Cadillac Celestiq EV begins a new adventure for the brand and dealers
Another unknown is what role dealerships will play in ordering and delivering the car.
Howard Drake, a Los Angeles-area dealer, asked to sell the Cadillac Celestiq. He has no doubt the car will be in demand, but Drake, Casa De Cadillac’s main dealer in Sherman Oaks, said the brand has yet to provide many details about dealer involvement in Celestiq’s transaction process. .
“What we’re trying to figure out is when does the dealer get involved and take over,” he said. “The role of the dealer is unclear, not even close.”
Drake, who also sells GMC vehicles, thinks the Celestiq will be a hit, although Cadillac has never offered a vehicle for nearly $300,000. But two current vehicles in GM’s lineup, the Cadillac Escalade V Series and the GMC Hummer – both sporting six-figure price tags – have helped attract Bentley and Rolls-Royce customers to its stores. “They’ve already gone through the custom order process,” Drake said.
“Dealers will need to invest in special tools and equipment, and we are currently working with our dealers,” Cadillac Vice President Rory Harvey said. “Every dealer will have the option to sell the Celestiq, but I don’t anticipate every dealership will.”
Longtime Orlando GM dealer Alan Starling, whose family business owns Cadillac and Chevrolet stores, is also bullish on the Celestiq.
“Obviously GM wants to restore Cadillac to its rightful place in automotive history,” Starling said by email. Of the Celestiq and Lyriq crossovers that have just ramped up production, he said, “Cadillac and its dealers are ready to exceed challenges and expectations, and these new products are just the beginning.
Elevating the Cadillac brand into the rarefied air of the ultra-luxury segment, occupied mostly by Rolls-Royce, Bentley and Mercedes-Benz, was part of the business case Reuss’ team made to gain the Celestiq’s endorsement. The car will initially be offered in the three largest ultra-luxury sedan markets – the United States, the Middle East and China, with European deliveries also being considered, Harvey said.
When the Celestiq begins production in December 2023, it will have a starting price “in the $300 range,” Cadillac officials said. That puts it in direct competition with the cheapest Rolls-Royce sedan, the Ghost, which has a starting price of $340,000 but typically costs significantly more once customers order their cars with trims, colors and other unique options.