New Cadillac President Steve Carlisle notes that electric vehicles have "really good performance". New "halo car" would be more interesting with a "different propulsion system".
Former Cadillac President Johan de Nysschen never fully committed to hybrids, plug-in hybrids or electrics during his tenure. Cadillac also missed out on industry trends moving away from sedans and towards crossovers. These and other missteps undoubtedly hurt the appeal of the American luxury brand in it's home market compared to competitors.
While Cadillac was stumbling in the U.S., it and other General Motors brands were seeing a resurgence in Canada under then GM Canada president Steve Carlisle. No doubt this played a large role in Carlisle being placed into the role of President at Cadillac in April.
However, before Johan de Nysschen left, he set into place plans for more crossovers in the lineup. In addition, he said that Cadillac will be getting a "disproportionate share" of the electric vehicle lineup and technological innovations at GM.
Carlisle will ultimately be the one seeing these changes through. With Tesla making a splash with record breaking Model 3 sales and German competitors finally entering the market with long range electric vehicles, the brand cannot be left behind. So like other luxury automakers, Cadillac is tapping the brakes on future Diesel development and turning towards "electrification".
Is a new electric halo car perhaps on the way for Cadillac?
Currently, Cadillac's only plug-in offering is the CT6 PHEV. The vehicle sells modestly in China but is a complete non-player in North American markets. The Voltec-based ELR was a gorgeous 'halo car' built in small numbers that never achieved success. It was vastly overpriced for what it offered in comparison to the Volt or Tesla Model S. Carlisle states that more differentiation is needed to complete globally:
We have an arsenal of products and technologies that will create even more differentiation for Cadillac and establish a very unique and attractive position for us in the global marketplaces
With the importance of the brand in China, more electric offerings will be needed to comply with government regulations. But in the U.S., the brand is just in desperate need of an identity. A lineup of electric performance vehicles could do just that.
At a recent event for the XT4, Carlisle was asked if there was a new high performance "halo car" based on the Corvette on the way for the brand. Although he would not directly answer the question, he did note that electric vehicles bring "very good performance" and that if such a "halo car" was on the way "if it were somehow a different propulsion system that might be more interesting."
Hopefully this willingness to change the status quo will push them to embracing electrics.
Source: Automotive News