NEW YORK — Cadillac is getting dealers involved with its vehicle subscription service as it prepares to expand the program this year.
The brand, through its Project Pinnacle dealership program, launched a dealer referral initiative March 1 that financially rewards retailers for directing customers to the service, according to Melody Lee, global director of Book by Cadillac. It's the first step in getting dealers involved in supporting the program.
"We don't think this is the end of their involvement," Lee told Automotive News last week during the New York auto show. "We think we can leverage the power of our 900-plus dealers to make Book even more powerful in the future. We've just got to find the right role for them."
It's likely not out of the question that as the service expands, Cadillac dealers could become involved with maintaining and servicing the vehicles, however the company has not announced such plans.
Lee declined to disclose the size of the referral reward, saying it's a "significant amount of money." The company, she said, already has received a "few dozen" referrals.
Will Churchill, chairman of the Cadillac National Dealer Council, said the referral program “was a push” by council to get dealers involved in Book. He said the referral amount is roughly the equivalent of the “front-end gross on a vehicle” for a dealer.
“I think this was a great first effort by Cadillac to be one of the first manufacturers to get the dealer body involved and financially awarded for referring people into the Book program,” he said.
Book launched as a pilot program in New York in March 2017. It expanded to the Los Angeles and Dallas metropolitan areas in November, shortly after Lee was named global director of the program. It also launched a smaller private program in October in Munich.
Lee said Book has "further geographic expansion" plans for this year; however, she did not disclose the proposed locations, which could include international sites.