Some Cadillac dealerships are entering new, luxury-focused markets as the automaker prepares to roll out a new line of battery-electric vehicles in the coming years.
Cadillac saw about 150 of its U.S. retailers jump ship last year to avoid making mandatory upgrades designed to support the sale of its future EV models. General Motors anticipated some Cadillac dealerships would not be on board with the required upgrades, which would cost most stores upwards of $200,000, so it set up a program to offer these stores buyout offers ranging from $300,000 to nearly $1 million.
While a fifth of its U.S. retailers bailed out due to these upgrades, others are expanding. According to Automotive News, the impending arrival of EV models has driven Cadillac dealers to set up new locations in high-end markets where it has not operated for years. A Canadian dealer group called Capital Automotive Group recently acquired the rights to open Cadillac stores in Beverly Hills and San Francisco, while a separate dealer group is in discussions about opening a new store in Manhattan.
AN also spoke to Inder Dosanjh, the principal of Dosanjh Family Auto Group, which is opening up a new Cadillac store in the Stevens Creek neighborhood of San Jose. This area, Dosanjh explained, has a strong car market that supports other high-volume luxury car dealers and should therefore be a good market for Cadillac. He also told the publication he expects sales of the 2023 Cadillac Lyriq EV to be extremely strong once it begins arriving at dealers next year based on the initial reaction from his customers.
All told, eight dealership groups have acquired new Cadillac stores this year, AN reports. While that’s only a small portion of the 150 retailers it lost last year, these newcomers are bullish on Cadillac’s EV strategy and excited to sell products like the Lyriq. Many of the retailers that it lost were also located in rural areas where EV sales may not be strong, leaving a higher concentration of storefronts in metro areas where products like the Lyriq are sure to be popular.
The Cadillac Lyriq will be priced from $59,990 in the U.S. The crossover, which rides on GM’s new BEV3 platform, will initially arrive with a single rear-mounted electric motor producing 340 horsepower and 325 pound-feet of torque. A 100 kWh lithium-ion Ultium battery pack will provide an estimated 300 miles of driving range. Production will commence early next year at the GM Spring Hill Assembly plant in Tennessee.