Last week GM put out a press release reaffirming its commitment to electrified vehicles. It mentions the upcoming 2016 Volt (gen 2), the Chevy Bolt, the Malibu Hybrid, and the Chevrolet FNR Concept shown in China that features self driving features. It’s cool that GM is moving forward with electrified cars, and working on self driving cars. What’s missing?
Cadillac ELR? What about that? Has woefully anemic sales of the ELR meant GM is going to quietly cancel the car, and it’s up to Kremlinologists like myself to notice the ELR is missing from the stage?
GM Authority penned a piece in May discussing what’ll be new in the 2016 Cadillac ELR. New colors, new gizmos in the interior cabin, and a lower price (also see press release on media.gm.com). In other words, nothing significantly different, therefore the ELR will continue delivering anemic sales, and there will be a 2016 Cadillac ELR on sale at the appropriate time.
What are we supposed to take from this? GM sends out a press release crowing about a commitment to electrified vehicles, and they leave out a significant member of the line-up.
I asked GM about this – they responded that the press release focused solely on Chevrolet’s electrified vehicle lineup. Cadillac, being a separate brand, was not included with this press release. You’ll notice the press release text (below) talks about Chevrolet, and how the Chevrolet Brand is committed to technology solutions, etc etc …
Cadillac’s spokesperson reassured me that Cadillac is also committed to electrified vehicles, as evidenced by plans for the 2016 ELR and the Cadillac CT6 PHEV shown at the Shanghai Motor Show.
Therefore – the Cadillac ELR is not being canceled. But it’s not clear how GM will turn around anemic sales of this car, one with which GM had hoped to compete with the Tesla Model S.
What do I mean by anemic sales? Let’s turn to the Inside EV’s monthly sales scorecard. In 2014, GM sold 1,310 Cadillac ELR’s, and so far in 2015 they’ve sold 531 units. That’s slightly over 100 ELR’s sold per month over the last 17 months. By comparison, both the Tesla Model S and Nissan Leaf sell more units per month than GM sold in all of 2014. And, Tesla sales are supposed to skyrocket later this year as additional factory capacity goes online and the Model X starts rolling out the door. Even the Fiat 500e, whose sales normally hover in the 2-300 range, had one month in 2015 where monthly sales (1,310) equalled total ELR sales for 2014.
Maybe I shouldn’t be saying smack about the Cadillac ELR given the sales record for my favorite electric car – the Kia Soul EV (I one one). Soul EV sales are below ELR sales, which I find intensely puzzling since the Soul EV is such an excellent electric car. I have been following Soul EV news from around the world, and constantly see indication that Kia is showing the car in lots of countries. It’s been all over Europe (where it is also being sold), and recently was shown in Bogota Columbia. I believe that Kia isn’t in a hurry to ramp up production and are instead looking to build world-wide interest.
GM and the Cadillac ELR doesn’t give me the same kind of confidence. GM didn’t even build new ELR’s for 2015, but are instead still selling the 2014 model. The 2016 ELR isn’t migrating to the new Voltec platform.
Brand introduces four new electric vehicles in 2015
DETROIT – Chevrolet is bringing electric vehicles to the masses. The brand is committed to providing technology solutions that simplify customers’ lives and make driving fun.
Chevrolet has made a significant commitment to electrification for consumers around the world, as witnessed by the introduction of the 2016 Volt, Malibu Hybrid, FNR Concept and production commitment to the Bolt EV.
“Chevrolet’s advanced EV technology is designed to simplify the lives of our consumers,” said Alan Batey, president of General Motors North America. “With four new vehicles introduced since January, Chevrolet continues to prove its commitment.”
2015 Commitment to Electrification:
The 2016 Volt, introduced at the North American International Auto Show, provides consumers 50 miles of EV range and a total driving range of over 400 miles, thanks to an all-new, second-generation Voltec extended range electric propulsion system. Volt owners can expect to drive over 1,000 miles between fill-ups. The all-new 2016 Volt will go on sale this fall.
Building on Chevy’s expertise gained from the Volt, the Bolt EV, the game-changing, next-generation all-electric vehicle, is designed to offer more than a GM-estimated 200 miles of range at a target price of around $30,000.
2016 Malibu Hybrid
Employing technology from the 2016 Volt propulsion system, the Malibu Hybrid offers an estimated combined fuel economy rating of 47 mpg – unsurpassed in its segment. The 2016 Malibu Hybrid goes on sale in the spring of 2016.
The Chevrolet-FNR concept debuted at the 2015 Shanghai Motor Show and received the Best Leading Technology Award.
The Chevrolet-FNR is a self-driving EV concept designed to meet the transportation needs of the future. It integrates the right blend of technology and can sense driver biometrics, switch between autonomous and manual driving and even suggest alternative driving routes if time permits.
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