Drive Type: REAR
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Cadillac is under new leadership, and the automaker is committed to turning itself (back) into a global luxury powerhouse. It's got a strong product offensive (of products currently in showrooms, and much more on the way), and now it will have a new location to call home.
Following earlier speculation, GM has confirmed that it is moving Cadillac's base of operations from Detroit to New York. Lest you think it might rent offices in the Chrysler Building (which is, after all, one of the tallest in the city), the new Cadillac global headquarters will be located in the Soho area with a "multipurpose brand and event space in conjunction with modern loft offices." The company is still evaluating which staff will move along with it to Manhattan, and which will remain in Michigan where technical operations will still be based.
The move from Detroit to New York is the first major change being instituted by new Cadillac chief Johan de Nysschen, who previously undertook a similar shift in moving Infiniti away from Nissan headquarters to its own facility in Hong Kong. Ford had attempted a similar move in relocating its luxury portfolio under the Premier Automotive Group (which then included Lincoln, Mercury, Land Rover, Jaguar, Aston Martin and Volvo) from Dearborn to Irvine, CA, but ended up moving Lincoln (the last one still under the Ford umbrella) back to Michigan. Other luxury automakers like Audi (Volkswagen) and Maserati (Fiat) are headquartered away from their parent companies as well, but have a longer history of independent operation.
Cadillac continues to hemorrhage executives, as it's just seen its fourth high-level departure in the past year. Vice President of Global Strategic Development Don Butler (who defected to Ford) and European President and Managing Director Susan Docherty both left the company of their own volition, while Chase Hawkins, Cadillac's vice president of sales and service, was fired following a "violation of policy" in July of 2013. Strangely, it's Hawkins' replacement, Bill Peffer (shown above), who has handed in his papers this time around.
"Bill left to pursue other interests. Kurt McNeil replaces him, effective immediately," spokesman David Caldwell told Autoblog via email.
McNeil last held the VP of sales and service position back in 2012. He's currently the vice president of US sales for all of General Motors. According to The Detroit News, McNeil will take on the post in what is likely an interim capacity.
As an evolution and improvement of its OnStar technology, General Motors has announced that it will be expanding the RemoteLink Mobile App on most 2014 model year Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac vehicles. The new, aptly named RemoteLink Key Fob Services will allow users to remotely operate all of the same systems as the car's key fob, including locking and unlocking the doors and remote starting (on vehicles equipped with a factory remote starter) using a smartphone.
These Key Fob Services will be free for five years - starting from the vehicle's delivery date - but the full suite of RemoteLink features will continue to be offered only with a subscription (trial or paid). These premium features include contacting a live adviser, getting turn-by-turn directions and remotely monitoring the vehicle's diagnostic systems.
Scroll down below for the complete press release with all the details.