Electric Cadillac Lyriq production begins in Tennessee ahead of May deliveries

FOX Business Flash top headlines for March 21

Here are your FOX Business Flash top headlines for March 21.

Cadillac has entered its electric age.

The automaker officially kicked off production of the Lyriq, its first electric model, at GM’s Spring Hill, Tennessee, factory on Monday, as it begins its transitioning toward becoming an all-EV brand by 2030.

The Cadillac Lyriq is being built at GM’s Spring Hill, Tennessee, factory. (Cadillac)

The midsize SUV has a starting price of $59,990 and is similar in size to the Tesla Model Y and Audi e-tron SUV.

Despite the challenges of the ongoing parts' shortages hampering the auto industry, Cadillac Vice President Rory Harvey told FOX Business the company has secured enough supplies to build approximately 20,000 Lyriqs through the end of 2022.

"It's not to say that it's not without challenges," Harvey said.

The Cadillac Lyriq has a starting price of $59,990 (Cadillac)

Cadillac will begin taking orders for the Lyriq on May 19 and start deliveries the same month. Aside from 1,500 Debut Edition Lyriqs that were sold out within minutes of their offering last September, it hasn’t been taking reservations for the vehicle but received interest from over 240,000 potential customers.

"We would expect that to convert between 10 and 20% [sales]," Harvey said.

"Because of that high level of demand, not only did we pull forward the vehicle by nine months, we're also looking at how we can ramp up production even quicker so that we can fulfill as much of that demand as possible this year."

Over 66% of the hand-raisers currently own vehicles from other brands, and not just electric models like Teslas, which sets up the Lyriq to be a serious conquest vehicle for Cadillac.

The Lyriq has a range of 300 miles per charge. (Cadillac)

"I would say that a significant proportion of them are coming from internal combustion engines," Harvey said.

"If you looked at the mix of vehicles today, obviously the majority of the customer base still drive ICE [internal combustion engine] vehicles."

Harvey said driving range is the main concern about EV-intenders, followed by charging speed and price.

The Lyriq can be recharged with 76 miles worth of electricity within 10 minutes and 200 miles in 30 minutes at the fastest public charging stations, which is very competitive, but behind Tesla and the latest EVs from Hyundai, Kia and Porsche.

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The Lyriq’s starting price is roughly the same as a well-optioned example of the gasoline-powered Cadillac XT5, which is slightly smaller. Cadillac’s next electric model will be the flagship ultra luxury Celestiq sedan, but something with a price closer to its current entry-level $35,000 CT4 is in the works.

"It's going to be a short period of time before you see the more entry price point Cadillac EVs, but it's not that far away in the grand scheme of things," Harvey said.

Cadillac recently asked its dealer network to join it for the ride down electric avenue and fully commit to investing in the infrastructure and training required to support it or give up their franchises. The number of dealers has since dropped from over 900 to approximately 560, which Harvey says is a good number for the change coming to the brand.

"We do have a few open points where we are closing them out, but we don't see significant growth in the number of dealerships where we are today."

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