GM expands to new European markets with its luxury $93K Lyriq


GM expands to new European markets with its luxury K Lyriq

General Motors is banking that Europeans will want an American-made $93,000 SUV that has zero emissions – but the US brand has had plenty of trouble getting production off the ground on its home turf.

The US automaker, which has been testing the European waters with its luxury Cadillac EVs since late last year, has just launched its Cadillac Lyriq SUV in France this morning, with other markets on the horizon.

Last October, GM announced that it was launching sales in Switzerland as a first step in its all-electric return to Europe after selling off the Opel and Vauxhall brands back in 2017.  

While Cadillac relies on a large dealer network in the US, European customers can order a customized EV directly online. The brand is also planning a showroom in Paris, and the Lyriq will be available for order online from March 23. The EV is scheduled to launch in other European markets soon, with Germany set for year’s end.

In Switzerland, the Lyriq starts 82,000 Swiss francs ($93,100), but GM has not yet provided pricing for France. It offers an estimated driving range of 530 kilometers (329 miles), thanks to its Ultium battery.

Besides that eye-watering price tag, it all runs counter to a big push for more affordable EVs as Chinese rivals turn up the pressure. But GM’s European head Jaclyn McQuaid said at a launch event in Paris that electric SUVs are expected to be the fastest-growing segment for zero-emission vehicles, Reuters reported.

“When you look at the battery electric vehicle market in France, it is the luxury market that grew to the greatest extent,” McQuaid said, according to Automotive News Europe. “The luxury market is where the focus is right now.”

Last year, the Tesla Model Y officially took the crown as Europe’s best-selling car overall, making it the first electric vehicle ever to do so. And the Model Y was the top-selling car in France, too, where it starts at 42,990 euros ($46,500).

The all-around Lyriq has been compared to the Mercedes EQE SUV, Audi A8 e-tron, and BMW iX. In the US, the 2024 Cadillac Lyriq starts at $57,195, with the mid-range Luxury trim begins at $61,295. The top-of-the-line Sport mode starts at $61,795. European versions, like American ones, will be built in Spring Hill, Tennesse.

Electrek’s Take

The brand is hoping the French, for one, will connect with the Cadillac’s French heritage – adventurer Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac founded Detroit in 1701. But this seems like a huge stretch – not that some people won’t connect with the car for other reasons, but it certainly won’t be out of a weird sense of national loyalty (Cadillac is also a small French village, and cows!). And too, some people might remember Cadillac’s famous “French-bashing” ad from a decade ago where it poked fun of the French for not working hard like Americans and taking too much vacation. Not that the French can’t take a joke, but this was a weird, vile ad, and so unfunny and heavy-handed that Americans too hated it, and the brand quickly pulled the ad.

GM, too, has struggled to get the ball rolling with the Lyriq and other EVs due to “an issue” with its battery modules, but the company says it has now turned that around. Last year, Cadillac delivered 9,000 Lyriqs, with fewer than 2,400 in the first half. In 2022, GM sold only 122 Lyriqs.

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