Nearly half of Cadillac’s U.S. dealers say they won’t sell the 2014 Cadillac ELR plug-in hybrid, according to a report from automotive information website Edmunds.
About 410 dealers out of Cadillac’s total of 940 will not stock the $75,995 ELR because they don’t think they can sell the cars.
The ELR is essentially a $40,000 more expensive Chevy Volt, and the luxury brand has only sold 46 vehicles in the first two months. That poor sales record has many dealers saying “no” to stocking the vehicle.
Sticking leather on the inside of a Volt and CTS taillights on the outside doesn’t make an economy-size semi-hybrid into a luxury car. Besides, Cadillac still doesn’t enjoy the kind of brand cachet of a BMW or a Lexus, despite a decade or more of usually solid efforts.
The problem is, Cadi has been doing the exact right thing to rebuild their brand image with vehicles like the CTS-V, which might be the equal of any German performance luxury sedan. But then they go and piss on that same brand image by tarting up a low-selling Volt like a 21st Century Cimarron. That one car very nearly destroyed what was left of Cadillac in the ’80s, and the only thing that saved the brand from extinction was their foray into SUVs during the ’90s massive truck craze.
Now the ELR isn’t going to do to Cadi today what the Cimarron did to it in the ’80s. But perhaps only because they’ll never sell enough of them for anyone to notice.