General Motors isn’t afraid of an overhaul. In a recent commercial, passengers exclaim like, “That’s not a Buick!” to emphasize the dramatic redesign. However, some say GM’s new electric vehicle, the Cadillac Lyriq, isn’t quite different. Early consumer reviews were positive, but an industry expert had some advice against making it on the list of least-desired EVs. Ford CEO Jim Farley said Cadillac did not take Lyriq innovation far enough and warned that the Lyriq may not have what it takes to compete, especially in the US market, and should look to China for the future.
What Cadillac Lyriq needs to compete in the EV market
Electric vehicles have been on the market for a decade, but between January and March 2022, EV registrations increased 60% even though the auto market fell 18%, according to Automotive News. The surge in sales is partly because automakers are addressing consumer concerns about price, battery range and practicality with their latest designs. Changing the type of outlet required, extending battery life and optimizing costs have made EVs more desirable to the average consumer, not just car enthusiasts.
Fuel prices, production delays and the environment play an important role. The Cadillac Lyriq offers a sleek exterior and a comfortable ride, but costs more than Ford’s contributions to the market, such as the Ford F-150 Lightning. The features and design of the Lyriq are two additional factors that Ford’s CEO predicts will prevent it from driving momentum EVs as smoothly as other vehicles.
What Ford CEO thinks the Cadillac Lyriq lacks
Farley insists that excitement is critical to turning EV interest into sales. He said the Cadillac Lyriq was too similar to a Cadillac internal combustion vehicle, telling Newsweek, “We’re not going to do the product that Cadillac shows. [Lyriq]. We won’t do it. There’s nothing against them, it just doesn’t match our brand. It’s not far enough. It has a traditional hood, very much like ICE products… We want people to feel that electric joy.” He went on to say that Lyriq also lacks the convenience features that customers will ask for in the future, namely, better software.
Farley uses the Chinese market as an example. In China, many people do not own a car, and those who use it for purposes other than driving. According to Jalopnik, Farley said the type of data screen display, level of automation, and other technical specifications will outweigh things like luxury seats in future buyer preferences. He envisions Americans spending more time without driving in their cars: taking conference calls, holding Zoom meetings, and using vehicles as transition spaces between work and home, which require more software capabilities. Cadillac lacked some of this ingenuity, he argued. He saw China as a market to mirror and leverage for Cadillac’s future.
Why don’t you count the Lyriq EV
Insights from automotive CEOs like Farley are invaluable in the growing EV market. However, many consumers have been impressed by the Cadillac Lyriq, which begs the question, are Cadillac fanatics more interested in the company’s renowned luxury than the vehicle’s technical features? One of the main complaints against Cadillac was the sheer size and gas-consuming nature of the early models. Cadillac is slower than other brands to switch to crossover mode. However, the new Lyriq offers a 100 kWh lithium-ion battery with a charging time of 6.5 hours. However, its Escalade-like size provides ample space for the Cadillac.
With an EV, fuel economy is irrelevant, and luxury is still important to many people. Just ask Farley’s recommended market for Cadillac’s future focus. Between 2016 and 2017, Cadillac sales in China increased 50%, marking the highest global sales in its 115-year history. As one of the original luxury brands, if Cadillac navigates the electric car landscape properly, global EV sales could be its ticket back to the top.
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