September 23, 2014 5:28 PM EDT

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By Doron Levin

General Motors’ Cadillac brand is setting up a headquarters office in New York in order to be closer to other premium jewelry, design and high fashion businesses and the consumers who buy their brands.

The relocation is the first major initiative to shake up and energize Cadillac’s sluggish business by Johan de Nysschen, who took over as the brand’s boss in August, following stints at premium automotive brands Infiniti and, before that, Audi. Henceforth, Cadillac will be operated as a separate business unit of GM.

David Caldwell, Cadillac spokesman, confirmed that Cadillac is “working on” securing space in Soho, a stylish neighborhood in lower Manhattan. The headquarters will open with “dozens” of personnel and could grow to a hundred or so, he said.

The move to New York by De Nysschen and many of Cadillac’s top sales, marketing and managerial executives, Caldwell said, is meant to distinguish the brand and afford it a separate identity that conveys a premium message, rather than simply a name that denotes GM’s luxury brand. Thousands of GM engineers, designers and factory personnel who work on Cadillac will remain in the Detroit area. GM’s corporate headquarters is located in downtown Detroit.

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