New Cadillac Boss Discusses ELR’s “Niche” Future
Over the past few years, we have been a little tough on Cadillac’s new boss, Johan de Nysschen when it comes to plug-in vehicle technology.
Of course to be fair, Mr. de Nysschen has had a somewhat checkered past, in the only segment we cover:
- while Audi boss, he once had some very unflattering words to say about the Chevrolet Volt (and their potential owners), as well as the reported cleanliness of EVs
- then he took over the reins at Infiniti (of all places) in June of 2012, where the Infiniti LE was promptly put on hiatus and the Emerg-E and the Essence plug-ins were relegated to permenant concept status
Since taking over the top job at Cadillac in late July, the hits have kept coming:
- the decision was made to not have any production model year 2015 of the Cadillac ELR
- the much anticipated debut of the 2016 Cadillac ELR that was scheduled for the LA Autoshow this past week was hastily scrapped – due to the sudden unpreparedness of autonomy issues (not unlike the Infiniti LE reportedly faced in 2012)
But lets given Mr. de Nysschen the benefit of the doubt (again) as some of these happenings may have just been circumstantial coincidence.
The Caddy chief sat down with Auto World News at the LA Autoshow to discuss the future of the Cadillac ELR – so perhaps there is some other factors at play behind the extended range, luxury ELR that we are not aware of and he really is a proponent of EVs after all.
On why the Chevrolet Volt should have came out second (or perhaps not at all):
“If we were to have launched the technology into ELR first, and if we had positioned ELR as a segment competitor to a Tesla, which is today so far the premium electric car; and we were to have presented this car as an EV, with the ability to get you home when the charging infrastructure isn’t there to support you; and to overcome a major impediment to people adopting EVs in a widespread basis, which is range anxiety; and we produced this car with the usual Cadillac craftsmanship, technology, and quality of execution, nobody would’ve thought that the car was too expensive. The fact that people do is as much a reflection on, I suppose, our bad, in how we positioned this car.”
On adjusting the ELR’s $75,000 MSRP to better fit the market’s expectation:
“…if we were to reprice ELR, to the point where somehow we found a point that people would buy it buy the thousands, then all we would achieve is, the more cars you sell, the more money you lose. There’s no point in that. It is where it is.”
On future ELR-based cars and technology for Cadillac:
“I absolutely believe that we need not only a successor to ELR but more vehicles of that caliber and they will be part of our future. We must not give up on the car. I cannot have 50 priorities at the same time. The team and I will get around to working on ELR, but it is clearly going to be a niche car.”
Run and hide Cadillac CT6 Plug-In…run and hide
Check out more of Johan de Nysschen’s interview with Auto World News here.