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Cadillac already preparing to axe ELR?

by Justin King

Next-generation Volt platform may not be utilized for a Cadillac model.

General Motors may already be considering retirement for the Cadillac ELR, which is still experiencing extremely poor sales in its first year on the market.

"As time draws closer to switching to the new Volt platform, senior management will make a decision about the future of the product," Cadillac chief engineer David Leone told Autoguide in a recent interview.

The executive acknowledged lackluster sales numbers and noted that GM is "in the business of making money," suggesting the ELR won't be kept alive if the company can't make a profit from the model.

Less than 600 ELR units left showrooms in the first seven months of the year, though dealer incentives are credited with fueling a jump from 97 sales in June to 188 units in July.

The latest comments appear to contradict earlier statements claiming that GM is not viewing the ELR's success in terms of sales volume, while expressing optimism that sales will accelerate at some point.

A $75,000 price tag is generally viewed as the deal breaker for many potential customers. The company suggests the Tesla Model S is not a direct rival, but the all-electric sedan targets the same demographic with a slightly lower base price.

GM recently poached Infiniti head Johan de Nysschen to help lead a turnaround effort, as German and Japanese rivals continue to steal market share from Cadillac in the luxury segment. It is unclear if the executive shakeup has brought a different attitude toward the ELR.

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