Cadillac welcomes hybrid drivetrains, but it says ‘no way’ to a second-gen ELR

Cadillac has announced that it is not planning on replacing the Chevrolet Volt-based ELR once production of the current model ends.

Widely praised as Cadillac’s first full-production plug-in hybrid, the ELR made a big splash when it was introduced at the 2013 Detroit Motor Show. However, it was almost immediately lambasted by the press for its exceptionally high price of about $75,000, a figure that makes it twice as expensive as the Volt that it shares its platform and the bulk of its mechanical components with and puts it in the same price bracket as the Tesla Model S.

As a result, ELR sales have been disappointing at best. AutoGuide’s research shows that Cadillac sold just 1,310 examples of the ELR last year – its first full model year on the market – and only 311 units since the beginning of 2015.

Careful observers have pointed out that Cadillac president Johan de Nysschen might be killing the ELR for both business-related and personal reasons. Back when he was president of Audi’s American arm, de Nysschen bluntly wrote off the then-new Volt as a “car for idiots,” predicting that it would be a failure due to its high price.

Cadillac has not disclosed when the ELR will be sent to the chopping block.

What’s next?
While the ELR is not long for this world, de Nysschen stresses that Cadillac will continue to offer what he calls “alternative powertrain technologies” in its cars in a bid to comply with the strict emissions regulations that are scheduled to come into effect in the United States, in China and in Europe over the coming years.

Rumors indicate that a plug-in hybrid version of the recently-introduced CT6 will make its debut in a little over a week at the Shanghai Motor Show. Technical details are vague at best, but the plug-in sedan will likely be able to drive on electricity alone for short distances.

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