DETROIT -- Cadillac has ended production of the ELR plug-in hybrid, the striking coupe that never recovered from an initial $79,995 price tag that many consumers and dealers deemed exorbitant.
Cadillac confirmed in a statement that production of the ELR at its Detroit-Hamtramck plant in Michigan ended a few months ago and that “a very small quantity of ELR units remain available at dealers today.”
There were about 100 of them in dealer inventory as of May 1, according to an estimate from the Automotive News Data Center.
“The beautifully designed electrified coupe marked an important step in Cadillac’s ongoing expansion,” Cadillac said in a statement. “Cadillac remains committed to delivering new technology, including advanced propulsion.”
Cadillac President Johan de Nysschen confirmed to Automotive News in January that the ELR would not be extended for a second generation, but he declined to peg a time frame for discontinuation.
Before its late 2013 launch, Cadillac executives touted the ELR as a halo car that would have an air of exclusivity.
“We’re only going to make so many,” former Cadillac chief Bob Ferguson told Automotive News in August 2013. “I actually think you’re going to see a scramble for that vehicle.”
But the coupe proved a bit too exclusive. It tallied U.S. sales of just 2,334 in 2014 and 2015 combined, an average of fewer than 100 a month. That’s a paltry sum even for a car that was meant to be a low-volume star for the brand.
IHS Automotive had projected U.S. sales of around 2,100 in 2014 and 2,700 in 2015.
Cadillac slashed the ELR’s price by about $10,000 for the 2016 model year, but the coupe never overcame its inflated launch price. Its sticker was roughly double that of the Chevrolet Volt, even though the two shared a platform
Cars.com Detroit bureau chief Aaron Bragman might have written the most fitting epitaph for the ELR in his initial review two years ago.
Cadillac “surprised the world” with the coupe’s knockout styling, he wrote. “Then it surprised the world again by pricing it out of consideration for anyone who’d likely buy one.”