By Abhirup Roy
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – General Motors’ Cadillac is ramping up production of its Lyriq compact, electric sport utility vehicle now that more batteries are available and demand for luxury EVs remain strong despite a slowdown for other types of EVs, a senior executive said on Thursday.
Production of Lyriq has been far behind initial targets, hamstrung mainly by an issue with assembling battery modules that has crimped GM’s EV plans.
But Cadillac delivered 9,000 Lyriqs in 2023, according to a media briefing by its global vice president John Roth. The luxury brand had delivered fewer than 2,400 in the first half.
“It’s been a measured build up and launch as battery modules have become available and, now that we’re in a position with strong inventory, we’re seeing great sales performance,” Roth said, adding he had “high expectations” of that continuing.
Lyriq now accounts for a quarter of all of Cadillac’s sales, up from just about 12% in the fourth quarter of last year, he said.
“The luxury industry is I think operating at a little bit of a different level than the main market as it relates to EVs,” “We still see in the data, 60% of the consumer base, that their next luxury vehicle will be an EV.”
High borrowing costs have dented consumer sentiment and several companies have warned of a slowdown in demand for EVs. Many, including market leader Tesla, have cut prices sharply to woo potential customers.
Lyric was one of a number of EVs that lost a U.S. government tax credit this month as new sourcing guidelines kicked in. GM is offering incentives of $7,500 to offset the loss and has said Lyric would regain eligibility early this year.
Cadillac has been bolstering its EV lineup, aiming to offer a fully electric portfolio by 2030.
(Reporting by Abhirup Roy in San Francisco; Editing by David Gregorio)