Cadillac Boss Re-Confirms Next-Gen ELR


Spied - First-Gen ELR

Spied – First-Gen ELR “back in the day”

Next-Gen ELR Is Coming

Next-Gen ELR Is Coming

In speaking with Johan de Nysschen, Cadillac’s new boss, Automobile magazine discovered that a next-generation Cadillac ELR is definitely coming:

“He confirmed the luxury brand will follow up the ELR plug-in hybrid with a similar model.”

When asked to specifically discuss the ELR, de Nysschen (the former Chevy Volt hater/Audi boss – now Cadillac chief) turned 180 degrees:

Q: Is there a future for ELR?

A: I am fascinated by the technology and completely convinced of the longer term potential. I read (a news story) recently claiming there will be no ELR successor. I can tell you that’s complete nonsense. Whether the successor to ELR is exactly a compact two-door coupe is still under evaluation.

Yep, that’s a 180 switch for de Nysschen, who previously stated the following at various times during his career at Audi:

“The Chevrolet Volt is a car for Idiots…No one is going to pay a $15,000 premium for a car that competes with a (Toyota) Corolla. So there are not enough idiots who will buy it.”

“Mass electrification” of the vehicles on American roads could lead to problems like a strained electric grid. Large-scale utilization of electric vehicles will require massive investment in new power stations that are much cleaner than the ones in use in the U.S. today.”

“(EVs) could merely shift greenhouse gas emissions from the tailpipes of cars to the smokestacks of coal-burning utilities. That’s not just my opinion. The California Air Resource Board this past April concluded that electric vehicles presently are second only to hydrogen cars in greenhouse gas impact when measured on a well-to-wheel basis”

Lyle Dennis at, interviewed him after these quotes were made, so he could add or retract to his statements, and he added the following:

To be fair he said, “I have never obviously driven a Volt” but admits “he has always looked at the car with great interest.” He even sat in it at an auto show, and said “it’s not exactly a Cadillac.”

Source: Automobile

Categories: Cadillac

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22 Comments on "Cadillac Boss Re-Confirms Next-Gen ELR"

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A 360 degree turn results in facing the same direction in which you started. I’m pretty sure you mean 180 degrees.

And does it really surprise anyone that an auto exec would talk down the competition’s technology, particularly when his company has nothing to compete with it? And now that he works for a company that has the technology, that he would talk it up?

He talked down the technology while he was at Infiniti also. He was the one that claimed to put a stop on the LE development. Here is an example.

Since he left, LE is back on the plan and being talked about.

Interesting. Well in that case, I am glad that he has seen the light!

BTW, the LE was not available while he was at Infiniti. It is still a concept / future production car. So he still wasn’t really at a company that had the technology, even if he was talking down future products. But ultimately he wanted to sell their current products, rather than have customers wait for future ones.

Why did they hire this genius to be head of Cadillac? Audi/VW used to say hybrids, plug-in hybrids, and battery-electrics were for the birds, the Clean Green solution is Diesel! Then kids in London started wheezing due to all the particulates coming from the VW’s, and Londoners are encouraged to turn in their cars for anything else, preferably a BEV or PHEV. The coal comment is idiotic, (its my second favorite baseload fuel, besides hydro), and other than Solar and Wind which are my new favorites, its needed for baseload power. Its politically incorrect to use it in the States, but, thats all right: Europe is buying plenty of American Coal, since they’ve started a fight with Russia’s Gazprom, so if Europe has a cold winter they’re going to be glad they purchased our Coal, since Methane is going to be scarce and pricey. His statement is inconsistant: whether he meant it or not, Europe is buying Coal, and Americans are buying Volts. And the great brains at VW have finally figured out maybe an electric car might help their sales since their market share is constantly dropping month after month when auto sales in general are rising month after… Read more »

“boss freshly turned Cadillac chief) turned 360 degrees”
So he twirled and kept going in the same direction? Did you mean 180 degrees?


Looks like it says 180 degrees to me 😉

I was hoping he would change it to 540 degrees, since Johan did leave some of us w/our heads spinning.

The 3 points he made were all valid. 2 are being solved by solar panels. As for the 3rd, we know people will pay a premium for a PHEV. How much of a premium is still being worked out.

They certainly weren’t all valid. EVs will never strain the grid.

The only reason for electric utilities not to push plug-ins is that it’ll help battery development and renewable+batteries could kill their profit potential by capping and squeezing prices.

Yes, he just revealed himself to be a right wing nut. This is what the executive ranks have become, and nest of the incompetent listening to Dumbass Radio, and actually thinking they’re learning anything but Bull.

He says what the company he works for is saying. Audi has no EVs and Tesla is a big competitor…what was he supposed to say?

At Audi maybe, but at Nissan/Infiniti (aka Worlds largest producer of EVs)?

Selective quoting of Johan by the EV crowd. He made other contemporaneous statements indicated he was not anti-EV, but that the price of the Volt is the problem. “An online report today, subsequently picked up by various other forums, left an unflattering sense of my feelings toward electric vehicles and the people who support their development. Let me clearly state that, in my opinion, electric vehicles will be part of the future transportation of society – but only if we go about it the right way. In fact, Audi is working on electric vehicles. I do not specifically recall using the term “car for idiots” during my informal conversation with the writer. It was certainly not my intention to leave the impression that I’m opposed to electrical vehicles, and if I was unclear on either of those points then I need to eat crow. What I do recall is the essence of my contention, namely that the feasibility of the Chevrolet Volt as a concept is questionable. And that policy decisions – and the industry’s reactions to those decisions – are leading us toward a technology that may sound tempting on the surface, but, as of now, also contains many… Read more »
These quotes were from back in the day, when Lyle Dennis and myself were at Basically his position (via GMV) got aired out and blew up in his face. Lyle had a very long conversation with Mr. de Nysschen himself as a result of the whole thing. You can read it here: Here is some further snippets after his original statements, that I think illustrate his position is/was as advertised: — “I don’t think the Volt is a car for idiots,” he said. He claimed the headline was a journalist’s misinterpretation, and that his point was that the Volt was “an idiotic business case,” and not how he would refer to people. “We might as well have been taking about the Tesla,” he said. “I am not an enemy of the (Volt) concept.” But he argues that we should not think of it as a magic bullet. — He says waiting to get to the “promise land” of EVs will lead to a lot of “dirt in the atmosphere” and instead feels we should move to complementary technologies sooner, including clean diesel, new generation gas engines, and biofuels. — He does believe electric cars “are the solution in… Read more »

“Admittedly I am a passionate advocate for the role that clean diesel technology can play in easing this nation’s challenges. Cutting through misperceptions about clean diesel and other technologies can be frustrating.”

I find this statement hypocritical when he promotes so many misinterpretations about PHEVs. Maybe he should take his own advice and try to “cut through” them.

Thanks Jay. That provides a snapshot of his 2009 thinking.

With the upcoming gains in battery density that GM appears to have, I’m sure that he has revisted his reasoning. Cadillac will have multiple PHEVs and a BEV in the next two model years. That is a win for consumers.

Thanks for posting his response. He may have been taken out of context in order to get some headlines.

Even in his response, I see him as a proponent of diesels and hybrids over plug-ins. Instead of developing the EV technology to be competitive, he just wants to wait for it. He had one of the largest R&D budgets on the planet to work with.

I still say his actions speak louder than any words. He canned the E-tron projects while at Audi. He canned the LE and Emerge (i8 competitor, hello?) project while at Nissan. His record at Cadillac remains to be seen.

The volt’s low lifetime cost is in addition to fuel savings… THe car has every likelihood of lasting twice as long as your typical gas guzzler since the parts that would normally strained are either not there entirely, or are used so infrequently that they will last hundreds of thousands of miles before an overhaul.

We are still surrounded by dinosaurs. Some of them are the millions of oil burners rolling around our roads, and some are people running car companies.

As I keep saying, mostly about Honda and Toyota, some entities will remain staunchly anti-EV right up to the moment they do a neck-snapping, full-speed U-turn and try to convince the world that their first EV/PHEV is the best vehicle ever sold in the history of the universe.

I think it says a lot about GM as a company, and Mary Barra as a leader, that a guy like de Nysschen would come in and do such a complete 180 (or 540 two 90s) like this on electrification.

They’re sticking with it despite the headwinds. It’ll never be fast enough for EV enthusiasts, but GM, Nissan and Tesla will get us there. Everybody else is along for the ride.

Maybe there is some hope at GM after all…