of the time since mid-March, helping GM’s set prompt responses to its faulty ignition switch recall. With Ferguson out as the luxury brand’s sales boss, GM need to quickly find a replacement, especially that US Cadillac chief Bill Peffer exited abruptly in June just after less than 10 months in office.
So far this year, Cadillac saw its US sales drop 2 percent, while the market grew 4 percent. In 2013, Cadillac gained 22 percent. De Nysschen recently submitted his resignation at Infiniti, as confirmed by Nissan Motor Corp. Executive Vice President Andy Palmer to Automotive News in an interview.
Palmer said de Nysschen cited personal reasons for his exit from Infiniti, but gained employment at another carmaker. Palmer said de Nysschen cited “a strong desire to go back to the United States for personal reasons,” noting that his home and family are still in the country.
De Nysschen was tapped by Nissan chief executive Carlos Ghosn for his record as president of Audi of America. He was responsible for increasing Audi’s share of the US luxury market from 5.3 percent in 2004 to 9.5 percent in 2011.
Palmer remarked that Nissan is considering internal and external candidates to replace de Nysschen. While a replacement has yet to be found, Palmer will act temporarily as president of Infiniti.