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September, 26, 2016

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Luxury market key to reviving auto brand

With a mission to restore Cadillac's image, De Nysschen sees future in China

Once an iconic luxury car brand in the United States, Cadillac has seen its market share slip to rivals like BMW and Lexus. Johan De Nysschen is trying to recapture the magic that made Cadillac a world-wide symbol of automobile luxury.

To help accomplish that task, de Nysschen expects China to play an important role in the resurgence of the company and the brand.

De Nysschen, 55, was appointed president of Cadillac and an executive vice-president with parent company General Motors Company in 2014 after serving as head of Nissan Motor Co's Infiniti luxury-car division.

He is responsible for all aspects of Cadillac globally. This includes sales, pricing and network development as well as strategic brand development and marketing.

Other responsibilities involve product portfolio planning, including providing critical input for product engineering and design´╝Źas well as overall business results.

At Infiniti, De Nysschen oversaw a move to new headquarters in Hong Kong from Tokyo and overhauled the company's product plan. Before Infiniti, De Nysschen was president of Audi America Inc, at Volkswagen Group of America Inc from 2004 and was in charge of business in the US. De Nysschen was also a member of the executive board of Volkswagen of America Inc.

Earlier this year De Nysschen said Cadillac was aiming to produce an 11 percent operating margin in 10 years as part of the unit's turnaround plan.

De Nysschen has moved Cadillac headquarters from Detroit to offices in New York's trendy Soho neighborhood. He adopted an ambitious product development schedule with 11 new Cadillac models in the pipeline that will be introduced over the next five years.

De Nysschen believes that Cadillac is poised to do great things in the future. Recently, he talked with China Daily about the company's strategy, business opportunities and prospects. The following are edited excerpts from the interview:

How has China's New Normal affected Cadillac's operations in the country?

Despite the New Normal of single-digit economic growth, China set a record for vehicle sales in 2015. The China market is expected to continue growing, but growth will moderate and diversify.

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Johan De Nysschen, president of Cadillac and an executive vice-president with parent company General Motors Company.BLOOMBERG

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