Jim Taylor has been the CEO of Hummer since October of 2008. Prior to that, he was the General Manager of Cadillac. Since beginning his GM career in 1980 with GM of Canada Limited in Oshawa, Ontario as an industrial engineer, Jim Taylor progressed through several production and purchasing positions, including management positions at Saturn, Adam Opel, Worldwide Purchasing and GM Truck. Taylor was appointed Cadillac General Manager in 2004, and was responsible for the division’s global product, marketing and promotional activities.
Although Taylor is a skilled tactician and engineer, his creative side is exercised through music—he is a concert-level pianist. He also spends free time enjoying the open road on his Harley-Davidson motorcycle.
Question: Do people buy Cadillacs online?
Taylor: What’s happening in that area, there was a little flurry a few years ago about literally online purchasing. And again, because the franchise system and many other factors instill a very significant investment, you know, maybe the second or third largest you make in your life and it is a physical product so what’s really going on, to be more realistic, is somewhere in the tune of, would say, 70 or 80% of the shopping and the investigation and the exploration and the features and then all of the comparison that used to really require you to go out and visit numerous dealerships, ask several salesmen questions and kind of gather all that up before you make your purchase decision. Now, it’s much much simpler and done online, so from an online standpoint, that activity and would say again, 70 to 80% of that takes place online but physically, again, the nature of this product is [IB] emotional product, [IB] colors involved, seeing something in full sheet metal rather than seeing it online is all important for the amount of money that you’re spending. So that last 20% is still done physically at the dealership and of course, there’s the price activity that isn’t just the price, it’s the financing, the terms, and the taxes and the closing, you know? It’s… it’s still a complicated closure so that push and feeling and [IB] several years ago, boy, this is going to shift to being, literally, an online purchase like you’re buying a computer, this doesn’t happen.