General Motors Product Development Chief Responds to Cadillac ELR Price Criticism by Saying “I Really Don’t Care”


And Here Is The Cadillac ELR At The Los Angeles Auto Show

Here Is The Cadillac ELR At The Los Angeles Auto Show

The Cadillac ELR carries with it a base MSRP of $75,995.

2014 Cadillac ELR At The NAIAS

2014 Cadillac ELR At The NAIAS

That price tag is approximately $15,000 to $20,000 above what most expected prior to Cadillac making the official MSRP known.

As expected, that MSRP has been the subject of much discussion.  Did General Motors price the ELR too high?

Mark Reuss, General Motors’ global product development chief doesn’t think the ELR is too expensive.  In fact, in an interview with Automobile Magazine’s New York bureau chief Jamie Kitman, Reuss explains that he thinks the ELR is a bargain compared to the Tesla Model S:

Jamie Kitman:  “There’s been some criticism of the high price of the new Cadillac ELR [$75,995].”

Mark Reuss:

“I don’t care, I really don’t care. Because it’s a really uninformed point of view.”

“The ELR’s about $1,400 bucks less than a Tesla on a comparable equipment basis, it’s got two doors, it’s a beautiful car. It’s not limited by range and it’s got the $7500 tax credit, which takes it to $67-ish, and it’s got a good lease rate.”

“No read on [sales] yet. But we’re not looking for big volume. It’s a beautiful car. My wife wants one. That’s the kind of person we want to sell it to —we’ve got three kids but two of them are going. Someone fiftyish. You don’t need an SUV anymore.”

“The ELR is a beautiful thing, the interior is handcrafted, it’s a beautiful car. So, I feel good about it.”

A rather candid, in-your-face response.  Don’t you think?

Source: Automobile Magazine

Categories: Cadillac


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46 Comments on "General Motors Product Development Chief Responds to Cadillac ELR Price Criticism by Saying “I Really Don’t Care”"

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The idea that a 181hp, 37 EV mile plug-in hybrid competes with a 302hp 300 EV mile Tesla Model S is just crazy.

The wife of the GM global development chief for the ELR says she want’s one, and that’s his justification for the high price.

But isn’t it telling that it’s been out for almost three months now, and even she did not buy one, even though she he states she ‘wants one’.

That’s where most consumers are. Nice car, but overpriced.

I think when Lincoln offers the MKZ(Energi) plug-in hybrid, with 195hp, 21+ EV miles, their tone will change.

Well said

That’s some breaking news: GM marketing chief doesn’t care much about selling a large volume of EVs.

It’s nothing we could have guessed given their Herculean and ingenious efforts on the matter 😉

Too bad they didn’t tell their Voltec engineering dept. they’re going to trash all their hard work by some of the worst marketing seen this decade.


“I want one” does not mean “I will buy one”, and can therefore not credibly be used as a price justification.

I want alot of things I can NOT afford.

Someone at engineering level or higher at GM can take a pilot car out for testing or get heavy employee discount….

So, they don’t have to “buy” one like you and I.

So the Tesla has more power and a longer EV range, but it is not a general purpose vehicle yet. For now, it is range-tethered to parts of the country that have the Super-Charger network. OTOH, the Volt/ELR is a viable vehicle in any part of the country today.

So it’s two solutions to the same problem. Tesla’s solution uses giant batteries and their charging network. GM’s solution is a small battery and a charger in the car.

Granted each approach has pros and cons, but the level of vitriol and contempt on this subject is absurd.

After having pulled out of bankruptcy not long ago, its disheartening to see GM reverting back to their old ways…

GM must have drank some of their Poolside water

It’s no surprise GM is standing it’s ground on ELR pricing – although ridiculous.

GM just announced their pricing for the new Tahoe, Yukon and Suburban. You really owe it to yourself to click the link below – then you’ll understand why they believe ELR is priced right in the ballpark.

Hey, ELR is right in Escalade territory!

Sorry, Kdawg, but GM is looking very much like the old GM in it’s product line and
attitude lately. I believe they’re probably lobbying pretty hard in Washington D.C. for the Keystone Pipeline, wouldn’t you say?


GM can charge whatever they want. I’ll vote with my wallet.

Gm comparing it to a Tesla by being 2% cheaper is ridiculous.

Whaha comparing the ELR with an MS.

In Europe cadillac is far away from being a premium brand. Don’t know about the US, but it sounds odd to me. “My wife wants one”…

I dont think she can afford one.

I want one too. But I also want a lot of other things I can’t afford.

I want an ELR, like a want a two door M3. No thanks.

I am guessing you have never driven an M3??

Way overweight, for a “sports” car. I passed. The “5” has become a “7”, and owners have never had to do more to them, to make the brakes, etc, suitable for the track. I went lighter 🙂 . Besides, the comment was about the practical difference of doors. I have children.

GM certainly have world-beating bad manners and disrespect.

That the source is Automobile Magazine, you’d think Reuss might actually care, but I guess not. It could have been an unpolished moment for a guy who’s in a position where they can’t happen. He’s also been around enough to know what he can get away with. Now, what would that say of our Product Development Chief, and GM?

Here’s what my negative thinking on GM is. This is their plan.

Price the ELR so high it won’t sell….but before the sales numbers are solidified

Announce that the Volt will no longer be offered due to its poor profit margin.

Then, when ELR doesn’t sell:

Cancel ELR

Poof Voltec is dead.

Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

I wish I could disagree. The lack of a Voltec CUV bolsters this hypothesis.

100+ year old GM should be ashamed of themselves by not being able to beat an upstart car company by more than $1400 on a similarly-equipped vehicle.

They should be way more ashamed for believing that they have beat out the Model S with ELR. I’m sure some agree with this assessment but precious few.

Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

It’s really kind of embarrassing to see GM squander whatever goodwill and respect it got in creating Voltec.

The question is why won’t GM or Ford create an SUV electric? These guys react so slow it is ridiculous

Because GM and Ford need to make money. Tesla, at this point, does not.

Actually, Tesla does need to make money too and they are making money on the Model S. Their SUV is lining up to sell quite well, in general there seems to be pent up demand for plug-in SUVs (see Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV).

A car company that only makes one model kinda does need to make it profitably and they do, at a clip of about double the industry average. If they weren’t building out an international fast charging network, sales network, service network, developing a battery gigafactory, developing a new model in the X, and developing a whole new platform they would be netting an even much higher profit.

It appears that all current major companies have the same problem: they ignore the (startup) competition and when they’re forced to acknowledge their problems they explain them away. I would like to know how much money mr. Reuss takes home every month to say these crzay things.

The Cadillac’s pricing advantage over the Tesla Model S is actually $14,000, not $1,400:

Yes, GM is bloated with narcissistic management who must simply sit together and share a delusional view of the world. Just maybe that is why they ended up in bankruptcy and had to be bailed out? Many of has hoped that GM management might have learned by that lesson and how they missed the emerging impact of the Japanese auto industry back in the 1960s, but…sadly it may be that history is simply and sadly repeating itself.

The Volt was and is the most impressive piece of engineering in the last 50+ years and amazingly it came from GM. As noted above, it certainly seems like GM is wasting the work, creativity, and even market impact of the Volt with what they are doing now.

So sad….

And to Mr. Reuss….I could afford the ELR, even at that pricing, but I am not stupid enough to spend that kind of money on such a slow and still gas burning piece of engineering. I actually would have bought one had it been base priced around $55k.

So he doesn’t care that people think it is overpriced being $14,000 more expensive than their other top coupe CTS-V and almost twice as much as a regular CTS.

Now that all the generic GM cliches have been said, I still don’t understand comparing a BEV and a PHEV.

Well… They both plug in. For this well paid Exec, that’s all the similarity you need to make a comparison.

Now, lets get back to our Anti-GM cliches… 😉

Perhaps you should ask that question of Mr. Reuss. He’s the one who made the comparison. For the rest of us, we agree there really is no comparison … although perhaps not for the same reason you do.

I’d flip it around and wonder where all the cliche defenses of the ELR’s pricing are. I know the latest is that it is too cold. What’s next?

I think I can make this layout.

It’s because GM sees all plug-ins as part of the same minute market segment rather than as vehicles competing with those with the most similar functional and design attributes. They also see this market segment size as mostly static and not worth the effort to try to grow it.

They would be better served if they could somehow suffer selective amnesia so that the EV part of Voltec was seen as commonplace. Thy could then better place their Voltecs in their relative car submarkets for all of their other attributes.

I think GM came out of their bankruptcy smelling like a rose. They have no debt, of course all their bond/stock lost their shirts.
They probably don’t care about that either.
They also got to ditch a bunch of dealerships, at no cost to themselves.
E.L.R. seems to be a dud, mainly due to price.

OK, we now have the bankruptcy mentioned. We just need someone to complain about GM crushing the EV1s, then almost all of the cliches are covered.

Of course he doesn’t. Great attitude.

ELR sucks ass

I hope the plan is this . . . sell as many as they can for $75K then say they worked out some efficiency improvements and cut the price by $10K to $15K.

If Cadillac reduces the price in a few months, this overpricing the ELR debacle will be forgotten. But I don’t think GM has a clue. The ELR is a very nice car.
And it is worth at least $55,000, maybe $59,000.
GM overpriced the Volt and it is now trying to sell an overpriced ELR. Penny wise and pound foolish is a pretty good description of GM’s management.

The ELR is a Volt in a different dress and some pretty stuff added. If they sell any the profits are huge. They will call the Volt a loser because they don’t want the admit that they will sell enough to recover their development costs. If they recover their development cost on the Volt, then the development cost on the ELR are miniscule in comparison. Add to that the ELR base is essentially the Volt (so manufacturing capital costs are also low) and you have one very profitable car that does not have to sell many copies, and might just be more appealing to some consumers as it will differentiate them from the average Joes even further because of the outlandish cost. GM will make big margins from a few sort of dumb consumers, but that is their option. It sure beats (in their mind) selling huge numbers of EVs to average people to help the country and it’s people reduce their transportation costs and reduce their imported oil amounts. That kind of patriotism is not found in corporations and never will be, especially GM, despite them for years, and still, making believe that buying a GM vehicle makes you… Read more »

“Buying a GM vehicle makes you patriotic?”

That’s not the message of their ad. It’s a political message about taking pride in honest hard work, as well as the benefit that bestows on individuals and society.

Deja vu. Read these exact same arguments in July, 2010 when the Volt’s (higher than desired) pricing was announced.

For example…

“I am deeply saddened by this announcement. I think the Volt is an absolutely amazing car, but the MSRP is way too high! $41K is way too high for a Chevy compact. Cadillac? Absolutely, but definitely not a Chevy. So much for it going “mainstream”…..

The GM execs just don’t get it. This car needs to be affordable and go mainstream to help us get free from foreign oil and it needs to be produced in high volumes (300K per year, minimum).

I don’t care what kind of tax credits that are offered: the $41K sticker price is and will be a HUGE turn-off to a lot of people, especially when they can get a Leaf for approx $9K cheaper ($16K cheaper with the tax credit) and a Prius for a whopping $19K cheaper.

It really doesn’t matter how much GM tries to “educate” people about the Volt: it will be compared to the Leaf and the Prius regardless. $41K will not fly and GM is shooting itself in the foot. “

That’s been the GM state of mind for decades.

I can’t help but think GM is on life support for a multitude of issues. One is simply building products that are not reliable and truly poorly designed.

I would believe that the production is top shelf. It’s the design that seals the fate of these lemons before the first production is rolled out.
Many reasons why is Toyota, Honda, Nissan and the rest of the Asian manufacturers so sucessful.

NONE of them would ever venture to say publicly “I Don’t Care”.

And, to even think about comparing to a marvel of engineering like Tesla is nothing short of being delusional.

A chrome plated turd is still a …..

GM may have survived bankruptcy, but their mindset of decision making driven by procurement department penny pinching coupled with oligopolistic marketing arrogance has survived as well. Same old, same old 1970s thinking. ELR might be a great car, but GMs mindset will kill it and the company all over again.