"That keeps the inventory fresh and frees them from having to tie up so much capital," de Nysschen said here last week on the sidelines of a media drive for the CTS-V sedan, due out by early fall. He said the idea is "under discussion" with Cadillac's dealers.
Other luxury brands have considered a similar approach but for different reasons: Their vehicle lineups have gotten so broad and complex that many dealers aren't able to keep adequate supplies of each model.
Old inventory is a problem for both the dealer and the brand, de Nysschen says. The dealership has capital tied up in those aging cars. And it doesn't help Cadillac's image much to have 2014 models gathering dust midway through 2015, triggering big discounts that can harm residuals.
Still, Cadillac dealer CJ Spadafora in Indiana, Pa., has mixed feelings about the concept. Spadafora's Colonial Motor Mart sells about 40 to 50 Cadillacs a year, while also selling GMC, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Toyota and Nissan.
On one hand, an inventory hub would allow the store to stock fewer cars -- Cadillacs tend to sit on the lot for 80 to 100 days on average, Spadafora said. And he suspects that in a few years, it will be harder to keep adequate supply on the lot, because several new models are expected to join Cadillac's lineup.
But he also sees potential pitfalls in the regional lots.
"How would they base what we could pull out of there and not pull out of there?" he says.
For example, like most Cadillac stores, Spadafora's dealership has been short on Escalades. "I could sell three today if I had them," he says. "How would they decide who gets priority?"
He also sees a need for some sort of guaranteed delivery turnaround -- say 72 hours -- that salespeople could reference to soothe customers. Spadafora says it's tough enough competing with large, well-stocked Cadillac stores in metro Pittsburgh, about 90 minutes away.
"In today's world, if a customer doesn't see a car in your inventory, they won't come to see you," he says.
De Nysschen says those details would need to be worked out. He believes the system would alleviate cash-flow problems for smaller dealers.
"If they have $2 million worth of capital tied up, I'd rather have that going toward an exclusive environment that can support the brand positioning and customer experience," he says, "as opposed to having it tied up in vehicles that are just sitting there."