GM recently announced that its reshuffled electric-car efforts starting in 2021 will be focused on Cadillac.
The greater profits on luxury vehicles may allow it to make money on electric cars sooner than if they had to compete at mass-market Chevy prices.
Looking back, Tony Posawatz, product manager for the 2011 Volt, mused that “perhaps GM should have started with a Cadillac version (given the higher costs) or introduced the originally planned crossover soon(er).”
Cadillac did get the ELR, effectively a luxury coupe on first-generation Volt underpinnings, but its jaw-dropping price of about $75,000—what a decent Tesla Model S cost—and the limited utility of a two-door coupe body killed it pretty much on launch.
Analyst Lindland echoes Posawatz's thought. Asked what GM learned from the Volt, she responded, “Not enough, or else the Chevy Bolt EV would have been the Cadillac XT4.”
It’s worth noting that’s the exact route Audi will take with its upcoming Q4 e-tron, to be built on VW Group’s shared MEB electric-car platform following the larger, pricier e-tron that goes on sale this year. The Q4 likely won’t arrive until 2021, but arguably GM could have beaten it to the punch in 2017 if its electric-car efforts weren’t still wedded to the Chevrolet brand at the time.