GM plans new cheaper Cadillac electric SUV in China

Amid growing competition in China’s booming EV market, General Motors looks to introduce a new Cadillac electric SUV option, that’s expected to have a cheaper starting price than the Lyriq.

GM files for new cheaper Cadillac electric SUV

The automaker filed the new electric SUV under the name Cadillac Optiq, according to China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology’s (MIIT) latest catalog of models that will be allowed to be sold (via CnEVPost) in the region.

The document shows the new electric SUV will be smaller than the Cadilllac Lyriq, its first all-electric vehicle introduced in China.

It’s expected to be 4,822 mm (15.8 ft) long, 1912 mm (6.2 ft) wide, either 1,642 mm (5.4 ft) or 1,644 mm tall, with a wheelbase of 2,915 mm (9.5 ft).

The Optiq will be slightly smaller compared to the Cadillac Lyriq that’s 4,996 mm (16.4 ft) long, 2,207 mm wide (7.2 ft), 1,623mm (5.3 ft) tall, with a wheelbase of 3,094 mm (10.1 ft).

Cadillac’s new electric SUV is likely to target a cheaper starting price to stay competitive in China’s EV market.

The Cadillac Optiq will come in two single-motor versions with either 150 kW or 180 kW maximum power. In addition, the electric SUV’s battery packs will be from a joint benture between China’s CATL and SAIC (whom GM has a joint venture with in the region).

According to the report, the new cheaper Cadillac electric SUV will be built at SAIC-GM’s facility in Wuhan, China.

2024 Cadillac Lyriq models (Source: GM)

The news comes days after GM announced it was slashing prices of the Lyriq EV in China earlier this week after selling just over 900 Lyriq models in the first three months of the year.

GM cut Lyriq prices by nearly 14%, from a starting price of 439,700 yuan ($60,730) to 379,700 yuan ($52,443) as EV makers like BYD, Tesla, and NIO continue to take share of the market.

Cadillac opened orders of its first all-electric SUV in China last June starting at 479,900 yuan ($67.2K). A wave of price cuts, initiated by Tesla earlier this year, has caused mamy automakers in the region to follow suit.

For example, EV maker NIO and Volkswagen both recently revealed they would lower prices to maintain competitiveness in the region.

Electrek’s Take

A smaller, cheaper all-electric SUV may be the right move for Cadillac. The EV market in China continues to get more competitive with new entrants and drastic price cuts, putting pressure on many legacy automakers.

With options like the BYD Yuan Plus, starting at 134,000 yuan ($18,500), with up to 510 km (317 miles), automakers are having a tough time staying competitive on cost.

BYD sold over 26,000 Yuan Plus models in May alone, compared to Cadillac, Buick, and Chevrolet delivering a total of 7,503 new energy vehicles this past month.

The only question I have is, when will GM bring the EVs to the states? GM and its joint venture partners have unveiled several all electric models or concepts that could make an impression in the US.

Buick has launched two Ultium-based electric SUVs and teased a new “Proxima” design concept while Cadillac China is now getting a smaller, cheaper electric SUV.

A smaller, lower-priced Cadillac EV would likely find a market in the US. In the states, GM is launching three Ultium-based EVs by the end of the year including the Silverado EV, Equinox EV, and Blazer EV.

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