General Motors (GM) luxury subsidiary Cadillac is remaining firm on its plan to only offer electric vehicles (EVs) in its latest Australian venture, even amid overseas reports of declining EV uptake in the US.

    GM Australia and New Zealand managing director Jess Bala told CarExpert Cadillac as a brand globally is still aiming to only sell EVs by 2030 and “we’re committed to that”.

    “From a product portfolio standpoint it doesn’t change here,” she said.

    “So even though we’re hearing reports that EV demand is slowing in the US, it does not change our plans at all.”

    As previously reported, Cadillac is set to return Down Under by the end of 2024 with the electric Lyriq crossover.

    The company does plan to offer more electric models but it hasn’t confirmed which models these are yet. More product announcements will be made “towards the end of the year, early next year”.

    GM CEO Mary Barra recently announced plans to roll out plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) across its brands in an attempt to meet both federal regulations and consumer demand.

    Ms Barra didn’t detail how the American product lineup would change, only that ‘select’ models will be rolled out with a PHEV option in the coming year.

    Previously GM said it would move all of its product range from internal combustion engines to battery-electric power by 2035, skipping hybrids and PHEVs in the process after largely removing them from their global lineup.

    Following the announcement Cadillac is coming back to Australia as an electric-only brand, Ms Bala said initial consumer interest for the brand has been “very positive”.

    “So we got a lot of hand raises after we revealed back in November and we consistently still get more interest, which is great,” said Ms Bala.

    “We’ve got a really great laid out plan over the course of the next 12 months to keep getting the brand out there.

    “As soon as we have more cars on the ground, we will have a plan … that [will] allow people to really sit in, touch, feel all those sort of elements, which is fantastic.

    “I mean, the brand is so well known and it’s in a tonne of shows, TV commercials, even though it’s never been on sale here.

    “People are very familiar with what [Cadillac] is.

    “I think this new, almost rebirth of the brand and the angle that it’s taking now sort of from a modern luxury standpoint is really resonating with people, which is awesome.”

    Initially the Cadillac Lyriq will be built in factory right-hand drive at GM’s Spring Hill, Tennessee plant. The company hasn’t ruled out future Chinese sourcing, however.

    The Lyriq will be available through a “reimagined luxury direct-to-consumer experience” – so no GM Speciality Vehicle dealerships then.

    The brand will launch with three retail stores, or ‘Cadillac Experience Centres’: Melbourne and Sydney in Australia, and Auckland in New Zealand.

    Executives have made multiple mentions of Cadillacs selling in “exclusive volumes”, though Ms Bala has been enthusiastic about its chances.

    “It’s going to do incredibly well here,” said Ms Bala late last year, saying Cadillac will appeal to luxury car buyers who want to stand out and who consider themselves trendsetters.

    Despite all the talk of “exclusive volumes”, Ms Bala said pricing wouldn’t be lofty.

    “It’ll be priced competitively inside that mid-sized SUV [segment],” said Ms Bala, confirming the Lyriq will battle similarly sized electric SUVs from European luxury brands like the BMW iX.

    The company wouldn’t confirm pricing, but the Lyriq starts at the equivalent of around A$90,000 in the US.

    In addition to selling vehicles through separate retail spaces, GM indicated there should be a different after-sales experience for Cadillac vehicles vis-à-vis those sold in GMSV showrooms.

    “We’re all about providing an elevated luxurious experience to that customer from the minute they may enter their details in a website or visit one of our Cadillac Experience Centres, all the way through to purchase and beyond that,” said Ms Bala.

    “Because we know that your purchase doesn’t end the minute that we hand you the keys to your vehicle, it’s an ongoing relationship that we want to maintain and provide something that is very consistent.

    “A very high-end customer experience, sort of like that ‘white glove’ that you would expect as a luxury customer to get.”

    MORE: Cadillac locked in for Australia in 2024: Everything you need to know
    MORE: Cadillac getting ready to roll out more electric cars in Australia

    Jack Quick

    Jack Quick is an automotive journalist based in Melbourne. Jack studied journalism and photography at Deakin University in Burwood, and previously represented the university in dance nationally. In his spare time, he loves to pump Charli XCX and play a bit of Grand Theft Auto. He’s also the proud owner of a blue, manual 2020 Suzuki Jimny.

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