Cadillac Increasing Efforts To Utilize Virtual Reality To Replace Smaller Showrooms9
We most recently received a look at what to expect from Cadillac’s dealership revamp coming soon. Dubbed “Project Pinnacle“, the plan will tier Cadillac dealerships from largest to smallest, in terms of sales volume, with different requirements per tier.
The lowest tier is expected to become merely service based, with no inventory of Cadillac vehicles. However, they will still be able to sell Cadillacs. To help this effort, Cadillac is looking further into virtual reality technology to help convert some of the brand’s smallest dealerships into technological havens.
The Daily Mail reports Cadillac is looking to create virtual reality showrooms, where potential customers can choose models, walk around vehicles, enter and exit them, and even hear how the car door shuts.
The brand also hopes to reach out to the public by putting these virtual reality showrooms in more convenient centers, rather than having potential customers drive out to a dealership should it be more convenient.
Don’t get too excited just yet, Cadillac has not announced any formal plans for the technology, but you can bet its a priority for President Johan de Nysschen.
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“General Motor’s luxury division in the US”
Rubbish journalism, as expected from The Daily Mail.
These should be “General Motors Virtual Reality Stores” and they should be located in very high end shopping malls. This should be a place where potential buyers could go at their leisure 7 days a week and shop for a car without being attached by a sales person. Customers should be able to compare different GM Brands (Buicks, Cadillasc and Chevrolets) and features with the help of a consultant. They should have the ability to build their ideal car on line and compare that to competitive brands. They should be able to take that build sheet to a dealer where they would negotiate a deal. The atmosphere should be friendly and supportive.
Get real! You think somebody is going to drop 50 to 100k on a 3D picture? Customers like to see and feel the product. If this is what we can expect from Cadillac House in NYC they are in trouble. But who is to say with self driving cars coming the need for different brands and styles will disappear since cars will become less personable. Yes everybody riding around in a leased silver Googlemobile.
Completely agree that VR showrooms are not the answer mostly for what you mention. People want to actually see, feel, touch and experience a car before buying that is also the reason why dealerships are forced to maintain so much inventory because consumers are reluctant to purchase something so expensive sight unseen.
Also the Pinacle plan calls for these VR showrooms for very low volume dealers which are typically in smaller city centres making it even less likely to catch on.
Two questions on this approach. What will differentiate this from what can be done via the internet? Can the competition (or GM itself) create this experience online?
As I understand this issue, the current convenience of going to a local (rural) dealership is expensive to maintain. Trying to offer that convenience more cost effectively is the goal. It is a good effort, but I prefer to physically interact with the vehicle without sensory substitutes. I am concerned that technological developments could make this approach pointless, if other manufacturers can figure out a way to offer the same virtual experience online.
My suggestion would be to bring the car to the person. The potential customer can call a dealer, pay a refundable deposit, and have the car delivered to them by a salesperson. By having the refundable deposit, you weed out prank callers. By bringing the car to them you offer convenience cheaper than operating a virtual store or stocking inventory (since the cars can be sourced and scheduled from a wider area.) By letting the customer experience the car in their own driveway (or other agreed upon location), that brings the ownership that additional step closer and helps to form a bond between the car, the new owner, and the sales person/dealership.
The rural and metro dealers can offer this and allow the rural dealers to stay open in a service capacity for the convenience of the new owner.
I just thought of this as I read the article, so I’m sure there are points I’m missing, but the delivered test drive sounds like a real alternative to a virtual experience to me.
I think its a good idea. But only if it’s an addition to the dealership experience. People do need to see, feel, and hear the vehicles in person but what if you wanna hit some corners at over 70 mph in a new Z28? Or do some donuts in a new CTS-V? You cant. Sure you can start it and drive it around the block with some random sales dude riding shotgun but… not the same. You will never get to feel the true characteristics of a car before you buy it. Hence using a game platform like Forza Motorsports 6 and Forza Horizon 2. With modern day video game cars being SO close to their real counterparts why not take advantage of that and give customers more more of an experience on what they may be dropping 75k on.
Cadillac management’s gotten so carried away with their expensive and overblown vision of what a luxury car experience should be. Tragically (comically?), they’ve totally overlooked the fact that it starts and pretty much ends with the car.
Project Pinnacle’s prejudiced objective will put more Americans out of work. In parts of the country where jobs are already scarce. There is no value in it for the potential Cadillac client in those unfortunate locales which do not project New York City levels of sophistication.
A much sounder Cadillac objective would put Johan out of work. Immediately, if not sooner.
“Project Pinnacle’s prejudiced objective will put more Americans out of work. In parts of the country where jobs are already scarce. There is no value in it for the potential Cadillac client in those unfortunate locales which do not project New York City levels of sophistication.”
Those kinds of people shouldn’t be looking at Cadillac, or any luxury car for that matter. Cadillac is not beholden to the rural buyer simply because they live where they do. Cadillac, like every luxury automaker, is going where the money is, and the money (and the power) are in still in big cities.
Seems like a step in the direction of how Tesla operates by eliminating the dealer. Yet Tesla is vilified for the way that they operate. More and more, is there any reason to shop GM? Hypocrites.