If General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) ever has to recall the 2014 Cadillac ELR, the numbers are not likely to make front page news. In the five months through April the car has been available, GM has sold 241 of the plug-in hybrids. Another 1,700 are sitting on dealer lots waiting to find a good home.
Now electric vehicles (EV) of any variety, from the Toyota Motor Corp. (NYSE: TM) hybrid Prius to the all-electric Model S sedan from Tesla Motors Inc. (NASDAQ: TSLA), account for about 3.4% of total 2014 year-to-date sales of 5.1 million vehicles. The EVs have sold a total of 172,363 through April. Among the plug-in hybrids, the best-seller is GM’s Chevy Volt with year-to-date sales of 5,154.
The MSRP on a Cadillac ELR is $75,995, which may be another reason for the anemic sales. GM is trying to help sales along by offering dealers (not buyers) a $5,000 incentive to offer customers a test drive in the ELR. Dealers have until June 2 to designate the ELRs currently in their inventory that will be used as test-drive vehicles, and then each of those vehicles will have to log 750 test drive miles to get the incentive payment.
At the current sales rate of about 60 cars a month, Cadillac dealers have 725-day supply of ELRs in inventory. The vehicle does not appear to be a significant threat to the Tesla Model S or even the Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid, which has sold 341 vehicles so far in 2014 at a list price of $113,000.