Cadillac ELR Is Selling Nationwide, But At Only About Half of Dealerships

By · February 26, 2014

Cadillac ELR

The Cadillac ELR extended-range electric luxury vehicle is popping up in dealerships nationwide now. But before you head out to your closest Caddy dealer to take a test drive, make sure it is one of the stores that has chosen to carry the electric vehicle.

Cadillac spokesman Brian Corbett told that he didn’t have a breakdown of the locations of all the dealerships selling the ELR, but “there are more than 500 dealers selling the ELR, which provides us with significant nationwide coverage.” (Caddy has some 940 dealerships nationwide.)

Keyes Woodland Hills Cadillac in the greater Los Angeles area already has several ELRs in stock, said salesman Walter Chinchilla. He is the designated ELR sales person, which means he will attend a one-day training course next week to learn all about the vehicle and receive tips on how to sell it.

The ELR is a range-extended electric vehicle, meaning it has a small gasoline-powered engine that kicks in to run a generator that recharges the battery, adding range. The system is the same as the one found in the Chevrolet Volt. With a starting price of $75,000 before tax credits, the ELR will set you back a bit more than the Volt, however.

Unlike some electric vehicle models—such as the Chevrolet Spark EV—that are only being sold in certain parts of the United States, Cadillac dealers nationwide are eligible to sell the ELR, said Corbett. Some have opted out, but “we sell the ELR in all 50 states,” said Corbett. “We didn’t expect all Cadillac dealers to sell the ELR, considering some dealerships’ location, the geographic popularity of EVs and luxury sales, and other factors,” he said.

He added, “We’re well represented in major metro, urban, and key EV markets.” For example, in San Francisco eight out of nine Cadillac dealerships are selling the ELR and in Los Angeles all 19 dealerships are selling it.

Cadillac ELR

Some Training Required

Dealers wishing to sell the ELR must have an employee take online training courses in a virtual classroom and attend a one-day training tour such as the one Woodland Hills salesman Chinchilla will attend next week. Dealers must pay for the employee to travel to the course; otherwise the training is free, said Corbett. Dealers must also install at least two 220V Level 2 charging stations. Some already have chargers because they also sell the Volt, he said.

The ELR only began arriving in showrooms in January so Cadillac doesn’t have sales figures yet. Woodland Hills has several in stock and a stream of customers have come by asking about the ELR, said Chinchilla. Many are already driving an EV, includes Teslas and Volts, he said. He is getting good comments on the car’s appearance and performance, said Chinchilla. “Once you start driving an electric car, you will like it.”

Not all dealerships have an ELR to show customers yet, however. Dan Boyer, general manager of Cable-Dahmer Cadillac in Independence, Mo. told that his dealership will receive its first ELR in about six weeks.

Boyer figures there will be interest in the ELR. The Cadillac store’s sister Chevrolet store “has done well with the Volt,” said Boyer. He will pay for a technician to fly to Dallas, Tex. for the training course and figures that his store will only sell two to five ELRs a year. It is worth the extra cost, he said. “It is a halo car,” said Boyer. “It is one of those things you kind of have to do if you want to have a presence.”

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