VenSeattle

Bundled Dealerships and design

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I found this pic of a Cadillac/Buick-Pontiac-GMC dealership in Vancouver WA. What do you guys think?

dealership.jpg

Going forward, do you think this type of efficient bundling of brands would allow the brands to remain distinctive?

I actually do. That's providing the dealership features separate entrances for the brand showrooms and separate service advisors/areas for Cadillac owners & BPG owners. The backend would benefit by using the same lot, management, including the service/technician dept and facilities.

The distinction would remain but make it convenient for BPG shoppers to "browse" Cadillac and eventually trade-up. It would also allow Cadillac to move more towards a unified global line-up leaving the GMT900s with GMC and dropping the GMT900-based Escalade lineup.

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Hmmm... it's OK, but I think they should have the dealership name in the same space to the right of the Pontiac sign, since Pontiac is "Carr".

Seriously, that is a goodlooking setup, inviting, professional and "permanent" looking.

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I've been to Carr in Vancouver WA. Their downtown dealership was a dump. I wonder where that one will be built...probably toward Westfield Shopping and the Auto Row in the newer part of Vancouver WA across the 205 bridge from Portland.

Funny that you would even bring this up. In my last "real" architecture job, we did some multi-brand car dealerships. It can be a hassle when they are not in the same family. They were foreign. You have to talk to ALL of their corporate architecture departments, there has to be little, if any, visual connection to another brand name, there have to be separate service aisles if the size of the complex warrants it, so you have to a separate customer identity for sales/service/parts counter and a common area for bathrooms, parts bins, stockrooms, etc. For GM or Ford-Lincoln-Mercury, the "separation" is less of an issue.

In summation, I think it's just fine. It's a more economical approach and doesn't duplicate resources. Plus, if it's GM, it only seems to make your buying decision easier and your attachment to a brand stronger. I know that, seeing the Buicks and Pontiacs together only made me think "gee, I think the craftsmanship in a Buick is excellent...too bad I can't get the Pontiac personality with Buick's attention to detail." Well, it just confirmed I was more of a Buick buyer.

Interesting topic.

Edited by trinacriabob
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I like it. inviting, professional. :spin:

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Man, they have some fancy dealerships out of the coasts. Although architecturally, that's a pretty cut-and-dry suburbia strip mall design. But it still beats some of our dealerships here that are stuck in a 1970s wood-panel time warp.

Our Buick-Cadillac-GMC dealership here in CR is fairly new (10 years or so), but it's nothing to write home to mom about. It's pretty bland and uninspiring. Ford seems to be the only one of the Big Three that has updated most of its dealerships with the new modern look...even the small town dealerships. This is one area I think GM needs to get on the ball with, because walking in the doors is your first impression.

harwood_ford_dealership.jpg

Edited by mustang84
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Junge Lincoln-Mercury Volvo probably the tackiest car dealership in Cedar Rapids. Such a craptastic building, and the eagle is just too much. This isn't even fitting for a Kia dealership, let alone Lincoln.

cedar_store400.jpg

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Interesting, it goes against GM's plans for it's dealerships.

Edited by Pontiac Custom-S
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The 'CARR' lettering font on that dealer looks like the dealer name lettering fonts that I remember seeing on small town GM dealers 30 years ago..

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Hmmm... it's OK, but I think they should have the dealership name in the same space to the right of the Pontiac sign, since Pontiac is "Carr".

Seriously, that is a goodlooking setup, inviting, professional and "permanent" looking.

LMAO!!!!!!!! pontiac is carr.....!

"G3 arriving soon"!

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Man, they have some fancy dealerships out of the coasts. Although architecturally, that's a pretty cut-and-dry suburbia strip mall design.

harwood_ford_dealership.jpg

Do you guys notice the reveals (indentations) don't align? I wonder if that was deliberate or haste in trying to make the design budget...or lack of sleep.

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LMAO!!!!!!!! pontiac is carr.....!

This dealer family is actually more known for Carr Chevrolet and Carr Subaru in the metro Portland area.

Carr Subaru...you don't want to get me started...

Edited by trinacriabob
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There is a BPG/Cadillac dealer around the corner from me, but they have a separate showroom for Caddy. Nice, big facility on decent piece of ground with a good layout.

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The problem with 'shared' dealerships is that, inevitably, the dealership experience generally trends towards the largest volume seller, which is a mass market brand--thus, your Caddy customers get a Chevy experience.

IMO, those who have come to expect amenities and great service tend to be disappointed---thus, GM's candystore version of a dealership is a double-edged sword---lower costs by sharing storefronts but, I believe, long term brand damage to Buick & Cadillac as their Acura to Lexus aspirations and targeting get lost in the real estate savings.

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Strangely, near me there's a Chevy-Buick dealer on one side of the street, and a Cadillac-Pontiac-GMC dealer on the other side of the street. Different owners, of course.

If there were any space nearby, THAT could be a huge superstore. Sort of like the Carr one in the picture, but Chevy could have its own wing opposite Cadillac.

Anyway, as long as they're done well and aren't too visually displeasing, I have no problems.

Though for some strange reason I like how the Caddy place was set apart from the "commoners." :P

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We have a Pontiac, Buick, GMC, Cadillac, Saab dealer here...

The place is nice, but they need more room. (Well, actually, if the market keeps tanking and GM keeps acting dumb they might not)

I know the owner of the dealership. His dad started the place with Cadillac and he added Pontiac and GMC later. When GM approached him with the new channel strategy (Long before they made it public and before they were 'struggling with damaged brands' BTW -- It sees that GM really is run by the dealers) he said no.

So he ended up buying out the Saab and Buick franchises from another dealer here in town. That dealer at one point sold Saab, Buick, Isuzu, Mitsubishi, VW, Audi, Porsche and Lotus all at the same dealership. It now sells VW, Audi and Porsche.

We also now have a Cadillac, Pontiac, GMC, Chevrolet dealer here.

Our local (as in the small town I'm from -- literally the only dealership there) Chevrolet dealer was swallowed up by a national chain. The national chain got in trouble (for bad deals, they weren't paying off trade-ins when customers bought new cars) and had to close parts of their network. So this Cadillac, Pontiac, GMC dealer down the road bought the Chevrolet franchise.

Another strange pairing, this time in Charlotte: Folger Kia & Buick.

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Cadillac and Pontiac at the same dealer? Yuck! I can barely stand that my nearest dealership is bundled as Buick/Cadillac! I would imagine that Pontiac customers are looking for cheap, quick repairs, super low prices, etc. Where Cadillac buyers would be looking for quality experiences even if it means paying more.

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Cadillac and Pontiac at the same dealer? Yuck! I can barely stand that my nearest dealership is bundled as Buick/Cadillac! I would imagine that Pontiac customers are looking for cheap, quick repairs, super low prices, etc. Where Cadillac buyers would be looking for quality experiences even if it means paying more.

I think that has happened here... a couple BPG dealers folded, and another was absorbed into a Cadillac dealer. So on one corner of a major intersection of a 6-lane street w/ a 4-lane street is a Cadillac store, on the nearest corner is their BPG store. Recently, the Cadillac store had a red G8 GT rotating on it's front dais, right next to the new CTSes, an STS-v, and an XLR.

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The problem with 'shared' dealerships is that, inevitably, the dealership experience generally trends towards the largest volume seller, which is a mass market brand--thus, your Caddy customers get a Chevy experience.

IMO, those who have come to expect amenities and great service tend to be disappointed---thus, GM's candystore version of a dealership is a double-edged sword---lower costs by sharing storefronts but, I believe, long term brand damage to Buick & Cadillac as their Acura to Lexus aspirations and targeting get lost in the real estate savings.

That's not the case with the dealership near me. The Cadillac showroom is a separate building about 100' away from the BPG building. The place is up to date and nicely landscaped with planting beds making an obvious border between the showrooms. I could be wrong, but I'd bet that the Caddy franchise provides nearly the volume that the BPG franchise does. They sell alot of Cadillacs and have a pretty big inventory.

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Just by coincidence, I looked at Buick's press releases and one of them discussed a new LEED-certified dealership in Highland Township, Michigan. Guess what? It's the same dealership design as the one in Vancouver WA:

large_20080501_LAFONTAINE.jpg

2673892333_1cdfbbcb38_o.jpg

Link to Press Release

Michigan Family Spends Millions on 'Green' GM Dealership

In addition to its "green" materials, the new LaFontaine store features a boutique, a café, and a hair and nail salon for its customers and employees. Children can stay entertained in a video-monitored play area, which includes painted murals and a new Xbox 360 video game system.

Sounds pretty good to me! :thumbsup: Maybe this is a sign of things to come?

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