Johan de Nysschen: Cadillac Diesels in 2019, Possible 911 Fighter in a Decade
Car and Driver
November 21, 2014 at 5:46 pm by Davey G. Johnson
There’s been consternation. There’s been hand-wringing. There’s been the gnashing of teeth. If new president Johan de Nysschen hasn’t turned Cadillac on its ear, he’s certainly stirred the pot with the new CT/XT(X) naming scheme and the GM division’s impending move to the island of Manhattan. At this point, both are done deals. So rather than rehash that stuff, we sat down with him at the L.A. auto show to talk product. Specifically, what we can expect to see from the General’s prestige brand in the next decade . . .
OIL BURNING, TIRE-SMOKING ACTION FOR 2019
Audi has diesels. Mercedes-Benz has diesels. Even über-sportlich BMW sells compression-ignition automobiles in the United States. To expand globally, Cadillac obviously needs to burn oil, and not just at midnight. “Diesel is the fastest, most cost-effective way to reduce CO2 and emissions,” says de Nysschen. “I think it has to be part of our portfolio approach to meeting compliance. Cadillac also wants to be more global and less U.S.-centric, and for many markets, diesel is simply a prerequisite. We will introduce an all-new diesel engine developed specifically for Cadillac by around 2019.”
When we ask whether that includes U.S.-market oil-burners, he succinctly asserts that, “We have a global plan.” And yes, that global plan includes both four- and six-cylinder diesel engines.
TAKING THE FIGHT TO THE 911 AFTER 2020
Audi took the first shot at Porsche’s ubiquitous 911 with its Lamborghini Gallardo–based R8. Mercedes followed just this year with the AMG GT. Yet de Nysschen thinks the time isn’t quite right for Cadillac to leap into that fray: “If you do a high-performance car like the 911, R8, or AMG GT too soon, then you run the risk of being too far removed from where the epicenter of the brand is, so it struggles to have relevance for people. The Acura NSX was a great car, highly acclaimed. But it was so far removed from their other products at the time that I don’t think it did much for the brand. It was the right time for Audi to do the R8 (in 2007). In the long term, yes, I can imagine that there’s such a car, but it’s in the long-term. Beyond 2020. Not 20 years, much closer than that.”