Almost half of all 940 Cadillac dealers in the United States have opted out of selling the 2014 Cadillac ELR plug-in hybrid coupe. About 410 dealers will carry the ELR, Cadillac told Edmunds in an interview at the Chicago Auto Show.
Dealers located in areas of the country where sales volume is low, or where there is a small likelihood of there being demand for a hybrid vehicle, will not sell the ELR. Cadillac said in the past that the ELR may only be available at select dealers, however this marks this first time actual numbers have been provided.
“We have a pretty good representation in rural markets because we are dualed up with other (General Motors) brands,” Jim Vurpillat, Cadillac’s global marketing director, told Edmunds. “It is a great service advantage.”
Vurpillat explains part of the reason some dealers will not be selling the car is the pricey additional equipment and training that comes along with it.
“(Those) dealers might look at (ELR) and say, ‘Ok, if I sell one of these, I got to have service charging stations, special training, a sales area. I have to buy special tools”, he said. “If they don’t think they will sell more than one or two units a year, they would do the numbers, and it is probably not worth it.”
Cadillac sold six ELRs in December and 40 in January, although Vurpillat says dealer shipments “will start in earnest this month.” Cadillac believes the majority of ELR sales will come from markets like California, Dallas, Miami and New York.
“They are not selling a lot of electric vehicles in Iowa,” Vurpillat added.