General Motors has gotten a bit of heat for the high price of its Cadillac ELR, a plug-in hybrid electric car. The biggest issue for a lot of people is that it isn’t seen as comparable to the Tesla Model S, yet it’s practically the same price. Well, frankly, no other car seems to compare with the Model S… and at a certain point, your car preference is based on very subjective factors. Personally, I see the Model S and Cadillac ELR as very different cars. In any case, coming back to that ELR pricing criticism, GM’s product chief, Mark Reuss, was recently questioned by Automobile Magazine New York Bureau Chief Jamie Kitman about just this topic.
JK: There’s been some criticism of the high price of the new Cadillac ELR [$75,995].
MR: I don’t care, I really don’t care. Because it’s a really uninformed point of view. The ELR’s about $1400 bucks less than a Tesla on a comparable equipment basis, it’s got two doors, it’s a beautiful car. It’s not limited by range and it’s got the $7500 tax credit, which takes it to $67-ish, and it’s got a good lease rate. No read on [sales] yet. But we’re not looking for big volume. It’s a beautiful car. My wife wants one. That’s the kind of person we want to sell it to —we’ve got three kids but two of them are going. Someone fiftyish. You don’t need an SUV anymore. The ELR is a beautiful thing, the interior is handcrafted, it’s a beautiful car. So, I feel good about it.
Later on in the interview, the topic of energy policy and oil also came up. Perhaps also worth a share:
JK: Do you see the oil companies taking over the manufacture and distribution of hydrogen fuel?
MR: In the sense that it’s a by-product of making gasoline, can be. I don’t know. If we had an energy policy…
JK: We do.
MR: What’s that?
JK: It’s the ExxonMobil policy.
MR: You’re right. (Laughs) You’re absolutely right.
JK: The system is not broken, it’s fixed.
MR: It is fixed. (Laughs harder.) It is very fixed.
JK: Everything ExxonMobil wants done gets done. Everything they don’t want done doesn’t.
MR: I should take out my iPhone and record you.
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