Ellinghaus: Original Cadillac ELR Price Of Admission 'A Mouthful'

Cameron Aubernon
by Cameron Aubernon

In part due to its Chevrolet roots, the Cadillac ELR is now selling for up to 35 percent less than its original $76,000 price tag.

Out of all of the electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles selling below MSRP due to lower fuel prices at the pump, the current ELR has seen the largest discount from the original sticker, Bloomberg reports. Nearly 2,000 units have left the showroom over the past 18 months, with some dealerships going as low as $50,000 to make room for a model that will actually leave in a few days (i.e. the Escalade).

Cadillac originally established the high price of admission for its Tesla fighter because of the standard features it offered, despite its PHEV technology coming from the $35,000 Chevrolet Volt. Thus, the brand “overestimated” its customers would discover its competitors “were naked at that price,” according to marketing boss Uwe Ellinghaus.

Another justification was if the ELR were priced closely above the Volt, PHEV shoppers would have gone for the latter instead. Branding also played a role in the pricing, intending to signal to consumers the ELR was a Cadillac through and through, from its badging and design, to the olive wood trim and 10-speaker Bose audio system.

Though these failures have guaranteed the PHEV will not see a second generation, the 2016 edition will at least begin the model’s ride into the sunset on a more even keel. Pricing is set to begin at $66,000 before federal incentives, while power will increase to 233 horsepower and 373 lb-ft of torque from the current edition’s 217 horses and 295 lb-ft of torque.

[Photo credit: Cadillac]

Cameron Aubernon
Cameron Aubernon

Seattle-based writer, blogger, and photographer for many a publication. Born in Louisville. Raised in Kansas. Where I lay my head is home.

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5 of 42 comments
  • 7402 7402 on May 14, 2015

    " . . . due to lower fuel prices at the pump . . . " Wow, what a way to frame the argument. Seriously? The notion of a hybrid or PHEV, or electric, or whatever has lots of things going for it (and against) regardless of the price of gas. The ELR had to be discounted because it was priced wrong to begin with. This is simply a market correction. Suggesting it is due to the drop in gasoline prices is a bit of a stretch.

  • Fishiftstick Fishiftstick on May 14, 2015

    Everyone seems to want an ES Lexus despite its Camry roots. The ELR's problem isn't its plebeian roots. It's just not a very good car.

  • BklynPete BklynPete on May 15, 2015

    I give Ellinghaus credit. Admitting you have a problem is a first stop o. The road to solutions. It's also very anti-GM. CUE TTAC B&B with pitchforks for what I just said........

    • 28-Cars-Later 28-Cars-Later on May 15, 2015

      The problem is the entire brand and most of its decisions, I give Pen Boy props for at least acknowledging reality but the issues are far above his head. In the case of the ELR, this was dead money from the moment it was approved.

  • Formula m Formula m on May 17, 2015

    Should put a 2.0L turbo and handling package in it looks like a modern Acura RSX. $80k hybrid was never going to work for this platform.