DCG Featured: Some dealers bail on Cadillac, but others go all-in for EV future

September 13, 2021

Some dealers bail on Cadillac, but others go all-in for EV future

The brand is entering new luxury markets and reestablishing itself in crucial areas it had ceded to rivals after a chunk of its U.S. dealership network decided to walk away.

This article was originally published on Automotive News. Read the original article linked here.

DETROIT — As one fifth of Cadillac’s U.S. dealers walk away from their franchises, the luxury brand is expanding its reach with the help of retailers who are bullish about its transition to a fully electric lineup.

Cadillac is entering new luxury markets and reestablishing itself in crucial areas it had ceded to rivals — including Beverly Hills, Calif., where it hadn’t been since the 1980s, and its former home base of Manhattan, N.Y., where its only store closed last year. Some established Cadillac dealers are scooping up additional stores, while a few dealers are getting involved with the brand for the first time.

At least eight dealership groups have acquired Cadillac stores this year. Recent deals include acquisitions by Frank Kent Motor Co. and Ken Garff Automotive Group in Texas and by Ciocca Dealerships in Atlantic City, N.J. The purchases show confidence in Cadillac as it implements a plan to sell only electric vehicles by the end of the decade, even with the potential for low volumes to start.

“These are all 20-year decisions,” Mahmoud Samara, vice president of Cadillac North America, told Automotive News. “It is very satisfying to know that you have partners [who] can see 20, 30 years down the road, and they’re putting their money where their mouths are. They’re fully invested into the brand, invested into Cadillac.”

Inder Dosanjh, dealer principal of Dosanjh Family Auto Group in the San Francisco Bay Area, in 2019 was awarded a point near one of his Chevrolet stores in Stevens Creek, a San Jose enclave where Lexus and other luxury brands have high-volume dealerships.

Dosanjh’s Stevens Creek Cadillac replaced a store closed several years earlier by Sonic Automotive and is in the middle of construction to meet the brand’s EV requirements. He expects the new building to be finished by the end of the year.

“Looking at where Cadillac was headed, San Jose is one of the biggest markets in California,” he said. “It was very attractive to have a Cadillac store on Stevens Creek Boulevard. It’s a major car hub.”