Cadillac's Booking It From BOOK

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems

Book, also known as “BOOK by Cadillac,” is General Motors’ entry in the burgeoning luxury car subscription market, though the fledgling service’s first cities — New York, Los Angeles, and Dallas — will soon have to get used to going without.

According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, GM’s pulling the plug on Book, at least for the time being. Get those Cadillacs back to where you got ’em.

The report, confirmed by a GM spokesman, suggests the automaker found the $1,800 subscription service too costly an operation. It’s the latest blow for the very much experimental subscription model, which rival Lincoln attempted (with used vehicles) with less-than-stellar results. Of course, with GM on a cost-cutting tear, one had to wonder how long this operation could avoid beancounter scrutiny.

That said, GM, which seeks out new revenue streams like a man dying of thirst, feels there’s still an opportunity to be had in the subscription model. Now’s just not the right time, the automaker claims.

“We are hitting the pause button for a brief time to make some tweaks to Book based on our learnings,” the spokesman told WSJ.

Sources who spoke to the publication say that unexpected costs were indeed at the center of GM’s reason for pulling the plug. The technology governing Book’s app-based customer service functions was apparently buggy, leading to a drain on manpower and cash. Once notified, subscribers reportedly have 30 days to turn in their vehicles.

The news comes three months after Book’s overseer, Melody Lee, left Cadillac in an Escalade bound for places unknown. Based on her remarks at the time, it didn’t sound like the parting was her idea. Two months ago, Cadillac announced it was moving back to Detroit just a few years after making Manhattan its short-lived home.

For a subscription fee of $500 and a monthly payment of $1,800 (price covering insurance and maintenance), Book subscribers were allowed to switch vehicles 18 times over the course of a year. At their choosing were the Escalade, XT5, CT6, ATS-V, and CTS-V, with vehicles delivered to the subscriber’s home via a concierge.

Whether or not that represents a deal depends on your amount of disposable income and affinity for the Cadillac brand. Cadillac aficionados can currently get into a 48-month Escalade lease starting at $1,013 a month, or buy one for $1,141 a month with $0 down for 72 months. Yes, you’d be stuck driving only one Cadillac, but at least you’d have the vehicle’s residual once the term was up.

[Image: General Motors]

Steph Willems
Steph Willems

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2 of 28 comments
  • More GM mismanagement as sales keep slipping, Is it any wonder nobody wants anything to do with this historically bad company? GM. What a joke!

  • Sportyaccordy Sportyaccordy on Nov 02, 2018

    Everything flows from the product. If Cadillac had a range of desirable vehicles this program would have a chance. I feel like Porsche charges similar rates for cars people actually want.

  • Blueice Patient 28, sorry, but it is Oktoberfest. Bring a kegof Kraut beer and we will 50% you.
  • Bd2 Probably Toyota, Hyundai is killing them these days.
  • Bd2 Japan is evil, stop buying their vehicles. I hope TTAC has a holiday for PEARL HARBOR.
  • Wolfwagen If Isuzu could update this truck and keep the cost between $25K - $30K they would sell like ice pops on dollar day in a heat wave.
  • 3SpeedAutomatic I'm at that the inflection point of do I continue to putting money in a 12 yr old SUV entering a heavy maintenance cycle or start shopping.I have noticed comparable new SUVs with $2.5k knocked off the sticker price, but still with the shenanigans of $300 for nitrogen in the tires. However, I have noticed the same 2 yr old SUV which are only $4.5K less than the original sticker price. Usually the used cars price should be 35% to 40% less. This tells me there's a stronger market for used as opposed to new. Part of this is to handle the monthly note. Considering installments of 72 months, you'll never pay the beast off. Just wait till the end of the model year which is just two months away, and I think the comparable new SUV will come with larger markdowns. May not be the color you want, but there are deals to be made. 🚗🚗🚗