General Motors on Thursday revealed the first in a series of Cadillac electric vehicles, part of a bid to revamp the flagging luxury brand and make inroads in a market so far dominated by electric automaker Tesla.
The Cadillac Lyriq, an all-electric mid-size SUV, is set to start US production in 2022. Shortly before that, production will start in China, the luxury brand’s largest market.
All versions of the Lyriq will have a range of over 300 miles and include features such as a 33 inch (83.82 cm) LED touchscreen.
In the last decade, Cadillac invested a lot in producing new luxury sedans at a time when American costumers were abandoning passenger cars in favor of SUVs and pickup trucks.
In an attempt to move Cadillac forward, GM has chosen it to lead the shift of its traditional combustion engine lineup to an electric one. Luxury consumers are seen as able to foot the bill for an electric vehicle, a product automakers have had a hard time to profit from.
“This marks a turning point … an opportunity to regain momentum and position the Cadillac brand for its next chapter,” said Steve Carlisle, the GM president for North America, to reporters ahead of the unveiling. “Lyriq really is the cornerstone on which we’re going to build the future.”
Carlisle said that by being “an early entrant” the Lyriq is going to take more than its fair share of the market.
GM has said that majority, if not all, Cadillac models will be electric by 2030.
Last November, Ford Motor revealed its luxury Mustang Mach-E, an electric SUV.
Reservations for the Mach-E, set to go into production this fall, were full by December.
Electric vehicles made by traditional automakers have not beaten Tesla in electric vehicle market so far.
Cadillac’s Lyriq will not only face competition from Tesla’s Model X SUV, but from German automakers BMW, Audi and Daimler’s Mercedes Benz, which are preparing to introduce a range of premium electric vehicles over the next few years.