Who will purchase Cadillac’s hand-built electric vehicle? The battery-electric Celestiq sedan, which has a starting price “north of $300,000,” has been responsible for doing more for Cadillac than simply bringing the brand back to its former glory. It must now lend credence to the executives’ audacious claim to “reestablish the iconic brand as the standard of the world.”
However, with a price tag that is more than three times the average transaction price of a vehicle from General Motors’ luxury marquee, it isn’t easy to imagine that many Cadillacs of that weight — regardless of how highly customized they may be — will be quietly charging behind the garage doors of suburban homes.
Who wants a customized electric vehicle now that the industry is entering an era when cheaper electric vehicles can carry ranges of up to 300 miles combined with jaw-dropping horsepower and torque?
Cadillac is placing its bets on it.
The GM premium brand, which intends to follow the market in phasing out gas engines by the year 2030, is attempting to zig where its luxury rivals are zagging to differentiate itself from the competition. When it entered into hand-built production at GM’s Technical Center outside of Detroit in December 2023, executives promised that the brand would create, on average, less than two Celestiqs every day.
But will potential clients bite?
Cadillac’s specifications on Monday do not seem particularly impressive enough to warrant the price tag. Built on the same Ultium platform underpinning all of General Motors’ future EVs, the Celestiq will feature a 600-horsepower, dual-motor, an all-wheel-drive setup that can go from 0 to 60 mph in 3.8 seconds – a crawl compared with some Teslas, Porsches and the Ford Mach-E Mustang GT Performance model). Cadillac anticipates that the sedan will have a range of around 300 miles on a single charge of its battery, which will be the benchmark for the industry by the time the Celestiq is released.
A 3D-printed steering wheel is one of the high-tech features available, along with an adjustable bright roof that can be adjusted in all four quadrants, the most recent edition of Cadillac’s Ultra Cruise sophisticated driver assistance system, and more.
The vehicle, which will only be offered “by waitlist” at certain Cadillac dealerships, will come with a concierge who will assist the buyer in selecting colors, trims, and materials. Rory Harvey, the worldwide vice president of Cadillac, said that the brand’s “whisper events” had shown a “vast range of high-net-worth people who might contemplate wanting to have a car like this.”
Cadillac has not provided a number for the “very low-volume” production of Celestiqs. Still, the company has said that it anticipates the bulk of sales in North America, followed by sales in China and the Middle East.
The significant demand for the company’s first-ever electric vehicle, the $60,000 Cadillac Lyriq SUV that is set to be released later this year, encouraged executives this spring. This high demand caused the company to shut its 2023 order book earlier than intended.
Harvey said, “I feel we were able to prime the pump.” “We are positioned to take the brand to the next level now that we have solid foundations.”
However, do you think there would be demand for a Cadillac with a starting price that is five times higher? Executives have stated that they believe customers are willing to spend even more, citing the fact that a fully loaded Escalade V, which is the high-performance version of Cadillac’s full-size SUV, is close to $150,000, and that some Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing models venture into the territory of six figures.
Harvey said, “we feel that we have the potential to be able to build client demand at this higher pricing point.”
In 2025, Cadillac anticipates beginning to deliver the Celestiq to clients, with great expectations for the resurgence of the company’s fortunes.
Harvey said that people at one point in history referred to Cadillac as the benchmark for the rest of the globe. “In terms of this vehicle, we feel that it affords us the chance to start reclaiming some of that position,” the authors write.