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Cadillac is a luxury automaker that’s making the transition toward EVs, and the Lyriq is the company’s first true EV on the market. But the Lyriq has a lot of tough competition on the market, and perhaps its strongest competitor is Tesla.

It’s not surprising that the brand-new Cadillac Lyriq isn’t as popular as the Tesla Model Y, but comparing the two electric SUVs may be a bad idea to begin with.

The Tesla Model Y is simply selling far more than the Cadillac Lyriq is

GM Authority published the sales data for the first quarter of 2023, and the Lyriq saw some good growth compared to prior quarters. With that being said, production of the Lyriq only started in March 2022, so the electric SUV doesn’t have any year-over-year data available. Regardless, Cadillac sold 968 units of the Lyriq in the first quarter of the year.

That’s the EV’s best-selling quarter so far. That’s not much of a surprise since Cadillac delivered the Lyriq in low volumes for most of 2022. For example, in the fourth quarter of 2022, the company only delivered 86 units of the SUV. In the third quarter of that year, Cadillac only delivered 36 units. As such, it’s also not surprising that the Tesla Model Y dominates the segment.

Tesla sold 85,000 units of the electric SUV in the first quarter of the year. That’s an increase of 30,000 units from last year. As a percentage, it’s a growth of roughly 55%. Due to this big difference in sales numbers, the Model Y represents 98% of the segment’s share of sales. The Lyriq, on the other hand, represents a 1% share of segment sales.

There are many reasons why the Cadillac Lyriq shouldn’t be compared to the Tesla Model Y

It’s not fair to compare the Model Y to the Lyriq because the SUVs operate in different segments. The Model Y is more of a mass-market SUV, while the Lyriq is a luxury SUV.

Some car shoppers may consider Tesla to be a luxury automaker, but many people don’t as Tesla’s vehicles don’t have many traditional luxury features. The Cadillac definitely has luxury features, and a great example of that is the 33-inch touchscreen that comes standard.

This also leads to a price difference between the two SUVs. The Lyriq starts at about $60,000, while the Model Y goes for around $48,000. On top of that, Tesla has a major advantage over Cadillac when it comes to EVs since Cadillac only recently started building them whereas Tesla has been doing that for years.

As a result, Cadillac hasn’t built many Lyriqs yet, making it hard for the company to sell them. 

The two electric SUVs probably won’t be comparable in the future either

Cadillac’s production problems are largely a result of supply chain problems that have affected how many batteries the luxury automaker can make. This is a fixable problem, so in the near future, Cadillac should be able to build more than enough Lyriqs and other EVs to meet consumer demand. Once that happens, the Lyriq would become a more comparable car to the Model Y. 

However, that doesn’t change the fact that many car shoppers don’t even consider the Model Y to be a luxury car. If it’s not a luxury EV, then it still wouldn’t make sense to compare it to the Lyriq. What would make sense is for the Cadillac to get compared to the EVs of other luxury automakers, such as the Audi e-tron or the Jaguar I-Pace. 


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