Cadillac Pulls Out Of The CES Show-Is More Trouble Brewing?

Cadillac was planning on debuting its new all-electric crossover at the 2020 CES show next month. Now it has announced it is backing out of the show. The reason is that because of the UAW strike it wouldn’t be able to get it done in time. We can only speculate that problems in development made it impossible to finish so the strike was as good of an excuse as any. 

“We had a plan to go to CES and frankly we can’t go to CES without putting our best foot forward and we could not get the models done that we wanted to get done with the strike, frankly,” says Tony Cervone, spokesperson for GM. He told Motor Trend, “We had a plan, we worked like hell.”

CES is about tech which Cadillac would have to show

Being that CES is about technology, it’s not like a car show where it doesn’t need to be completely functional to show it off. Whether there is more than beyond it being an electric car-like some autonomous tech or something more, is not known. But it would be used for demonstrations so it had to work and be flawless.

Last year Cadillac revealed the EV crossover at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show. No schedule was given for when it might be on sale but mid-2020 is expected to be when the launch happens. With the Detroit Auto Show moved to June, and as there are expected to be many demonstrations placed throughout the city, it’s more than likely that is where it will debut. 

When it finally arrives, the Cadillac crossover will have updated Super Cruise functionality. This is GM’s hands-free tech that has popped up in some Cadillac models. The driver assisted tech will add automated lane change and other new features that are more semi-autonomous-like.

Cadillac will be GMs lead electric brand but is that enough?

Cadillac Concept EV | GM
Cadillac Concept EV | GM

Cadillac announced earlier this year it will move from ICE and hybrid vehicles to become GM’s lead electric brand. It will be replacing its current lineup for this new direction. The crossover it was planning to unveil at CES is an important marker for where the division is going in the future. GM has said it intends for all of its products to be electric. So yeah, it’s all in for going electric.

To that end, it is also stopping development of hybrid options. It is said to be going to all-EV as quickly as possible. GM has shown a willingness for killing off unprofitable models and so this is an obvious sign it was not selling a lot of hybrids. It does seem odd that companies like Toyota can sell hundreds of thousands of different versions GM finds necessary to stop producing.

The trouble is GM keeps peeling off segments and markets

We’re thinking specifically hybrids but also sedans in general and closing up shop in Europe. Once you start peeling off certain segments or whole markets you limit what you have left to sell. Meanwhile, Toyota makes something for almost every need and at almost every price point.

Once GM sold its Opel division to PSA it took little time for it to show a healthy profit. It put that company in a position to merge with FCA. That merger is wrapping up this week and will make it the fourth largest vehicle producer. If it can incorporate an effective economy of scale it could be a powerhouse to rival anything GM will do in the future. 

Let’s hope that when Cadillac does start selling its new EVs that it puts them back in a strong position.