By on November 2, 2018

2018 Cadillac CTS-V

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]

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28 Comments on “Cadillac’s Booking It From BOOK...”


  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    It seems the JdN era is being completely undone, soon he will be airbrushed out of official photographs.

    • 0 avatar
      Drew Cadillac

      The more they can erase JdN’s legacy, the better. The guy was a disaster for Cadillac; he had no idea what the brand meant to Americans. JdN seemed to think that all Cadillac should do was to copy BMW, always one (or more) car generation behind. If JdN had remained at Cadillac, he probably would have changed the brand name to “CMW”.

      Johan, Uwe, and Melody were the three clueless amigos, who loved living in New York City at GM’s expense. “Book” never made sense economically, but auto economics was never JdN’s strength. Book became a plaything for Melody Lee, and thankfully she was sent packing soon after Carlisle took charge. Melody was a complete joke, never should have had a prominent role at an auto brand. Erasing “Book” helps to erase any reminders of the idiocy that reigned under Johan/Uwe/Melody.

      • 0 avatar
        redapple

        Drew:

        Well said. Thx.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        I agree.

      • 0 avatar
        rickkop

        Well said

      • 0 avatar
        hubcap

        Do the suits at GM and Cadillac know what the brand means? Or even what it’s supposed to mean? Or for that matter its historical significance?

        Cadillac has been on a downward spiral long before the three amigos took over. The leadership, both at GM and Cadillac have been to blame and have let in happen for decades.

        It reminds me of GM’s “big” plans for Pontiac post bankruptcy and how upset some in GM’s leadership cadre were that the brand would be no more. But for some reason, they failed to realize that they killed what Pontiac was supposed to be years before.

        Anything can happen, but does anyone think that Cadillac will regain a spot in the public conscious anywhere near what it once was in its heyday?

  • avatar
    IBx1

    Sad news for the thirteen subscribers.

  • avatar
    readallover

    Reminds me of the GM credit card: cancelled it without warning, piss off the users and warn off potential customers. New GM, Old GM it is all the same.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    “suggests the automaker found the $1,800 subscription service too costly an operation.”

    My guess is the overhead of running the cars around to subscribers took a big bite. Expected depreciation can be easily calculated with enough data but the element of humanity (inc insurance) was probably too variable. Bad software can be overcome, even for these clowns.

  • avatar
    ajla

    THE B&B WAS RIGHT!!!!

  • avatar
    mmreeses

    B/B is almost always righg. And 100% no worse than any MBA or auto pundit

  • avatar
    redapple

    Cadillac = Dumpster Fire.

    Move to NYC/ Brilliant. A city that HATES cars.
    Open Coffee shop. I dont have the words.
    Subscription service. Just: Because.
    Kill Storied nameplates. Introduce ABC XYZ gobbledygook. Worked great for Acura.
    Delay and drag you feet introducing Crossovers.

    And On and On….
    I just have to laugh at the whole operation.

    They could have read Peter D ‘s column and saved themselves a lot of hassle and wasted Billions.

    • 0 avatar
      Nick_515

      None of this should make us forget the real question: was Cadillac any less of a dumpster fire before the “three amigos” referenced above arrived?

    • 0 avatar
      hubcap

      The New York City metro area is the #1 area in the country for luxury car sales/leases.

      • 0 avatar
        redapple

        HUB:

        I can accept that.
        But, I ll bet that a large % of those are cars bought/registered at the employers address in downtown.

        The employee lives outside of the city.

        My General point it that NYC is not a car city. OK???

    • 0 avatar
      Mark Savino

      You know that the vehicles planned under JdM and his amis are barely beginning to hit the market… The lack of CUVs wasn’t a Johan decision; in fact, he was the one who green lit the upcoming wave of Caddy trucks.

      And don’t ever call NY a non-car city! We love “owa caws” despite all the obstacles in place for ownership

  • avatar
    DeadWeight

    Boom!

    Another headshot!

    JdN – KIA

    Uwe Ellinghaus – KIA

    Melody “I Buy Brands Not Products” Lee – KIA

    Cadillac NYC SoHo Hipster HQ – KIA

    Cadillac Haus du Cafe in SoHo – Gravely wounded reminder of how the world’s most incompetently run volume automotive manufacturer (Modern Day British Leyland de facto Ward of State) is listing at sea.

    Book by Cadillac – KIA

    Cadillac 2020 Plan – KIA

    Cadillac ATS – KIA

    Cadillac CTS – KIA

    Cadillac XTS (despite being the only sedan that sells in volume and is closest to what Cadillac represents, as sad as that now is) – KIA

    And now, speaking of KIA, Guangzhou-Guadalajara Motors, with a lineup full of vehicles cobbled together from Chinesium, absolute lowest-bidder parts, often also made in far distant lands and the polluted backwaters of industrial zones in Mexico, and especially, SAIC GM’s Dong Yue Foundry, Yantai, Shandong, China, has a reliability/durability/quality rating on its vehicles, far, far below that of KIA, with Cadillac literally being the 2nd worst make of vehicle in terms of reliability/durability/quality, barely beating Jaguar/Land Rover.

    With a true moron such as Mary Barra at the helm, breaking that glass ceiling with her 28 million in annual compensation, giving Johan a 12 billion dollar check to implement his Cadillac BMW-circa 1998 makeover (with 12 billion being nearly 45% of GM’s total new development across all brand lines, through 2020, despite only 1 in 20 GM sales being a Cadillac branded model), and the Trifecta of Johan-Uwe-Melody receiving that check, what did anyone with 1/2 a brain expect to happen?

    p.s. – The “all new for 2019” Cadillac XT4 is a total POS.

    p.s. x2 – The new Chevry Mexirado and GMC Chinerra pickup twins (chock full of nearly half Chinesium parts) are MASSIVE’FAILS.

    • 0 avatar
      Hydromatic

      “Cadillac XTS (despite being the only sedan that sells in volume and is closest to what Cadillac represents, as sad as that now is) – KIA”

      An oversized, overblinged golf cart for ailing retirees living in Boca Raton?

      At this point, would it be too much to ask for Cadillac to just go for broke and turn their concept cars into production vehicles? Not like the marque has anything to lose. At least Cadillac would be able to go out in a blaze of glory instead of facing death without dignity.

      • 0 avatar
        hubcap

        @hyrdromatic

        Yes. They have the concepts yet refuse to put them into production. Those concepts are more Cadillac than their current car line up but it seems GM’s modus operandi is to be a mimicry of the Germans.

    • 0 avatar
      redapple

      DW:

      Thank you for the laugh.

      Topic 2.
      GM One World. Destroy loyal, dependable, long standing suppliers so we can save a couple nickels. On the way out the door, steal the designs too.

      Boycott this Doktor Evil Company.

  • avatar
    rickkop

    In all reality how many people out there can afford $1800 a month for a car payment?

  • avatar
    EchoChamberJDM

    How Melody Lee ever got promoted above an entry level marketing position is beyond me. Could care less about product, a huge proponent of the NY office (which took 3 years for HQ to realize what a boondoogle that was), no knowledge of dealer operations, and Book has been a complete disaster. Yet she made it to the director level at GM. That alone tells you why Cadillac is the basket case it is now.

  • avatar
    pdog_phatpat

    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!

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    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.

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