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2005 Cadillac STS
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Discussion Starter #1
Disclaimer first, this may only be the case where I live (Indianapolis), but....why do many Cadillac dealerships not reinvest in themselves with respect to their facilities ?

The two dealerships in town have been around since the 50's/60's *and look every bit of it* !!

Stepping into these buildings is like stepping into Grandma's living room back in time...
I realize that for years Caddy was catering to an 'older' crowd and can appreciate that. However, I'm exactly what Cadillac is trying to woo - good income, 41, first time Caddy owner - loving it, but feel instantly like I'm stepping into a time warp when I walk in.

If Cadillac is truly trying to change their image, appeal to a younger crowd to bring it revenue into the next 50 years - these places have got to work a little on the packaging !

My 2 cents
 

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Cadillac Technician
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We keep our facilities updated. We recently revamped our service lane and waiting areas.
The shop we maintain and keep very clean.
I know the type of shop you are talking about though.
It's more of a dealer owner thing than it is a brand issue.
You might email your comments to the General Manager of that facility I am sure he/she would be interested to know that.
 

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2005 Cadillac STS
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Discussion Starter #3
I'm glad to hear that this is not nationwide ...
I have a strong suspicion that a General Manager is going to already know how his dealership is viewed if your contention is correct about it being the owner's doing (tight with the purse strings).

You would think that GM might take some interest in what image their dealerships present. I know that franchisers certainly do care and travel around to make sure their image is being packaged as they want it to be.
The more I think about it, I guess GM just cares about how many cars the dealer is ordering and whether they're getting a lot of complaints about a dealer...past that, probably not. Unfortunate. It would get a lot more people in the front door.
 

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97 ETC x2, 04 GXP, 04 STS x2, 97 ESC, 99 Deville, 05 SRX
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As Ewill said, it`s more of an owner thing. The GM dealership I deal with is very neat and tidy (not a Caddy dealership) and up to date, even their service dept. As for the Caddy dealership, I was once told I could leave out the ``back driveway`` because my truck didn`t look good enough to be seen on their lot. (Work truck, a bit rusty, but had brand spankin new Escalade rims!:thumbsup:) So the Caddy dealerships around my area are very picky. Not even customers are allowed if their vehicles don`t meet their standards!

Needless to say, I will never buy my XLR dream car from Cadillac Hummer of London. I`ll order through another dealership.
 

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Cadillac 95 STS, 02 SLS
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My experience with Cadillac dealerships in Los Angeles, Washington, D.C. and Richmond, VA does not bare out your observation. While granted the first two cities are relatively competitive marketplaces Richmond has only two geographically separated Cadillac dealerships. In visiting each of the above citites dealerships I have found them to be state of the art as to facilities, and with I have come to think of superior (not perfect but superior to other brand dealerships in these areas) service. In Tysons Corner, VA received great service in a pleasant environment from Moore Cadillac (now moved to Chantilly, VA) same true of Moore's Richmond facility. At the time I was also using HBL Mercedes also in Tysons Corner, VA and Cherner Lincoln-Mercury Isuzu (my son's new Axiom's selling/service dealership). None of the other dealerships could come close to the Cadillac dealers in providing good service in a pleasant environment.
 

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2009 CTS-V
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40 Posts
Here in Southern California, the Mercedes and Lexus dealers have built beautiful, modern facilities loaded with marble, glass, coffee & snack bars, clothing and accessory boutiques, etc. The Cadillac dealers around here haven't put 5 cents into their facilities in the last 20 years, and are stuck in the 50's time warp.

I remember being at the Lexus dealer when the corporate people were doing a walk through with clip boards in hand looking for the slightest imperfections to note. Those manufacturers strictly monitored the dealers and required significant capital expenditures from their dealer network. Their investments have produced significant market share.

With GM's financial situation, I hardly expect any dealer is going to put money into his facilities at this time, although with the Cadillac brand, the dealer might have a chance of actually recouping the investment.

My 2cents.
 

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Sedan de Ville, CTS
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Cost of construction in past 5 years, particularly in south where hurricanes hit, has doubled. I could not believe it until I personally called individual subcontractors that I knew.

In some cities, new construction is about $250 per square foot plus land cost. Land can be $20 per sq foot and up in suburbs. Then many cities make you commit 30% to green space. Add in new code requirements, destruction of old property, etc. As a business owner, would you sell or lease your old property to another dealer???

Since the economy went south, banks will not lend money to automotive businesses or to food businesses.

In some cities, owners would not make any profit for perhaps 3 to 5 years--longer than that if the economy stays stagnant. Many dealers are going out of business.

For anyone to recommend that a dealership rebuild so that it looks better to new and younger customers, that really is a tough shot. Put a pencil to some numbers. About 7 years ago, I was responsible for overseeing an 8,000 sq foot office building that cost $3,000,000. That did not include any specialized equipment. A dealership likely needs a min of 40,000 sq feet. Twice that if they want to have a body shop and a variety of other services.

Extraolate those #s, and there is your answer.

And I ain't no dealer.

more comments:

Personnel costs are not anywhere near what one would spend on some clerks or cooks. If you are talking about first class mechanics, they should make about 3.5 to 5 times what a clerk would make. Then you need the latest diagnostic equipment. The frame machine for a BMW dealer costs $200,000 plus another $50,000 for training for current staff. What if your current staff jump ship? Re-spend much of that $50,000--maybe more.
 

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'93 Cadillac 60 Special; '03 Lincoln TownCar Limited ED
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I am in northern New Jersey. There are 2 Caddy dealers in my area, but the closest one & most convenient and where I bought my '93 Sixty Special went out of business, like 10 years ago.
The other 2 are very modern & nice, only their prices on labor & service are through the roof ! I can understand that, as property taxes are through the roof in Jersey, as is insurance costs.

What GM is doing wrong, (IMHO) is pairing Caddy with Buick & Pontiac & GMC. Ever see mercedes paired? Bmw? Infiniti? Lexus? Volvo? Of course not! THAT is a bad policy! Buick & Pontiac & GMC, is okay - but ALL Caddy should be exclusive franchises.
 

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Cadillac Technician
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Sandy that whole thing was a Y2K fiasco.
GM wanted the lines to brand together like that for the new Millennium but they met with so much resistance from a lot of dealers they just threw their hands up and gave up.
The dealers that made the switch really got hosed and the whole GM2000 thing blew up in their faces.
 

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'93 Cadillac 60 Special; '03 Lincoln TownCar Limited ED
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Here in New Jersey, Cadillac has taken a real beating at ther hands of the imports. The wealthy people are driving Mercedes, BMW, Jaguar, Audi and Volvo. To a lesser extent, guys in Porsche(s). The Hip Hop groups are driving pretty much the same. I am good friends with a Lincoln-Mercury dealer. It seems that Lincoln has not been hurt as badly as Cadillac. My dealer (I own a 2003 Town Car LTD WEd.) ~ tells me he has lost "about 10%" of his loyal customer base to imports.
But, down thru the decades, 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s, 80,s and 90s Mercury has ALWAYS been with Lincoln. It is accepted.
When I was growing up (fifties & sixties) ~ ALL Caddy dealers were ONLY Cadillac. Cadillac buyers expected that kinda preferred treatment and polished, well informed, older salesmen.
By blending in (like a receipe) to the mix the other GM divisions, it somehow deluted the prestiege of Cadillac. Furthermore, savy buyers could see that an Olds 98 / Buick Electra was pretty damn close to a deVille, for ALOT less money. This offered these value concious buyers the opportunity to cross shop & compare deVille with 98 & Electra. This was not good.
Fast Forward to present. As said, all the other luxury brands are 90% stand alone points. Mercedes, Volvo, BMW, Audi, and Jaguar - here in N.J. are ALL stand alone points. NOT Cadillac, however.
Many men are still buying Cadillac, due to the "V" series and the idea of a performance luxury car, all in one package. But, from what I see, the women have left Cadillac in droves. They are in the aforemetioned foreign cars & SUVs.
Furthermore (agian - here in Jersey) loads of former Cadillac owners today are also in Chrysler 300-C cars. One sees many many more of these than DTS cars.
GM needs to work with Cadillac to fix these problems. I am one of very few with both a Lincoln and a Cadillac. I find that 90% of Lincoln owners are on car #6 or7 and have no interest in leaving Lincoln. However, TODAY'S Cadillac buyer will definately shop foreign.
Exceptions.... Older Jewish buyers who recall Nazi-Germany. they will NOT purchase German cars, and can be seen as a laerge percentage of Jaguar buyers, along with Cadillac & Lincoln.

My parents, (long gone) as I am 62 ... were religious devout Imperial buyers. We ALWAYS had one, if not two, Imperials. Dad bought a new one every 3 years. I recall 57 / 60 / 63 / 66 / 68 / 72/ 75 / 78 & 81.
My 1993 Sixty Special is a Show Car with just 11,107 miles on her, or like 700 miles @ year. The Town Car also has about 11,000 miles - but in 6 years.
I avoid foreign cars and barking dogs.
 

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1990 Seville STS 1990 Eldorado Touring Coupe
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Very interesting insight into dealerships! I never though of the stand alone idea from that perspective..
Steve
 

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2006 Cadillac STS V8
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Sandy,

When I was living in Teaneck, the two dealerships I knew, were, Feldner in Hackensack. When that one was built, it was beautiful. I don't know what it is now. The other one was DeMassi in Englewood Clifs. That one had a unique round design. That one was also a very nice dealership. I know it has had several owners. I believe it is now Martin Cadillac. Do you remember Luba Potamkin and her ads on TV? She and her husband owned Potamkin Cadillac in Manhattan. I believe she died of Alzhemers.
 

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'93 Cadillac 60 Special; '03 Lincoln TownCar Limited ED
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I recall vividly, all that you mention. Martin is still in business (and booming!)
 

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95 Fleetwood Brougham
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Here in North Carolina:
Winston-Salem, our Cadillac/Hummer (Flow) dealer has a new expensive showroom and service area. Very nice.
Greensboro's Cadillac dealer Bill Black has been around forever, but has a remodeled showroom and service area.
But in little Lexington, the dealer founded in 48 has had 3 owners in the last couple of years. The showroom building looks like mid 70's. It's in a small town, does not have to be over the top.

With in 50-60 mile radius of me there are 8 Cadillac Dealer to pick from.
Winston-Salem, Greensboro, High Point, Lexington, Mt. Airy, Asheboro, Salisbury and Burlington.

It will be interesting who will stay a dealer.

Greg

ps, I would love to own a mint 69-70 Imperial.
 

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Past: 95 Fleetwood, 91 Brougham. Now: 92 Lexus SC300
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I agree with Sandy about Cadillac dealers being pared with other brands.

When I lived in Murfreesboro TN(pop 100,000 about 45 mins from Nashville), the local Chevy and Cadillac dealership were under one roof. This was back in 2005-06.

Next door was the Suszki dealer, then the Ford dealer. All of their lots kind of ran together for about 1/2 mile, so it looked like one huge dealer. All of the buildings looked very generic with huge acres of asphalt encircling them. The Suski, Ford, Cadillac/Chevy dealerships had different owners at one time, but they were now all owned by the Alexander dealership group, who owns probably 1/4 of the dealerships in mid TN.

I had been in that Chevy/Cadillac dealership a couple of times, and they had about 10-15 new Cadillacs in stock, about 10 Chevy cars, about 30 Chevy SUVs, and about 100 Chevy trucks in stock. All of the trucks were lined up on the street, and you wouldn't know they sold Caddys unless you read the sign.:nono:


Andrews Cadillac in Brentwood TN has a pretty nice facility. It was built in the late 70's/early 80's and the building is a pretty small, low roof, generic brick structure. The showroom is small, with a low ceiling, but the service bay is very large and modern. The waiting room and sales offices are quite nice and spacious though. Its very nicely landscaped and faces a street corner, so they always have 8-10 cars parked on the lawn facing the street. Despite it being old, they've made it look nice and upscale without spending a ton of $$$.
 
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