Cadillac’s Project Pinnacle dealer structure underwent changes yet again after the brand dropped the fifth tier of the structure. The fifth, and most controversial tier, required dealers to switch to a virtual reality (VR) showroom and not hold physical inventory at the dealership. Cadillac envisioned it as a way to make small dealerships more efficient.
However, more dealers saw it as a way to squeeze them out of the business by not keeping any actual inventory on hand. The lack of interest led to Tier 5’s elimination altogether, reports Automotive News.
“We decided to focus on our larger dealers with respect to VR so it will become a permanent element of our new facility image for the dealers who decide to go through the voluntary facility upgrade,” Cadillac spokesman Andrew Lipman said.
The VR element is not linked to Project Pinnacle at all now, but Cadillac could reinstate Tier 5 again if smaller dealers begin to show interest in it. Right now, Will Churchill, head of the Cadillac National Dealer Council, said axing it is the right decision.
“The Cadillac dealers are under an immense amount of expense pressure right now,” he said.
Cadillac’s first dealership to embrace VR, Cadillac of Greenwich, wasn’t obligated to add the element, but Eric Sandstrom, the operator of the store, said it’s an excellent tool to show vehicle trims and other options right in the showroom. “It’s realistic enough to really get the feel for the car,” he said. Customers “have been able to make the decision right there on the spot.”