By on December 7, 2013

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When I see those December car commercials with big red ribbons tied onto cars’ roofs, I’m skeptical that anyone would spend that much money on a Christmas present. However, looking over just how quickly the special edition luxury cars that retailer Neiman-Marcus has put in their Christmas Book for the last 17 years have usually sold out, often in a matter of minutes, it’s clear that some well-heeled folks do indeed enjoy buying cars as gifts for others or for themselves. Last year’s Neiman Marcus Christmas car was the 2013 McLaren MP4-12C Spider and NM’s allotment of a dozen McLarens sold out in less than two hours. This year the Texas based retailer is selling 10 special edition 2014 Aston Martin Vanquish Volantes at $344,500 each. It appears that Saks Fifth Avenue has been looking over those same sales figures and has decided to get into the Christmas car market with a limited run of 100 2014 Cadillac ELR Saks Fifth Avenue Special Editions priced at $89,500. Available exclusively through the Saks Holiday Catalog, the Saks edition of Cadillac’s extended range EV based on the Chevy Volt costs about the MSRP of a new Mitsubishi Mirage more than a standard ’14 ELR, ~$13,500.

While many have questioned Cadillac’s strategy of pricing the regular ELR at more than double the price of the Chevy Volt, which uses a similar drivetrain and platform, offering an even higher priced special edition ELR in conjunction with a leading luxury retailer may be a good way of testing the waters and seeing how the ELR will be accepted by wealthy customers. Actually, it’s more about an association with Saks than with charging more money since the Saks edition comes loaded and after you figure in the optional equipment and the cost of a charger installation, there’s not much of a price premium over a similar ELR ordered at a Cadillac dealer. It probably can’t hurt the Cadillac brand that media reports like this one will likely also mention the Neiman Marcus program and the very high ticket cars it sells.

You can get the 2014 Saks Fifth Avenue Special Edition Cadillac ELR in any color that you want, as long as it’s GM’s tri-coat White Diamond on the outside. Inside, gift givers will have the option of Jet Black or Light Cashmere. Also included in the price of the Saks ELR is an upgraded 240-volt charging station with professional installation and all permits, which Cadillac values at up to $3,000 along with dedicated ELR Concierge service that will assist with a variety of customer service issues including charging advice, service appointments, and vehicle updates. Delivery of the Saks ELRs will take place in March, when regular retail deliveries begin.

“Our partnership with Saks Fifth Avenue embraces the brand’s sharp eyes for aesthetics, and puts the all-new 2014 ELR and the Cadillac brand front and center with buyers this holiday season,” said Melody Lee, Cadillac director of brand reputation strategy, in a statement. “We are excited to be part of the Saks Holiday Catalogue and offer the limited-edition ELR exclusively to Saks customers.”

It’s not clear if the idea originated at Saks or with Cadillac’s marketing team, but Saks is emphasizing the high-tech nature of the ELR, with the tagline, “Saks Fifth Avenue Now Has An Electronics Department”.

The regular edition 2014 ELR will go on sale at Cadillac dealers in January. It has a battery power range of 35 miles and a total range of 300 miles when using the gasoline powered generator to power the electric drive. The range in electric mode is slightly less than that of the Volt because the car has been calibrated to offer more power than Chevy’s EREV.

Ronnie Schreiber edits Cars In Depth, a realistic perspective on cars & car culture and the original 3D car site. If you found this post worthwhile, you can get a parallax view at Cars In Depth. If the 3D thing freaks you out, don’t worry, all the photo and video players in use at the site have mono options. Thanks for reading – RJS

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54 Comments on “Saks Joins Neiman-Marcus Selling Christmas Cars With A Special Edition Cadillac ELR...”


  • avatar

    I have no doubt that the initial run of ELR is going to sell very well! These special editions sold in posh malls (such as Short Hills Mall in NJ and Roosevelt Field) easily auction these cars off.

    I am, however disappointed that it’s a coupe rather than an electrified 2014 CTS or 2014 XTS.

    In my opinion, the CTS/XTS/ATS have a superior interior design to the Model S – and probably the best interior on the American market. Having a plug in with a gas backup ELIMINATES range anxiety and makes any of these cars far more attractive to me than the Model S. Problem is, the Model S is the biggest EV you can buy till the Model X is released and size is everything.

    $100,000 for a Model S Performance (which will cost $115,000 with taxes and fees) is more attractive than the ELR but for that money, I’d get a W222.

    • 0 avatar
      Flybrian

      IMO, the Model S needed the Karma’s body to make any sort of statement. I don’t care about how the coasties are buying them as statement cars because Teslas. Do. Not. Stick. Out. In Traffic. A well-kept early-80s Delta Eight-Eight in Bordeaux Red with a white Landau roof catches your eye more than a Model S.

      • 0 avatar

        The Model S looks almost exactly like a stretched out Jaguar XF. It doesn’t really do anything wrong in the looks department except not having door handles to match the wheel finish.

        The KARMA was too stylized – like a Manta Ray – and not spacious enough. Had they made it more spacious, it wouldn’t have failed so hard.

        I really prefer the Karma’s interior to the model S with the exception of the lack of a moonroof and a terrible infotainment system completely upstaged by Ucconect Touch.

      • 0 avatar
        SoCalMikester

        Well, equally id say. Ive got an eye for last gen rear drive GM cars, too… the last of the road yachts. or basically anything drivable older than 1983ish Im in So Cal near the OC curtain, and ive seen a few, and ive always noticed them! ususally because i mistake them for a new high end jaguar

      • 0 avatar
        SoCalMikester

        any car with a landau roof catches my eye, so i know who to look out for because they are GOING to get in my lane without looking

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      I really don’t see the problem with a Model S as far as range goes, Even the cheapest one has more range than is used by the average person. Also, they tend to be second cars. I know a family that has one, but they also have a late-model GL550. The ELR’s design is quite geeky for a Cadillac, and it stands out in the wrong way.

      • 0 avatar

        I drove 400 miles to a funeral in R.I. And back to NYC in one day. There was NOWHERE I could have charged my car and stopping in Connecticut to use a Supercharger would have cost me an extra 30 miles minimum. On the way back I was so tired that it was 6pm and I was nearly nodding off at the wheel.

        Besides the charging issue, I’m not sure the Model S could have kept my Jeep’s 75-100mph pace for the majority of the distance using adaptive cruise control.

        Nothing beats a “regular engine” when the requirements for travel are unknown and variable.

        • 0 avatar
          mcs

          >> There was NOWHERE I could have charged my car and stopping in Connecticut to use a Supercharger would have cost me an extra 30 miles minimum

          The supercharger at the Milford Travel Plaza on 95 is now open and about halfway between NYC and Providence – right on your route.

      • 0 avatar
        SoCalMikester

        to me, i cant really see from the shell where the volt heritage is. looks a little more upright than low slung, but its no cimmaron.

        thank god- if it fails it wont be the volt cimarron. which would be a double curse. or triple. AFAIK the volt isnt breaking sales records, so if it drags cadillac further into the weeds, thats no good

        hopefully they have flexible manufacturing on the line to close me both down if need be.

        i think this is a worse idea than the XLR (which i LOVE), and probably as bad as the CT250 hybrid

    • 0 avatar
      SoCalMikester

      Which is why Toyota expanded their Prius lineup to 3, not counting their other same drivetrain stuff that doesnt sell as well. Maybe Prius should be a different nameplate? In my mind it kind of is. People already have Prius in the forefront of their mind as “that” type of car…

      So why bother with hybrid versions of other vehicles? Seems rather niche to me.

      IF you tell me you drive a Prius, id usually ask which one.

      If you say Scion, i might ask if its an xB or FR-s

    • 0 avatar
      golden2husky

      …..such as Short Hills Mall in NJ and Roosevelt Field….

      Wonder how this would do in the Miracle Mile….not sure it offers enough snot appeal.

  • avatar
    KixStart

    There’s nothing on that page you can click to get readable text, pricing or to add it to your Saks bag. All other pages do have such features.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    I guess I really am in the Leaf demographic. I bought and installed my own 240V charger for about $850 total, and it can be done for hundreds less today. The $3k estimate by Cadillac is crazy, not to mention the price of the car.

    • 0 avatar
      SoCalMikester

      Theyre Saks prices. Highest of the high end. They factor in average install price, mark it up 300%, tack it to the tag.

      most people with an electric water heater, electric dryer (or 220v outlet) near their garage could probably get a charger done dirt cheap.

      The issue is when the breaker box is NOWHERE near where the car is parked.

    • 0 avatar
      el scotto

      We were taking a long lunch at the Galleria in Tyson’s corner. We walked into Saks and one of the young guys asked me what is this store all about. I replied welcome to the land of the $700 shirt. That’s Saks pricing.

    • 0 avatar
      mnm4ever

      So my breaker box is in the garage, literally in the spot I would be parking my Leaf/Volt/Spark/Fit EV (unsure which I would choose, still hoping I can get one of the unlimited mile Fit leases before they end that program). Just how easy/cheap would it be be to put a 240V charger in there? My stepfather is an electrical engineer with lots of experience rewiring renovated houses so I assume he can handle the wiring.

  • avatar
    racer-esq.

    $89,500 is pretty reasonable for a Chevy Cruze coupe. I don’t want to hear any Cimarron jokes. This is a coupe. A Cruze is a sedan.

    A Lexus CT 200h is $32,050, or $33,050 for the F Sport package, but a Lexus is equivalent to a Buick.

    A BMW i3 is $42,275, but it is made out of plastic, and less safe than a French car. Enjoy your Isetta with less interesting entry system.

    This is equivalent to the Rolls-Royce Phantom 102EX, except more sporting in coupe form, and Cadillac actually has the guts to build it.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      I can’t tell which parts of your post are sarcastic and which are not, but this is a sad little car and for $90K one should have their head examined for purchasing it at that price. If GM took the same concept as showing off its Volt technology and put it in something impressive (such as one of the Cadillac concepts) and sold 5,000 examples for 100K or more apiece then and only then it might be impressive.

      • 0 avatar
        racer-esq.

        This is embarrassing for Cadillac.

        I do think that GM should benchmark BMW for Cadillac, and Lexus for Buick.

        The Elmirage is great. If Cadillac builds that, and then follow up with a sedan, it will have a proper flagship.

        A plug-in hybrid Cruze coupe is an embarrassing flagship. Not because it is a plug-in hybrid, but because it is a Cruze coupe. GM really learned nothing from the Cimarron.

        The ELR (with Buick design language) would have been a good Buick in the mid-to-high $30s. If GM cannot accomplish that pricing then it should not waste its time.

        • 0 avatar
          Pch101

          Conceptually, the ELR is not much different from the BMW i8. And the i8 will carry a sticker price on the wrong side of $135,000.

          • 0 avatar
            racer-esq.

            The i8 is a 4 seat, mid-engine, AWD, unique carbon fiber chassis, scissor door, 0 – 60 in 4.4 seconds plug-in hybrid.

            The ELR is a 4 seat, front-engine, FWD, Volt/Cruze steel chassis, conventional door, 0 – 60 in 7.8 seconds plug-in hybrid that weighs 770 pounds more.

            It’s a bit like saying a Subaru Legacy and Porsche 911 are conceptually not that different because they both have flat-6 engines.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            The point is that they’re both high-priced plug-in hybrid/ range extender coupes with small gas engines. Neither one of them is intended to be a high volume car, and the BMW costs about twice as much.

          • 0 avatar
            mcs

            >> Conceptually, the ELR is not much different from the BMW i8

            Conceptually, the Smart 4Two is not much different than a Corvette. They’re both rear drive ICE powered 2 seaters, except the Corvette cost 5 times as much. :^)

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            They’re both low-volume experiments with plug-in hybrid drivetrains in high-priced cars.

            There’s no comparison to the Cimarron, in that the Cimarron was intended to sell in volume. With fuel economy/ greenhouse gas emission rules tightening, luxury car makers have little choice but to experiment with higher fuel economy vehicles.

    • 0 avatar
      SoCalMikester

      yeahhhh. this should be no more than $48k loaded, UNLESS it goes above and beyond other vehicles in Cadillacs lineup.

      The CT is ugly, to me. id rather have a prius for less money. its the same car, after all. and in SoCal, Lexus is more desirable than Cadillac or Lincoln. Not QUITE up to bimmer or merc-snob levels, and then there are the “free spirits” that want to Audi

  • avatar
    cargogh

    I wonder how much the 6 spd manual and turbo four option would cost. I can’t decide on cashmere or black with that paint, so forget it.

  • avatar
    Lie2me

    Wouldn’t you know it,I had just completed my Christmas list just this morning. Oh, well, I guess I’ll be OK with the Chinese Chery out of the Walmart catalog

  • avatar
    Joss

    500 Gucci/Sinatra Imperial “Archie there goes pizza with all the toppings.” “Dingbat get mes a beer heres goes Saks burger!”

  • avatar
    doug-g

    “Melody Lee, Cadillac director of brand reputation strategy”

    Such a title! Probably some hipster lady who’d never seen a Cadillac before applying for the job on indeed.com.

  • avatar
    Atum

    This is kind of pointless. It’d make a good Saabkyle video though.

  • avatar
    ravenchris

    Nice car.
    This month, Honda is giving their dealers a $3,000 spiff on all sold units in excess of last December monthly sales production.
    Merry Christmas to the astute automobile shopper.

  • avatar
    VenomV12

    If you buy this car you are an idiot, period, point blank. The Volt is not even worth the money at its discounted price, so damn cramped and cheap, how the hell is this worth Tesla money? I don’t even think the Tesla is worth Tesla money and I actually like the Tesla. For $90K I could buy a Cadillac that is actually useful and can do stuff, the Escalade. It will cost me about $200+ in gas a month, BFD, I bought a $90K vehicle, I can afford it. I respect LEAF owners because they are legitimately buying an electric car to save money, even the leased Volts to some extent, but the Tesla owners, come on now, if you are spending $1,200+ a month on a car payment, do you really give a crap about fuel costs?

    • 0 avatar
      Nicholas Weaver

      Disagree on the Volt. If you are like me, with an 80 mile round trip commute but can plug in at work, the Volt is actually remarkably sensible. Having test driven it, it drives remarkably nice too.

      Of course, that is before the i3 REx hits the market…

      But agreed on the ELR, and it comes down to price. If it was a $10K premium over the volt, it might easily sell. But for Tesla money (in between the 200 and 280 mile range versions), you get a Tesla: much mugh bigger, much much faster, much much more powerful.

      And for those who haven’t test driven a Tesla, do so. They are demo units, so its not like you are putting miles on some personal car before its bought: these are supposed to be driven by the public.

      I could never justify buying a Tesla, but the acceleration really is uniquely obscene and instantaneous. I see why lots of Silly Valley types are buying them instead of that second S-Class.

  • avatar
    mjz

    There is an old saying: “A fool and his (her) money soon go separate ways”. So appropriately applied to any idiot that would spend $90K for this tarted up Volt.

  • avatar
    SoCalMikester

    Im confused.

    Usually the good (japanese usually) “trickle down” technology- stuff like using overly engineered fluid filled drivetrain mounts in a 1991 LS 400 eventually leading to fluid filled mounts (usually) all the way down the line, with less cost and NVH

    So now theres a Volt, chevy nametag, hopefully overengineered, and its a chevy first for a couple years, THEN a cadillac?

    GM needs to keep what they have and improve on what is known wrong. kaizan… continuous improvement.

  • avatar
    el scotto

    Oh, all you naysayers. Saks’ markets to the conspicuous consumption types. The ELR concierge may make a difference in this market. This is not being marketed to the driveway oil change and work boots crowd. It would be a coup for Cadillac if this thing sells out. I’ve seen dumber things happen.

    • 0 avatar

      Honestly, I doubt Caddy even really cares if this sells out or not. It’s less about selling the actual car in the catalog, and more about getting Cadillac publicity, and putting the brand in front of the kind of people who shop out of the Saks Christmas catalog.

  • avatar

    When I clicked on the link, I got a “10% off your first order for signing up for our email list” coupon offer. Wonder if it’s valid on this.

  • avatar
    Sjalabais

    Do these special edition Christmas cars turn into collectibles?

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      They do. I’ve seen a N-M Christmas special BMW from one year or another, way way up there versus similar used models.

      They get a “Neiman-Marcus Limited 4 of 50″ plaque inside. That makes all the difference.

  • avatar
    LeMansteve

    Think about the priority structure and disposable income of someone who can afford to spend $90k on a car from Saks.

    I imagine the decision is similar to us regular people walking into some fusion American joint and deciding which cheeseburger to get. I imagine there is some TTACB blog in a 3rd-world country where they are amazed at Americans’ cheeseburger buying preferences. “omg who would spend $8 on a cheeseburger from a restaurant that doesn’t even specialize in cheeseburgers! $0.30 for cheese, that is a complete ripoff! I can cook my own burger for $1 and make the cheese myself”

    • 0 avatar
      mnm4ever

      TTACB… haha nice idea. An $8 cheesburger is barely more than Hardees charges these days. I think like this every time I go spend $14-16 at Burger 21. For each person.

      Seriously though, every time I read the comments in any article about some obscenely priced car related item, I think the B&B don’t have the first clue about how really wealthy people think.

      Neiman Marcus sold the Caddy XLR out in like 15 minutes… 100 people HAD to have one that badly. This car will likely do the same, there are at least 100 people out there who have more money than brains and want to be able to brag to their equally rich friends that they got one of the limited edition ELRs. Or they have a daughter in prep school who is into “that whole greenies thing” and all her poor friends drive Prius’s and she wants to show them just how serious she is about saving the planet. Or the wife’s friends all drive those hideously large Teslas but she is too sexy to drive a sedan, she wants a stylish coupe and well anyone can go order a Tesla, this ELR is extremely limited production, etc, etc. Most of them have no clue what is underneath the body and don’t care.


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