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  • William Maley
    William Maley

    General Motors Exec: ELR Is Not Our Tesla Competitor

    Mark Reuss Talks About The ELR

    Many people see the Cadillac ELR as General Motors' direct competitor to the Tesla Model S, but GM's head of global product development, Mark Reuss says it isn't.

    “People like to say the ELR is, but it’s really not. It’s a different car, it’s a different price point. It’s way-different technology,” Reuss said.

    Ruess goes onto say that he isn't sure if the company has a direct competitor to Tesla.

    So why do many people consider the ELR a competitor to the Model S? Probably from a quote from former GM CEO Dan Akerson back in September.

    "If you want to compete head-to-head with Tesla, and we ultimately will, you want to do it with a Cadillac,”

    Source: The Detroit News

    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.


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    The thing is that Akerson never actually said that the ELR was the competitor for the Tesla. Quite frankly I think that GM could easily build a competitor for the Tesla S using just the tech they have from the Spark EV. The Spark EV has the highest combined efficiency rating of any EV car for 2013 at 119 MPGe and has an EV range of 82 miles using a 21-kWh lithium-ion battery pack. Compare that to the Tesla S which uses a 85 kWh lithium-ion battery pack for 265 miles. 

    Again:

    85 kWh lithium-ion battery pack is 265 miles
    21 kWh lithium-ion battery pack is 82 miles

    That means the Spark has an EV pack that is 4X smaller but gets only 3X less range. Easier done. Multiply the Spark's 21kWh pack by 4 and you would have an EV range of 328 miles. Meaning we have another situation where if GM wanted to, they could devour the market. 

    It could be more profitable to simply outshine Tesla with a larger EV with a larger capacity battery than to pay them right now what their inflated Market Cap suggests they are worth. Furthermore Even with an increase of battery capacity I believe ,or at least I've read, that capacity would not necessarily translate in to equal amounts of weight. In other words, a 21 kWh battery is not that much lighter than a 85 kWh battery. If the car that surrounds it is lighter using less weighty materials, which GM has access to, then the bump in weight could be nullified. The only real superior quality the Tesla's battery has is Quick/Super-charging

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    I read there are dealers giving $20,000 off to sell ELR's.  This car is a flop, the idea of the car itself was bad, to charge $76k for it was a horrible idea.  Had they priced it at $55k from the start, maybe they would have sold a few, but this car is tanking faster than the Allante or XLR did.

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    I read there are dealers giving $20,000 off to sell ELR's.  This car is a flop, the idea of the car itself was bad, to charge $76k for it was a horrible idea.  Had they priced it at $55k from the start, maybe they would have sold a few, but this car is tanking faster than the Allante or XLR did.

     

    I want to explicitly understand your reasoning behind it, on what basis? Based on "maybe they would have sold a few," sales?

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    GM needs to build a real Tesla competitor and defeat it.  The ELR is not that car.  It is an overpriced, upmarket Volt.

     

    I have no idea whether the ELR is a flop or not simply because we have no idea of GM's sales expectations for that car.

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    The ELR in May had a 725 day supply on dealership lots, I wouldn't say they are moving.  I guess with the big discounts though (and probably them not building any) has got it down to 194 days now.  But that is still over 6 months.  The CTS has a 215 day inventory supply.  BMW and Audi have supplies less than 45 days by comparison.

     

    The ELR selling 60 a month or whatever they are getting is what makes it a flop.  Had they priced it at $54,000 maybe they could have sold like 250 a month and it wouldn't have been as embarrassing.  Either way they should drop the car.

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    The ELR in May had a 725 day supply on dealership lots, I wouldn't say they are moving.  I guess with the big discounts though (and probably them not building any) has got it down to 194 days now.  But that is still over 6 months.  The CTS has a 215 day inventory supply.  BMW and Audi have supplies less than 45 days by comparison.

     

    The ELR selling 60 a month or whatever they are getting is what makes it a flop.  Had they priced it at $54,000 maybe they could have sold like 250 a month and it wouldn't have been as embarrassing.  Either way they should drop the car.

     

    So based on your logic, other cars such as GTR, B class electric, Z4, Mini Coupe/RS/Paceman, CL, SLS, R8, TT are flop also since they were outsold by your flop in July. All those cars should also be dropped.

     

    SLS should have been priced at $55,000 also so that it would not have been embarrassed by lowly Challenger.

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    The bottom line is that the ELR, as sexy hot and luxo as it is should have been priced at no more than $60K. GM would have made mad profit on it still. It has NOTHING to do with Cadillac not being able to command $75K for a vehicle. It has to do with any car maker not being able to command $75K for a car that is a compact based on a lower brand and not a sports car. At $75K people expect either a TRADITIONAL luxurious experience, (meaning big and comfy) or a car with some serious speed capabilities.

     

    So... that in mind..

     

    1) If Cadillac had of tuned the ELR to do 0-60 in at least the 4-4.5 range, they could have marketed it as a Sport Coupe.. an exotic one at that, IMO better looking than the i8. 

    2) If Cadillac had of simply put the ELR's Voltec in a car the size of the CTS or XTS.. or just put it in either and changed the styling slightly, they'd most likely already have Tesla filing for BK. (ok that might be exaggerating) 

     

    3) Tesla did both of those things. They made a larger mid-size, slapped an IPAD in the dash and made it dash to 60 in times  of 5.9, 5.4, and 4.2 secs based on which battery pack U bought with the car. Keep in mind that the MAJORITY of the Teslas U see on the road are the 5.9sec variety, as my Chevy Impala found out recently literally beating one down and then getting the thumps up from the driver

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    Alas, the rotary is zero cylinders but is probably dead forever.

     

    However, I think GM will bring out a full electric that will be much better than the Tesla at some point. They have too many good engineers on staff not to,

    I suspect they are working on a future high volume, sub $30k full electric...

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    Holy Grail would be to have a 200 Mile Range Electric Pickup that truly can be used by the construction industry the way trucks are worked hard and then you have a major seller.

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