I recently attended a General Motors event that recapped some of the new tech the company has introduced over the past few years.
While a significant portion of the event focused on the legacy car manufacturer’s new On Star app, I found my attention gravitating towards a slightly older form of tech that I’d never heard of called ‘Cadillac Live.’ The platform aims to make buying a car a much more straightforward and stress-free situation. Instead of going to a dealership where you need to worry about sales pressure, Cadillac Live lets you schedule a one-way video call with a Cadillac specialist that offers a brief look at whatever model vehicle you’re interested in.
These calls are super casual and the buyer isn’t even on camera, so you could easily do this from your bed on a Sunday morning or even from your old car parked somewhere. Once you’re on the call, you’re free to ask random questions you might have about the vehicle, and the specialist will do their best to verbally or visually answer you. The specialists even have golf clubs, snowboards and other large items on hand to help show off trunk space in the vehicles. The vehicle expert also calls you from an iPhone X on a gimbal, so the system works well and the video quality is HD.
I think this is a brilliant way to sell cars. As someone who has had many terrible dealership experiences leading up to buying my car when I was 21, I would much rather do this than go into an actual dealership and have a salesperson lie and pressure me. Not to speak for my entire generation, but more people would feel comfortable buying if options like this were more prevalent.
Cadillac Live even had a Cadillac Lyric EV in its studio for a few weeks just so interested electric vehicle (EV) enthusiasts and journalists could call in to learn about the upcoming EV flagship from the company. I’d expect all new cars from the brand to get similar treatment moving forward too.
This Cadillac program was actually pioneered in Canada, and the car studio plus the Cadillac specialists that work there are all also Canadian. That said, GM in the U.S. offers a similar live online showroom to help show off Chevrolet vehicles. GM told me that it’s seeing excellent traction with the program, so it will be interesting to see if it rolls it out to all of its brands or if other automakers start to emulate it.