Cadillac is getting ready to take on Tesla and other competitors as it transitions to the electric age by reducing its number of dealerships by almost a third. The restructuring has seen GM employ a buyout strategy with mostly low-volume stores opting in. The move will see the American brand have about 560 dealerships from the 875 it had at the start of 2021 and over 920 just three years ago.
Even so, the home-grown luxury brand continues to have more dealers across the United States than both German and Japanese rivals. According to Automotive News, Cadillac has a retail network 60 percent larger than that of BMW and over double that of Lexus.
Despite having an online showroom, “Cadillac Live,” the brand will continue to sell and service vehicles through their dealer network. Speaking to Automotive News, General Motors vice president Rory Harvey said that the buyout was designed to ensure that the dealership network was committed to selling and servicing EVs. According to Reuters, General Motors has incurred costs of $274 million as part of the restructuring. These dealers were not prepared to invest $200,000 to $500,000 per store in the equipment and training to support the brand’s shift to an all-electric vehicle lineup that’s planned by 2030.
The first of Cadillac’s EVs will be the 2023 Lyriq. The Debut Edition come with a 100.4 kWh battery pack and an electric motor rated at 340 hp and 425 lb-ft (440 Nm) of torque driving the rear wheels. Cadillac has received expressions of interest from 216,000 people for the Lyriq, with the Debut Edition selling out in just 10 minutes. However, the brand has not yet announced how many of these special editions they will build, while the reservations are not confirmed orders either.