CALGARY — Western Canada’s largest Cadillac dealership has gone upscale with a flashy new store that brings a premium level of service to match the luxury vehicles it sells.
Carter Cadillac in Calgary cost more than $16 million and is the brand’s largest exclusive Cadillac outlet on the continent, according to the automaker. It’s located near Barlow Trail in an automobile row that features exotic cars from high-end brands such as Porsche, Ferrari and Maserati.
Cadillac says the store is it first and largest under the new brand architecture. In addition to a luxurious décor, the Carter Cadillac dealership is designed to provide an experience that meets the expectations of customers who buy premium vehicles, says managing partner Jay McKeen.
“From our standpoint, Cadillac is going through a real evolution,” said McKeen. “It’s reclaiming its place in the luxury market.”
McKeen and Cadillac’s president, Canadian Steve Carlisle, oversaw a grand opening Tuesday.
With space near capacity at his current Jack Carter GM dealership in south Calgary, McKeen saw an opportunity to create a standalone facility dedicated to one brand.
Carter Cadillac has 50,000 square feet of developed space on three levels, including rapid charging stations for electric vehicles and a virtual reality room. An upper showroom features Cadillac’s V-Series high performance vehicles and a rotation of vintage Cadillacs.
The dealership will initially employ 30 staff and introduces innovations in both sales and service. Sales will be a streamlined, one-contact process, in which a “brand ambassador” is empowered to not only reach terms of sale, but also handle financing and legal paperwork.
A new concierge service, meanwhile, will send a dealership employee to pick up a car at a person’s home or place of work and return it when service is done.
“When you buy a luxury vehicle, does it just mean the fit and finish is better?” McKeen said. “We’re trying to increase the experience a bit more.”
McKeen admits to a few sleepless nights after the company committed to the new dealership in 2014. Shortly thereafter, Calgary’s economy “went south,” experiencing widespread job losses after a severe drop in oil prices. Yet the luxury market continued to grow.
“It tells us there’s a real stable core of people, who still have confidence and stability in their careers,” McKeen said. “When genuinely feel it is the right decision.”
Carlisle highlighted the opportunity in Calgary.
“Cadillac’s mission is to provide customers with a luxury experience that is second to none, and this applies to our facilities and services as much as it does our vehicles” Carlisle said. “Carter Cadillac’s new dealership perfectly showcases that philosophy, and we couldn’t be more excited about opening it in one of our most burgeoning markets.”