By on August 13, 2020


Steve Carlisle, whose job title was recently upgraded to president of GM’s North American operations, knows you can’t market emissions-free driving on novelty alone. The former Cadillac brand boss offered a hint about the window sticker affixed to the upcoming Cadillac Lyriq electric SUV on Wednesday, citing a need for competitive pricing.

The Lyriq, which this writer can’t seem to spell correctly the first time, is Caddy’s first EV. The first of many, too. Entering production in late 2022 as a 2023 model, the midsize Lyriq’s price won’t be stratospheric, Carlisle claims.

Speaking at the JP Morgan Auto Conference, Carlisle said, “We need to be in the same price zone” of similar-sized premium products of the gas-friendly variety, Automotive News reports.

“This car will need to be priced similar to how the industry prices midsize lux SUVs today, maybe a slight premium at the outset. It’s a price that won’t be high five digits. It won’t start with a seven and it won’t start with a six.”

Carlisle’s comments suggest the Lyriq will bow with a starting price similar to that of the C8 Corvette, if not lower. The closest existing product in Caddy’s lineup is the midsize XT5, which starts at a little more than $45,000 after destination.

Go too high, and buyers will start to wonder if maybe a new Escalade would give them more panache for their hard-earned bucks. Of course, there’ll be an electric version of that hulking full-sizer, too, though not until the Lyriq is already on the market for a while. General Motors plans five electric Cadillacs, each with a name ending in “iq.”

Each GM division will field electric models under the automaker’s new directive, but Cadillac plans to offer something for everyone, including a comparatively low-priced compact model.

“We’re putting extraordinary efforts here into creating conditions for adoption,” Carlisle said. “Every indication is that consumers are getting increasingly ready. It takes a whole ecosystem approach.”

Those customers will have time to get ready, given Cadillac’s decision to reveal a near production-ready example so far out from the Lyriq’s on-sale date. That said, the Lyriq is said to deliver 300 miles or so of all-electric range, which is something the newest German EV crossovers can’t claim.

[Image: General Motors]

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15 Comments on “Too High a Price Would Be the Kiss of Death for Cadillac’s Lyriq: GM North America Prez...”

  • avatar

    So I assume this means the Hummer truck will be priced like a Raptor? Or is “we need to be in the same price zone” just a situational thought?

  • avatar

    Cadillac’s first EV??? What about the horribly overpriced ELR??

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      The ELR had a plug, but being a hybrid it could run forever on gasoline.

      And the problem with the ELR wasn’t the price – it was the performance. People don’t mind paying $75k for some performance, but lowering the ELR’s price would not have solved its performance issues.

      The proof of this is the Model S, whose similar – or higher – price didn’t stop it from selling orders of magnitude better than the ELR.

  • avatar

    my impression: GM made the mistake of pricing Cadillacs at BMW levels when, in order to rebuild the brand, they should have been the more affordable alternative. It worked for a bit Infiniti, at least during the popularity of the G35/G37 and before the Q madness.

    I can see them trying to price their EVs at Tesla levels but having few takers given Cadillac’s popularity and “panache” is in the dumps.

    • 0 avatar

      That is also how Toyota made Lexus, a Mercedes at a lower price point, well at least until they caught on.

      It is sad but there was a time when Cadillac could sell more by pricing it higher.

    • 0 avatar

      Cadillac’s pricing still undercut BMW and MB, but didn’t seem as much of a value play considering the more cramped and less well appointed interior space.

      In addition, Cadillac (like everyone else, including Audi and Lexus) couldn’t match the lease deals that BMW and MB offered.

      Don’t know how Infiniti makes $ (can’t be much) on the Q50 considering the lease deals it has offered.

      Leasing a Q50 RS was considerably cheaper than leasing a Stinger GT2 a couple of years ago.

  • avatar

    The sins of the ELR

    1) Price
    2) Non-differentiated drive train from the Volt (e.g. no more twist)
    3) Price
    4) Price
    5) Price
    6) Price
    7) Price
    8) Impractical beyond a second car or commuter
    9) Price
    10) Price

    99) Price

    • 0 avatar

      Except for the owners like Tom Voelk, YouTube fame of Driven Car Reviews, purchased a brand new ELR for around $35K with discounts and federal credit.

      I purchased a 500 mile 2018 CT6 plug-in for around $36K and it is much more than a glorfied Volt.

      • 0 avatar
        el scotto

        @ Norm Selling a premium product for half off is not a way to maintain that product’s premium status. We’d like updates on your Shanghai Surprise. GM was no longer eligible for EV credits after April 1st this year. Which Buick got traded in for the truly GGM CT6?

  • avatar

    Assuming they still haven’t sold too many Volts,I’m calling the price as $57,499 with an advertised price of $49,999.
    Base trim of course. Probably another $10thou in highest trim.

  • avatar

    Being able to offer the Lyriq at that type of price point (without cutting corners on things like the interior) would mean that GM can manufacture the Ultium cells at a lower cost than current batteries.

  • avatar
    Brett Woods

    I like my big GM smoothness and reliability. If only they could combine this with EV. I blogged for a Lada Niva style EV design, but GM went with a Chevy Sonic design for the Bolt. Sigh….

    At this point of “knowing” I can’t abide by the purchase of legacy combustion for a new general purpose vehicle. I see that as shoe gazing ignorance or straight up devil worship. So where now?

    This model looks to be an Audi and Mercedes competitor in the 70K+ range. It’s not going to be the price of a Bolt is it. Are we looking at expected sales topping below fifty thousand units in 2023?

    Agree with author’s hint about the proposed name. Perhaps it’s not a strong idea to choose a marketing consultant who’s last job was at Pfizer pharmaceutical?

    Good luck GM. A lot of people are pulling for you.

    • 0 avatar

      I’m sure no one would have bought it during the CUV times but a Lacrosse EV with the Bolt’s powertrain would have been a fine car.

      The EV part of the Bolt is very well done, it is the rest of the car where I have issues.

  • avatar

    Cadillac’s old sales model: make ugly, half baked models and put insane MSRPs on them, then discount massively to move the metal “fake it til you make it”

    Cadillac’s new sales model: Make ugly, half baked models and price them to compete with the mainstream brands. Still offer massive discounts. “give up hope and just muddle through”

    This is the swirling toilet water of car brands

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