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Lutz Jumps Gun On Cadillac Converj Production

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Just two days ago Bob Lutz told the world in no uncertain terms that the "Cadillac Converj is cleared for production," but today we're getting a different line from within Cadillac, including a report of Cadillac's global product director, John Howell, refuting Lutz's statement. Our own sources within Cadillac tell us why.

According to a report from mlive.com, Howell left no doubt that Lutz's announcement was premature at best. The business case for Converj production is simply not there.

That makes sense, especially taken in light of the comments from our source within Cadillac. Comparing a rushed Converj to the Lexus HS 250h, the source told Motor Authority that Cadillac would not bring Converj to market until it could be produced to a standard that fits with the rest of the brand's image. Cutting corners in regard to luxury to bring a car to market would put the brand they've worked so hard to rebuild at risk.

A quick run to market with the Converj had seemed a given, in a way--just build a luxury car on the Volt platform and bam! Instant Converj. But the reality of pulling that off in a package that represents Cadillac inside and out isn't quite so easy.

The Volt itself doesn't even enter production until late this year, with the first year of sales a gradual ramp-up period. Bringing the Converj to market in 2012 would give little time to overcome the hurdles likely to be encountered in the project--and a lack of time isn't conducive to staying within a budget, something that GM is acutely aware of these days. And that brings us back to the business case for the Converj--if it's expensive to build, it will have to be expensive to sell, and that will limit units sold, which in turns limits the ability to recoup the investment to build the car in the first place.

The Converj isn't necessarily on the shelf, however. As of now it appears to be awaiting further development and a market situation that favors its release. Whether that will come in 2012 or later is anyone's guess.

[mlive.com, Cadillac]

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Comments (9)
  1. Bob Lutz caught speaking out of turn, well I never! Cadillac protecting their brand from themselve's and not wanting to repeat a Cimerron project? Completely unexpected and proof that just maybe times really have changed!!!!
    We at MWOW are now officially gone for the day to go buy lottery tickets, as we're feeling lucky and that miracles really do happen!!!!!
     
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  2. I predicted this would happen, same thing happened when Lutz said the G8 would come back as a Chevy for the general public and Henderson said no.
     
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  3. Does Lutz attend any meetings at GM? Just seems like he's also misinformed when speaking to the press.
     
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  4. This has the rotten smell of the Cimerron all over it! In the quintessential GM style the production version Converj will be no more than a production Volt with a Cadillac badge!
     
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  5. It's hard to believe this is really happening in US!
     
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  6. "This has the rotten smell of the Cimerron all over it! In the quintessential GM style the production version Converj will be no more than a production Volt with a Cadillac badge! "
    Yeah, 'cause it's so hard to tell a 5 door hatchback with a black grille and horizontal lighting elements from a 2 door coupe with a stainless steel grille and vertical lights...
     
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  7. ^Ditto (bepsf)
     
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  8. If the electric drivetrain tech isn't there yet, they should still build this sexy bombshell using the drivetrain tech that do have - this car looks incredible.
     
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  9. This smacks of the same thing that happened to the GM Impact. High-level execs crushed that as well. Claiming people wouldn't be interested in it. As I recall, they had a waiting list for them.
     
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