Cadillac isn’t depending on personal car ownership to make money on transportation. The traditional rich person’s American luxury car brand has morphed into an upscale cruiser or statement SUV, and Cadillac sees its future changing as the automotive industry turns upside down, reports Venture Beat. The company would love to sell you a car today or in the future, but it is also preparing to transport you with future mobility services.
Cadillac president Johan de Nysschen told Venture Beat, “We know that our industry is at another inflection point. Two years ago in the luxury market baby boomers were displaced as the primary buyers, and by 2020, three of four luxury cars in the world will be bought by Gen Xers or Gen Yers … and they have new attitudes, new expectations, and are concentrated in cities.”
But owning and keeping a car in the city has problems. Horrible traffic, scarce parking, and monthly garage costs higher than car payments all add to the hassle and expense of city car ownership.
General Motors, Cadillac’s parent company, invested in Lyft’s ridesharing service as a strategic move to provide transportation in cities and elsewhere. Every Lyft driver needs a car, de Nysschen says, and carsharing services also need cars. Cadillac and General Motors intend to participate in those services.
Looking further ahead to fully autonomous cars, Cadillac sees the potential for mobility services to turn even greater profits without drivers, the greatest cost in the ridesharing business. “If we can inject more efficiency into the picture, we can channel that funding to commercially present opportunity restricted to our products,” said de Nysschen.
Cadillac will continue to build and sell cars to individual owners as long as there is a market. Rather than watch the markets drift away and go away with them, however, the company is investing in technology and building on experiences such as the Lyft investment to have a big share of future mobility service markets. “On the one hand, these new technologies will spell the demise of the traditional car industry,” Nysschen said. “But they are also an opportunity … as more people start using car services, they need automobiles.”
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