Auto industry watch: A few more cracks in the dealership model

|By:, SA News Editor

Cadillac (GM) plans to use test-drive centers and pop-up storefronts in Europe instead of expanding its dealership network.

The concept will also be tested in the U.S. to varying degrees by Tesla Motors (TSLA -5.5%), Porsche (VLKAY), and BMW (BAMXY).

What to watch: Though the dealership model is firmly entrenched and protected by state law in many regions, there's been more cracks to the model on the luxury side as of late. For now, automobile analysts see brand retail storefronts serving in a complementary role until some of the legal questions are answered on how far they can go in converting prospects to buyers.