Your local Cadillac dealership may soon sport a new look. General Motors is rolling out a new, more modern design for its Cadillac showrooms, featuring higher-end appointments and artwork to emphasize the brand's upscale image.

According to Cadillac, the new showroom design features open, well-lit displays, designer furniture and a coffee bar. Premium materials like English Oak, matte porcelain and brushed stainless steel will be used to give the showroom a high-quality look ? as will a series of new artwork intended to emphasize the brand's design renaissance.

"If you want to compete in the luxury market, you have to create the right environment for customers," said Mike Mosser, general manager of Suburban Cadillac in Ann Arbor, Michigan, the first dealer to complete the showroom upgrades. "The new showroom greets potential buyers with a look and feel that put us at the top of the class in the luxury market."

According to Cadillac, more than 200 dealers nationwide have committed to completing the upgrades within the next two years. Revisions won't be as extensive to Cadillac dealers also featuring other brands, but Cadillac says even so-called "dual dealers" will feature upgraded service drives utilizing materials and architecture tying in with the new theme.

"The new facility design and furnishings provide a great stage for our exciting new automobiles," said Kurt McNeil, Cadillac's vice president of sales and service. "But our main goal is to create a highly positive first impression that creates a defining moment in our customers' minds that we will exceed their expectations before, during and after the sale."

Other new touches for the upgraded showrooms include limestone tiles, aluminum storefront glazing, chrome tables and lamps, rich leather lounge chairs and theatrical lighting, which Cadillac says will highlight the vehicles on display.

Cadillac's sales were down slightly last month, with high gas prices likely depressing sales of its Escalade and SRX SUVs. While sales of the popular CTS sedan surged nearly 25 percent, Cadillac's STS and DTS car lines also brought down the brand's sales totals ? a trend expected to reverse with the imminent debut of a new large sedan.

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Jeffrey Archer is fortunate to have turned a passion for cars into a career. His wide-ranging automotive experience includes work for automakers and dealers in addition to covering the news. When not writing, he spends his time searching for unique cars on AutoTrader.com.

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