Dealer Backlash Grows Against Cadillac's 'Project Pinnacle'
A dealer association in California is the latest group to go after Cadillac, demanding the automaker make changes to its controversial “Project Pinnacle” sales incentive program.
The California New Car Dealers Association, acting at the request of 52 dealers in that state, has sent a letter to General Motors CEO Mary Barra in a bid to delay (and alter) the project, Automotive News reports.
Unveiled in early June, the program is the brainchild of brand president Johan de Nysschen. It aims to split U.S. dealers into five tiers based on expected sales. The dealers must then offer an enhanced sales experience and more customer niceties — the higher the tier, the more luxurious the sales experience. Compensation from the automaker would be tied to sales performance.
Many dealers take issue with the program, which begins on January 1. Earlier this summer, dealer groups in seven U.S. states slammed the plan in a letter to de Nysschen, claiming the project would funnel most of the cash to large urban dealers, endangering smaller dealers.
The California association claims the program saddles dealers with “unreasonable” performance standards and facility upgrades, and violates eight state franchise laws. Project Pinnacle also discriminates against smaller dealers, the group claims.
In response to dealer protests, Cadillac has reportedly extended the deadline for entry into the voluntary program until September 30 and made some minor changes to the program itself. de Nysschen previously told Automotive News that many of the criticisms of the program are caused by misunderstandings, and maintains that Project Pinnacle is legal.
[Image: © 2016 Matthew Guy/The Truth About Cars]
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