As recently as late January GM CEO Dan Akerson hinted that a plug-in hybrid version of the Cadillac SRX was “likely”, with most reports suggesting the eco-friendly luxury crossover would be available for sale sometime in late 2012 or ’13.
This past weekend, however, Reuters reported that an insider familiar with the project said development plans for the plug-in hybrid SRX had been canceled because the vehicle would have to be sold at a substantial loss. The news also reflects GM’s decision earlier this year to withdraw an application for $14.4 billion in low-interest loans from the U.S. Department of Energy.
The technology is reportedly being put on the shelf for now, though could be revived should costs in the future be reduced. In the interim, GM is likely to focus on conventional hybrid technology to improve the fuel economy of its upmarket Cadillac division.
A spokesperson for GM did say the automaker was committed to launching more electrified vehicles, including plug-in hybrids, though wouldn’t comment on any other future plans.
GM has consistently stated that its Voltec plug-in hybrid system developed for the Chevrolet Volt would be used in other vehicles, and has developed not one but two plug-in hybrid Cadillac concept cars over the past two years--the striking Converj coupe and production destined XTS.
Furthermore, the news is all the more sad given the fact that GM has been hinting at the launch of a plug-in hybrid crossover since 2008, with the automaker back then testing a small fleet of Saturn Vue plug-in hybrid prototypes. The technology here, which is thought to be similar to the setup being tested in the SRX, uses an electric motor to aid an internal combustion engine rather than act as the main source of motion as seen in the Volt.