To the Editor:
I was at the Las Vegas Cadillac dealers meeting, and your story was a good representation of it ("Cadillac prepares dealers for a jolt," Sept. 29).
It was only the second time in my career as a Cadillac dealer that the General Motors CEO -- in this case, Mary Barra -- made an appearance; the last was Bob Stempel. GM President Dan Ammann stayed both days. It was evident to the audience that GM is serious about Cadillac -- finally.
Like it or not, the level of transparency was refreshing. Scarcity of product does two things: It makes more money per unit, and it creates a buzz with the sales staff over availability. It's much easier to sell cars in a demand-pull situation. Today, Cadillac is far from that.
From what the executives say, it will get worse in the near term, but I'm prepared for that. You cannot have a luxury or premium brand that is always in a fire-sale situation. Weaning the dealers off big incentives is going to be rough.
For once, I have an extremely positive outlook on this franchise. The people in Detroit (and soon New York) are serious, showed us an incredible product lineup and provided a sense that they have new freedom from the GM bureaucracy.
In California, we can only go up.
SCOTT H. ALLEN
West Covina, Calif.