The Chevrolet Volt-based Cadillac ELR was a done deal before Johan de Nysschen came to the automaker from Infiniti, so he’s not responsible for the vehicles positioning (read: price) in the market. With only 1,037 sold through October 2014, it stands to reason that the cost of entry is problematic to sales, not to mention the 2016 revamp was missing from the Los Angeles Auto Show. Auto World News presented some thoughts on the ELR straight from the Cadillac boss.
If Cadillac presented its EV technology first in the ELR instead of the Volt, and presented the ELR as a luxurious EV competitor to the Tesla Model S that could get home without relying on an electrical infrastructure, then perhaps the ELR’s price wouldn’t seem out of line. de Nysschen says there is over $30,000 worth of technology and equipment value in the ELR − a luxurious Cadillac unto itself, which doesn’t come cheap besides − that the Tesla Model S cannot offer.
So what about lowering the price anyway?
“With all that said, if we were to reprice ELR, to the point where somehow we found a point that people would buy it buy the thousands, then all we would achieve is, the more cars you sell, the more money you lose. There’s no point in that. It is where it is.”
Still, Cadillac not only plans (and needs, according to de Nysschen) an ELR successor, but it also needs more vehicles of the ELR’s caliber. “They will be part of our future,” adds de Nysschen. “It is clearly going to be a niche car.”
He also is diplomatic about the marketing folks who were responsible for the ELR. “I don’t think our dealer network is yet of the mental paradigm to sell cars of that ilk. I shouldn’t just blame the dealers; it’s our own sales and marketing people as well.”