Plug-in Hybrids Cadillac-ELR

Published on October 12th, 2013 | by Christopher DeMorro

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2014 Cadillac ELR Priced At $75,995

Cadillac-ELRWhen the Chevy Volt launched with a $39,995 sticker price, critics shouted down the plug-in hybrid as too expensive. Since then GM has slashed the price of the Volt by $5,000, which I had hoped meant the Volt-based Cadillac ELR would be priced in the $50,000 to $60,000 range. But nope, the starting price of the Cadillac ELR is a ridiculous $75,995.

That is more than the Tesla Model S, which GM’s CEO wants to Cadillac eventually to compete with. It seems quite ballsy of GM to more than double the price of the Volt, without really differentiating it besides adding some additional technology and luxury features. Is there really $40,000 worth of extras in the ELR? I seriously doubt it. The MSRP is $75,000, not including a $995 destination fee or any options. Ugh.

I understand that GM basically lost money on every Volt it built, and it’s built a fair number of Volts right now. But there is a huge, unfilled gap for plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles in the $40,000 to $60,000 price range. The BMW i3 is the only other competitor in this price range that could compare to the ELR, and it would have really opened the Cadillac up to a lot more buyers.

It’s a real shame, because the Cadillac ELR is a great-looking car with an awesome drivetrain, but I just can’t see the justification of the pricing.

Source: GM




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About the Author

A writer and gearhead who loves all things automotive, from hybrids to HEMIs, can be found wrenching or writing- or esle, he's running, because he's one of those crazy people who gets enjoyment from running insane distances.



  • jameskatt

    The justification for the pricing is this: ALWAYS SELL FOR A PROFIT. NEVER LOSE MONEY on what you are selling.

    If Tesla sold its cars at a loss, it would be out of business.

    The key is that GM still does not know how to build a good hybrid or electric car that doesn’t cost an exorbitant amount of money.

    Thus, the price of this Cadillac is high.

    • Bruwer

      people working for GM is also stupid

      • Robert Carter

        Maybe you can learn English before you post disparaging remarks against others?

        • http://www.insteading.com/ Jo Borras

          Luckily, his grammar doesn’t impact his correct-ness.

    • Todd_Hall

      Apple knows how to build products at a low cost, and sells them for a high price, but knowing that, do you complain that Apple is wrong in their pricing?

      • AaronD12

        No, because there’s some significant benefits to Apple products. This ELR, however, doesn’t have any readily-tangible benefits over a Volt. (BTW: Don’t start an anti-Apple thread. This is not the place.)

        • Todd_Hall

          Please tell me what significant benefits does Apple products have? They’re over priced, and now that Steve Jobs has kicked the bucket, they’re headed downhill. I was just reading about the BLUE SCREEN OF DEATH on the iPhone 5S.

          • http://www.insteading.com/ Jo Borras

            My buying Apple products has the benefit of pissing off all the people who I enjoy pissing off. ;)

        • http://www.insteading.com/ Jo Borras

          In my time here at Gas 2, I’ve learned that there are 3 things you can’t talk about without getting some ignorant, terrible fuzz-brain all worked up one way or the other:

          1. Elio Motors (or: any American vaporware entrepreneur that seems more into collecting checks than building products)

          2. Chevy’s Volt Jesus-car

          3. Apple

          You just made this comments thread about all 3. May God have mercy on your soul. LOL!!

  • Bruwer

    Cadillac’s ELR, MSRP is $75,000 is piece of garbage, considering it only has 2 door, 2 and half seats… this car will sale to person who’s IQ level is below 10, has no brain left, true patriot to American automobile junk

    • Mammoth

      And the idiot who buys this POS will likely be borrowing the money to purchase it. And who, ultimately backs up the lender?
      The American Taxpayer.

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  • matt

    Yeah and it will be worth 5000.00 in 10 years just like every other POS gm super car.

    • http://www.insteading.com/ Jo Borras

      Now, now. It might be worth that if the battery holds up …

  • joeblow

    The most pathetic thing is that all these Amerikan compainies market the same models they already have with diesels in Europe that get incredible mileage. Very, very few people in Europe drive retarded hybrids. They drive diesels. Goodbye Amerika!

    • AaronD12

      Amerika? No bias showing there.

      Diesels are great. Lots of torque, get off the line quickly… but Americans don’t like ‘em. Why? They cost more than gas-powered cars. It’s true that hybrids also cost more than gas-powered cars, but it uses gasoline — which is cheaper here in Diesel. I don’t know why that is.

      • Top

        He is right, mostly all diesels in Europe….He’s been listening to Ramstein (Amerika)

  • Todd_Hall

    The author’s problem is trying to place a price on the car, based strictly on what the car is physically. However, there is the added value of the prestige of the car. This might have been laughable when GM did badge engineering, but those days are gone. Does the author complain about the price of a Mercedes or a Ferrari because the cost of the components don’t justify the price. Or, does he complain about the prices Apple charges for their products, when an analysis of the components and built costs, shows that Apple sells their products for more than double than what it costs for them to build them?

    • Christopher DeMorro

      @ Todd

      If GM had done more to differentiate the drivetrain from the Volt, either with a longer range and an emphasis on performance, you’d have a point.

      Keep in mind, the ELR is based on the Volt, itself based on the Chevy Cruze. Hybrid drivetrain or not, do you really feel comfortable shelling out $75,000 for a “luxury” car built on a compact economy car chassis.

    • AaronD12

      Stop with the anti-Apple rhetoric. This is not the forum for this kind of discussion. And don’t exaggerate the facts. You’re not helping your cause.

      There are tangible benefits to Ferraris or Mercedes over GM vehicles. Maybe the cost of the components don’t justify themselves, but some of the intangible benefits do.

      Think about why people buy a Lexus ES350 over a Toyota Camry V6? Same chassis, same engine, same transmission, etc. However, the Lexus dealerships treat people much better, giving things like loaner cars for trivial repairs, whereas the Toyota dealership won’t give you those perks.

      • Todd_Hall

        Why is my comment about Apple not applicable in this case? Every time Apple comes out with a new iPhone, Cnet does an analysis of the cost of the phone. In every case, they determine that the cost to make the iPhone is less than 50% of the retail price. And, don’t forget, both Apple and Tesla sell their product directly to the end user. GM has to sell the car to a dealer at a price lower than the MSRP. So, why not complain to the writer that the price comparison between the Caddy and the Tesla isn’t valid.
        And, what are the tangibles benefits to Ferraris and Mercedes? Their purpose is still to get people from point A to point B.
        How do you know if a Caddy dealer doesn’t do more for their customers than a Chevy dealer does?
        You’re the one who’s making ‘exaggerated’ facts and claims.

        • AaronD12

          What “exaggerated” fact and claim did I make? Not a single one.

          Oh no! Apple’s products cost 50% less to make than they sell them! It’s called capitalism. Read up on it. This is STILL not the forum for discussing Apple’s business practices.

      • http://www.insteading.com/ Jo Borras

        Some Toyota dealers do, though. That’s up to the franchise holder … which is what the Tesla issue with dealers is: they want to control the customer experience.

        As for “Todd_Hall”, you know better than to feed the trolls, D12. Just ignore the rants. He’ll move on.

    • Mike Magnet
    • http://www.insteading.com/ Jo Borras

      Yes, the author does. So should you. Also, this IS badge-engineering! It’s a VOLT! As far as your Apple rants go, most retailers and manufacturers employ keystone pricing, so they can double their money when they sell to distributors and the distributors can, again, make a significant %. That’s not a PROBLEM, that’s precisely how retail works! What do you think it costs Levis to sell jeans?

      UUUGH! You know what? You’re too clueless, your rants make no sense, and I feel dumber for trying to reason with you.

      I’m out. I hope that whole “average intelligence” thing works out for you.

      • Todd_Hall

        Jo, you’re very opininated for some one that is so ignorant. First of all, most manufacturer’s would love to ‘keystone’ the prices of their products, but they don’t. I don’t know what you do for a living, but I’m in sales, and I know that this is not true. As for distributors mark-up the average is 15%. As for the Cadillac being a re-badged Volt, do you even know what ‘re-badging’ means? You might have heard of the term, but you don’t understand what it means in historical terms when it comes to auto manufacturing. Go to your local Chevy dealer and look at the Volt, and then go to a Caddy dealership and look at the ELR. The cars share drivetrain, but little else. You won’t find a single body panel that is shared between the two, nor will you find any interior parts being shared.
        Looking at how many times you posted, it seems that all you know is how to shoot your mouth off. Get a life, my friend, because your lack of intelligence is very apparent.

  • josefvakula

    No kidding! Straight up, small diesels that are mass marketed all over Europe get 50+ mpg! And they cost less than $20k and are not slow (130km/hr avg speed limit and no problem doing that all day). Less than $3k for decent, used cars. Good god, what is wrong with your stupid country! You buy this shik?

    • AaronD12

      The least-expensive Diesel sold in America is the VW Golf. The gas version starts at $18095. The Diesel version starts at $24495. With the initial higher price for the car, Diesel fuel costs more here than gas. That’s why.

      • Top

        The 2014 Chevy Cruze Diesel is about 24K as well, all the extra options.

    • http://www.insteading.com/ Jo Borras

      And, you know, particulate emissions.

  • Jim Snow

    Anyone paying (giving) money for a 75k caddy at is either too rich, or too stupid. or both. invest in pork bellies. give blankets to street people. you will fell better.

    • http://www.insteading.com/ Jo Borras

      Well. F***ing. Said.

    • ASolutionToAProblem

      And you have never driven a CTS-V. Although, I am not fond of anything GM, I can say the car is damn incredible. And I drive a F430 as my daily driver and my wife has the CTS-V.

      • http://www.insteading.com/ Jo Borras

        I’m not a fan of the CTS-V. Definitely lacks the smoothness of the AMGs, IMO, and the interior materials fall far shy of, say, a C63. Go try one of those. You’ll see the difference.

        • Todd_Hall

          How the frick do you know how smooth the AMG is? Have you driven one, or a CTS-V? Or, are you just a computer jockey, reading other people’s opinions? Have you actually touched any of the cars that you’ve mentioned?

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  • simeon tuoyo

    GM blew it on the pricing and branding. The pricing should’ve been $7500 above the entry level CTS coupe ($39k). At $46k this car would’ve been a strong seller here in Los Angeles, the car trend capital. At $46k I was certainly going to buy one, I researched it and the BMW I3 and concluded that at $46k the ELR would be the best buy. This would’ve been our first GM car.

    What perplexes me is that they told you it was a Volt platform. When I researched the car on their website, Jay Leno’s garage, and numerous other websites, the one point that was always mentioned was that the car was a tricked out Volt with Cadillac luxury. I totally got it.

    My assumption was this car would be the brand car for first time Cadillac buyers. People who want luxury, styling, and fuel savings, not to mention carpool access. This car would’ve opened Cadillac to that market of Prius owners, like me, who are practical, yet willing to pay a premium for a great product. I don’t know what market research they have that says people will pay double the cost of a Volt if you slap a Cadillac badge on it.
    http://www.latesttoptechnews.com/2013/10/in-pictures-take-look-at-apples.html#more
    And that’s the thing that puzzles me. GM could’ve owned the $40k Hybrid luxury market

  • ASolutionToAProblem

    GM has to save room for the larger rebates they will be offering in a year. It is not surprising when the american taxpayer is not funding the loss on this car. They need to call Obama about a discount on this one too. Obama loves spending money that is NOT his!

    • http://www.insteading.com/ Jo Borras

      How is this Cadillac suddenly about Obama? Did you take a potty break while they were handing out the psych meds?

      • ASolutionToAProblem

        You can not dispute that the lame ass Obama administration and their squandering of taxpayer dollars (on everything from auto makers to welfare recipients) is and will bankrupt this country. It’s is no secret that Obama is bankrolling (with taxpayer money) the Volt to help GM provide alternative auto solutions (which they are failing horribly at).

        • http://www.insteading.com/ Jo Borras

          Of course you can dispute it. Here: I dispute it. I also think you might not know how taxes work or what their purpose is in a fiat-currency economy, but, hey – that just makes you who you are!

          It’s charming. Really. :: smooches ::

      • ASolutionToAProblem

        And if you don’t believe that the Volt would list for $60k+ if the welfare president (Obozo) had not been involved using taxpayer money, then you are the one that needs the psych meds.

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  • Tom

    If the car offered performance commensurate with its price, it might – that is MIGHT – be worth it… But it only offers slightly better performance than a current generation Volt! I can’t see anyone but the died-in-the-wool old fart Cadillac crowd buying one! I suspect that GM is going to be very disappointed by the sales numbers… But then again, maybe that is what they want to happen… (See, we told you no one wants a Plug In Hybrid!)

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  • Mammoth

    Another overpriced American-made electrical, computerized nightmare that will cost a fortune to repair.

  • SloppyJoesSlopSloppyJoes

    I’m currently leasing a Volt and this Cadillac version is just too pricey. For this cost, just get a Tesla. I would if I had the cash.

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  • MrKevinSD

    For that price you’d be better off getting a base 85kw Tesla. You’d get free fuel for long trips for life, more interior room and seating, superior handling, superior acceleration and better mpg. FAIL government motors

    • http://www.insteading.com/ Jo Borras

      For that price you’d be better off buying a small fleet of low-mile used Caddys!

      • MrKevinSD

        You’d need a fleet of caddies since one would always be in the shop! Government Motors or Garbage Motors.

  • J_JamesM

    This reminds me of the Cadillac Cimmarron. It was basically a godawful Chevy economy car that they gave a new badge, leather seats, chrome stripping and doubled the price. It was so universally hated, it nearly destroyed Cadillac as a brand.

    And here they come out with a rebadged and less-practical Volt at twice the price. Good lord, these people must never learn.

    • http://www.insteading.com/ Jo Borras

      I agree 100%.

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