As we reported yesterday, GM is announcing that Cadillac will act as its "leading brand of electric vehicles."
The news was confirmed by the company today and here are my thoughts on the situation:
After the news leaked yesterday, the automaker now confirmed this in a statement as part of its annual profit report:
"Cadillac will be GM's premier electric vehicle brand and will introduce the company's first new battery-electric vehicle battery architecture, the GM base for an advanced family of profitable VEs.
The flexible platform will provide a wide variety of body styles and will be offered in the front wheel, rear wheel and all wheel configurations.
Its most critical components – including battery cells – are being designed for maximum usability in all programs. The battery system will also be adjustable, based on vehicle and customer requirements. "
Take by Electrek
First, I like the idea behind it. I just think they need to take a few more steps.
I've been saying for some time that it can be a problem for established automakers to sell electric vehicles under their own brand name.
Fully electric vehicles, which are often more expensive, are compared to the rest of the line, without adequately accounting for gas and maintenance savings or direct incentives.
In addition, dealerships are generally not encouraged to sell electric vehicles because they need to sell what is in their lots and this is mostly gasoline powered cars.
In addition, they get most of their profits from maintenance services and EVs require less maintenance in the long run.
For these reasons, I think it's best to start over with a different brand focused on EVs.
Now I would have preferred a new brand – pun intended. Cadillac is a well-established brand, and to be fair, GM has not said it is becoming fully electric with the brand, but only that it will be its "leading electric vehicle brand."
I think this is a step in the right direction and that they will end up being totally electric. Yes, even with Escalade.
Like Tesla, it's easier to get started with the premium segment and get out of the market using the technology developed for these more expensive vehicles.
Although GM could still use its dealership network, it could have separated people trained in Cadillac to sell electric vehicles. These sellers could be encouraged to sell only or mainly VEs.
I think that's the way to go and I think that's what Volvo is doing with its Polestar brand too.
I also like some other things in the statement. The fact that GM is now focusing on its own EV components. In the past, they relied heavily on suppliers for the EVs, but now they're talking about "battery cells".
It's also interesting that they do not just talk about EVs, but specifically mention "EVs", which leads me to believe that they are planning large-scale EV programs rather than relatively low volume vehicles such as the EV Bolt.
Although GM has often disappointed me in the past, I am cautiously hopeful that things can change for the better. They will have to if they want to survive the EV revolution.