Book 'em Again, Danno: Cadillac's Revised Subscription Service Coming Later This Year

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
book em again danno cadillacs revised subscription service coming later this year

General Motors is readying another automotive subscription service after canceling “Book by Cadillac,” which was deemed too costly to keep operational, several months ago. However, whether that was due entirely to its own failures or related to the fact that the company is aggressively hunting for capital through its restructuring program is up for debate.

There were grumblings that the program’s complete lack of dealer involvement was a good way for Cadillac maximize profits (without sharing them). But, with it failing, it was also an excellent way to incur unnecessary costs. As a result, the brand intends to make its expansive dealer network an integral part of the fast-approaching “Book 2.o.”

“Book 2.0 really works even more closely with our dealer network because we think there’s a lot of opportunity as you go forward,” Cadillac marketing chief Deborah Wahl told Automotive News at the Detroit auto show. “We’re going to base it off the dealer network.”

The old program’s $1,800 monthly fee covered insurance and other costs, like maintenance. Subscribers could also swap between models with no extended commitments. They only had to order a replacement vehicle online, select a pickup point, and then wait for their corporate concierge to deliver the new car. However, leaving Cadillac solely responsible for every aspect of that plan created problems for the brand.

It’s unclear whether dealers would own the vehicles or simply handle the exchanges in the updated subscription program. Wahl only said the new service will include different messaging and technology, creating a lessened focus on customers being able to switch between vehicles. Cadillac has said fewer customers were swapping between models than initially expected. Though, we were under the impression that was the biggest draw for subscription plans since they don’t make a lot of financial sense to the customer otherwise.

The new program wants to tap dealers to help cope with upcoming changes in vehicle ownership patterns and keep any swapping that does happen more fluid. “We have to recognize that all of us — from the manufacturers to the dealer networks — we have to evolve our models to keep up with where consumers are,” Wahl explained.

The first phase of the revamped program will include pilot programs in select cities, most of which were included in Book 1.0. New York, where the program was initially launched and Cadillac was formerly headquartered, will not be involved. At least, not immediately.

Cadillac President Steve Carlisle said the program should launch around the end of the first quarter of this year, or possibly the second if progress is slow. “We have some things to work out, but we think will be better all around — from a consumer point of view, from our point of view, from a dealer point of view,” Carlisle said.

[Image: General Motors]

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  • Buickman Buickman on Jan 21, 2019

    "You Book 'em Steve, I'm tired of this bs". Danno

  • FreedMike FreedMike on Jan 21, 2019

    On the subject of Cadillac: I got a little "lot time" in an XT4 yesterday. I'll issue this challenge to everyone: go check one out, cover up the badges, and tell me what kind of car you're sitting in. I guarantee you that you won't have a good answer to that question. What a disappointing, cheap, uninspired little lump that thing is. Yes, you can say the same about just about every other vehicle it competes with. But the same lot had a Lexus NX, and even by that vehicle's low-set bar, the XT4 is just pathetic. It's a nicer Equinox. From what I've read, it's uninspired to drive. Will it sell? Of course it will. The XT5 sells. The XT6 will sell. And that means the only Cadillacs that sell will be the ones that suck. I was ready to go full DeadWeight, but you know what? I'm too sad to do it.

    • See 1 previous
    • Jkross22 Jkross22 on Jan 21, 2019

      It sounds like you were surprised at how bad it was. Cadillac has been at this 'Mark MSRP up to the level where we want to sell' without providing a car or SUV that comes close to the quality of that price. The foolishness is astounding. Volt and Bolt proved GM has engineering capabilities. GM can make good looking concepts. Their interiors are crap - I shouldn't say that - their interiors are uncompetitive. Everything from design to materials used to the font they use for gauges and infotainment to how carpeting is fitted. They're improved from 10 years ago, but so has everyone else. A brand new Cadillac CUV should have been a showcase of what GM can do. Instead, it's just another inflated MSRP with what looks like a phoned in effort.

  • Jkross22 Gavin Newsom may not be aware of the fiscal problems of the state he leads, as his focus is on criticizing other states. It's actually better that he has someone shining a laser light on a map so he can stop making things worse here. Just lace his hair gel with some catnip and have him hit himself trying to get to it. Things in LA are getting so bad that even the leftists and progressives are showing up to LA city council meetings with mirrors to protest, well, everything - gas prices, the homeless pandemic, the house pricing pandemic, the crime pandemic. It shocked the City Council that their subjects dare attempt to ask for accountability. The Council president insisted that people with mirrors be escorted out, lest the council be reminded of their incompetence and hubris. That being said, there is no connection being made between the way LA subjects vote and the results it yields. Never underestimate the stupidity of the typical CA voter. The state is a basketcase but voters keep electing the same retreads every time.
  • ScarecrowRepair Too much for too little, unless you treat it strictly as a toy.
  • DedBull Mk2 Jettas are getting harder to find, especially ones that haven't been modified within an inch of their life. I grew up in an 85 GLI, and would love to have one in as close to stock configuration as I could get. This car isn't that starting point, especially sitting 3-4 years in the NY dirt. It's a parts car at best, but there might still be money in it even at that price, if you are willing to take it down to absolutely nothing left.
  • MRF 95 T-Bird I bet it has some electrical gremlins as well. Nonetheless it might make an interesting El Camino pickup truck conversation with one of those kits.
  • GrumpyOldMan "A manual transmission is offered, as is a single-clutch auto. "What is a single clutch auto?