- Cadillac’s battery-electric Lyriq will open its order books in May and production will begin this month.
- Cadillac reduced its dealer network, but is expanding online ordering in hopes of enticing customers through transparency.
- Cadillac claims that more than 230,000 people signed up to receive information about the Lyriq before its release.
Cadillac is a long way from the days of huge fins and domestic dominance in the luxury car market. As the General Motors luxury brand tries to get back on its feet and focus on the performance side of the luxury world, it’s hard to say that Cadillac has made leaps and bounds in recent years.
That could change with the company’s expansion into electrification and the launch of its new all-electric Lyriq.
It’s impossible to say how much demand there will be for Cadillac’s upcoming electric car before money starts to change and contracts are signed. Well, apparently that will happen on May 19 when Caddy’s Lyriq becomes available for order. The single-engine Lyriq variant goes into production March 21 at GM’s Spring Hill, Tennessee plant. The Lyriq will also be assembled at GM’s SAIC joint-venture plant in Yantai, China.
Cadillac says the car has more than 230,000 hand raisers prior to launch. Hand drafters are not necessarily people who will to buy the car, but are individuals who have signed up through a dealership or online portal to receive updates. While these numbers are financially fruitless, they do show significant interest in Cadillac’s forthcoming battery-electric crossover.
The Lyriq — and Cadillac’s larger transition to electrification — is already impacting the company’s dealer network, which is being encouraged to embrace electrification, according to Rory Harvey, Cadillac’s global VP.
Some 300 U.S. dealers have opted to cancel their Cadillac franchise deals, rather than invest in infrastructure and refurbishments to sell electric vehicles — perhaps knowing that the brand’s long-term plan is to no longer sell V8-powered Escalades. to sell. In fact, the Escalade SUV is by far Cadillac’s most popular vehicle, with more than 7,000 deliveries in the past three months, according to data from Wards Intelligence.
In the course of this retail reorganization, Cadillac now has about 600 US showrooms – a 36% reduction from a few years ago. That is a lot.
Although, as you can see from the rising success of brands like Tesla, having fewer dealers isn’t necessarily the death knell. Cadillac executives probably looked to Tesla’s limited-retail model when devising their own sales strategy. For context, Tesla has about 130 US showrooms and galleries.
Cadillac’s Eric Cunningham explains that the company is rolling out a new digital platform to bring electric vehicles to new owners. Cunningham says this program is “all about simplicity, convenience and consistency.”
In fact, it offers customers a more transparent way to buy a car, without the confusion that can sometimes arise when approaching a dealer. The most important thing for buyers is that Cadillac shows promise full price transparency. However, you can still do your best as a Don Draper impersonation if you want to reach your local Cadillac dealer.
Cadillac is betting heavily on Lyriq’s success. The brand is even going so far as to revitalize the end-user experience to cater to the ethereal EV buyer. However, it’s hard to say how successful the Lyriq will be on the sales charts — or on the road — until these electric crossovers hit the assembly line and dealer lots.
Do you think the Cadillac Lyriq – and the move to an all-electric fleet in 2030 – is a good move for Cadillac? Or is this the last gasp of the brand, which is bound to run out of breath? Let us know your opinion below.