Cadillac plans to price its future Celestiq EV around $300,000

Cadillac plans to price a future electric sedan at about $300,000, according to people familiar with the matter, testing General Motors cachet Co.

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the luxury brand.

GM will unveil a prototype car, the Celestiq, later this summer. The company has said the sedan will be Cadillac’s flagship offering and will be custom built at its tech center near Detroit. It has not disclosed any prices.

The automaker plans to build fewer than 500 Celestiqs annually as a way to showcase its technology and generate buzz for Cadillac, people said. Elements will include custom wood trim in the cabin and the latest version of GM’s hands-free assisted driving system called Ultra Cruise, they said.

Celestiq’s price tag could well exceed $300,000 depending on the added features, and the car is expected to go into production by the end of 2023, the people said.

Cadillac is among a number of premium car brands that are planning to fully transition their vehicle portfolios to electric at a faster pace than the wider industry. Mercedes-Benz, Volvo, Rolls-Royce, Cadillac and GM’s Buick have all said they plan to sell EVs exclusively by 2030.

General Motors plans to phase out nearly all of its gasoline and diesel vehicles by 2035. The first all-electric Cadillac is leading that transition. WSJ’s Mike Colias visited a GM test site for a ride and an exclusive interview with GM President Mark L. Reuss. Photo Illustration: Alexander Hotz

Luxury car brands are better positioned to make the move from internal combustion models as they have more flexibility to set higher prices to offset the high cost of the large batteries needed to power EVs, analysts say .

GM has said Cadillac will lead the way in the automaker’s transition to EVs, including plans to offer several dozen electric models in North America for GM’s four brands by the middle of the decade, up from four today. GM has said it can quickly build scale in EVs by using a common system of battery cells, motors and other internal components to support each new entry.

Founded in 1902, Cadillac recently began rolling out its first-ever electric model, the Lyriq, a mid-sized SUV that GM is building at a plant in Tennessee. The Celestiq is expected to be one of the new Cadillac EVs in the coming years.

The Celestiq award would place the car in a category of high-end sedans from luxury makers such as Rolls-Royce and Bentley. Cadillac has said the car will have a low-slung profile, glass roof and four-wheel steering for better maneuverability.

GM’s all-electric push for Cadillac is the latest revitalization effort for a brand that once dominated the luxury car market.

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For decades, Cadillac competed with Ford’s Lincoln brand for the status of the country’s top-selling luxury car brand. From the late 1990s, both were overtaken by German and Asian luxury names, including BMW, Mercedes, Audi and Lexus.

Cadillac’s US market share has stabilized at about 1% of the total US car market in recent years, amid several attempts to rebuild its image.

Cadillac has revamped its vehicle range away from big, plush sedans to focus on sporty driving, attempting to better compete with Germany’s luxury players. Since the early 2000s, it has sold a line of racetrack-oriented cars called the Cadillac V-Series models.

Still, Cadillac’s previous attempts to polish its image through so-called flagship cars have been mixed.

In 2016 it introduced the CT6, a large, powerful sedan, and four years later it was phased out in the US. In 2013, it launched a nearly $80,000 plug-in hybrid car called the ELR, but it was also discontinued due to weak sales.

Cadillac has had success with its Escalade SUV, which routinely sells for over $100,000 and is popular with professional athletes and celebrities.

Scott Allen, owner of Crestview Cadillac, a dealership near Los Angeles, said he is hopeful that the push to electricity will improve Cadillac’s image and boost sales. He said the Celestiq could help spark interest in the brand, even if the car is produced in small numbers.

“Cadillac needs that bling to show people that this is what we can do,” he said.

Write to Mike Colias at Mike.Colias@wsj.com

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