With discord from Cadillac dealers after viewing the brand’s plans for electrification, GM began offering buy-out agreements last year. The buy-outs ranged from $250,000 to seven figures, depending on many factors. It was expected that about one-fifth of Cadillac dealers would take the offer when we last looked at the subject. Now, though, many more dealers have decided to bail on the brand, with its plans for future models now being questioned.
By 2022 only 560 Cadillac dealers will be left
From having 875 dealerships starting this year, it looks like only 560 will be around by its end. That’s one-third of its dealer network. This comes via Rory Harvey, VP of Cadillac, as reported by Automotive News. He says that those leaving the Cadillac family are mostly low-volume dealerships.
With its plan to electrify its entire portfolio by 2030, it is leading the way for what will happen with all of GM’s products at some point. It means that dealerships have to begin upgrading service facilities. But it also requires showroom and general dealership remodels before spring. That can end up costing millions of dollars, an investment some dealers balked at.
“We never actually had a number that we were looking for,” Harvey told Automotive News. “This will give us the foundation to be able to accelerate going forward, and we believe that it does give us the ability to be very effectively represented.”
Cadillac is losing a service lifeline for many potential buyers
Maybe so, but those smaller dealerships also provide a lifeline for owners. If it becomes less convenient because they now have to travel farther for service, it puts Cadillac out of the running for many. Toyota and Lexus combined currently have 1,500 dealers in the US.
But many luxury brands have much less. Mercedes has just under 400. BMW dealers number 350, while Audi is just above 300. Luxury brand Genesis only has 178 dealers, though that number is expected to increase.
Cadillac has only recently gotten dealers back in Manhattan and Beverly Hills
Some key cities you would expect it to be in have been without dealers for decades, until recently. Both Manhattan and Beverly Hills only recently entered the fold. Beverly Hills hadn’t seen a Caddy agency since the 1980s. Potamkin Cadillac, in Manhattan, closed up in early 2020.
Though surprising, the brand is poised to have a 10-percent sales increase this year. That, in spite of the microchip shortage, its reputation, and earlier COVID complications at assembly plants. So, while its sedan sales are down, the SUVs and crossovers in its lineup are doing well. Cadillac will make it through its turbulent transformation, but with fewer dealers leading the charge.