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Johan de Nysschen on the Future of the ELR

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Johan de Nysschen on the Future of the ELR

Johan de Nysschen recently spoke on the future of the ELR.

Since the Cadillac ELR hit the market, it has witnessed incredibly lackluster sales. In fact, Cadillac had only moved 1,037 units of the luxury EV through October of this year. The project was green-lighted—and the product released—much before current Cadillac President, Johan de Nysschen, took the reins this summer, so we can’t know for sure what would have come of the ELR had he stepped into the position five years, two years, or even one year sooner.

Related: Cadillac ELR Uses New Wleding for Batteries

Johan de Nysschen on the Future of the ELR

Johan de Nysschen, President of Cadillac

But now, courtesy of Auto World News, we do have some insight from de Nysschen on the Cadillac ELR and, even more importantly, the future of the ELR. De Nysschen sat down with the folks there at the Los Angeles Auto Show last month to speak openly about the ELR, which, we noticed was absent at the show.

Many believe that the price of the ELR ($75,000 before EV incentives) has been its downfall, but de Nysschen offered this key thought: “…if we were to reprice ELR, to the point where somehow we found a point that people would buy it buy the thousands, then all we would achieve is, the more cars you sell, the more money you lose. There’s no point in that. It is where it is.”

There is a reason it is priced so high. “It’s priced as a luxury car. It’s a Cadillac. There’s a lot of technology and equipment in that car, by the way, that you won’t find in a Tesla. There’s 30 grand worth of value right there. All of that, combined, you have a very small segment of buyers remaining.”

So the eventual goal for the ELR will be to speak more clearly and loudly to the small but precise target demographic. And it won’t just be the lonesome ELR, either. De Nysschen believes that Cadillac needs more than just a successor to the current ELR; it also needs more EVs on the same level of the ELR. It’s just not a top priority today, or tomorrow. Maybe not even next year, but eventually.

“The team and I will get around to working on ELR,” de Nysschen promised, “but it is clearly going to be a niche car.”

Related: Cadillac CT6 Flagship Sedan Announced

News Source: Auto World News

  • Here is how Uwe Ellinghaus explained the “foundation work” for revamping the Cadillac brand:
    “Johan de Nysschen, my boss, and I always say we want to build the first luxury brand that just happens to make cars. That sounds like a joke, but we’re serious about it.”
    “In engineering terms, it makes a lot of sense to benchmark the cars against BMW. From a communication point of view, you must not follow this rule.”
    “Luxury brands need to display confidence. They have confident … customers who only accept brands on eye level.”
    “Whether we like it or not, customers come to the showroom and say, ‘Cadillac, what’s your 5 series? What’s your A4? Cadillac in the past said that ‘We don’t do that. This is not a hierarchy we have.’ … No. If we want to play with the big boys, then we need to accept the rules of their game.”
    “Firstly, if you need to say that you are luxury, you are not luxury. Louis Vuitton does not say they are luxury. They simply are. Secondly, it’s not meaningful. We realize that even in the U.S., people don’t understand what makes American luxury different from European luxury.”
    “I want this brand to be bolder, more optimistic and capture people’s imagination far more.”
    “And again, like with the nomenclature change, many people will declare me nuts, which I am. But the changes at Cadillac are not evidence thereof.”
    We like him already.