But you get a cash allowance for it!
General Motors has a lot riding on Cadillac as the brand becomes its poster child for electrification. Cadillac, in turn, has pretty much everything riding on the Lyriq, its new EV crossover. That’s perhaps why select buyers of the all-new model line have been asked to sign a non-disclosure agreement in exchange for a $5,500 cash allowance on their lease or purchase. That’s an unprecedented move but we live in unprecedented times, so this might become more common practice moving forward.
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What this means is these new Cadillac Lyriq owners or lessees won’t be able to disclose anything about their experience with the new EV to anyone other than GM. The automaker would also know everything about where these people go and whatever else it’s able to monitor about vehicle usage remotely. Yes, Big Brother is most definitely watching.
According to information dug up by Detroit Free Press, the NDA program was limited to somewhere around 20 Lyriq customers. A Cadillac spokesman wouldn’t go into detail about the program, but did say those who were handpicked are “early adopters; they're tech savvy and they want the first and the best."
Since the Lyriq is using GM’s new Ultium battery propulsion system, the same as what’s used in the GMC Hummer pickup, GM obviously wants to know about any issues as early as possible. Ultium will be used for another 29 new GM EVs within the next few years. And with Cadillac as the tip of the spear in the march to full electrification by 2030, the automaker has little breathing room for error.
What Cadillac is observing with these drivers is reportedly their usage habits. Anyone who has privacy concerns likely wouldn’t be too keen to sign up for such an agreement, despite accusations tech giants track our movements and habits through smartphones and other devices. Perhaps that’s why early adopters were targeted since they tend to be so mesmerized with novelty and are more trusting of technology.
Giving these shoppers a $5,500 cash allowance seems like a token gesture. After all, the Lyriq starts at $62,990. If you want all-wheel drive be prepared to shell out at least $64,990. With few snagging the first wave of vehicles, a number Cadillac isn’t disclosing to the public just yet, it’s hard to imagine anyone is buying a stripped-down, base vehicle. In other words, the concept of helping to shape the future of electrified driving is far more compelling than saving far less than 10% on the purchase of an EV.
That same Cadillac spokesman told Detroit Free Press everything about its go-to-market strategy could possibly change with what it learns about customer habits from the Cadillac Lyriq NDA. “There’s not a single part of our business that we’re not transforming.” One could call this the Great GM Reset.
The big question is whether or not GM’s bold new strategy of tracking customer usage of its vehicles will be deemed a success, both by GM and competitors. If so, we could see this practice become more common, meaning if you ask your neighbor or friend how he likes his new car you won’t get any meaningful information in return, if anything at all for fear of a crushing lawsuit.
Source: Detroit Free Press