DETROIT -- U.S. Cadillac dealers could soon receive leads from customers who have already learned about the features and specs of their desired vehicle from a product specialist — without visiting a dealership — as a program that started in Canada moves south of the border.
All that's left is the test drive and paperwork.
Cadillac will pilot Cadillac Live on Monday after launching the program in Canada in March. Dealers in Texas, California, Illinois, New Jersey and New York can opt into the program starting Monday. If successful, Cadillac will roll it out nationwide in May.
Shoppers will be matched with a personal shopper and browse Cadillac's lineup through an online video chat.
"We're trying to really understand how do people want to shop, so that we can be where they want to be. How they want to interact with us is really on their terms," Cadillac CMO Melissa Grady told Automotive News.
Through the program, live agents connect with customers on demand or by appointment, often when most dealerships are closed. The agents, who speak English, Spanish and French, operate out of a showroom in Toronto.
Customers can video chat with a live agent, who answers their questions and guides them through features on the vehicle they're interested in. They use props, such as strollers and hockey equipment, to show the configurability of an XT6, for example. They also walk the customer through in-vehicle technology and safety features.