The show stopping Converj concept was one of the highlights of last week’s Detroit Motor Show, and was designed with production in mind, but plummeting sales may force GM to focus on other projects first.
The sleek two door shares many of its underpinnings with the production ready Chevrolet Volt, but given Cadillac’s limited market share and niche segment, the Converj could now be postponed indefinitely.
GM vice-chairman Bob Lutz said of the Converj “First we have to prove to ourselves that we have the money. And then that it’s a high enough priority to displace something else, and that we can actually make money on the vehicle, and that there is potential customer interest and so forth. We haven’t done any of that work yet.”
While all those factors are still question marks at this time, it is likely GM wouldn’t have much of a problem making a profit on a production version of the Converj. Unlike the target market for the upcoming Chevrolet Volt – which shares the Converj’s Voltec electric drive system – potential customers for the Converj wouldn’t be as price sensitive, allowing GM to build a profit into the car’s MSRP. With the Volt expected to list from $40,000, it wouldn’t be all that big of a leap to ask customers to pay $50,000 for a Cadillac version.
However in this tough economic climate, GM’s money would be much better spent on volume models rather than niche segments that won’t see sales over 10,000 units for years to come.