Published on May 17th, 2014 | by Christopher DeMorro


Dealers Getting $5,000 From GM For Cadillac ELR Test Drives

May 17th, 2014 by  

Originally published on Gas2.


In the five months since it’s debut, just 247 Cadillac ELR plug-in hybrids, prompting GM to offer dealers up to $5,000 to take potential customers on test drives. Hey GM, here’s an idea for you; how about you shave $5,000 off your overpriced Chevy Volt…and then another $10,000 for good measure.

Actually, GM is offering potential buyers and lessees up to $3,000 off the MSRP in the form of various discounts, and there might still be a few of those free charging stations left for grabs too. But the suits in charge seem to think that all it takes is a few more test drives and awareness to move the ELR, which currently has a 725-day supply. That’s to say, if GM stopped building the ELR tomorrow, there are enough cars already built to sustain the current pace of sales for another two years. Typically, dealers like to keep a 60 to 90 day supply of vehicles on the lot.

The solution? Give dealers with at least one Cadillac ELR in their test fleet $5,000 if they can rack up at least 750 miles worth of test drives between May 1st and June 2nd. GM seems to think that more test drives will result in more sales, but I’m just not convinced. Anybody with $76,000 to spend on a new car has a wide variety of options, including the Tesla Model S, which is by most accounts a far superior car.

But that’s not to say GM is ready to concede the green car throne to Tesla, as recent spy pictures suggest that a hotter Cadillac ELR-V or Vsport is being benchmarked against the Tesla Model S. Also, just because it’s not as good as one of the best cars ever made isn’t to say the ELR isn’t a good car. Those few who have bought an ELR seem happy with the decision, but GM obviously isn’t happy with sales.

It really is a shame GM is so intent on pricing the ELR so high. As a $60,000 car (plus the $7,500 tax rebate), I feel like there would be so many more buyers willing to dip their toe into the growing field of electrified luxury cars. But if you’re really going to spend that much money on a green car, why get anything less than the best?

Source: Automotive News

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About the Author

A writer and gearhead who loves all things automotive, from hybrids to HEMIs, can be found wrenching or writing- or else, he's running, because he's one of those crazy people who gets enjoyment from running insane distances.

  • Can we say EV-1, take two?

    Not only is it ugly (my opinion), it’s also absurdly, ridiculously, outrageously overpriced.

    The Voltec drivetrain is great technology, but it should be offered in SUVs and trucks.

  • Bill Bugbee

    Well written and to the point. The ELR is a beautiful car and with the Voltec drivetrain it has great potential. But the value added features the ELR offers over the Volt, another great vehicle that stands alone in the GM line up, is more a lost opportunity. Without enhancing the ELR’s range and EV performance over the Volt and to understand how GM can justify the price. Instead, GM delivers the ELR as a true work of art, taking the Volt up a notch as a coupe, but failing in Marketing 101 by pricing it as an equal competitor to the Model S Tesla. I was waiting and ready to trade my Volt in for the ELR until the day GM released the MSRP at more than twice the price of a fully loaded Volt.

  • J_JamesM

    Their money reeks of flop sweat and desperation.

  • Jim Seko

    What I don’t understand is GM cut the MSRP of the Volt by $5000 and it had no noticable effect on sales. That really surprised me.

    • spec9

      Uh, it had a very noticeable effect.

      GM needs to slash the price of the ELR. It is ~$20K to high.

    • David Gilmore

      GM is in the process of killing the Volt. The general public is not smart enough to understand it or too disinterested in new technology to get informed. Anyone intrepid enough to try one out–mainly futurists and enthusiasts who can’t afford a Tesla or don’t live in the areas serviced by Tesla’s charging infrastructure–are so impressed with the Volt, they overly express their elation and make others suspicious. To make matters worse, GM engages in almost no marketing effort to explain the Voltec platform and its benefits. What little marketing they do make either doesn’t go into any detail at all or targets the wrong audience. The price of the Volt is not the problem. The messaging, branding and sales efforts are the problem. GM should have created a whole other brand to market its Voltec platformed cars and any other future EVs. They should have a small number of dedicated show rooms with personnel that only speak EV/Voltec and don’t try to steer customers away from a Volt and into a more profitable-for-them Cruze or some other ICE vehicle. They need to stop wasting inventory on backwoods dealers that mainly deal in farm equipment. It all adds up to failure. Since they are not taking any steps to rectify any of this, my conclusion is that they are killing this product on purpose. But let me clear on this. The problem is not price or product. The problem is literally everything else. To say that the Volt is overpriced is preposterous. It’s a six-figure car you can get for $27,500. Overpriced? Get real.

      • Well said. From what I understand, there has also been more demand than supply for a long time, which ends up making Volt demand look weak (through low sales). But, yes, with some half-decent marketing the Volt could probably see twice as much demand, imho. (That’s not to say that more than twice as many people wouldn’t be better off with the Volt than the car that drive, but it takes time to bring people to a new tech.)

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