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Cadillac Backs Off Virtual Reality Showroom

Cadillac Backs Off Virtual Reality Showroom

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.





 

About Nick Saporito

AutoVerdict Senior Editor Nick Saporito began writing about cars at age 13. Nick ran a couple of automotive enthusiast sites for several years, before taking some time off to focus on his career and education. By day he's a marketing executive in the telecom world and by night he hangs out here at AV. You'll find him focusing on tech, design and the industry's future.
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  1. megeebee
    Andrew_L
    I didn't realize we were talking about Lincoln ;)

    I believe most if not all the ones that were forced out were stand alone Lincoln/Mercury dealers that were forced to move into a Ford dealer if available and if not then to close down. Granted there are still some stand alone Lincoln dealers there are 2 in my area but Florida seems to be the ideal spot for a Lincoln dealer. Anyway from what I have read most Lincoln dealers are now pared at the hip with Ford dealers with their own showrooms or at least supposed to have their own. Also I find it interesting there are no stand alone Cadillac dealers in my area. There's a Cadillac/Land Rover dealer in Clearwater which is a really odd paring and then Dimmitt Cadillac in St. Pete which is pared with Aston Martin, Bentley, Rolls Royce, and McLaren.


    I guess my point was that Cadillac is not alone in turning it's back on smaller, rural areas.
    Dequindre
    megeebee
    They don't matter to Mercedes, BMW, or Audi either and those names all outsell Cadillac by quite a bit. We're talking about dealers that sell 10 or fewer a year.

    BTW: Where were all those Lincoln Dealers that Mulally forced out?


    Those 10 cars here and there add up after a while, especially considering how unstable Cadillac's sales have been as of late.
    Andrew_L
    megeebee
    They don't matter to Mercedes, BMW, or Audi either and those names all outsell Cadillac by quite a bit. We're talking about dealers that sell 10 or fewer a year.

    BTW: Where were all those Lincoln Dealers that Mulally forced out?


    I didn't realize we were talking about Lincoln ;)

    I believe most if not all the ones that were forced out were stand alone Lincoln/Mercury dealers that were forced to move into a Ford dealer if available and if not then to close down. Granted there are still some stand alone Lincoln dealers there are 2 in my area but Florida seems to be the ideal spot for a Lincoln dealer. Anyway from what I have read most Lincoln dealers are now pared at the hip with Ford dealers with their own showrooms or at least supposed to have their own. Also I find it interesting there are no stand alone Cadillac dealers in my area. There's a Cadillac/Land Rover dealer in Clearwater which is a really odd paring and then Dimmitt Cadillac in St. Pete which is pared with Aston Martin, Bentley, Rolls Royce, and McLaren.
    megeebee
    Dequindre
    Good. It was a stupid idea. Johann seems to have a strange contempt for suburban and rural areas. Not every Cadillac customer lives in or around a major metropolitan area.


    Andrew_L
    That's because those customers apparently don't matter to Cadillac


    They don't matter to Mercedes, BMW, or Audi either and those names all outsell Cadillac by quite a bit. We're talking about dealers that sell 10 or fewer a year.

    BTW: Where were all those Lincoln Dealers that Mulally forced out?
    Andrew_L
    Dequindre
    Good. It was a stupid idea. Johann seems to have a strange contempt for suburban and rural areas. Not every Cadillac customer lives in or around a major metropolitan area.


    That's because those customers apparently don't matter to Cadillac
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