Many Cadillac dealers across America have decided against carrying the 2014 Cadillac ELR on their lots. It’s another blow to the image of Cadillac’s first attempt at a plug-in hybrid, though it stands to reason that some areas might scoff at the idea of a hybrid Caddy coupe.
Cadillac told Edmunds that 410 of its 940, or about 56% of dealers in America will not carry the Cadillac ELR on its launch. Most of those dealers are located in ares where Cadillac sales are low-volume, or the local populace has yet to open their minds to the idea of a $75,995 plug-in hybrid based on the Chevy Volt. There’s another reason too though, and it has to do with deniro.
Selling the Cadillac ELR requires dealer training, special tools, and the installation of charging stations. All told, this could cost individual dealers $15,000 or more to sell a car that is unlikey to sell more than 3,000 units total in 2014. Even if every dealer participated in ELR sales, that only works out to about three cars per dealer. Many dealers would be lucky to sell even a single ELR in 2014, depending on their location and customer base, though a few early adopters are plenty happy with their rides.
Still, if Cadillac really wants to compete with the likes of Tesla Motors, it needs to be able to push its green luxury cars across the country, and not only at select dealers. The first commercial for the Cadillac ELR makes it clear they’re not targeting affluent liberals where Tesla has had most of its success, but rather workaholic conservatives who are unapologetically ‘Merican.
I think it’s a mistake that will only end up hurting Cadillac’s image with consumers; what sort of message does it convey that half of dealers don’t want to carry the ELR? Are Cadillac buyers really that turned off by the notion of a hybrid?