New Cadillac ELR production ceased completely back in February, according to recent reports.
It had previously been reported back in January that Cadillac would cease further investment into the model. Following that announcement, it was assumed that ELR production would be ceasing at some point in the near future. Apparently, production ceased within only a month of the announcement, interestingly. I wonder why there was such a hurry?
Considering that Cadillac ELR sales have been rather anemic to date, it’s not at all surprising that the company has decided to simply wash its hands of the whole matter. Company executives have been hinting as much for quite a while now — with the announcement last year that there would not be a second generation of the model, making the company’s long-term plans pretty clear.
In a recent interview, Cadillac Product Communications Manager David Caldwell was quoted as stating: “Cadillac ELR production recently concluded. A very small quantity of ELR units remain available at dealers today. The beautifully designed electrified coupe marked an important step in Cadillac’s ongoing expansion. Cadillac remains committed to delivering new technology, including advanced propulsion. Cadillac will soon launch a new Plug-In Hybrid edition of the remarkable new CT6 sedan.”
GM Volt provides more:
The CT6 PHEV is a faster, larger vehicle, with similar electric range in the mid-30s, and will be imported from China. It too is projected to sell in limited quantities, though it is expected to be better received than has been the ELR.
…Aside from these factors, Michigan-based automotive analyst Alan Baum said he thinks the ELR was axed in part because of the complexity of ELR production at the Detroit-Hamtramck plant. The more profitable and much-higher volume Malibu, Impala, Volt, and CT6 are also produced there, and the ELR adds very little value, he said.
Ironically, the ELR had received performance upgrades for 2016, and a $10,000 lower price from its introduction. Caldwell said he was not entirely sure on the decision process that led to this timing of events. He did observe engineers had plans in the works to update the ELR, so those were done. Meanwhile, it is onward and upward for Cadillac. de Nysschen has been tasked with revitalizing the brand, and that, said Baum, is what he is in process of doing.
How well the brand is being revitalized is up for debate, of course.
Baum continued: “In the face of a shortage of products relative to his competition, he is trying to increase the cache and price of the products he does have and he has had success in that regard. The ELR doesn’t do that and he can’t sell it at a price that builds brand value, and thus the product does not fit into the larger scheme of Cadillac.”
It’s too bad. The car seemed to be a fun one. But with a price tag initially up there with the much larger, faster, and more-packed-with-tech Tesla Model S, it was quickly mocked and ridiculed by EV fans. Advertising never did much to convince EV fans of the model’s benefits, and not many conventional buyers were enticed enough by dealers to adopt the car … who’s surprised?
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