In a recent press release, GM’s Cadillac division announced a fourth upcoming EV crossover: the VISTIQ. This makes four EV crossovers, with the cheapest to be the OPTIQ, followed by the LYRIQ, this new VISTIQ, and then the Escalade IQ at the top.
“VISTIQ adds another compelling EV to the Cadillac lineup, reinforcing our commitment to an electric future,” said John Roth, vice president of Global Cadillac. “Our brand now has an EV entry in most luxury segments, offering customers a range of choices, and Cadillac EVs will cover most luxury SUV segments across critical global markets in the next two years.”
Sadly, there really aren’t any additional details. Those are supposed to come out next year. It’s tough to tell whether this is going to be a 5 or 7 seat vehicle, but it’s big enough that it could have a crampy folding third row. We’ll have to wait for some more details on that.
Why I Think This Is A Mistake
If 2023 should have taught GM anything, it’s that affordability is the key to the future of EVs. With the exception of the remaining Bolt inventory, the EVs are piling up at dealers. GM had to cut back production of the $105,000 Silverado EV, just like Ford had to cut production of the Lightning. Everyone is cutting back on luxury EVs.
But, in the midst of all this, the company announced yet another luxury crossover while everyone waits for the next version of the Bolt to come out. If GM really wanted to beat the competition, the company needs to offer an affordable 7-seat EV, not yet another lux-o-barge.
I get why GM is doing this, though. Traditionally, automakers have introduced new and expensive technologies in the luxury segment where people could afford them. Then, once the technology is cheaper and produced more readily, the technology would trickle down into the lower segments. Eventually, even the Cavaliers and Cobalts had dual overhead cam engines, right?
But, the mistake automakers are making now is to assume that this is a viable option for EVs in 2023. Tesla did this in 2013, and the trickle-down has been in process for over a decade now. For these “Johnny-come-lately” companies to show up and think they’ll be able to climb the same ladder now is a little insane. Nobody wants to spend $130,000 on a luxury EV crossover like they did in 2016-17.
If GM and the other manufacturers want to ramp up EV production and keep it profitable, they need to keep in mind that Elon already climbed the ladder and pulled it up behind him. They’ll need to design and build a new ladder and then lean it up on the wall they now need to get over.
If it were me, I’d seriously consider making a cramped 7-seat RWD variant of the Bolt EUV. I’d follow the old TrailBlazer naming convention and call it the Bolt EXT. It would be kind of a crappy cheap EV, and it would probably look a little funny (unless GM can hide the raised roof under a cargo rail again). But, it would be a massively hot seller in the unsophisticated crossover market. I’d even buy one.
Featured image provided by Cadillac.
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