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General Motors Co. has asked about 40 employees to relocate from southeastern Michigan to New York City in order to work for Cadillac, as the luxury brand establishes a headquarters in the city later this year.

Cadillac President Johan de Nysschen, in an interview with The Detroit News at the North American International Auto Show this week, said the brand headquarters will relocate June 1 to New York.

In September, Cadillac announced its plans to establish a global brand headquarters in New York to help the 112-year-old brand re-establish itself as a dominant global luxury player in a highly competitive market. The idea, de Nysschen explained, is to put a bit of distance between the rest of GM and Cadillac and do so in a city that that is the epicenter of luxury and can help it better understand target customers. Some Detroit community members and politicians were disappointed and criticized the move.

The executive, who joined Cadillac late last year from Infiniti Motor Co. Ltd., said Cadillac will house the president’s office, sales and marketing, brand communications, market research, strategic planning, finance, aftersales marketing, customer experience and quality and product planning in New York.

He said about 40 GM employees were made offers last week to move to its Hudson Square headquarters, under construction now.

“We have given them until the end of February to contemplate. We’ve arranged now a number of look-see trips for them to get a feel for the lay of the land in terms of housing, schooling, proximity to work, all of those issues,” he said.

GM has redesigned the Cadillac business, which will operate as a separate business unit of GM. The automaker plans to invest $12 billion into Cadillac by the end of the decade, as it adds eight all-new vehicles, including SUVs. Cadillac’s U.S. sales fell 6.5 percent last year, but its global sales inched up 5 percent.

“What we have done is really reorganize Cadillac as an organization. The organization structure is different. Many of the roles and their content are different, the job skills are different,” de Nysschen said. “In many cases they are not (the same roles in Detroit today).”

Cadillac design, research and development and other technical aspects will stay based in Michigan, de Nysschen previously told The Detroit News.

He said others within GM are interested in working for Cadillac in New York: “We have this idea to obviously recruit the best talent, be it internal and external. There are emerging now… several hand-raisers from other parts of General Motors, of good people who are raising their hands and saying they are interested in joining the Cadillac team.”

By the end of the year, de Nysschen expects about 130 to 140 people to be working for Cadillac in New York; many will be new hires.

In November, de Nysschen said the New York office could more than double employees to about 300 in the next three years.

mburden@detroitnews.com

(313) 222-2319

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