Building Cars Is Hard

By Gary S. Vasilash

On September 18, 2021, this announcement was made by Rory Harvey, vice president, Global Cadillac:

“Today, reservations for the 2023 Cadillac LYRIQ Debut Edition sold out in just over ten minutes and we continue to see a lot of enthusiasm around the brand – both current product and in our all-electric future. The initial response for LYRIQ has been extraordinary. Since the show car unveiling last year, more than 200,000 people have expressed interest in learning more about the vehicle and our electric future.”

Deliveries of the electric SUV, which had obtained significant, deserved acclaim, began in July 2022.

The Cadillac LYRIQ: an impressive electric SUV that more people would undoubtedly like to be behind the wheel of. . .except production is rather limited. (Image: GM)

The LYRIQ is built in the GM assembly plant in Spring Hill, Tennessee. The factory originally built for Saturn. At the plant the Cadillac XT5, Cadillac XT6 and GMC Acadia are also produced.

LYRIQ went into production on March 21, 2022.

So keep in mind: production starts in March, deliveries start in July, and thousands of people wanted to get behind the wheel of Cadillac’s first electric vehicle.

Now admittedly all OEMs in 2022 had to deal with all manner of issues related to COVID and chips and supply chain snafus.

But here is something that is simply startling:

GM announced its U.S. deliveries for 2022.

All in, 2,274,088 vehicles, making it #1 in the U.S.

Cadillac LYRIQ: 122 vehicles.

How many of those LYRIQ “hand wavers” are going to put down their arms and go across the street to an Audi or Mercedes store?

And what about those who were part of the 10-minute sellout? How are they feeling about their decision?

Yes, building vehicles is hard.

But you would imagine that for a vehicle that is as important to Cadillac as the LYRIQ is, that would have been addressed and any speedbumps mitigated.

(Incidentally: while the LYRIQ was the vehicle with the fewest deliveries among all GM vehicles for 2022, the second lowest was another electric vehicle that sold out in 10 minutes when its reservations opened in October 2020 and is now said to be sold out for at least two years: the HUMMER EV. GM delivered 854 in all of 2022.)

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