Cadillac’s luxury ELR range-extended coupe isn’t exactly a high-seller for General Motors. With a price tag of $75,995 before incentives, the high-end plug-in hasn’t been selling as well as the Detroit automaker would like. Two months ago, in an attempt to shift some of the 725 days’ supply of Cadillac ELR Coupes it had in stock, GM promised dealers up to $5,000 for designating one of its ELRs a test-drive vehicle while simultaneously offering customers up to $3,000 in additional incentives to buy the Volt-based plug-in.
Two months on, and it appears dealers are now doing the only thing they know will sell cars: offer customers massive discounts from sticker price.
That’s according to the GM-Volt online forum (via insideevs) where one user reports a Florida Cadillac dealer offering a massive $12,000 in discounts before Federal or state incentives to new ELR customers. In Austin, Texas, dealers are reportedly also offering more than $12,000 in discounts for ELR models, describing themselves as being ‘flexible on the price.’
Meanwhile, a poster in the state of Maryland said his local dealer is also offering ‘at least’ $13,600 discounts on the three ELR coupes sitting on the lot. Add this to the effective discounts offered by Federal and state purchase incentives and you’re left with more than $20,000 in discounts.
“If you subtract the $7.5k fed credit and $2k state tax credit, you’re down to $54.5k bottom line,” said one poster. “How low can the ELR go? This is sorta like watching a guy jump off a building, just without all the blood and guts.”
Based on the same 1.4-litre engine, 111 kilowatt electric motor and 16.5-kilowatt (usable) battery pack found in the Chevrolet Volt, the Cadillac ELR is GM’s first luxury plug-in. Designed to offer Cadillac luxury and performance alongside the convenience of zero-emissions motoring around town, the ELR manages an EPA-approved 37 miles per charge at combined fuel economy of 82 MPGe. When its battery pack is depleted however, the ELR’s gas mileage falls to 33 MPG combined. Both figures are less than that of the identically-engined Volt on which the ELR is based, partly as a consequence of the ELR’s 4,070 pound weight.
While the ELR manages to meet expectations of Cadillac luxury however, it falls short when it comes to performance, managing the 0-60mph sprint in around 8 seconds. Unfortunately for GM, the base-model 60 kilowatt-hour all-electric Model S — whose sticker price falls below that of ELR and is the ELR’s nearest competitor — manages the 0-60 sprint in 5.9 seconds.
The base-level 60 kWh Tesla Model S can also travel up to 200 miles on a charge, with supercharging capability available as an option.
It all adds up to a tough time for Cadillac’s ELR Coupe, a car which has been beset with image problems ever since it entered the market. Apart from being cast as a rich man’s plaything, the ELR doesn’t appear to be igniting the imagination of hardened Cadillac customers wanting something greener, while hardened EV fans skip the ELR in favour of the Californian-made Tesla.
Which leaves us asking how long before the Cadillac ELR is given a major revision to make it more appealing to buyers, or scrapped all together?
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