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Exclusive: Cadillac boss de Nysschen gives us his take on the hybrid luxury coupe and its future.
Auto World News
By: Jeff Jablansky
November 25, 2014


Since Johan de Nysschen was named as president of Cadillac in July 2014, the South African-born executive—formerly of Audi and Infiniti—has toiled to begin a total repositioning of the American luxury brand. In turn, de Nysschen has to bear the brunt of decisions made toward that end. He's made news for his defense of the brand headquarters' upcoming move to New York, a full-scale renaming of the product line, and his vision for Cadillac's competitive set.
But de Nysschen has remained cautiously quiet about the ELR, Cadillac's first foray into the plug-in hybrid market that has failed to deliver particularly strong sales. Critics chide the ELR for being priced out of the realm of affordability in the hybrid market-even among most luxury cars-with a starting price of $75,000 before electric vehicle incentives. As of October 2014, Cadillac only managed to sell 1037 ELR plug-in hybrids.

At the Los Angeles auto show, we sat down with de Nysschen for his direct take on the ELR, its future, and the dealer network charged with its success.

Full article available at link.
 

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On the future of plug-in hybrids in the Cadillac lineup: "I absolutely believe that we need not only a successor to ELR but more vehicles of that caliber and they will be part of our future. We must not give up on the car. I cannot have 50 priorities at the same time. The team and I will get around to working on ELR, but it is clearly going to be a niche car."
I liked this answer. It tells me that they're dedicated not only to the ELR, but to other future electric Cadillac vehicles.

I'd love to see Cadillac integrate Voltec 2.0 into its lineup. ATS, CTS, SRX, and even Escalade should all get a Voltec option IMHO.
 

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I liked this answer. It tells me that they're dedicated not only to the ELR, but to other future electric Cadillac vehicles.

I'd love to see Cadillac integrate Voltec 2.0 into its lineup. ATS, CTS, SRX, and even Escalade should all get a Voltec option IMHO.
I agree!!
The thing is, the competition is at least 5 years ahead of Cadillac in this respect.

Gotta start somewhere, I guess.


But I also love how he's holding the line on the ELR and its price point. He's gonna drag Cadillac kicking and screaming into the luxury realm.
 

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I agree!!
The thing is, the competition is at least 5 years ahead of Cadillac in this respect.

Gotta start somewhere, I guess.



But I also love how he's ho lding the line on the ELR and its price point. He's gonna drag Cadillac kicking and screaming into the luxury realm.
I'd like to know who is five years ago of the ELR? The Voltec from what I understand is the best system out there in terms of an extented range electric car.
 

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I'd like to know who is five years ago of the ELR? The Voltec from what I understand is the best system out there in terms of an extented range electric car.
Hybrids. Not Voltec. And yes, Cadillac is very far behind on hybrids. What hybrids do they have now besides ELR that has sold ~2,000 cars?'

People here can't just point to ELR and say Cadillac is "with the times."
They're not. They're incredibly late to the game.
 

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But I also love how he's holding the line on the ELR and its price point.
He's holding the line on MSRP.
The actual price point is very different.

I saw one in the wild in Detroit. That is one good lookin' car. Just sayin.'
A few weeks ago was going down the interstate and saw a bunch of vertical LEDs coming toward me in the sea of vehicle sameness.
I thought... that's something different. It was an ELR.
 

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I test drove the voltec ELR and it's a fantastic luxury coupe....still.with zero to 60 in around 8 seconds and coupe rear seat space.....it's a nog
Go even heavily discounted..

Should be quicker and be an S7 like four door coupe.

Jmo
 

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GM knew this would be a very low volume car. The car is sold for the pure value of statement - both of buyers and GM as the seller.

Given that, they should have used it to their advantage and boutique'd the entire purchasing process. Make the nicest, largest urban dealerships keep a car on hand for test drives but only sell cars via order sheet. And make the order sheet process worth it - offer a HUGE array of colors, lots of options, different leathers, different wheels, etc.

It's gonna be exclusive anyways, might as well make take advantage of it and raise the cache of your brand along the way.
 

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I don't think they anticipated it being this low in volume...
Caddy put the cart before the horse with the ELR. Folks can say what they like, and give them five or 10 years and maybe there will be significant sales of ELR to other than moneybags who want something that nobody else has, but this was overreach on a painful scale.

$49,995. Work your way up gradually. Gradually.
Sell enough to get the car some exposure among the motoring population.

It's quite obvious the general perception is this car is not worth anything near sticker.

It is not a Range Rover, it's not a Mercedes.

It's a Caddy. And Caddys, like all GM products, almost always sell for five to 15 under sticker, depending on sticker.

You do not change that mindset in a day or with one model. You tighten up gradually.
 
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I really like this guy because he agrees with me on just about every point. If the ELR came out before the Volt the price would not be an issue. It is priced just fine and matches or beats similar gas powered cars in quality and price for that matter. Cadillac as he said before has to leave a lot of the previous customers behind. You see them here on the board often. They are the people that want Cadillac to be a bargain basement car company. Sell less and make a profit off of what you sale then over time younger buyers will have a different view of you. Those of a certain age are cooked they will never change their minds.

Also Cadillac does need to drop a lot of their dealers because many of then are really bad. Finally the BMW 6 Series, Benz SL, etc are all car that are just way over priced and what worse is Cadillac reps never defended the car properly they just let the media frame the message and sat quietly. Didn't help that the ELR also got political hate because of it's connection to the Volt from political entities. Just sad all around so I am glad he is fighting for the car.
 

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i like the idea of the ELR. my problem is the price for a car with a solid beam rear axle. for the price it should be fully independent suspension with the magnetic shocks that caddy uses on some models. its a compact 2 door car. if it was 4 doors more people would be interested as well, it would make it more practical.
 

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$49,995. Work your way up gradually. Gradually.
Don't need to go quite that low.
There's a dealer that sells base ELRs for around $56K before gov't cashbacks.
That seems to be the magic number. At that price they don't stay on the lot long.
 
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GM knew this would be a very low volume car.
It took $20k discounts to turn it into a low volume car. At the original price, it was virtually sales-proof.

The problem with the boutique approach is that it's being built alongside the Volt, and I doubt the production line is flexible enough to produce ELRs in single digit numbers with custom colors, options, leathers etc. At least not without adding tremendous overheads that would push the price up even further.
 

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Don't need to go quite that low.
There's a dealer that sells base ELRs for around $56K before gov't cashbacks.
That seems to be the magic number. At that price they don't stay on the lot long.
I can live with 56 though I think that's higher than they should have started.
It's a moot point because it appears 75 grand is a My Way Or The Highway MSRP.

It took $20k discounts to turn it into a low volume car. At the original price, it was virtually sales-proof.

The problem with the boutique approach is that it's being built alongside the Volt, and I doubt the production line is flexible enough to produce ELRs in single digit numbers with custom colors, options, leathers etc. At least not without adding tremendous overheads that would push the price up even further.
Well-stated baloo!
 

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Baloo is absolutely right about the price being too high. If you're going to price it like a boutique luxury product, you need to deliver. If costs are too high to slow or change the production line and incorporate the options availability, then ELR should have either never been built or should have been priced where it is now from the onset.
 

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It's a moot point because it appears 75 grand is a My Way Or The Highway MSRP.
That's the dealer's really expensive doorstop price.
It might as well hold the door open because it ain't leaving!
 

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On the future of plug-in hybrids in the Cadillac lineup: "I absolutely believe that we need not only a successor to ELR but more vehicles of that caliber and they will be part of our future. We must not give up on the car. I cannot have 50 priorities at the same time. The team and I will get around to working on ELR, but it is clearly going to be a niche car."

I liked this answer. It tells me that they're dedicated not only to the ELR, but to other future electric Cadillac vehicles.

I'd love to see Cadillac integrate Voltec 2.0 into its lineup. ATS, CTS, SRX, and even Escalade should all get a Voltec option IMHO.
Funny, when I read that, I heard "it's 46 or 47 on the list of 50......... we'll likely never get to it anyway"



GM knew this would be a very low volume car. The car is sold for the pure value of statement - both of buyers and GM as the seller.

Given that, they should have used it to their advantage and boutique'd the entire purchasing process. Make the nicest, largest urban dealerships keep a car on hand for test drives but only sell cars via order sheet. And make the order sheet process worth it - offer a HUGE array of colors, lots of options, different leathers, different wheels, etc.

It's gonna be exclusive anyways, might as well make take advantage of it and raise the cache of your brand along the way.
Yeah, that is why they built 4 years worth of inventory in 4 months................

---------------------------------


I found this comment also interesting...........

"With all that said, if we were to reprice ELR, to the point where somehow we found a point that people would buy it buy the thousands, then all we would achieve is, the more cars you sell, the more money you lose. There's no point in that. It is where it is."
As in, we stopped building them, the dealers have paid for them, it does us no good at this point to give money back (and go red with every sale).

The ELR was made in an effort to make money on Voltec, GM knew it couldn't raise the price of the Volt, or try and pack more options (price) into the model, the loaded Volts have been the hardest to sell since inception..........

"Wrap it in Cadillac and slap $76,000 price tag on the window" - It was a brilliant idea, if only it worked.............
 

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The problem with the boutique approach is that it's being built alongside the Volt, and I doubt the production line is flexible enough to produce ELRs in single digit numbers with custom colors, options, leathers etc. At least not without adding tremendous overheads that would push the price up even further.
You know, with as much inventory as they've got sitting out there and being unwilling to move on the MSRP, they may need to find a way to partner with the aftermarket customizers to go back in and offer potential customers some "free" upgrades to move the metal.

Though, that still won't help with the performance numbers.

How long did it take to get the last DeLorean sold?
 
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