The idea of “luxury” extends far beyond features or the kind of material used for seat upholstery. Indeed, for a brand to be considered luxurious, there needs to be a wholistic approach to meeting customer needs and desires, from the car buying experience to the ownership experience, and everywhere in between. The approach should be simple and intuitive every step of the way. And now, Cadillac North America vice president Mahmoud Samara is arguing for exactly that.
In a recent interview with Automotive News, Samara laid out his industry “wishes” for 2021, providing a few insights with regard to the Caddy customer experience and how they may relate to the luxury marque’s future. One of the most prominent topics covered was the shopping and purchase experience as the luxury marque moves to introduce a sweeping range of all-new, all-electric models.
“In preparation for our all-EV future, we would like to see customer experience reimagined to empower customers to do business on their own terms,” Samara told Automotive News. “In order to do this, Cadillac will be pioneering solutions that are personal, predictive, efficient, innovative, simple and transparent in both our dealerships and contact centers.”
For Samara, one of the keys is simplification, both for the customer experience, and for the business as a whole.
“To make it easier for buyers to buy, we have to make it easier for the sellers to sell,” Samara said.
Cadillac has offered customers a variety of new avenues to access its latest vehicle lineup, even during restrictions imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic. For example, the luxury marque launched Cadillac Live, a “digital showroom” where customers can take a virtual tour of their chosen Cadillac via the Internet, all while a product specialist answers any questions the customer may have in realtime.
Furthermore, Cadillac’s parent company, General Motors, revised its Shop-Click-Drive digital retail tool with updated pricing transparency, the option to schedule a test drive, and the option to fill out a realtime credit application. According to Automotive News, leads generated by the new Shop-Click-Drive tool increased threefold since the update.
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I sold cars for many years. People would rather smell manure for half an hour than walk into a dealership
No matter what the upfront discount is from the MSRP the customer is aware of the dealer fee on top of HOLDBACK MONEY
That could be an additional $15/1600 profit
for dealer plus on top of the amount you agreed to after discount.
I think a one price store would help sell more vehicles Dealer would still profit $500 to 1500 depending on automobile
Tell the customer that this is the one price fair deal figure I’ll bet it’ll be a pleasent experience for all. Even with my past experience I’ve still made mistakes
Customer asks what’s this number sales guy says oh that’s the dlr fee. ”I ain’t paying it” and now the war is on. Very stressful who needs it?
In my opinion, GM makes a mistake retailing Cadillac in Chev/Buick/GMC dealers. Buying the car is one thing, but SERVICE is another, and more important, aspect of the whole vehicle ownership experience. It’s hard to feel set apart or premium brand, when you take your car into, and line up, with the Chev Cruz waiting for service. Cadillac should build select, stand alone, locations with adequate service bays to provide timely, efficient service. That for me would make a big and positive difference.
John M Engelman
I could not agree with Mr Sollows more. All Cadillacs should be sold at stand alone, Cadillac dealers, and here’s why…..
1st of all, all of the competition in that segment are sold that way…MB, Audi, BMW, Lexus…are sold that way. Do you see Lexus in a Toyota dealership, Audi, in a VW dealership, BMW in a Mini, or God forbid, RR dealership. NO! it’s about respect for the brand, and keeping it elevated where it belongs with respect to the other brands….
2nd, and equally important. There is a mindset with those dealerships when it comes to both sales, and service. There is a Cadillac dealer in Altoona, Pa. that has a Hyundai, and Chevrolet franchise in the same dealership as their Cadillac franchise. Mr. Samura would love this place. There is at least one or two Cadillac’s on the lot amid a sea of Hyundai’s and a couple of Chevys. They make it clear that their bread and butter is the Hyundai. I had a friend who went into buy a Cadillac CT4, and all they wanted to talk about was selling her a Hyundai. You know….bird in hand better than bird “on order”…Do you think the customer who takes his $ 92,000 Cadillac CT6 there for service is going to be treated any better than the $ 25,000 Hyundai customer?
One of the areas Mr. Samura will have trouble with, is the Cadillac customer who does not like, or buy, trucks. And that would be me. As much as my stand alone dealer bends over backwards to please me with my Cadillacs, (I spend a great deal of money there….2018 and 2020 CT6 Platinum, 2019 CTS V with all the cf….2017 Escalade Platinum, recently sold this vehicle)….I always complain when the two lane service dept. has any other GM vehicle in it that isn’t Cadillac. Hell, I even hate those damn Escalades, they’re too damn big.
Once, when I had my 2018 CT6 in to have the rv mirror tigthened, it had come loose, the mechanic had gotten a Black mark from his shoe on my light cashmere door sill. The service manager apologized to me personally, sent the car over for a complete detail, and the mgr. of the dealership gave me a CT6 demo. to use….Do you think I would have gotten this kind of service at that dealership in Altoona……
It’s not that simple.
GM and most Automakers in the US are prevented BY LAW in most states from retailing directly to the public. Thats why the Franchise has been the order of the day for a Century. The laws governing franchise agreements are written by Legislatures in each State to protect the Dealer. They have a great deal of leaway.
Once a Cadillac franchise meant the dealer could build a beautiful and large store. The profit on a Cadillac could exceed 20%. Now it’s less than 10% I think. That, and sales of Cadillacs are not what they once were either.
Thanks for the insight Greg on the laws in the US. I’m not sure if they apply in Canada. I know that MINI here used to be link to the BMW dealer. Now it’s a Stan alone brand with stand alone dealers.