Cadillac Lyriq Starts Production, Expanding G.M.’s Electric Lineup

General Motors on Monday began production of the electric Cadillac Sport utility vehicle, which could soon become the company’s best-selling EV.

The model, Lyric, is being built in Spring Hill, Tenn. It is the company’s third electric model, starting at $ 59,000. GM will begin taking strict orders for the vehicle on May 19 and says it has a waiting list of about 240,000 potential customers.

“We’ve seen an incredible demand from consumers,” said Mark Reese, GM’s president, on a conference call. “It’s an incredible day here at Spring Hill. We feel good about what is going to happen here in the next few months. “

The Lyric is one of more than 20 electric models that GM plans to roll out in the United States over the next three years. The company aims to offer only electric vehicles by 2035.

The new Cadillac has arrived as many automakers are adding EVs to compete with Tesla. Ford Motor will begin building an electric version of its F-150 pickup truck next month. Rivian, a start-up, has begun building electric pickups and electric SUVs, although its production has so far been severely limited by a shortage of computer chips.

Lyric combines Chevrolet Bolt Compact and GMC Hummer in GM’s electric lineup. Bolt has generated modest sales since its introduction to the 2017 model, and production has been halted while the automaker and its battery supplier, LG Electric, have fixed production defects that led to the recall of all 140,000 Bolts sold in the United States. Bolt production is set to resume on April 4.

The GMC Hummer is a luxury model with a starting price of $ 110,000 and limited sales potential.

The Spring Hill plant is building Lyric on an assembly line that also produces three gasoline-powered SUVs – the Cadillac XT5 and XT6 and the GMC Acadia. Mr. Reuse said the plant could only build 200,000 vehicles a year and could drastically shift production to Lyric if needed.

GMA spent $ 4.5 billion to restart the plant to build all four models and to build a battery plant on site. The battery plant is not complete. Another GM battery plant, near Lordstown, Ohio, is expected to begin production this summer.

The Spring Hill plant opened in 1990 and produced cars for GM’s Saturn brand, which closed in 2009.

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