Impeccable quality for newly introduced vehicles is important to rebuilding the Cadillac brand, de Nysschen said, and heavy camouflage — intended to keep vehicles hidden from competitors and spy photographers — hinders testing of aerodynamics and cooling systems in a real-world environment.
Vehicles will be unveiled publicly about six or seven months ahead of production, he said, two or three months sooner than has been customary for the brand. Cadillac unveiled the XT5 crossover in November 2015, four months before starting to build it.
"If we want to achieve different results, we also have to be willing to change the processes we've used in the past," de Nysschen said.
In contrast, many other automakers are waiting longer to reveal new products, sometimes doing so just weeks before they show up at dealerships to avoid denting sales of the soon-to-be-outdated model.
"The sales guys are concerned about that," de Nysschen acknowledged. "That, obviously, is the reason why secrecy has been so paramount. Right now, I think getting the very best Cadillacs out there, that are a standard for the world, is top priority for me. If you do these things well, the sales will follow."
Cadillac's next new vehicle will be the XT4 crossover. It will be shown in the first half of next year, de Nysschen said, and go on sale in the fourth quarter. The brand plans to launch four new vehicles in 2019 and 2020, about one every six months, starting with a large, seven-seat crossover and a sedan called the CT5.