By on June 3, 2014

Hindenburg_burning

Even as GM rolled out incentives to help move the Cadillac ELR, sales were down this past month, while supplies of the car continued to expand.

 

In May, Cadillac moved just 52 of their hybrids, down from 61 in April. Inventories are up from 1,077 as of April 3, to 1,515 as of this writing. Not even GM’s generous incentives can help this thing.

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

107 Comments on “Not Even Incentives Can Save The Cadillac ELR – Sales Down, Inventories Up...”


  • avatar
    Nicholas Weaver

    I looked at one, very pretty, but the car is useless: the backseat is a violation of the Geneva convention against torture and the lack of liftback also kills the utility.

    I didn’t accept the offer to testdrive, since I’ve driven the volt before and no matter what the salesperson says, the drivetrain is a Volt drivetrain.

    And the salesman said “what would it take for you to consider it”. He seemed put off with my response of “drop the price by $20K”.

  • avatar
    PonchoIndian

    you mean the $750.00 USAA incentive, because that is the only one available at this time.

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    1,515 units – pffft – that’s just an 876 day supply at last months run rate (give or take)

    • 0 avatar
      carguy

      Cadillac has 940 dealers nationwide and about half are selling the ELR. That means each dealership has about 3 on the lot – or about enough to show popular color and options. The 876 day supply number is misleading when it comes to specialty cars like the ELR.

  • avatar

    With all the bad press GM has deservedly received in the past months I wouldn’t be surprised if there sales were way down across the board. When things settle down, and GM recovers a bit, I don’t think 1500 units will be hard to move.

  • avatar
    THE_F0nz

    Fingers crossed. I really want to lease one after my current lease is up. I hope they completely liquidate at an GM-Accountant-Eye-Watering price in 2015-2016.

  • avatar
    BunkerMan

    Why even bother selling these in Canada? They’ve sold TWELVE of them so far this year.

  • avatar
    Hillman

    I bet they still make money on this even after dropping the price 30K. How much extra does it really cost to put a nicer interior in a Volt. If I had a garage I would buy/lease a volt so don’t think I am being a hater. It is a very nice car.

    • 0 avatar

      It has completely different sheet metal and is a great looking car, maybe even better looking than the CTS coupe. When the ELR was first shown as a concept, the Converj, the looks were praised and the production car is very close to the concept.

      • 0 avatar
        dtremit

        “Maybe even better looking than the CTS coupe.” Yeah, but you can have *two* CTS coupes for the money. Or a CTS-V coupe and 2,500 gallons of gas.

        Volt pricing is a reasonable margin over a Malibu. ELR pricing is delusional.

  • avatar

    I am not surprised to say the least. Those development dollars should have been allocated to the Malibu. The same attention to detail, execution and style for a Malibu would have set the midsize segment on fire. That said, anyone criticizing monthly sales numbers should be taught a lesson on the “Halo Concept”. Lexus didn’t sell the LF-A for volume nor they did it for profits. Lexus built the LF-A to beat Lexus’ stodgy image as boring, comfortable people movers. Cadillac didn’t need a performance super car. What they needed was an electric powered, futuristic car loaded with tech to overcome Cadillac’s image as big cars with big engines and nothing else.

    • 0 avatar
      KixStart

      alluster: “That said, anyone criticizing monthly sales numbers should be taught a lesson on the “Halo Concept”. Lexus didn’t sell the LF-A for volume nor they did it for profits. Lexus built the LF-A to beat Lexus’ stodgy image as boring, comfortable people movers.”

      After you build your “halo car” (FYI – I don’t believe the halo concept works), you must have highly desirable product to sell. Lexus does. Cadillac, not so much. GM is up 12.6% while Cadillac is up 6.something%. I’d say it’s not working.

      alluster: “Cadillac didn’t need a performance super car. What they needed was an electric powered, futuristic car loaded with tech to overcome Cadillac’s image as big cars with big engines and nothing else.”

      If such a thing would be considered a halo car by the public (electric acceptance is not yet great) and the halo concept works, then maybe yes, what you describe has potential. However, what Cadillac settled for was a tarted up, even less practical Volt. It’s not the Cimarron fiasco but I understand why people immediately think of it. Chevy technology in a Cadillac was a non-starter. GM should be embarassed.

      • 0 avatar

        I never said the halo effect was working. That was the intent though. If Cadillac wanted to move more ELRs they would have priced them at a reasonable level, say 30K cheaper to slot between the ATS and CTS. It is all about human psychology. Price is what makes people believe you have a quality product. The 2013 CTS was a 5 series size car for 3 series money. They sold in decent numbers but the brand went nowhere. Cadillac could easily undercut the 5 Series with the 2015 CTS(BMW doesn’t sell 850,000 high profit full size trucks/suvs a year) but the message it sends is that “our products are cheaper because they are not as good.”. The message Cadillac wants to send now is that “we are just as good if not better and so our products are going to cost the same as our competition”. Sales are obviously going to suffer but the brand is better off. Have you priced a 2015 CTS or a 2015 Escalade with their predecessors? Will this strategy work? They may or may not succeed but not for lack of trying.

        Comparing the Model S to an ELR is an apples to oranges comparison. The Model S is Tesla’s bread and butter sedan that they lose money on every sale. The ELR exists to sell more CTSs, XTSs and Escalades at $10,000 to $20,000 profit each.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          “The ELR exists to sell more CTSs, XTSs and Escalades at $10,000 to $20,000 profit each.”

          I fail to see how. “Halo” cars are supposed to be desirable, not sad and mostly pointless.

          • 0 avatar
            Victor

            I second that. A LF-A is a halo car. A Juke GTR is a halo car. A two-door, badge-engineered Volt is not a halo car. And it was never intended to be a halo car.

        • 0 avatar
          KixStart

          alluster: “Price is what makes people believe you have a quality product.”

          I’ve got some pocket lint priced at $40/gram. Clearly, high quality stuff.

          alluster: “The message Cadillac wants to send now is that “we are just as good if not better and so our products are going to cost the same as our competition”. ”

          Rome wasn’t built in a day and it wasn’t built on a marketing message. If they want consumers to believe that, they must have consistent Lexus-like quality and durability and/or BMW-like performance, all done up in an extremely attractive package with materials that look, feel and smell superior.

          I somehow doubt that anybody who buys it feels the Escalade is really anything like a Lexus, let alone a BMW. That vehicle gets purchased because it’s badass. It screams, “I’ve got enough money to buy this outrageous thing (or maybe just enough credit to lease it), get the f*ck outta my way.” That’s a marketing message written right into the product. I’m not sure any other marketing message is really compatible with a product line that includes the Escalade.

        • 0 avatar
          Nicholas Weaver

          Tesla doesn’t really lose much money on each Model S, and the Model S totally leaves the ELR in the dust on everything except styling: its roomier, faster, better infotainment, cheaaper, and with better snob appeal.

          And it isn’t a “apples to oranges” its “GM is so pathetic their ‘green halo’ gets beat like a red-headed stepchild by Tesla”

    • 0 avatar

      Rebadged Chevy != Halo Concept

      • 0 avatar
        APaGttH

        It isn’t a “rebadged” car.

        Rebadge means take car X and putting badge Y on it and calling it done.

        If you can show me where I can buy a two door Volt slathered in more leather than a Texas ranch (for starters), I’ll take my post back on the difference between platform sharing and badge engineering.

        If I follow your same logic – an MDX is just a rebadged Honda.

        Heck, for that matter, if I follow your logic, an Audi A4 is just a rebadged VW Polo.

        • 0 avatar

          Platform sharing chevy != Halo concept

          Once there was a time when luxury cars where completely different than their poor stable mates in order to provide a better everything. Halo cars tend to be the lone survivors of such an idea, cars designed to stretch the limits beyond practical to showcase the best, even if it doesn’t hold its own in a business model.

        • 0 avatar
          Crabspirits

          Everytime I see the V-word in these little ELR meetings, I want to vomit.

          Obviously people haven’t seen the car in person. If this is a Volt, then I’m Oprah Winfrey.

          • 0 avatar
            APaGttH

            Oprah – can you make my dreams come true?

            I want an ELR, in brown, with a diesel ICE to power the electric motors, and it must be CPO, and $9,999.

            Can I look under my chair?

            ;-)

          • 0 avatar
            Nicholas Weaver

            It is a Volt under the hood: the power gain is negligible, and its still a FWD sluggard against RWD competition (i3, Tesla)

          • 0 avatar
            dtremit

            It’s not a Volt. The problem is, it’s also not the Elmiraj.

        • 0 avatar
          tuffjuff

          The Acura MDX I’d a tarted up Honda Pilot, and the RDX a tarted up CR-V. Get it right.

    • 0 avatar
      natrat

      As a halo car it fails too, people dig tesla way more. Personally I think the cadilac is closer to what i would want by virtue of its range extender, but apparently it’s a real dog compared to a tesla.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      Right, but the LF-A was also an AWESOME car, so as a halo, it succeeded. The ELR is a long way from awesome.

    • 0 avatar
      LeadHead

      That’s fine and dandy to have a super high-tech halo car IF you only plan to sell ~100-200 per year. The problem is they’ve already built over 1500 of them. They did not intend for this to be an ultra-low-volume halo-car.

      They almost 2.5 years worth of inventory already, and no sign of sales increasing any time soon. The fact that they built 500 more of these in May despite the abysmal sales shows some huge issues still lingering inside GM.

      • 0 avatar
        sunridge place

        1500 units divided by the 525 dealerships selling these is about 3 units per store. Some have less, some have more (California etc.)

        I’m sure some of those units on the ground are the test drive units as well.

        No dealerships were forced to sign up. Once a dealership signs up, the OEM should fill the pipeline with a couple of units right?

        • 0 avatar
          SCE to AUX

          This means the 525 dealerships foolishly bought GM’s grandiose plans for this car.

          It still means that each dealership won’t turn over their 3-car inventory for years, and they will have wasted valuable resources training a technician on the ELR’s unique architecture.

          Let’s not forget the ELR has already been recalled, so they’ve had to work on these cars once.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            The 525 dealerships may not have had a choice.

            The GM dealership in my area told me that they had no choice when the Volt came out. They were told they had to feature one in the showroom, or just outside the showroom, which they did, so the public would see it. Didn’t help though.

            And that may also have been part of the demands of the US government as part of the bailouts, handouts and nationalization.

            We now know Sergio had to make a 500e for America and he’s at the point now of asking us not to buy them because he is losing good money on each and every one of them.

          • 0 avatar
            sunridge place

            Perhaps there will be bake sales to keep the lights on at these poor Cadillac dealerships that will barely stay alive given the horrible burden of these vehicles.

            I’ve yet to meet a poor owner principal of a dealership but it’s good that you are looking out for their interest. I think they’ll be okay.

            My point is really about the hyper reaction to this minuscule blip in the business and the lack of understanding about filling a pipeline. It looks like about 1800-2000 total units have been built since production started. I’m waiting for the zerohedge or Ed Niedermeyer article about how these 2000 units will bring down the entire industry.

        • 0 avatar
          redav

          That’s nice and all, but at least 475 of those dealerships who carry the ELR didn’t sell any of their three floor models last month. Or in other words, at least 90% of dealerships offering the ELR for sale whiffed, laid a goose egg, struck out, … last month.

          What does it say when at least 90% of your franchises can’t sell a single unit in an entire month? Assuming sales are uniformly distributed (and continue at their current pace), what does it say that each dealership can only expect to sell *one* every ten months?

          Again, if sales continue at their current pace, that means dealerships can only expect to sell one in a year. Some will be lucky and sell two. But sales won’t be uniform, so that means there will be dealerships that won’t sell *any* of their inventory in a whole year.

          And all that assumes they stop all excess production immediately. If they produce more than 50/mo., then those 3/lot will turn into 12/lot by the end of the year. You can’t justify them as necessary ‘display models’ at that point.

    • 0 avatar
      GiddyHitch

      “Lexus didn’t sell the LF-A for volume nor they did it for profits. Lexus built the LF-A to beat Lexus’ stodgy image as boring, comfortable people movers.”

      I thought Lexus green lit the LF-A as an engineering exercise to validate production carbon fiber processes that could be rolled out to the rest of the lineup for weight and fuel savings. They rolled it into an exotic/supercar, which have greater price elasticity than a midsize sedan for instance, in order to cover the high development budget. Very similar to the Tesla Roadster. At least, that’s my read of the situation.

      • 0 avatar

        Bingo.

      • 0 avatar
        VenomV12

        Speaking of the LF-A, there are at least 3 Lexus dealerships I have been to in the last year that have brand new, unsold LF-As, that’s kind of weird, isn’t it? They have not made that car in years now. The SLR was like that too, my Mercedes dealership had an SLR on the floor for sale for well over a year, it was always there when i went in for service. I really wonder sometimes if these halo cars are worth it.

  • avatar
    Vulpine

    Yet more proof that the EREV is a complete failure against a BEV with longer battery-only range. The Tesla Model S consistently out-sells GM’s most direct ‘hybrid’ alternatives.

  • avatar
    Pch101

    If it was a convertible, then I would expect a different result.

    BMW manages to sell about 2500 Z4s per year. That wouldn’t be hard to match, but the fixed roof is a problem.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    The central problem with the ELR (besides the ridiculous price) is simple: Cadillac’s selling performance and style these days, and while the ELR certainly looks good, the performance is, shall we say, uninspiring.

    Now, what if GM decided to make a far more modestly priced plug in hybrid and sell it as a Buick? Slot it above the Verano, give it a premium interior, and sell it in the high $30,000 range. That might have been a better approach. But as an $80,000 Caddy? LOL…not sure what they were thinking here.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    You could re-use the photo for when Toyota’s hydrogen fuel cell cars don’t sell.

  • avatar
    Hummer

    Why do they keep building them? Are they expecting acceptance to explode?
    Who the hell actually bought the few that sold?

    This is terrible for Cadillacs image, people that buy cadillac want large-everything. This is the opposite of that, even so at that price its doomed.

    I wish cadillac had done a comparison test when this was launched. Put out this and a traditional cadillac, ie RWD >78 inches wide, >400 cu in. Hell I bet they could just retool for a design from the 70s, add modern emmisions that dont strangle the big V8s etc. In my opinion it would be more successful than the ELR.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      This may have been part of the bailouts, handouts and nationalizations deals. We’re just now finding out that Sergio had to make the 500e for sale in America, even if he loses money on each and every one of them.

      There will always be a few suckers who buy EVs, PEVs, Hybrids, etc, but those sales are a statistical anomaly in the overall SAAR every year.

      The Cruze, fully dolled up, is a better deal than either the Volt or the ELR, even with the tax incentive. And I know a couple of people who have bought a Cruze for their 18-yo daughters. Summer sale of $16K for a Cruze? That’s even less than an Elantra!

      The Volt and ELR are for the very wealthy, not the masses.

      Want something for the masses, buy a Prius!

      • 0 avatar
        APaGttH

        There is a big difference between platform sharing and badge engineering.

        A VW Polo is pretty far from an Audi A3 or A4 – but they share the same platform.

        Heck for that matter a few years ago the Ford Focus, the Mazda3, and the Volvo C30 shared the same platform.

        The Cruze Delta II platform is loosely used on the Volt and the ELR is even more loosely based on the Cruze.

        They aren’t even close to the same cars. For example the part content difference between a Cruze and a Verano is 80% – there is little in common.

        I don’t understand why people can’t grasp the concept of platforms that are used to build multiple vehicles.

        If I follow the same logic why buy an Audi when a stripper Golf is the same car?

        Why buy a Lexus ES when a base model Avalon is the same car?

        Why buy an Acura MDX when a base CR-V is the same car?

        Why buy an ILX when a Civic is the same car?

        Why buy a Chrysler 300 SRT/8 when a base Challenger is the same car?

        Why buy an MKZ when…OK you got me there.

        (no love for the ELR at its ridiculous price point, but to even imply its a rebadged Cruze is ludicrous)

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          “If I follow the same logic why buy an Audi when a stripper Golf is the same car?”

          AFAIK Golf is not available with AWD in NA, although this might change.

          “Why buy a Lexus ES when a base model Avalon is the same car?”

          The ES is still made in Japan, for now.

          “Why buy an Acura MDX when a base CR-V is the same car?”

          Have to agree. From what wiki says, it seems all of the Honda models share the same or similar D platform, so if you buy one you do indeed buy them all. (Acura MDX Acura ZDX Honda Odyssey Honda Ridgeline Honda Accord Honda Crosstour Acura TL)

          “Why buy an ILX when a Civic is the same car?”

          Oh but electro gizmo junk in Integra!

          Why buy a Chrysler 300 SRT/8 when a base Challenger is the same car?

          Coupe vs sedan.

          “Why buy an MKZ when…OK you got me there.”

          Indeed. But the Zephyr still offers a V6, so if your me and that’s important to you…

          • 0 avatar
            VenomV12

            As someone who looked at both, the Avalon is a better car than the Lexus ES. For that matter the new Chevy Impala is a better car than the CTS and maybe even the XTS.

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          I wasn’t implying it is a rebadged Cruze. The ELR is an even more overpriced version of the Volt and even less worth it than a Volt is.

          Ditto with a fully dolled up Cruze, which is also overpriced and not a good deal either.

          The Cruze is only a good deal when it sells for $16K. The Volt would be a good deal if it sold for $28K. The ELR MAY be more attractive if it sold for $45K. Nothing warrants these vehicles as being worth more.

          Jacking up the MSRP on any car not worth it is just pretentious.

          • 0 avatar
            Nicholas Weaver

            The volt does start at less than $28K after the federal tax credit…

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            Nicholas Weaver, the federal tax credit only applies to people who pay taxes, and then at least $7500 in taxes, which many Americans do not.

            In fact, I read somewhere that a staggering number of Americans do not even file an annual tax return because they do not have too — income after deductions is too low.

            Add to this the further complications of seniors 65+ on social security who MAY want to buy such a vehicle but do not have to file because their total income is less that $30+K, and having to pay the extra $7500 makes buying such a car less attractive.

            They would have to be a REAL dedicated fan! So that leaves only the wealthy to spring for the Volt and ELR.

            Way overpriced!

          • 0 avatar
            redav

            highdesertcat, that’s where leasing can fill the void. The dealer/car maker/whoever gets the rebate & pass it on in the form of lower payments to the lessee who doesn’t pay enough taxes to benefit from the tax break directly.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            redav, I completely understand about Leasing. In fact I know several people who are currently Leasing or have Leased in the past.

            And their experiences vary widely with “business” people generally having a better leasing-experience than individuals.

            I believe this is mainly due to the fact that “business” people can write off their leasing expense, where individuals generally cannot.

            I also know people who have leased a truck or other vehicle in support of their business and the charges added at the end of the lease are brutal!

            So Leasing is a two-edged sword. It can work for you or you can get cut badly by it.

            I have several friends in their late sixties and seventies who have considered Leasing. Some have chosen to Lease; most haven’t, instead opting to buy a vehicle outright, usually something as innocuous as a Corolla, Civic, Elantra, Camry LE, Accord, Sonata or even an Altima. One I know has bought a Prius for the third time.

            In each of those cases the motivator behind the purchase was 1) no monthly payments, and 2) no minimum insurance requirement.

        • 0 avatar
          wmba

          “A VW Polo is pretty far from an Audi A3 or A4 – but they share the same platform.”

          Uh, not even close. The Polo won’t be MQB until 2015.

          The new Golf and A3 are MQB.

          The A4 has a longitudinal engine platform MLB.

          So today, these are 3 entirely different platforms, so the analogy is incorrect and poorly chosen.

    • 0 avatar
      DevilsRotary86

      “I wish cadillac had done a comparison test when this was launched. Put out this and a traditional cadillac, ie RWD >78 inches wide, >400 cu in. Hell I bet they could just retool for a design from the 70s, add modern emmisions that dont strangle the big V8s etc. In my opinion it would be more successful than the ELR.”

      They already did that, it’s called the Escalade. And I think we all know which is more successful.

  • avatar
    galaxygreymx5

    May ELR incentives were not terribly obvious based on Cadillac’s website, but here goes…

    $1,000 conquest cash
    $3,000 allowance for EVSE (“charger”) and installation/permit
    $6,000 dealer “incentive coupon”
    0.9% financing for 36 months

    All of these incentives were stacked so effectively more than ten grand straight off the top without any negotiating.

    Then if you’re in California (where most cars with plugs are sold)…

    $7,500 Federal tax credit
    $1,500 State rebate

    Nearly $20,000 off the MSRP before any dickering and they still can’t move these cars.

    I wandered onto a Cadillac lot in March after visiting the adjacent BMW store and the sales guy offered me $5,000 off in addition to the rebates before even offering me a test drive, which I politely declined. I drive a Volt; the ELR has the same guts. Interior was lovely, however.

    That exact same ELR is still sitting on the front line of the store ten weeks later, right in the heart of Los Angeles. Now it has about ten friends with it though.

    The ELR may be the biggest automotive flop in the modern area. What other cars have landed with such a thud lately? Maybe the ZDX is worse.

  • avatar
    jimbob457

    OMG. A BIG BOSS wants something to drive. He imagines it. Being a BIG BOSS at GM he gets what he wants. GM puts it up for sale. When it doesn’t sell, the PR guys refer to it a ‘halo car’.

  • avatar
    smartascii

    No one’s buying these because the market for $80k, alternative-fuel vehicles is made up of two groups of people: Those who truly believe that buying one will help save the planet, and those who want everyone who sees them to think that they are helping to save the planet. The former group can just buy a volt, if an extended-range electric is their thing. Or a plug-in Prius, or a Leaf. Those are all less than half the price, and they accomplish the same thing, sort of. The latter group needs you to recognize their eco-credentials, and no one outside the industry and enthusiast groups knows what an ELR is. Those people will buy a Tesla, or even a Volt, since it has had quite a bit more press coverage. Having to explain to people that even though your car comes from the same company that makes the Escalade, it’s really totally green! is pretty much a non-starter.

  • avatar
    carguy

    There is no doubt that the ELR is overpriced by I wouldn’t get too carried away over the 1,500 inventory number. If there are 500 dealerships in the US selling the ELR that is just 3 on each lot. That sounds like an adequate inventory rather than too much.

    • 0 avatar
      galaxygreymx5

      Chevrolet has 3,000 dealers, sold 3,328 Corvettes last month, and has 1,746 in stock based on the same metrics as the ELR.

      That’s less than a car per dealer and they’re moving through just dandy, even though GM recently jacked up the price and has no incentives.

      That, friends, is how a specialty halo car is supposed to sell.

      The ELR is an LG paperweight.

      • 0 avatar
        carguy

        Agreed – the Corvette is a great success while the ELR will never sell anywhere near the volumes that GM anticipated. However, when quoting the 800+ day supply number (and maybe pasting a Hindenburg photo in the story) it helps to have the perspective of how many cars are actually sitting on each dealers lot. Three cars is not a problem yet but anything more than 5 or 6 will be.

      • 0 avatar
        VenomV12

        I don’t know, the dealer by me has 3 new Stingray convertibles inside and they have not moved in weeks and there are 6 figure cars everywhere in my town. I barely see the Stingray on the road. In the past few months I have driven to Miami, Chicago, Las Vegas, LA and Texas and have barely seen any new C7s on the road. Based on their claimed sales, I really should be seeing them more frequently and I just am not. Consistently the new sports cars I see on the roads are 911s.

        • 0 avatar
          PonchoIndian

          Venom
          Clearly they must be making up Corvette sales numbers. I mean, it can’t be true that it is selling so well that there are restrictions on the Z51 package because they can’t keep up with demand.

          I can’t believe that you haven’t seen more C7′s than 911′s since they C7 has been out for a few months now and the new 911 for a few years…

          ugg.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      The number on each lot doesn’t matter; they’ll still sit there for an eternity, while the dealer could have moved several other Cadillacs with the same money he’s tied up in ELRs.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        “The number on each lot doesn’t matter”

        It does matter because there has to be a minimum amount of the inventory on the lot just so prospective customers can see the car.

        This ELR death story is being truly overhyped. Expectations for it were never high in the first place. Not to say that it’s a winner, but this is far from being the Coming of the Apocalypse.

  • avatar
    th009

    There is nothing to worry about — Canadian sales are doubling every month! At this growth rate they’ll be selling 1024 units in December, and 2048 next January.

  • avatar
    JohnnyFirebird

    “If only zere vas a vord for zis shameful joy ve are experiencing!”

    I’m getting the sense that the B&B / TTAC staff are really enjoying the failure of this machine. Is it because of…

    A: Hatred of psuedo-green vehicles?
    B: Hatred of badge engineering?
    C: Hatred of the weirdly Randian Superbowl commercials?

    Personally I think the car looks really cool, but I have a notoriously terrible taste in cars. I still want a VehiCROSS.

  • avatar
    fourthreezee

    Uhhh… Ok. I’ll expose the 900 lb. elephant here…. No one (or pitifully few) who shop anywhere near this price bracket wants to:

    1). Even go near a GM dealership, much less look at this car

    2). Buy a GM car even if they could get one via mail order w/out having the dreary experience of visiting a GM dealer. I can give you many reasons why – but reading this site I’ll assume ya’ll already know why.

    Flame me if you want – but as someone smarter than me once said: ‘Facts Are Stubborn Things’.

    • 0 avatar
      redav

      The ELR is priced similar to an Escalade, so it’s not fair to say that no one who shops that price point would dare go to a GM dealership.

      • 0 avatar
        fourthreezee

        You raise a false equivalency.
        Read my post again – I state: ‘Pitifully few’. Sure the Escalade has some buyers – but the Greeny Elites (of whom I know quite a few here in downtown Seattle, many of whom drive Tesla’s and Leafs/Pri”ii btw) laugh when you mention anything GM. Escalade buyers could not be further from the ELR’s demographic. No-one would touch a GM product with a 10-foot pole here.

        • 0 avatar

          I have a similar take here on the North Shore of Chicagoland. The last thing anyone wants who has money is to be laughed at about how they spend their money, that, and I’m sure many potential buyers have been directly disappointed by GM vehicles in the last 30 years.
          It will be tough to shatter those prejudices, and getting greedy on a green halo car obviously isn’t helping things, and the vehicle in the Superbowl ad really should have been the Escalade.

        • 0 avatar
          redav

          Sorry, your backpedaling is all kinds of pathetic.

          You didn’t say “Pitifully few.” You said “No one (or pitifully few).” Your “pitifully few” was a parenthetic contingency in case your main point–that “no one”–was a bit too extreme. I was pointing out that fact. Also, do you suggest that there are “pitifully few” Escalade and other expensive Cadillac shoppers to justify your claim?

          Speaking of false equivalency, who gives a spit what Tesla owners think of GM dealerships? You never qualified your statement that only Greeny Elites located in and around Seattle mattered.

  • avatar
    schmitt trigger

    I would have saved the Hindenburg image for hydrogen fueled vehicles

  • avatar
    jpolicke

    Overstock.com? It got rid of all the unwanted Crossfires.

  • avatar
    Hummer

    So we have the Chevy SS, very expensive because its coming from Australia. It gets ZERO advertising and is selling above expectations

    Then we have the ELR that is very expensive because ???, and it gets prime time advertising, and, well has it sold 3 digits yet?

    GM if this isn’t your clue of what the market wants… Well your already screwed up, so I can’t even begin here.

    • 0 avatar
      redav

      Selling a few hundred each month is hardly an endorsement of “what the market wants.” The Corvette is selling at 10x the rate of the SS. I’d say that’s closer to what the market wants.

      But if the ELR was priced the same as the SS, it certainly might sell a few hundred a month, too.

      • 0 avatar
        VoGo

        Redav,
        You are debating about market success with a guy who drives a Hummer. That alone should tell you the level of marketing expertise he possesses.

        • 0 avatar
          Hummer

          Says the guy that describes what cadillac should build which is everything the Escalade is minus the functionality. So they shouldn’t build the escalade which is apparently a copy but rather copy a CUV, how original.

  • avatar
    VenomV12

    Dealership by me has had one sitting there for well over a month, CTS-V coupe too which I thought would have moved, but has not also. The ELR has a huge, very classy, “$8,000 off sticker” written on the window with colored chalk, like you would see done to a 1985 Chevy sitting in Big Al’s Used Car Emporium. GM/Cadillac really has to stop doing that if they want the perception of them to change.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    Remember that Cadillac spent prime $$ to run a Super Bowl ad for this dud. The apologists who say GM didn’t have high expectations for this car should explain that move.

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      To someone who trades in hyperbole, anyone who goes easy on the rhetoric must look like an apologist.

      The production figures are obviously low. GM never expected to sell very many of these things in the first place, that much is clear. It is intended to be a halo car.

      It may not be a great halo car, but that’s what it is. The point of a halo is to bolster the brand, and ultimately to steer most customers toward the higher volume models. If it does its job, then the ELR should help the ATS, CTS and the rest.

      • 0 avatar
        redav

        So let’s ask the question: Is it a good halo car? Does it bolster the brand? Has it increased sales of other Cadillac models? Honestly, it seems the answer is no.

        Then that leads to another important question: If the ELR fails as a halo car, is that worse than it having disappointing sales numbers? I think that’s probably a yes. Selling or not selling a thousand cars is one thing; mucking up your brand image is something else.

        • 0 avatar
          Pch101

          “So let’s ask the question: Is it a good halo car?”

          I already addressed that. It’s not, but the issue isn’t what most of you believe it to be.

          It’s simply difficult to sell small hardtop luxury coupes in the US market today. They have to have sporting pretensions in order to get away with it and even then, the demand is limited. The price isn’t the issue; the lack of a convertible roof is.

          “mucking up your brand image is something else.”

          So the hyperbole continues. No branding was harmed in the making of this car. It’s essentially invisible, although the handwringing on this website may make it seem otherwise.

    • 0 avatar
      sunridge place

      @SCE

      That commercial wasn’t an ELR ad. It was a Cadillac brand image ad. They threw the ELR in there at the last second.

      It also wasn’t a Superbowl commercial. But, by all means, keep trying on this topic.

  • avatar
    VoGo

    Redav,
    You are asking the right questions. My take is that a halo works by not just being expensive, but by being both desirable, and also showing the brand’s direction. By that criteria, the Lexus LF-C works as a halo – it’s a kicka$$ sports car, as well as making Lexus credible in the performance space, which BMW has traditionally owned.

    For Cadillac, the ELR would only be a successful halo if their intent was to establish Cadillac as the best driving, environmentally friendly luxury brand. If the next gen XTS, ATS, Escallade and SRX were moving to advanced hybrids, then the ELR makes sense.

    While Cadillac’s brand remains muddled, I believe the intent is to move towards a modern blend of traditional standard of the world traits: long hood, RWD, luxurious cabins with more modern swag: impressive performance and desirability.

    In which case the ELR fails. My take is that GM continues to look at its portfolio of cars globally in a very tactical way. Hey, we have a great performance sedan in Australia, maybe that would work as a Pontiac. No? Try again as a Chevy. What about that little Korean/German SUV, could we sell it as a Buick? The Encore is a hit, let’s try it again as a Chevy.

    If I were king of Cadillac product planning for a day, I would focus on a large SUV that would be the standard of the world. Take the next gen of the Enclave/Traverse, add in a turbo 3.6 and advanced AWD (like SH-AWD); make it truly luxurious in even base trim, and crush the X5 and GL.

    • 0 avatar
      sunridge place

      ‘If I were king of Cadillac product planning for a day, I would focus on a large SUV that would be the standard of the world’

      You should call it the Escalade. Catchy name.

      • 0 avatar
        bball40dtw

        Fantastic. Isn’t “Standard of the World” also a Cadillac marketing tagline?

      • 0 avatar
        VoGo

        Good point,
        I should have been more specific. I was thinking of a CUV that:
        – was focused on occupant comfort more than ability to haul or tow
        – was AWD, but with RWD bias
        – could handle a curve as well as the X5 or MDX
        – was something unique and purpose-built, rather than a Suburban with leather

        • 0 avatar
          sunridge place

          So, a large cushy performance RWD/AWD crossover that seats 7-8 comfortably?

          But, hold the hauling and towing?

          Hmm…okay.

          jobs.gm.com

          Good luck.


Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Subscribe without commenting

Recent Comments

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Staff

  • Authors

  • Brendan McAleer, Canada
  • Marcelo De Vasconcellos, Brazil
  • Matthias Gasnier, Australia
  • Tycho de Feyter, China
  • W. Christian 'Mental' Ward, Abu Dhabi
  • Mark Stevenson, Canada
  • Faisal Ali Khan, India