CEO Who Said The Chevy Volt Was For Idiots Won’t Replace The Cadillac ELR

The Washington Auto Show Cadillac President Johan de Nysschen

UPDATE: Cadillac has reached out to say that a 2016 Cadillac ELR with “upgrades” is in the works, so it’s not quite dead yet. If I find out more, I’ll let you know.

Take a trip with me if you will back to September of 2009. I had graduated college, turned down a job in California, and started writing for GAS2, to put it succinctly. Meanwhile, Johan de Nysschen was still the President for Audi of America, and during an interview with a MSN writer, Mr. de Nysschen said the Chevy Volt would fail, and anybody who bought one is an idiot.

Back to 2015, de Nysschen (after a brief stint at Infiniti) is now in charge of GM’s luxury brand, Cadillac, and he has just confirmed to AutoGuide that the Volt-based Cadillac ELR would not be replaced after its product cycle ends. That could mean no improved refresh as promised either, as the 2015 car show season has come to a close without any word or debut. Who’s the idiot now?

The ELR won’t be going to the brand trash heap alone either, as the Cadillac ATS and CTS, the latter of which being the lynchpin of the brands revival the past decade, won’t be replaced either. The upcoming Cadillac CT6 debuts a new naming convention for GM’s luxury brand, which CTS and ATS just don’t fit. At least the ATS and CTS were generally well-received though, unlike the ELR, a tarted-up Chevy stuck with a $76,000 MSRP that put it up against the EV market leader, the Tesla Model S. You have to be seriously paranoid with range anxiety and/or a faithful Cadillac fan to want an ELR over a Model S. Either that, or you just had to have that coupe look, I guess?

In fairness to de Nysschen, he later attempted to clear the air by saying he believes in vehicle electrification, but the Volt’s performance simply didn’t justify its price tag. The new Cadillac CEO also says that alternative-fuel powertrains will continue to be a part of the brand’s plan, with a plug-in hybrid version of the CT6 scheduled to debut in Shanghai. Truthfully, he has every reason to want to kill off the ELR, which was overpriced and underpowered from the get-go, which have led to massive price cuts that have done little to stimulate sales. Ending the ELR is a no-brainer from a business standpoint.

Still, I have to imagine the former Audi CEO got a little twinge of delight when he made the decision to kill, in a way, the Chevy Volt he so obviously despised.

Christopher DeMorro

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