Cadillac's excuse for selling only 293 ELRs Jan to Jun 2014

Cadillac's excuse for selling only 293 ELRs Jan to Jun 2014

Keep the comments coming GM, looking forward to your next bankruptcy.
In my opinion these two cars should not even be compared.

Cadillac’s marketing chief Uwe Ellinghaus said the brand is positioning its new ELR plug-in electric hybrid as a luxury product that won't eat away at sales of the gas-guzzlers sold by Cadillac’s parent company, General Motors.

“Tesla teaches us a message: If you offer cars with an electric drive-train that have superb driving characteristics and a beautiful [interior], they find customers,” he said. “What doesn't work is to position a car for people who are tree-huggers and green-wash an entire brand.”

'But it’s that fear of embracing change that may make Cadillac’s path forward a bumpy road. So far, sales of the ELR are paltry -– the 52 cars sold last month brought the total to 293 so far this year. According to InsideEVs, which tracks monthly electric car sales, Tesla sold 1,000 cars last month.'

EdwardG.NO2CO2 | 24. juni 2014

I can't believe Tesla only sold 1,000 cars last month. It should be at least double that!

Thomas N. | 24. juni 2014

Well those numbers are skewed. They may have sold 293 ELRs over 6 months but I know for a fact that waterboy bought 12 of them.

Brp154 | 24. juni 2014

Message to Ellinhaus: I am a tree hugger buying a luxury electric car.

My Model S, due to arrive in Sept., will by the most expensive car I have ever purchased by about 2.5 times. If the Leaf had a 85kwh pack and could Supercharge, I would buy it.

Additionally, one reason I am getting the 19 inch wheels is because I think the car looks a lot more typical/normal/basic with them. The grey 21's make it look mean and I want to blend in.

Who else is moving way up from their previous car in terms of price? Who else would prefer less luxury and a lower price?

PBEndo | 24. juni 2014

That is 293 too many, IMHO. The ELR will only serve to perpetuate the idea that EV's and hybrids aren't worth it.
The ELR sucks (I mean that in a bad way)

Red Sage ca us | 24. juni 2014

I like the Cadillac ELR. It is a really pretty car. The problem is that, as was admitted to in the article, it was overpriced by $25,000 on purpose -- in order to 'protect' sales of the Chevrolet Volt.

The problem is an issue of philosophy and perspective. General Motors does not want to sell capable electric vehicles. They want to sell gas guzzlers. GM continues to offer cars that have a 'look' that promises a 'future' they never intend to reach. That is always disappointing.

The Cadillac ELR is a prime example of why I just can't get fully excited over ICE vehicles anymore. I just keep feeling how much... better they would be on the Tesla platform instead. This car in particular, with the dividing wall of batteries down the center of the interior is just repulsive. And the total mess of how things look under the hood, combined with the tiny trunk just make me cry for a frunk and liftback configuration instead.

If only GM would just make two firm decisions and live with the results:

1) Release a zero compromise, ultra high-end, fully electric Cadillac limousine class car that rivals Rolls-Royce and Bentley 'for a few dollars more' than the top-of-the-line Mercedes-Benz S600 V12 cruiser, and see what happens.
2) Take on Tesla directly with a Buick Electra, 100% Battery Electric Vehicle, and see what happens.

A real shame they aren't likely to accept either challenge, ever.

jjs | 24. juni 2014

+1 Reg Sage I agree, it is a very pretty car. I normally don't care for the new Caddy look. However this one I find striking. That's about it. The rest is silly, overly complex waste of time and effort, and I'm a fan of the Volt. I think it is a great transition vehicle (single car that is great for city and long distance....until Gen III). But at $75K it is just silly.

I find the statements of Caddy's chief of marketing repulsive and insulting in an elitist sort of way.

I will give credit where credit is due however. The one thing they really did get right is it NOT eating into the sales of their other cars. They nailed that one!

amatiych | 24. juni 2014

Blend in? In Tesla? Seems somewhat unlikely with any wheels.

Red Sage ca us | 24. juni 2014

I'm not certain if he was attempting to insult Volt owners, Model S owners, or both...

Brp154: The Tesla Model S is not a Luxury car. It is an Expensive Performance Economy car. It costs a lot to buy, is fun to drive, and doesn't burn any gas. You pay for the ability to drive the technology of tomorrow, today. Others offer the car of yesteryear, tomorrow.

jjs: Well, the Cadillac ELR reached few other goals as well:

  • Don't sell a lot of cars -- CHECK!
  • Don't approach the capabilities of CTS or ATS -- CHECK!
  • Don't cut into ANYONE'S sales -- CHECK!
  • It SUCKS (in a BAD way) -- CHECK!
  • It insures no one will consider it a viable EV -- CHECK!
  • It allows dealers to keep servicing an ICE -- CHECK!
  • Makes grown men cry -- CHECK!
  • Makes babies throw up -- CHECK!
  • Makes teenagers laugh -- CHECK!
  • Makes no sense whatsoever -- CHECK!
LEvans | 24. juni 2014

Anyone who buys an ELR for about what they can buy a Tesla for deserves to drive an ELR.

tga | 24. juni 2014

"General Motors does not want to sell capable electric vehicles. They want to sell gas guzzlers."
Well, IMHO, GM (and all big auto companies) don't want to sell EV's because they don't want to spend the costs to innovate. They don't really want to sell gas guzzlers. They just want to sell that which they've already designed, since it's cheaper.

Incumbant big businesses are fundementally lazy. It's cheaper to keep selling what you have, rather than spending the money to design new stuff. It's cheaper to fight tighter CAFE standards than design fuel efficient cars.

Captain_Zap | 24. juni 2014

I just heard on the news last night that Ford has "diversified" its portfolio by investing in oil.

jordanrichard | 24. juni 2014

This guy is so out of touch its really sad. "Tree huggers don't buy luxury cars".....? Well if he his implying that all Tesla owners are treehuggers, then those treehuggers bought more Tesla and those that bought the S-Class Benz.

hamer | 24. juni 2014

I wonder if the quote is out of context or just badly quoted. It simply didn't make sense.

bryceha | 24. juni 2014

"Ellinghaus said the brand is positioning its new ELR plug-in electric hybrid as a luxury product that won't eat away at sales of the gas-guzzlers sold by Cadillac’s parent company, General Motors"

Right. GM won't cannibalization its own ICE car sales; they'll let Tesla do that.

LEvans | 24. juni 2014

It's staggering that it never occurred to another major car maker such as GM, Ford, VW, Daimler, etc., to basically take some of their brightest engineers and designers and give them an unlimited budget and have them build a better Tesla.

Given Tesla's current market valuation, if someone else succeeds they'd be creating a $25B+ company. It's amazing that no one has the foresight to do that.

George with SacEV | 24. juni 2014

I actually like the ELR. I like the two door concept; I like the specific exterior look; I greatly like the beautifully done interior. I even appreciate the Voltec drivetrain in the ELR. I was waiting two years or so to buy the ELR to upgrade from our VIN #679 Volt at the end of that 3 year lease.

Sadly, at least for GM, I found their pricing of the ELR absurd. I was ready to pay around $15,000 above a loaded Volt for the ELR, but clearly neither myself nor almost ANYONE else in this country was wasteful, lustful, thoughtless enough to pay $30,000 more than a loaded Volt just to ride around in the ELR.

Exclusivity can come with pricing, but it should also come with more functional advantages when a vehicle is concerned (IMHO). Sure some people will and can pay several MILLION dollars for an original Rembrandt, and that is both exclusivity and personal choice as a mass produced "wall decoration" might only cost another person $100. Vehicles, those produced by mass market vendors do not have the panache to demand absurd prices over functionally similar (I am NOT saying identical) alternatives. GM has not the cachet nor reputation to demand "Rembrandt" pricing on a mass product vehicle off the same assembly line that produces their already respected Volt.

I AM disappointed that GM opted to extort pricing on the ELR, as I would have much liked to be driving one today, but the 2014 Volt that I did get to replace our 2011 model (instead of that ELR) is an amazing car and it will meet all our needs until the Gen III Tesla arrives to sit in the garage with our Model S.

Good bye GM, you almost brought me back (since my last previous "American car was a special ordered 1969 Olds 442).

johncrab | 24. juni 2014

The Chevy to Cadillac conversion and magical doubling of price didn't work with the Nova/Seville, the Cavalier/Cimarron or the Volt/ELR. They still seem to think that buying a Chevy frame and sticking a Cadillac badge on it will have customers flocking to showrooms with money in hand. They are going up against Mercedes and BMW with a car plagued by problems which are being met with "They all do that" and "Just live with it".

The excuse which refers to Tesla here seems to be, "Tesla built a great car and found a market so we have no intention of ever building a great car."

Nothing ever changes at that company and after I found the PLASTIC camshaft drive sprocket in a Cadillac 472 V8, I have not cared whether GM lives or dies. They could not get money out of me with a gun.

Red Sage ca us | 24. juni 2014