Cadillac Lyriq sells out, analysts say pressure's on for GM to deliver

·3 min read
The first all electric Cadillac LYRIQ is driven off the assembly line at General Motors' plant in Spring Hill, Tenn., Monday, March 21, 2022.
The first all electric Cadillac LYRIQ is driven off the assembly line at General Motors' plant in Spring Hill, Tenn., Monday, March 21, 2022.

General Motors sold out of the new 2023 Cadillac Lyriq all-electric two-row SUV in about four hours on Thursday morning.

The automaker opened the order banks at 9 a.m.  and by 1 p.m.  it had sold out of that model year, Cadillac spokesman Mike Albano said.

Albano declined to provide how many 2023 Lyriq orders Cadillac received, but GM's luxury brand reported having about 233,000 hand-raisers in March. Hand-raisers are people who express interest in the car but do not put any money down on one.

Cadillac leaders said they expected to convert about 10% of those hand-raisers to purchase orders. And, earlier this year, GM told suppliers to prepare to produce 25,000 Lyriqs this year. The Lyriq is the cornerstone for Cadillac as it is the first of GM's brands to go all-electric by 2030.

“This week marked a historic moment in Cadillac’s journey to an all-electric future as the brand’s first EV went on sale," Albano said in a statement. "Customer demand for the Lyriq has matched our expectations and we look forward to exceeding their expectations when they take delivery of their Lyriq."

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Cadillac will have to deliver a seamless and high-quality experience and EV, analysts said, if it is to keep luxury customers coming back for future EVs.

"The pressure will be on for GM to deliver the product in a timely, no-fuss manner, coupled with a seamless dealership experience," said Ivan Drury, senior manager of Insights at Edmunds.com. "Luxury brand buyers have the means to easily go elsewhere when the vehicle ownership period is over. For GM's sake, let's hope that they have no reason when the time comes."

But Lyriq's quick sellout signals consumers are starting to warm up to EV adoption, Drury said.

"Nearly a decade ago GM's gamble to enter the electrification race with the Chevrolet Volt was met with mixed feelings and a lukewarm reception," Drury said. "Fast forward to today and we're seeing consumers that aren't just willing to test the waters with a GM EV, they're committing to a purchase with no test drive."

Cox Automotive Executive Analyst Michelle Krebs said: "We are seeing increased interest in electrified vehicles — EVs and hybrids. Our data shows one in four consumers considered an EV or hybrid. As gas prices rose in March, we saw a big uptick in shopping for EVs."

Krebs said interest in EVs will likely continue to grow as new models, like the Lyriq, are introduced.

GM started building the Lyriq at Spring Hill assembly in Tennessee in early spring and will ship the rear-wheel drive models to customers this summer. The rear-wheel drive Lyriq will start at $62,990, a $3,000 price bump from the Lyriq Debut edition, but this model will get 312 miles of range.

The all-wheel drive model starts at $64,990. Initial deliveries of the all-wheel drive model will start early next year and the EPA-estimated range for that model will be announced closer to the start of production.

Other Cadillac EVs include a flagship hand-built sedan called the Celestiq, for which Cadillac is not providing a launch date. Cadillac has plans for a small SUV similar to the compact XT4, as well as a three-row bigger SUV and a full-size SUV that Cadillac leaders have described as Escalade-inspired.

Cadillac boss Rory Harvey hinted Monday to reporters that "up next" is an EV comparable to the XT4.

Prospective buyers who are still interested in the Lyriq can join the waitlist at Cadillac.com. Albano said customers on the waitlist will be prioritized for additional 2023 volume or 2024 models.

Contact Jamie L. LaReau: 313-222-2149 or jlareau@freepress.com. Follow her on Twitter @jlareauan. Read more on General Motors and sign up for our autos newsletter. Become a subscriber.

This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Cadillac Lyriq, brand's first EV, sells out in about 2 hours