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Cadillac’s Ride from Detroit to SoHo and Back Again

National  + Weekender  | 

In late September 2014, General Motors announced that Cadillac, long a symbol of Detroit luxury-car know-how, would be established as a separate business unit, and that the brand would leave Detroit in 2015 to establish a headquarters in New York City’s SoHo neighborhood.

“There is no city in the world where the inhabitants are more immersed in a premium lifestyle than in New York,” Johan de Nysschen, Cadillac’s then-president, said at the time. “Establishing our new global headquarters in SoHo places Cadillac at the epicenter of sophisticated living.”

It’s now late September four years later, and Cadillac is moving its headquarters again—back to the Detroit area. The brand will relocate its global base to Warren, MI, where its tech center is located.

An April 1, 2019 move-in is targeted for the former Lowe Campbell Ewald building in Warren, currently used to house some tech center employees, the Detroit News reported. In the interim, GM will perform “some renovations” to transition the building for headquarters use, a GM spokesman told the News.

The announcement comes less than six months after de Nysschen was replaced by veteran executive Steve Carlisle, and a company spokesman told the Detroit Free Press that Cadillac would remain headquartered in New York. “It’s 100% that we’re staying here, that was never a question,” the spokesman said.

For the time being, Cadillac House in SoHo will continue to house “events, concerts and collaborative partnerships until longer-term brand plans are in place,” the brand said in a statement. Yet, a return to Detroit was overdue, critics said.

“Whatever perceived advantage there was to moving to New York was not realized,” Rebecca Lindland, an analyst for Cox Automotive, told the Detroit News. “They have not been good stewards of the brand, and I think by moving back to Detroit, and by embracing their roots, they can start rebuilding that foundation.” Cadillac recently announced plans to introduce a new product every six months through 2020.

For Warren in particular, the move represents a shot in the arm. When ad agency Campbell Ewald left the city in 2013 for Detroit, “that left a lot of us with a sour feeling at the time,” Warren Mayor Jim Fouts told the News. “Now Cadillac, the premiere car at GM, is coming back from New York —coming to Warren.”

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About Paul Bubny

Paul Bubny serves as Senior Content Director for Connect Commercial Real Estate, a role to which he brings 13-plus years’ experience covering the commercial real estate industry and 30-plus years in business-to-business journalism. In this capacity, he oversees daily operations while also reporting on both local/regional markets and national trends, covering individual transactions across all property types, as well as delving into broader subject matter. He produces 15-20 daily news stories per day and works with the Connect team and clients to develop longer-form content, ranging from Q&As to thought-leadership pieces. Prior to joining Connect, Paul was Managing Editor for both Real Estate Forum and at American Lawyer Media, where he oversaw operations at both publications while also producing daily news and feature-length articles. His tenure in B2B publishing stretches back into the print era, and he has served as Editor in Chief on four national trade publications. Since 1999, Paul has volunteered as the newsletter editor of passenger rail advocacy groups (one national, one local).

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