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Revised Cadillac Dealer Network to Include 700 "Boutique" Stores

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 1/23/2015 Alex Nishimoto
Revised Cadillac Dealer Network to Include 700 "Boutique" Stores

Cadillac President Johan de Nysschen continues to shake things up at GM's luxury brand. The executive announced at the Washington, D.C. auto show that Cadillac will ask around 700 dealerships to invest in "high-technology showrooms" and convert to smaller, boutique stores.

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Cadillac currently has 900 dealerships in its network, with about 200 flagship locations around the U.S. It's the remaining 700 that de Nysschen wants to bolster to better fit the brand's newfound serious luxury image. Among those dealers are many paired with Chevrolet or other brands.

Audi CEO Johan de Nysschen© Provided by MotorTrend Audi CEO Johan de Nysschen

"I am definitely going to be in disagreement with dealers who think they can sustain the business for Cadillac by selling Cadillac out the backdoor of a Chevy store," de Nysschen told Automotive News in an interview.

Those dealers would be asked to adopt a boutique concept with "exclusive Cadillac consumer touch points, highly trained sales staff, and luxury amenities." The spaces could also include a "virtual showroom" with interactive digital displays or holograms that allow customers to configure their Cadillacs in-store. Dealers that don't have Cadillac as their primary brand will be expected to invest in their facilities and make "upgrades to the customer experience," the executive said. In return, de Nysschen promises them an influx of new sheetmetal over the next several years, as the brand recently announced a $12 billion investment in product. Among the new products coming is the CT6 sedan, which could debut this April in New York, home to Cadillac's new global headquarters.

2015 Cadillac Escalade© Provided by MotorTrend 2015 Cadillac Escalade

Cadillac says that, in spite of the changes in store, it has no plans to reduce its dealer network. And though De Nysschen told AN that the size of the network is larger than he would like if he was starting from scratch, the executive admits that the expansive coverage can be an advantage over Cadillac's luxury competitors. Currently, the brand's reach extends to non-urban areas where Mercedes, BMW, and Audi have not yet spread. But the goal now is to improve the customer experience to make visiting your Cadillac dealer a more exclusive and premium affair.

Another thing de Nysschen wants to improve is profitability across its dealers. As one of his first acts as Cadillac chief, de Nysschen last year vowed not to lower prices, despite slow sales. Instead, he cut production to raise exclusivity and curb incentives, which would normally be needed to move cars off lots. A new system will reward dealers who invest in facilities, redouble marketing efforts, and receive high marks in customer satisfaction.

Source: Cadillac, Automotive News (Subscription required)

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