Nearly three years ago, I penned an entry to TTAC’s Volt Birth Watch entitled “You Should Have Been Born A Cadillac.” True to its name, the piece argued that,
the Volt’s bailout-fodder status requires some kind of volks wagen appeal; while a $40k Chevy is a tough pill to swallow, a taxpayer-funded [Volt-based] Cadillac could create a nasty backlash.
Now that the taxpayers are off of GM’s radar, the plan is going through: GM has announced that it will build a production version of the Converj concept, to be called the “ELR” per Caddy’s alphanumeric naming scheme. Rollout, pricing and performance targets haven’t yet been released, but a production-intent concept will be shown at the upcoming Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. And though more profit out of an already-developed drivetrain makes worlds of sense, GM now has to explain why its luxury brand is getting Chevy’s leftovers with a freshly tailored suit. Hopefully GM will pull off this relatively minor PR hurdle with more aplomb than, say, Lincoln’s attempts to explain that features available in most Fords, like EcoBoost and SYNC/MyTouch, are what makes its cars so luxurious. After all, shouldn’t luxury brands be at the technological forefront, with features trickling down into the mass-market brands?