When it comes to luxury car makers, Cadillac needs a comeback. Their product portfolio lagged, focusing on cars instead of the hugely popular SUVs that dominated the vehicle landscape.
Cadillac’s lagging product portfolio was one of the reasons former Infiniti boss Johan De Nysschen was replaced by Cadillac chairman Steve Carlisle, who was handpicked by General Motors executives. Carlisle knew the focus had to be on SUVs and the introduction of the 2021 Cadillac Escalade, with its huge dashboard and infotainment screens. Never before has such a technology-laden display been introduced in a car. It features an enveloping curve, just like a cinema screen, and OLED technology. These screens allow for several customizable displays, including augmented reality navigation and night vision views. Coupled with Cadillac’s Super Cruise automated driving technology, the vehicle should be a tech-lover’s dream. It will also give Cadillac a competitor to the excellent Lincoln Navigator.
Ford has done a terrific job with this SUV. Carlisle notes, “We have an arsenal of products and technologies that will create even more differentiation for Cadillac and establish a unique and attractive position for us in global markets. Where are we going next? Well, we go on the offensive. It sounded good – until COVID-19 happened. But Cadillac had something in its arsenal that makes you wonder about the brand’s precognition or psychic abilities.
Buying a car can be overwhelming, and Cadillac understands that. Although COVID-19 has halted production, there are still plenty of vehicles on lots with dealers eager to move them. But the shopping experience was and still is as showrooms reopen. With today’s technology, during a “normal” shopping experience, buyers are often overwhelmed with an abundance of information and typically start their car buying journey online, on their own schedule.
Cadillac’s digital showroom, “Cadillac Live,” takes advantage of these technological advancements and brings the experience to buyers in the comfort of a location that is most convenient for them. According to the company, through this immersive luxury shopping experience, “Cadillac Live” offers consumers unique ways to learn more about the Cadillac lineup of vehicles. “Live” provides access to dynamic vehicle views while buyers can learn more about them in detail through one-on-one conversations with product specialists on any mobile and desktop device. The miracle of the whole situation is that Cadillac had set up “Cadillac Live” just before the crisis. They now have a unique infrastructure to market their product safely.
Under the pilot program, consumers in California, Illinois, New Jersey, New York and Texas can then connect with a local dealership to safely test-drive the vehicle of their choice and take the next stages of their buying journey. Buyers outside of these five states can still take advantage of all Cadillac Live has to offer, find a local dealer anytime on Cadillac.com or attend a showroom in person. “Luxury consumers are looking for a personalized and seamless shopping experience, whether online or in person. Cadillac Live offers a high degree of personalized service, with time-saving amenities and extended hours, reflecting the changing shopping habits today and the expectations of our customers,” says Melissa Grady, Cadillac’s Chief Marketing Officer. “Google data shows that twice as many car shoppers begin their searches online than at the dealer, and most buyers think
it’s important for brands to provide expert advice on their products and services. Additionally, 71% of customers say they have switched to a competitor’s product after finding their selection process easier.
Buyers can explore every detail of a Cadillac vehicle with the help of a live agent, who is equipped with an iPhone X, Osmo Mobile gimbal and Bluetooth headset, providing two-way audio and a one-way live video. This means buyers can hear and see the agent, while the agent can hear – but not see – the buyer. Agents are also equipped with a digital interface to share color, wheel and accessory choices. Live agent sessions are available on demand or can be scheduled for a later date. Additionally, buyers can invite a partner to join a live session.
Through technology, Cadillac has proven that we can bring the showroom to the customer. Why not have a FaceTime or Zoom chat with a customer while you show them the benefits of a product? This especially makes sense for older or immunocompromised customers who otherwise wouldn’t have shopped in person at your store.