Preparations will soon be under way at the Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly plant to build the Cadillac ELR, a luxury coupe featuring extended-range electric technology, General Motors North America President Mark Reuss said Tuesday.
“The ELR will be in a class by itself, further proof of our commitment to electric vehicles and advanced technology,” Reuss said in a keynote address at the SAE Convergence Conference in Detroit. “People will instantly recognize it as a Cadillac by its distinctive, signature look and true-to-concept exterior design.”
Production is scheduled to begin in late 2013.
The addition of the ELR to Detroit-Hamtramck represents a $35 million investment and increases total product investment to $561 million since December 2009. It is the first two-door car built at the plant since the 1999 Cadillac Eldorado.
“This investment reflects the corporation’s confidence that the highly skilled members of UAW Local 22 can successfully build one of the most technologically advanced vehicles in the world,” said UAW Vice President Joe Ashton, who directs the union's GM Department. “The hard work and dedication of our members demonstrates that we can competitively manufacture products for the future right here in Detroit.”
The ELR is the production version of Cadillac’s Converj, a concept vehicle revealed at the North American International Auto Show in 2009. The ELR will advance the design theme of the Converj while featuring an electric propulsion system made up of a T-shaped lithium-ion battery, an electric drive unit, and a four-cylinder engine-generator. It will use electricity as its primary power source to drive the car without using gasoline or producing tailpipe emissions. When the battery’s energy is low, the ELR seamlessly switches to a gasoline-powered electric generator to allow hundreds of additional driving miles. The lithium-ion battery will be built at GM’s Brownstown Battery Assembly plant in Brownstown, Mich.
Detroit-Hamtramck is the only U.S. automotive manufacturing plant that mass produces extended-range electric vehicles. The plant is home to the Chevrolet Volt, Opel Ampera, and Holden Volt extended-range electric vehicles. Extended-range electric vehicles are exported to 21 countries from the plant.