Cadillac’s Death Dive

Cadillac has been losing sales and market position for the past three years straight, but thinks it has The Answer.

Want to guess?

If you said electrification, go to the head of the class. It’s the obvious answer, though. As the Lemmings rush toward the cliff, GM wants to be in the lead.

Cadillac head Mark Reuss thinks people will buy Cadillacs if they don’t have engines. Or at least, if they also have batteries (i.e., are hybrids). Because as everyone knows, luxury car buyers are absolutely frantic about the gas mileage delivered by their vehicles and also clamoring for a car that goes half as far and takes five times as long to get going again, the speciality de la Maison of electric cars. Cadillac: 110 Years Best Price: $2.59 Buy New $8.76 (as of 10:35 EDT - Details)

“We’ve got one chance. This is it,” Reuss told Automotive News last week. “We will leave nothing on the table, but we’ve got to get there. … We’re going to get there.”

But where is that, exactly?

EVs constitute about 1 percent of total car sales. Let’s say that rises to 10 percent – via production quotas. GM will need to capture pretty much all of it to even begin to make up for the losses it has already suffered.

And every sale will still be a loss – because no one has figured out how to make money on electric cars.

Money is transferred – from the taxpayer, via the government – to the manufacturer and the buyer. But that is not economically sustainable. If it is economically sustainable, then Huey Long was right and it’s time for an electrified chicken in every pot, paid for by everyone sticking his paw (via the government) into his neighbor’s pockets. It brings to mind that scene in National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, the movie starring Chevy Chase and Randy Quaid, where Quad’s character goes shopping with Chase’s character’s wallet and urges him to “pick something real nice” for himself.

In the inbred, insular world of the upper echelons of GM – which moved its Cadillac headquarters to New York City, where most people don’t need to drive and therefore generally don’t own cars, let alone Cadillac cars – this is considered rational thinking.

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