Cadillac has been keen on upgrading its dealership base to better compete with the distribution networks of the German luxury brands. Part of the brand’s plans originally included transitioning small dealerships to boutiques with virtual reality showrooms, but thus far small dealerships are balking at the idea.
Leveraging VR technology is part of Cadillac’s Project Pinnacle, a new program that organizes Cadillac dealerships into five different tiers based on sales volume. Each tier has a fairly lengthy list of requirements from Cadillac, down to the speed of the dealership’s guest WiFi network.
Project Pinnacle originally aimed at shoehorning small stores into becoming mostly service centers that had sort of a pop-up Cadillac VR showroom inside with no physical inventory. Automotive News reports that small dealerships have largely not been interested in the $10,000 VR investment.
In fact, Cadillac stores have balked at many provisions within Project Pinnacle, but both dealerships and the National Automobile Dealership Association (NADA) state Cadillac brass have been keen on listening and adapting to concerns from the dealership base.
Many feel the effort to minimize small dealerships was an attempt by Cadillac to thin out smaller stores who did not take a buyout offer. Last year Cadillac offered to buyout the franchise of many of its dealerships, few took them up on the offer.
Instead of forcing the VR showroom on smaller dealerships, Cadillac has evolved to offer it to all of its dealerships as part of facility upgrades. The facility upgrades are not part of Project Pinnacle.
Although Cadillac is not saying how many stores have taken them up on the VR opportunity, the first Cadillac showroom to feature it is Cadillac of Greenwich, located in the wealthy NYC suburb in Connecticut. The store claims that about one-third of its buyers are now using the VR showroom when coming to the facility and encourages other Cadillac dealerships to leverage the technology.
Both Cadillac and its dealerships say that implementing Project Pinnacle has been a “fluid process” and that the program will likely evolve further in 2018.