General Motors (GM) has announced plans to release a new, more affordable Cadillac electric SUV in China. According to a report by Electrek, the automaker is looking to capitalize on the growing demand for electric vehicles in the country, particularly among younger buyers who are increasingly interested in sustainable and environmentally friendly modes of transportation.
According to China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology’s (MIIT) most recent catalog of vehicles that will be authorized to be sold (via CnEVPost) in the region, the manufacturer filed the new electric SUV under the name Cadillac Optiq.
According to the paper, the new electric SUV will be smaller than the Cadillac Lyriq, the company’s first all-electric vehicle unveiled in China. It will be 4,822 mm (15.8 ft) long, 1912 mm (6.2 ft) broad, 1,642 mm (5.4 ft) or 1,644 mm height, and will have a wheelbase of 2,915 mm (9.5 ft). The Optiq will be slightly smaller than the Cadillac Lyriq, which is 4,996 mm (16.4 ft) long, 2,207 mm wide (7.2 ft), 1,623 mm (5.3 ft) tall, and has a 3,094 mm (10.1 ft) wheelbase.
Cadillac’s upcoming electric SUV will most likely have a lower beginning price in order to compete in China’s EV market.
The Cadillac Optiq will be available in two single-motor configurations with maximum output of 150 kW or 180 kW.
Furthermore, the battery packs for the electric SUV will be manufactured by a joint venture between China’s CATL and SAIC (with whom GM has a joint venture in the region).
According to the rumor, the new lower-cost Cadillac electric SUV will be manufactured at SAIC-GM’s Wuhan site. The announcement comes just days after GM said earlier this week that it was lowering the price of the Lyriq EV in China after selling just over 900 Lyriq vehicles in the first three months of the year.
As EV producers like BYD, Tesla, and NIO continue to capture market share, GM reduced Lyriq prices by roughly 14%, from a starting price of 439,700 yuan ($60,730) to 379,700 yuan ($52,443).
Cadillac began taking orders for its first all-electric SUV in China in June, with prices starting at 479,900 yuan ($67.2K). Tesla launched a wave of price reduction early this year, prompting other automakers in the region to follow suit. For example, both NIO and Volkswagen recently announced price cuts in order to remain competitive in the region.
Cadillac may be better off with a smaller, less expensive all-electric SUV. With new entries and substantial price cuts, China’s EV industry is becoming increasingly competitive, putting pressure on several legacy automakers.
With choices like the BYD Yuan Plus, which starts at 134,000 yuan ($18,500) and has a range of up to 510 km (317 miles), automakers are finding it difficult to compete on price. In May alone, BYD sold nearly 26,000 Yuan Plus models, while Cadillac, Buick, and Chevrolet delivered a total of 7,503 new energy vehicles.
My only issue is when GM will deliver the EVs to the United States. GM and its joint venture partners have introduced a number of all-electric vehicles or concepts that have the potential to make an impression in the United States.
Buick has introduced two Ultium-powered electric SUVs and previewed a new “Proxima” design idea, while Cadillac China has received a smaller, less expensive electric SUV. A smaller, lower-priced Cadillac EV would almost certainly find a market in the United States. GM will deploy three Ultium-based EVs in the United States before the end of the year, including the Silverado EV, Equinox EV, and Blazer EV.