Cadillac hits on a new idea that may just bring the brand back from the brink.
Cadillac has just announced a new subscription-based serviced called Book. The idea is that a subscriber can choose whatever Cadillac they want to drive and it will be brought to them by a valet.
One week, a subscriber may be taking her family skiing and will opt for an Escalade SUV. The next, a sports sedan like the CTS-V may be more in line with the agenda. Even better, if the subscriber likes what they have, they can keep it as long as it suits them.
Cadillac envisions some subscribers switching vehicles frequently but says some may also opt to keep an AWD crossover like its XT5 for the whole winter before opting for something else in dryer months. One big emphasis by Cadillac is that this service will take all the hassles out of owning a car, particularly in the city.
The service includes not just the vehicle itself. Maintenance and insurance are included and will be handled by Cadillac. Interestingly, the company says this is not a lease. Rather, it is a monthly subscription service without any long-term agreement between the customer and Cadillac.
Cadillac has been courting New York City luxury owners hard. Notice that we did not say luxury vehicle owners. President Johan de Nysschen moved the company’s headquarters out of Michigan and into the Big Apple in an attempt to put some space, figuratively, and literally, between it and the other GM brands. Recently, de Nysschen boldly challenged his dealer network to step up and commit to the Cadillac brand as a primary focus or quit and take a buyout. This new move following the dealer-paring plan seems pre-planned now.
Although growing in China, Cadillac’s car sales in America have tanked. Sales of the ATS and CTS sedans now hover around 1,200 units per month each, well below the segment leaders. Sales have slowed so far beyond expectations that GM recently closed the factory that produces these Cadillac sedans to let inventory settle down. Sales of the new and innovative XT5 crossover have failed to match up to the leading crossover in its class, the Lexus RX 350, despite good reviews of the Cadillac and relatively poor reviews of the Lexus.
This is just more evidence that with luxury goods (crossovers included) the ownership experience is a big part of success. Indeed, the Book tagline is “For Those Who Value Experience Over Possession.”
Book By Cadillac is starting out in the greater New York City area. The monthly subscription costs $1,500. This program isn’t for everyone, but it is bold, modern, and special. Exactly what Johan de Nysschen thinks Cadillac should be.
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