GM to begin building Cadillac ELR plug-in hybrid by late 2013
DETROIT -- General Motors will begin production of the Cadillac ELR plug-in hybrid at an assembly plant here by late 2013, GM North America President Mark Reuss said today.
GM will invest $35 million in its Detroit-Hamtramck plant to prepare for production of the 2014 ELR coupe, Reuss said during a keynote address at the SAE Convergence Conference here. The car will be unveiled in January at the Detroit auto show.
GM assembles the Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid at the plant. The ELR's powertrain will be similar to that of the Volt, which can travel about 38 miles on electric power from a T-shaped lithium ion battery before a small gasoline generator kicks on to power the car's electric motor.
When the ELR goes on sale, it will be the market's first electric luxury coupe with an extended range, Reuss said.
Reuss said the car will have a "distinctive, signature" look and that the exterior styling will hew closely to the Cadillac Converj concept that drew buzz at the 2009 Detroit show.
When the ELR arrives, it will be the third new nameplate for Cadillac in about 18 months. GM rolled out the XTS large sedan in June. The ATS compact sedan arrived in September.
GM is positioning Cadillac to compete with German luxury brands such as BMW and Mercedes-Benz by offering performance-oriented, technology-laden vehicles with bold styling. The ELR "will contribute mightily to the brand momentum of Cadillac," Reuss said.
GM has invested more than $530 million in its Detroit-Hamtramck plant since December 2009. More than 1,500 workers there assemble the Chevrolet Malibu and the U.S., European and Australian versions of the Volt.
Reuss said the ELR will be the first two-door car built at the plant since 1999, when the Cadillac Eldorado was assembled there.
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