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Cadillac Is Shrinking its Dealer Network, Laying Groundwork for Electric Switch

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In a process that is now largely completed, luxury automaker Cadillac has been cutting the number of retail outlets it has in the United States. By the time all is said and done (by the end of this year), the brand will have 560 U.S. dealerships under its wing, down 30 percent from the 875 it had at the beginning of this year, and nearly 40 percent from the 930 it had in 2018.

Behind the reduction is the shift to electric models that Cadillac is making, under which it wants to have only all-electric vehicles in its lineup by 2030. Those dealers not interested in investing in new equipment and training to adjust to the change are being offered a buyout. Obviously, some are accepting the offer.

It’s worth noting that those dealers that remain account for 90 percent of the brand’s current sales, according to Automotive News, which means that the reduction is also serving to clear out low-volume dealers.

Currently, Cadillac has over 120 Cadillac dealerships in Canada, six of which sell Cadillac products exclusively. We don't know at this time if there will be any loss of Cadillac dealerships in Canada, but we have asked representatives of the brand's Canadian division. We'll update our story as appropriate.

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A Cadillac dealership in Woodrbridge, Ontario
Photo: Cadillac
A Cadillac dealership in Woodrbridge, Ontario

Even with the cuts, Cadillac continues to have more retail outlets than most other luxury automakers, and has even opened new sales locations in New York, Atlanta, San Francisco and Beverly Hills. In contrast, Tesla has no franchised dealerships, and like Rivian and Lucid sells its vehicles mainly or exclusively online. Cadillac has reiterated its commitment to operating in-person showrooms, even though it does now offer the Cadillac Live online showroom to customers.

The first fully electric model to come from Cadillac will be the Lyriq, due to launch next summer. Cadillac says it has gotten interest in the model from 216,000 potential buyers to date. The key word there of course is ‘potential’, but still, there’s reason to think the automaker will do well with the luxury compact SUV.