Cadillac, like other GM brands, is transitioning toward a fully electrified future. To do that, the luxury brand transformed its dealer network, though Cadillac will chart a new course with far fewer dealers than it had before. According to a recent Reuters report, the brand has nearly 40 percent fewer US dealers than it did just three years ago. The contraction isn’t a surprise as GM bought out dealers who didn’t want to invest in EVs.
Cadillac had about 920 dealers just three years ago, reports the publication, though it will end 2021 with 560 dealers. That’s a significant reduction, though it’ll still have a larger network than other luxury marquees. By the end of last year, 150 dealers had already accepted GM’s buyout, choosing to take cash over investing the $200,000 to $500,000. Reuters says GM doled out $274 million in 2020 and 2021 to dealers looking to ditch the Cadillac brand.
Gallery: 2023 Cadillac Lyriq SUV
The 2023 Cadillac Lyriq, set to arrive next summer, is the first in several electric vehicles coming to Cadillac and other GM brands. The luxury brand has bold plans to offer a fully electric lineup by 2030, with other models in development. Cadillac says the Lyriq has completed about 80 percent of its validation process, which includes real-world exercises, like cold- and hot-weather tests, and virtual simulations. It’ll offer an estimated 340 horsepower with rear-and all-wheel drive available.
The trend of automakers revamping their dealer network isn’t new. Porsche and other luxury brands have branched out to offer boutique retail locations that focus on experiences over selling cars. The coronavirus pandemic has also seen dealers and automakers move parts of the purchasing process online, which will likely increase in the coming years. Tesla does not have a traditional dealer network, and that has others thinking about possible new ways to sell to customers.