The Cadillac driver is not really the audience that springs to mind for electrical autos. Battery-powered green potency appears a strange fit with Cadillac’s brand image of power, status, and cosseting. But Bob Lutz has long dreamed about an electrical Caddy, so it may yet come to pass. General Motors had been working on a gasoline-electric top end car, the Cadillac Converj, with an eye toward manufacturing an auto primarily based on the drive system that self-determination the Chevrolet Volt. It showed a concept version of the Converj in Jan at the Detroit auto show.
The car was postponed when some members of management and the US Treasury Dept.’s auto task force was critical of the economics of such a dear model. But now some of the Converj’s opponents have been pushed out in the aftermath of GM’s bankruptcy reorganization, and LutzGM’s robust vice-chairman, who is in control of design, promoting, and communicationsand other managers are attempting to find some way to get the automobile engineered and sponsored. The Volt, which is meant to go on sale late next year, is predicted to lose money even after GM ramps up to its projected yearly rate of production of 10,000 autos. It might not break even until it reaches its 3rd generation later next decade. GM had originally debated making an automobile like the Volt for Cadillac and Buick, not to mention a small crossover sport-utility automobile for Chevrolet, but some of the ideas died when budgets got tight. The Converj idea was dead last spring. Previous GM Northern America President Troy Clarke and Mark McNabb, who ran Cadillac, Hummer, and Saab before leaving the company in May, both opposed the idea. Clarke was squeezed out when Head honcho Frederick A “Fritz” Henderson slimmed GM’s management ranks. With some of the opponents now gone, others still within the companyespecially Lutzare pushing to get a way to build the vehicle, say 3 sources acquainted with GM’s planning.
The auto hasn’t been licensed for funding yet. If built, the automobile would run on the same system as the Volt, which GM lately declared would get 230 mpg in the city. The Volt uses a small, 4 stroke gas engine to charge its battery and power an electric motor. It can go about forty miles before the engine kicks in. The Converj might be tuned to get a touch more power at the cost of fuel economy. Lutz and another managers believe the Converj, which could get a different name if it is going to market, would do wonders to burnish the Cadillac image as a technology leader in the luxurious market. If GM gives the car the green light, it would not hit the market till 2014.
You do it for the brand,” claims James N Hall, principal of 2953 Analytics, a Detroit-area consultancy. “Plus, they could doubtless get $3,000 to $7,000 more in price than the Volt will.”. there was heated debate inside GM about whether the concept should be resurrected. GM has done lots of research on luxury buyers and hybrids, according to one source who worked on the project. The company concluded that traditional luxury buyers don’t care much about hybrids or electrical autos. But one squad inside GM disagrees that researchers were chatting to the incorrect sort of consumer. Toyota’s Prius owners make a median of about $100,000 a year, so they could afford something pricier than a $25,000 Prius, the reasoning goes. At the same time, GM decided to destroy a plug-in version of a Buick SUV as the automobile itself did poorly in client research. If GM builds the electric Caddy, it might help it appeal to the rich green crowd, claims Hall.
“There’s a debate that announces the Volt should have been a Cadillac all along,” he is saying.
“Many Prius buyers would have acquired a Lexus half-breed, but there wasn’t one.” Shortly , there’ll be : The Lexus HS 250h is being launched this month.