Here’s the latest reader question, along with my reply!
Robert asks: Cadillac is phasing out of internal combustion engines. Does this mean they are phasing themselves out of business? I have never understood steering a company towards a product that is less desirable than the competition. But GM has never been a well managed outfit.
My reply: It’s not just Cadillac, unfortunately. Jaguar/Land Rover and Audi and several other brands have also “committed” to a purely electric future – which of course depends on government forcing it, because EVs cannot compete on the merits against non-electric cars. It’s true they have some attributes that can be touted as “superior” – such as quickness and silence and some like the “tech.” But they remain hobbled by their much higher cost, much shorter range and much longer recharge times. Most people would not voluntarily buy them. Ergo, they must be forced to buy them – as by eliminating the choice not to.
This is what the “committed” brands are depending on. However, I think they seal their own fate – especially as regards premium brands such as Cadillac – because electric cars are homogenous cars. What is the difference between one electric motor and another? There is nothing special about one vs. another. Maybe Cadillac and the others think they can carve out uniqueness via electronics, such as different apps and larger touchscreens. The problem there is electronics are cheap and everyone already has touchscreens and apps.
So what else is there? “Ludicrous” speed? Of what use is that when it it extremely illegal to use it? And what is the big deal when every electric car has it?
Grille shape? Color? Whoop-te-doo.
I expect to see a winnowing as a result of all the homogenizing. If things continue, there will be a small handful of car companies and maybe just one – selling electric modules in different shapes,.
Cadillac is a goner. But then, it hasn’t been much since the ’70s anyhow.
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