Cadillac subscription service to return in February

Marketing

LOS ANGELES — Book by Cadillac, a subscription service that General Motors put on hiatus in late 2018, will return early next year with a new direction, said Deborah Wahl, GM’s chief marketing officer.

Speaking Tuesday at the J.D. Power/NADA AutoConference L.A. here, Wahl said the first dealers will begin piloting the revamped program in February. While she did not go into details, she promised greater “convenience, flexibility and value for potential subscribers.”

Wahl, who in September was named GM’s first global CMO in seven years, said the program would be better integrated with Cadillac’s dealer network, and said that Dublin Cadillac in California would be among the first to test the new program.

“We do still see a lot of interest from consumers in finding different ownership models, but the right price, value, how we do that, how we bundle those services is what we’re working on,” Wahl told Automotive News in an interview earlier this year. She did not discuss pricing on Tuesday.

The first Book by Cadillac program, launched in 2017, allowed customers to pay a $1,800 monthly fee that covered insurance and maintenance costs. Subscribers could swap in and out of Cadillac vehicles with no long-term commitment.

Wahl said the learnings from that program were significant. Roughly 70 percent of users, she said, were conquest customers new to Cadillac.

“There’s really no one size fits all solution for personal transportation,” she said.

Wahl’s presentation Tuesday focused on how she is attempting to help GM stay ahead of consumer preferences. She cited another Cadillac initiative, Super Cruise, as a technology customers may not have asked for, but loved.

The hands-free driver assist system was launched in 2017 on the CT6. The luxury brand plans to expand it to the CT5 starting in 2020 before ultimately adopting the technology throughout its lineup.

Wahl said 85 percent of Super Cruise users are either interested in trying it again or say they have to have the feature on their next vehicle. To date, customers have driven 4.3 million miles with the feature enabled, she said.

It’s one piece of GM’s ambitious quest to reach zero crashes, zero emissions and zero congestion.

“Over time,” Wahl said. “The status quo solves absolutely nothing.”

Hannah Lutz contributed.

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