Why Is Cadillac LYRIQ Sold Out, and What Does That Mean for the Industry?

A lot of motorheads feel like electric vehicles are too expensive to make a big splash on the market. But, they got some surprising news when the 2023 model year of the Cadillac LYRIQ sold out last year, and the whole thing happened in just a matter of hours. Let’s see why the vehicle had one of the slowest rollouts in recent years and why some people are still waiting to get their hands on what they’ve ordered.

Once the 2023 model year sold out, interested buyers were redirected to preorder the 2024 model of this EV. Now that the 2024 Cadillac LYRIQ is as close as ever, it’s a good opportunity to look back at the whole ordeal. Doing so will help us break down once and for all why this kind of marketing strategy is changing the automotive industry in a huge way. So, here’s a deep dive into this fascinating story. 

Cadillac Is One of the Oldest Automotive Brands in the World – Some Things Are Built to Live Forever

Today, the Cadillac Motor Car Division is a special division of the American automobile manufacturer General Motors (GM) that made its name known for designing luxury vehicles. In this category, Cadillac has been at the forefront for decades, and that’s pretty clear to everyone. It’s a little-known fact that the company’s slogan, “Standard of the World,” dates all the way back to 1908. 

Cadillac Was Born From What Was Left of the Henry Ford Company

After some unfortunate events between Henry Ford and his investors, the famous automobile entrepreneur left the company, followed by several important partners in March 1902. A few months later, the Cadillac Automobile Company was born, named after the French explorer who founded the city of Detroit, Michigan, in 1701. 

By 1909, when it was bought by GM, Cadillac was already established as one of the top luxury vehicle brands in the US. This auto manufacturer was truly at the forefront of the evolution of cars, either diligently following new technological advances or leading the industry itself. Cadillac developed three engines with the V8 version, setting a strong standard in the world of car manufacturing – a standard of the world, if you will. 

Cadillac has been the “Standard of the World” for over a hundred years now

How Does a Brand With Such Long-Standing Tradition Bring Back the Hype? In Comes the Cadillac LYRIQ EV

Cadillac’s first all-electric vehicle (AEV) is truly a crash course in marketing strategy. How can an auto manufacturing company known for producing luxury vehicles break into new territories while still maintaining its exclusivity and high price? Simple – by manufacturing their first EV. That way, Cadillac can become the “Standard of the World” once again.

Around 70% Of Buyers Are Completely New to the Cadillac Brand

By venturing into the world of all-electric vehicles, Cadillac is able to withhold high car prices and exclusivity, all while bringing in a whole new demographic of customers. It’s been reported that around 70% of LYRIQ buyers have never owned a Cadillac before. Moreover, most of these new enthusiasts are a part of the younger generation, the so-called Gen X and Gen Y. 

Cadillac Is Really Dipping Its Toes Into the World of Electric Vehicles

Cadillac set its new personal record by selling more than 390,000 vehicles in 2019, and it seems like they don’t plan on slowing down anytime soon. Sure, the LYRIQ made quite a splash on the market, following in the footsteps of the Bold and the Hummer EV. But it’s not even meant to be the flagship EV of the brand. 

The Cadillac CELESTIQ went into production at the end of 2022, and it’s meant to be the crème de la crème of battery-powered vehicles this brand has to offer. But, this will be a highly exclusive and customizable vehicle – Cadillac will build just two of them per day. Obviously, this means that it will be far out of reach for the regular customer who, surprisingly, doesn’t have at least $300,000 lying around for their next four-wheeler. 

Electric vehicles charging
The all-electric vehicle market has been booming in the last few years

The 2023 Cadillac LYRIQ Sold Out Before It Was Even Able to Hit the Streets

For motorheads all over the world, the big news last year was that the 2023 model year of the Cadillac LYRIQ SUV sold out in mere hours. The order banks were opened at 9 am on May 19 and closed only four hours later. All while the LYRIQ was still being built at the GM’s factory in Spring Hill, Tennessee. 

The Inaccessibility Builds the Hype – Better Luck Next Year

So, the LYRIQ sold out even before it was able to hit the famous routes in the US. Around that time, Cadillac’s vice president Rory Harvey estimated that around 20,000 vehicles would be built. However, the latest figures show us that only around 11,000 units were assembled. Exclusivity is once again the moving force of the Cadillac

Those not lucky enough to get their hands on the debut LYRIQ quickly found themselves on the waitlist for the 2024 model year. To make the preordering list, all customers need to do is pay a $100 deposit to a Cadillac dealership they choose. While the deposit is fully refundable, that’s quite a long wait for a car that doesn’t even exist, isn’t it? So, let’s take a look at what has happened since then. 

car and money
“Cadillac LYRIQ sells out in four hours” was quite a news splash last year

The 2023 Cadillac LYRIQ Finally Hit the Streets in the Summer of 2022

The long-awaited Cadillac debut EV finally started hitting the streets in the summer of 2022, but the rollout was rather slow. Here are the key features that the patient buyers with nerves of steel have waited for: 

The LYRIQ Offers Two Layouts – RWD and AWD

The rear-wheel drive (RWD) version of the Cadillac LYRIQ has a single electric motor that generates about 340 hp and 324 lb/ft of torque. There’s also the all-wheel drive (AWD) version, with a much stronger powertrain that produces about 500 hp.

The Battery Can Cover Up to 312 Miles of Range

Both the RWD and the AWD Cadillac LYRIQ store their energy in a 102-kWh lithium-ion Ultium battery pack. According to Cadillac, this should be enough to get you a range of 312 miles, no matter if you’re driving through the cities with the worst drivers or going for an off-road adventure.

The buyers get to choose if they want a two-year period of free charging at the EVgo public charging locations or a credit of up to $1,500 put toward installing a Qmerit 240-volt home charger.

It’s Pretty Affordable for a Luxury Electric SUV

The RWD LYRIQ has a base MSRP of $62,990, and that’s actually pretty affordable for a four-wheeler that is in the luxury EV SUV class. The MSRP climbs up just a bit for the AWD version, starting at $64,990.

Don’t Promise What You Can’t Deliver – The LYRIQ Had Quite a Slow Rollout

No doubt about it, the 2023 model year was the breakout point for GM’s descent into the world of affordable battery-powered cars. However, it was quite a slow start – similarly to the GMC Hummer EV, the Cadillac LYRIQ also has a rollout plan that is much slower than expected

Quite a Rocky Start – Lots of Shipping and Production Delays

Contrary to what’s been promised, intensive production of the 2023 LYRIQ started as late as September 2022. Until then, there were numerous delays concerning production and shipping, and people were starting to become more impatient. Some of them even ended up not getting it – the company’s vice president Rory Harvey announced that some orders will be switched to the 2024 model year. 

The Cadillac’s EV Debut Is Still a Rare Sight on the Road

To this day, if you’ve managed to spot the LYRIQ on the road, you’re one of the few. But now we at least know the reason behind such a slow rollout. Apparently, there were problems with the software, which is actually the main reason why so many auto manufacturers avoid transitioning to electric vehicles. 

Besides the software, improvements needed to be made regarding the quality control issues and the display screen. Of course, all that work requires a certain amount of time. The problems were resolved, and the LYRIQ was finally available – but for a car that fast, it sure has a slow pace while hitting the market

Cadillac LYRIQ at a car show 2
Even though production started months ago, the LYRIQ is still a rare sight on the road

Let’s Preorder the 2024 Cadillac LYRIQ and Forget All About What Happened Last Year

With so many problems and such a slow rollout, you’d think not many people would be interested in switching to the 2024 model year and possibly waiting for it with no end in sight. But, quite the contrary – Cadillac’s doing just fine. 

The company has not disclosed the exact number of preorders it received, but some reports state that about a quarter million people are interested in owning this car, most of which intend to buy it. You don’t have to be a marketing expert to know that it’s simply not possible. 

What’s New for the 2024 Cadillac LYRIQ

With such a high demand for it, Cadillac is planning on increasing the factory’s production capacity in order to satisfy as many interested buyers as possible. If the extended wait is a deal-breaker, there are plenty of great EV options available – the Tesla Model Y, Genesis GV60, and BMW iX, just to name a few. 

For those willing to wait, here’s what you can expect

  • There will be several new trim options included, along with a brand-new color selection, 
  • Like the 2023 model year, the new LYRIQ will have both the RWD and the AWD options, 
  • When it comes to performance, not much will change, 
  • The driving range of about 308 miles is slightly down from the 2023’s estimate of 312 miles. 

The LYRIQ Story Is a Great Example of Why Preordering Is Completely Changing the Game

Companies such as Tesla have been going the online preorder route for years now. Following the EV craze, other companies have started to see substantial success and profits from establishing a preorder system that is based on a deposit. The Cadillac LYRIQ is just one example that buys into this trend that will completely change the car industry as we know it

Gone Are the Days of Going to a Showroom and Seeing the Car Yourself

Strolling into the local dealership and taking a few test drives is slowly but surely becoming history. If that sounds dramatic, consider that according to a new survey done by Cars.com, 41% of potential buyers plan to preorder their next four-wheeler. Moreover, 98% of those that already had such an experience said that they want to do it again

Preordering might be more convenient, but it’s also a great marketing strategy for creating hype around a new model year. So, it’s no surprise that you’ll be seeing more and more people purchasing their next vehicle online and stepping into a car dealership only to pick it up. 

Cadillac LYRIQ at a car show 2
Being able to preorder is slowly driving people away from dealerships

Preordering Is Becoming a New Staple of the Car Industry

After the experiences of the last few years, and largely due to the online purchasing trend, it makes total sense that everything would also affect the automobile industry. Nowadays, it’s super easy to shop, order, and purchase cars digitally, and all of the leading brands are just trying to follow suit. The Cadillac LYRIQ story is just another example of this trend, and not a particularly good one at that.