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