Cadillac is getting into the boutique business, but is making it clear to dealers that there are no plans to reduce the ranks. It’s part of the automaker’s newly announced plans to overhaul its United States dealership network in a couple of different ways. General Motors’ luxury brand made the big announcement last week at the Washington, D.C. Auto Show.
Intended to boost the brand’s image in the eyes of luxury car buyers, Cadillac’s dealership upgrade will focus on better customer service and new showrooms with the latest technologies.
Cadillac currently has 900 stores in the U.S., 200 of which are standalone facilities, meaning they aren’t tied-in with another GM franchise. Under the new plan, orchestrated by Cadillac President Johan de Nysschen, those 200 standalone outlets will be transformed into flagship locations while the other 700 dealerships will serve as so-called “boutique” locations. Those 700 boutique stores would be outfitted with unique Cadillac touch points, luxury amenities and highly trained sales and service employees.
Cadillac stores will also use “Virtual Showrooms” that will allow buyers to quickly customize the vehicle they are interested in buying. Future versions of the technology could even use, wait for it, it holograms.
“Our recently announced $12 billion investment in product must be accompanied by corresponding upgrades to the customer experience,” de Nysschen said. “For all dealers, including multi-brand outlets, we should strive to create a premium showroom atmosphere and the sophisticated brand experience that luxury consumers expect.”
Cadillac is also devising a way to reward dealers with high levels of customer satisfaction with cash kickbacks. One thing Cadillac says it won’t do, is close any of its U.S. retail locations, something dealers were worried about after hearing about the changes.
Cadillac’s new high performance CTV-S goes on sale this summer, then its next newsmaker will be the CT6 sedan which will go up against the Mercedes-Benz S-Class, BMW’s 7 Series and Audi’s A8.