Can Cadillac return to Australia?

General Motors has filed a trademark in Australia for the Cadillac Lyriq, the flagship brand’s first electric car.

There are two separate filings for the nameplate, both with a filing date of November 14, 2022.

“The Cadillac Lyriq name and logo have recently been registered as a trademark, which has sparked speculation,” said a spokesman for GM Specialty Vehicles, which imports and distributes GM vehicles in Australia and New Zealand.

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“It is customary for GM to secure important trademarks worldwide. GM has registered several trademarks to protect them from unauthorized use.

“Given the great interest, it is not uncommon for some registrations to cause excitement.

“But we are not making any announcements about Cadillac and our focus is on Chevrolet Silverado and Chevrolet Corvette.”

GM currently has no other local trademark applications for Cadillac products. For example, a search on IP Australia returns no listings for, say, the Escalade. Nor are there any listings for other GM vehicles using the automaker’s Ultium electrical underpinnings.

Supplied Credit: AutoExpert
Supplied Credit: AutoExpert

Cadillac last officially sold vehicles in Australia in 1969, but almost returned to the local market 40 years later with the second-generation CTS.

It officially announced the launch of the luxury sedan in 2007 and obtained local certification for its sale, with multiple dealers signing up to carry the brand which would have been sold alongside Hummer and Saab models.

GM even imported several dozen CTS sedans, but they were diverted when the company canceled plans to sell the brand in January 2009, just weeks before they were due to go on sale.

Since then, Cadillac has not produced any other right-hand drive cars, further reducing its presence outside of markets such as North America, China and the Middle East. For example, it only sells one vehicle in Europe, the small XT4 crossover.

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But GM has now confirmed it intends to become a “substantial player” in the European market again, following the sale of the Opel and Vauxhall brands in 2017.

Former GM Europe boss Mahmoud Samara said in July “we are confident that we will be a substantial player”, albeit without mentioning any proposed targets or models. He was subsequently replaced by Jaclyn McQuaid.

The change at the top does not seem to have changed GM’s plans for Europe, with the company noting in Ms McQuaid’s appointment that GM Europe will be “an agile, non-traditional mobility start-up, with a fully electric vehicle portfolio at its core”. .

“Chevrolet is a global brand, Cadillac is a global brand, Hummer is a global brand, so we have global brands that are fit for purpose,” Samara said in July.

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“What’s great about the switch to electric cars is the flexibility we can offer with those platforms. It will be fit for purpose in Europe.”

That doesn’t necessarily mean sales of GM right-hand drive vehicles will resume, as GM has previously sold US left-hand drive imports in the UK.

Mr. Samara notes that GM Europe will act like a fast start-up now that there is no Opel/Vauxhall operation to serve as an anchor.

That suggests it could adopt a largely online retail model, as with Tesla, Polestar and Genesis.

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The Lyriq is available with a choice of single-motor rear-wheel drive and dual-motor four-wheel drive, both mated to a 102 kWh lithium-ion battery.

In North America, the US-built rear-wheel drive model produces 255kW and 440Nm of torque, and its all-wheel drive counterpart produces 373kW and 610Nm.

Specifications are slightly different in the Chinese market, where the Lyriq is also produced.

The rear-wheel drive model has a range of 502 km on the stricter US EPA test cycle.

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The luxury SUV supports DC fast charging up to 190 kW, which can add about 122 km of range in just 10 minutes. Cadillac will also offer buyers a 19.2 kW home charger that can add 52 miles per hour of range.

The Lyriq is 4996mm long, 2207mm wide (including the mirrors) and 1623mm high on a wheelbase of 3094mm.

That makes it about the same size as an Audi e-tron or BMW iX. It starts at US$62,990 (A$92,891), undercutting those rivals by thousands of dollars and bringing it in line with the Tesla Model Y Performance.

The Lyriq will be the first of countless Cadillac EVs, with the company confirming three electric SUVs this year and unveiling the ultra-luxury Celestiq flagship. A few more affordable electric sedans are also believed to be in the works.

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