Forget About the Flops: Cadillac’s Job Is to Make GM Greener

Remember the Cadillac ELR? Your author saw a single, solitary unit in the wild once, and there’s a good chance a journalist was behind the wheel. Not long for this world, the plug-in hybrid Caddy coupe gave way to the stately (but equally low-volume) CT6 Plug-in, whose death was revealed shortly before that of the sedan itself.

Not to be deterred from its goal of advancing electrification, or at least competing against glitzy foreign rivals, General Motors has announced the brand will once again pick up the green torch.

During a Friday media briefing for its 2019 earnings forecast, GM copped to Cadillac’s new role within the company. While not unexpected — former Cadillac president Johan de Nysschen hinted as much a year ago — the statement by newly minted GM president Mark Reuss at least provided some context for the automaker’s powertrain future.

There’s a new, dedicated electric vehicle architecture on the way, and a Cadillac will be the first vehicle built on that platform, dubbed BEV3. The company’s BEV2 platform underpins the Chevrolet Bolt.

“Cadillac will lead that and drive that globally,” Reuss said, without providing details as to the type of vehicle, or vehicles, consumers can expect.

Late Thursday, Reuters published a report stating exactly this, based on the word of two sources. Neither source was able to elaborate on whether the first Caddy EV would appear in sedan, coupe, or utility vehicle form. Given that Mercedes-Benz, Audi, and BMW have compact — and quite conventional — compact EV crossovers about to hit the market, it’s a solid assumption that Cadillac’s first EV offering will emerge in this form. Tesla’s Model Y crossover should appear before too long, too.

Still, past statements by GM CEO Mary Barra suggest there’s still hope for those those holding out for a clean, green, super sedan. While describing the company’s product future (GM’s aiming for 20 new EVs by 2023, spanning many divisions and markets), Barra said the range will run the gamut from crossovers, minivans, and SUVs to sports cars and sedans. One wonders whether the company’s recent decision to kill off numerous conventionally powered sedans indicates an EV sedan might be off the table.

Truly, electric motoring would be so much more exciting if it came wrapped in the body of Cadillac’s Elmiraj, Ciel, or Escala concept cars. Speaking of concepts, a report last year claimed the Escala name will appear on a vehicle bound for a late-2021 production date at GM’s Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant. GM’s BEV3 platform comes online in 2021.

Interesting.

[Source: Automotive News] [Image: General Motors]

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