The President of Infiniti, Johan De Nysschen, has tendered his resignation from Nissan’s luxury marque and will soon begin his job as the next head of Cadillac.
According to an Automotive News report, de Nysschen tendered his resignation to Nissan earlier this week. He cited personal reasons for his move, as his family currently lives in the USA. He did indicate, however, that he had a job lined up.
That job, it has now been confirmed by GM, is that of President of Cadillac. He begins work at Cadillac on September 1.
Johan de Nysschen was born and raised in South Africa. After successful stints at BMW and Volkswagen in his native country, he became the head of Audi USA in 2004. There he oversaw a period of impressive growth, with the four-ring brand’s share of the US luxury car market expanding from 5.3 per cent in 2004 to 9.5 per cent in 2011.
Two years ago, de Nysschen was hired by Renault-Nissan head Carlos Ghosn to shepherd Infiniti through a period of change. He moved to Infiniti’s global headquarters in Hong Kong and rejigged its naming scheme from model names, like M, J and G, to Q30 through Q70 for sedans and hatches, and QX30 to QX80 for SUVs.
With de Nysschen’s help, the brand expanded its working relationship with Mercedes-Benz. The upcoming Q30 hatchback will be based on the underpinnings of the Mercedes-Benz A-Class, while the QX30 SUV will be based on the GLA-Class.
Thanks to the brand’s entry into new markets, as well as the launch of the Q50 sedan, Infiniti has recorded record sales in the first half of this year — up 30 per cent to 101,220. Nissan’s luxury marque hasn’t fared so well in Australia, though.
Last year Infiniti Australia sold just 42 Infiniti M (now Q70) sedans, while the G37 (now Q60) coupe and convertible managed a meagre 75 sales. The M placed sixth and the G37 10th in 2013’s list of least popular cars on sale in Australia.
He will now be tasked with leading Cadillac through a time of uncertainty. He replaces Bob Ferguson, who, in the wake of GM’s ever growing recall scandal (30 million vehicles recalled and counting), left Cadillac to resume his role as GM’s chief lobbyist in Washington, DC. Former Nissan Australia president and CEO, Bill Peffer, recently resigned from the position of US vice president of sales and service with Cadillac.
The brand’s US sales have dipped around two per cent this year, despite the overall market growing four per cent. That said, with the help of the 3-Series-fighting ATS and a new E-Class-size CTS, Cadillac did improve its sales by 22 per cent in 2013.