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Nearly half of US Cadillac dealers refuse to sell the ELR plug-in hybrid

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Beltway Confidential,Opinion,Ashe Schow,Auto Industry,GM,Chevrolet Volt,Cadillac

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.

“[Dealers] might look at [the ELR] and say, 'okay, if I sell one of these, I got to have service charging stations, special training, a sales area. I have to buy special tools,' " Jim Vurpillat, global marketing director for Cadillac, said during an interview at the 2014 Chicago Auto Show.

Special training, tools and other items needed for the ELR could cost dealers as much as $15,000.

"If they don't think they will sell more than one or two units a year, they would do the numbers, and it is probably not worth it," Vurpillat said.

Who would have thought that making a $75,000 version of the Volt would be a bad idea?

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Ashe Schow

Commentary Writer
The Washington Examiner