- Nearly half of Cadillac's 940 dealers in the U.S. have decided not to sell the 2014 Cadillac ELR, the luxury brand's first plug-in hybrid vehicle.
- Cadillac told Edmunds that about 410 dealers will not sell the ELR.
- Dealers located in areas of the country where Cadillac sales volume is small or the likelihood of selling the new plug-in hybrid coupe is remote will not sell the ELR.
CHICAGO — Nearly half of Cadillac's 940 dealers in the U.S. have decided not to sell the 2014 Cadillac ELR, the luxury brand's first plug-in hybrid vehicle.
Cadillac told Edmunds that about 410 dealers will not sell the ELR.
Dealers located in areas of the country where Cadillac sales volume is small or the likelihood of selling the new plug-in hybrid coupe is remote will not sell the ELR.
Cadillac had hinted earlier that the ELR might not be offered by some dealers, but this is the first time the brand has provided solid numbers on how many dealers have raised their hand for the car, a critical piece of information for car shoppers.
"We have a pretty good representation in rural markets because we are dualed up with other (General Motors) brands," said Jim Vurpillat, Cadillac's global marketing director, in an interview at the 2014 Chicago Auto Show. "It is a great service advantage."
But those dealers "might look at (ELR) and say, 'Ok, if I sell one of these, I got to have service charging stations, special training, a sales area. I have to buy special tools,'" he added.
The cost for tools, training and other items can be as high as $15,000.
"If they don't think they will sell more than one or two units a year, they would do the numbers, and it is probably not worth it," said Vurpillat.
The ELR carries a $75,995 sticker price including $995 for shipping. Buyers may be eligible for a tax credit of up to $7,500 depending on individual tax liability. Cadillac sold six ELRs in December and about 40 in January. Dealer shipments "will start in earnest this month," he said.
The car shares a powertrain with the Chevrolet Volt. GM says the ELR has a range of 340 miles using a combination of pure electric driving and recharging provided by a generator that is connected to a 1.4-liter four-cylinder engine. Using only the energy stored in the battery, GM says the vehicle has an estimated range of 37 miles of pure electric driving depending on terrain, driving techniques and outside temperature.
Vurpillat said most of the ELR sales will come from such places as California, Dallas, Miami and New York.
"They are not selling a lot of electric vehicles in Iowa," Vurpillat said.
Edmunds says: Your local Cadillac dealer may not sell the 2014 Cadillac ELR , but the 530 Cadillac dealers that will offer the plug-in hybrid coupe still far outnumber Lexus and Tesla dealers combined.