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Peffer among major management moves at Cadillac

Moving on: Bill Peffer has left General Motors after just eight months in the job. He was a leading figure at the brand, which has also just lured global Infiniti boss Johan de Nysschen across as president.

Former Nissan Australia chief leaves GM as global Infiniti boss takes Cadillac reins

14 Jul 2014

FORMER Nissan Australia chief Bill Peffer, who joined General Motors late last year as US vice-president of Cadillac sales and service, has left the American auto giant after just eight months in the job.

No reasons were given for Mr Peffer’s surprise departure, although overseas reports indicate he left “to pursue other interests”.

GM’s head of US sales operations Kurt McNeil has taken over as interim vice-president of sales and service for Cadillac, a role he previously held until 2012.

Mr Peffer was a key figure at Cadillac and had been increasingly in the spotlight this year after his boss, senior vice-president of Global Cadillac Bob Ferguson, was required to divide his time between the brand and working as the company’s chief lobbyist on the ignition switch recall crisis.

Late last week, GM officially appointed Mr Ferguson as head of global public policy for the company, which makes him responsible for “federal, state and international government relations and public policy activities in the US and its markets around the globe”.

A day later, the company confirmed it had hired Johan de Nysschen as president of Cadillac, securing the high-profile motor industry executive’s services after two years as head of Nissan’s Infiniti brand worldwide. He was previously head of Audi in the US market (for eight years) and Japan (five years).

 center imageLeft: Johan de Nysschen

A replacement for Mr Peffer is still to be named.

Mr Peffer was managing director and CEO of Nissan Australia for an 18-month period, from April 2012 to September 2013.

He had worked for Nissan since 2006 and was director of marketing communications and media at Nissan North America before replacing fellow American Dan Thompson at the helm of the Japanese car giant’s Australian subsidiary.

At GM, Mr Peffer filled the role vacated by Chase Hawkins, who was reportedly dismissed for an undisclosed policy violation.

He is now the third sales executive in the past two years to move on from Cadillac, the only brand in GM’s stable that has experienced a downturn in sales this year.

To the end of June, Cadillac sales were down 1.9 per cent, compared to 12.5 per cent growth for Buick, a 5.3 per cent increase for GMC and 1.3 per cent improvement for Chevrolet.

Mr Peffer was primarily responsible for Cadillac’s sales and service programs, including leadership of US regional sales and service staff, co-ordination with Cadillac’s US dealers and overall management of the brand’s customer service activities.

Prior to joining Nissan, Mr Peffer had worked for for Ford for 13 years in key sales and operational roles working with US dealers.

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