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Cadillac's new boss ready to take on German brands

Johan de Nysschen knows what it takes to compete with the German luxury auto brands that dominate the high-end auto market.

Now his job is to help Cadillac beat BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Audi in the increasingly competitive luxury auto business.

Johan De Nysschen
Stan Honda | AFP | Getty Images
Johan De Nysschen

General Motors has hired de Nysschen to run its struggling Cadillac division, as CEO Mary Barra moves to revamp the automaker's struggling iconic brand.

He joins Cadillac after successful stints running Audi USA, and most recently Infiniti. He resigned from Infiniti earlier this week.

Read MoreCadillac stuck in neutral while luxury autos zoom

As the head of Infiniti, de Nysschen pushed Nissan's luxury brand to grow sales thanks to a sharper focus on styling. Under his leadership, the brand posted record global sales in the first half of the year. Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn recruited de Nysschen to Infiniti after being impressed by his work at Audi.

Now, Barra is looking for de Nysschen to work his magic at Cadillac—a brand that is losing head-to-head battles with German luxury brands.

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This year, Cadillac sales in the U.S. are down 1.2 percent, while all other mass-market luxury brands have increased sales, some by more than 10 percent.

By CNBC's Phil LeBeau.

Questions? Comments? BehindTheWheel@cnbc.com.

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