Cadillac’s EV Pivot Might Be Last Ditch Effort To Save The Brand
The luxury electric crossover will be sold globally and priced for wide reaching sales.
Late last week, Cadillac was appointed the technological leader for General Motors. Just two days later, Cadillac president Steve Carlisle surprised the automotive press with a teaser of the first vehicle on the new BEV 3 platform. This new electric vehicle platform will be “highly versatile” with options for “front-wheel drive, rear-wheel drive, all-wheel drive.”
“We can build CUVs, SUVs, and cars from one singular architecture.” Says Carlisle, “Cadillac will lead the corporation towards a zero emissions future by becoming GM’s lead electric brand.” This was not our first indication that Cadillac’s newly appointed president was interested in “new propulsion systems.”
Cadillac Canada’s managing director Hoss Hassani says the brand is looking for volume sales for the new EV. This means a more “affordable” luxury price:
Bringing out a $110,000 or $120,000 (CAN) vehicle is not our idea of transformation. Cadillac, being a luxury brand, will be looking to introduce Cadillacs that are vehicles that are going to have a certain level of reach, and the heart of the market is not a $110,000 or $120,000 car.
For those of us south of the Canadian border, the new electric SUV should start well under $82,000 USD. But this move is not merely a growth opportunity. It is as a survival tactic.
Cadillac needed a stronger brand identity.
Weak yearly sales in the United States have hovered around 150,000 in recent years. Cadillac missed out on the crossover craze and never embraced hybrids. Previous plug-in hybrids like the ELR and CT6 PHEV were sales duds. Earlier attempts to re-invent itself have found little success.
But growth in the Chinese market has been the brand’s sole bright spot this decade. Because of China’s focus on increasing electric vehicle sales, the move makes sense. If done right, the Detroit automaker can build a strong reputation among plug-in buyers at home and abroad. Within GM, it likely serves a practical purpose of moving the EV program towards profitability more quickly in addition to meeting Chinese compliance goals.
GM CEO Mary Barra hinted this week that the luxury brand is on the right track:
One of the things that’s going to make Cadillac, Cadillac again is leading in innovation and technology. We’re very intent on continuing aggressively to accomplish that … This is just the tip of the iceberg.
However, GM President Mark Reuss isn’t sugar coating the situation:
We don’t have any chances left with taking Cadillac to a really new place. This is pretty much it. So we really have to hit the ball here. It’s my job to make sure we do.
All I’m focused on is what we’re doing right now… and getting momentum back in Cadillac.
Video Description From The Wheel Network on YouTube:
Cadillac furthered its recent product blitz today with the reveal of the brand’s first EV. This will be the first model derived from GM’s future EV platform. GM announced on Friday that Cadillac will be at the vanguard of the company’s move toward an all-electric future.