Earlier this week General Motors solidified previous comments its Cadillac luxury brand will take centerstage when it comes to electrification. At least one GM executive expanding on the plan further, going so far as to confirm this is Cadillac’s last chance at a turnaround.
“We don’t have any chances left with taking Cadillac to a really new place,” GM President Mark Reuss told Reuters during the Detroit Auto Show.
With that pressure in mind, Cadillac previewed its first battery-electric vehicle earlier this week. The unnamed product will be GM’s first production vehicle built atop an all-new purpose-built electric vehicle platform called “BEV3.”
The electric SUV is slated to be Cadillac’s first solid effort at competing with Tesla. Despite showing rendering of what this SUV could look like, any further details are being reserved until closer to the vehicles launch, which will be in 2021.
Calling electrification Cadillac’s last chance comes as little surprise from today’s General Motors. Under CEO Mary Barra the company has consistently demonstrated a willingness to shed unprofitable business units. The company nearly entirely exited the European market two years ago have failing to turn it consistently profitable. Earlier this year GM announced it was shedding six sedans from its U.S. lineup due to slow sales and lack of profit margin on them.
In 2014 then Cadillac President Johan de Nysschen announced a $12 billion overhaul of the Cadillac brand and moved the brand’s world headquarters to New York. de Nysschen left GM in 2018 and now Cadillac is moving back to metro Detroit.
Cadillac global sales were down about one percent in 2018, applying additional pressure on a brand that is spending significant capital.