GM to trim Cadillac dealership count

In an effort to streamline its dealership count, General Motors says it's planning to substantially cut back the number of Cadillac outlets it has to make the brand more closely resemble its far more efficient German and Japanese rivals. Cadillac's 1,400 dealers sold an average of 110 cars last year compared to Lexus' 226 dealers that sold 1,158 cars on average.

"Our current footprint of 1,400 Cadillac dealers, most of which are dualed, is out of sync with modern luxury automotive retail," GM sales chief Mark LaNeve told dealers at a conference last week.

Unlike BMW, Lexus and Mercedes-Benz, Cadillac's dealership network extends in to small communities that might just sell a handful of cars annually. Though the automaker doesn't plan to drastically cut back that unique situation, it says it will reduce the number of dealers in its major metropolitan markets. GM hasn't said how many dealerships will go, but expect a substantial figure to hear that their contracts will not be renewed come October 31, 2010, when GM will cut more than a third of its dealership network.

"We have to address this and enable our large Cadillac dealers to do more volume," LaNeve said.