Every new 2013 Cadillac XTS will come with an Apple Incorporated (NASDAQ: AAPL) iPad with a suite of customer education apps pre-loaded to teach new owners about the car's Cadillac User Experience (CUE), the General Motors Company (NYSE: GM) announced on Wednesday.
"CUE is intuitive, bringing touch and voice controls into the car in really unique and helpful way," Don Butler, U.S. vice president for Cadillac marketing at GM said.
GM, based in Detroit, said it wants the new CUE system to become a signature feature of Cadillac brand vehicles, starting with the launch of the new 2013 XTS luxury sedan. GM has been working aggressively to restore the reputation of Cadillac. The new CUE system is certainly innovative as it features the first ever automotive use of capacitive touch screen technology and multi-touch control.
"This is an opportunity for us to build a new level into the luxury customer experience," Butler said.
Every Cadillac XTS will come with an iPad and educational applications to help familiarize buyers with the CUE system. The iPad will come with the CUE App which will replicate many of the controls that drivers will experience using the CUE system in their new car. The iPad will also come with the MyCadillac App and OnStar RemoteLink apps preloaded. The OnStar RemoteLink app will allow owners to check how much gasoline is in the car, unlock the doors and access other data about the vehicle, while MyCadillac provides roadside, parking and maintenance information.
Along with giving away free iPads, GM has dispatched 25 "Connected Customer Experts" around the country to provide launch support for CUE. Likewise, each Cadillac dealership will now have two "trained technology experts" on hand.
"We're blending the advanced technology of CUE with the personal touches of a luxury experience," Butler said.
While the CUE system certainly seems technologically advanced for the automotive world, the fact that GM believes the XTS needs a separate iPad training programs leaves questions about the intuitiveness and ease of navigability of the new touch screen system. Cadillac representatives have thus far been less than reassuring on this front.
"We need to think about helping [owners] with the learning curve. Even if you get a walk-through at the dealership, you're going to forget about a lot of features. And we want the customer to learn about CUE on their own time," Mark Harland, Cadillac head of customer experience, told Wired.com Tuesday.
Cadillac representatives wouldn't say what the cost of the iPad contract with Apple was or what the impact on the price of the XTS would be, but new iPads retail for at $499. Cadillac sold a total of 9,851 cars in the U.S. in April, but the company is not forecasting sales of the new XTS once it comes to market in the summer. The 2013 Cadillac XTS will cost $44,995.
General Motors Company (NYSE: GM) shares closed up 21 cents at $22.44 Wednesday. Apple Incorporated (NASDAQ: AAPL) shares closed up $1 at $569.18.