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GM Pondering Cadillac Plug-in Hybrid

Cadillac is developing a plug-in hybrid vehicle that will use the same range-extender technology as the Chevrolet Volt, according to media reports from Detroit, cited by just-auto. As reported, GM would attempt to revive its plans to develop a Buick or Saturn rechargeable crossover. Cadillac had earlier unveiled the Converj concept, but abandoned plans to build it.

The new project is rumored to be based on the SRX, which was unveiled at the 2008 Detroit Auto Show as a concept car that GM said would also be produced with a fuel-cell or electric drivetrain. An extended-range Cadillac would give GM what executives believe to be a dominating position over Toyota for extended range electric vehicles.

Even if GM chief executive Dan Ackerson dismissed the market-leading Toyota Prius hybrid, and the Volt is also competing against Nissan’s all-electric Leaf, General Motors still sees Toyota’s popular Prius as the main threat that could affect Chevrolet’s sales.

"We commonly refer to the geek-mobile as the Prius. And I wouldn't be caught dead in a Prius," the executive said, speaking to reporters in Detroit. "This actually looks good,” he added, referring to the newly-released Volt.

Ackerson also added that GM would offer versions of the Volt in different vehicle segments and under GM brands other than Chevrolet. Perhaps the company feels that the market has welcomed the Volt well and is getting ready to meet increased demand.

GM had previously said that it plans to build 10,000 Volts in 2011, but that target is being raised. If GM decides to build an electric or plug-in hybrid Cadillac, it would attract an entirely new market segment than the Volt, Prius or LEAF have targeted until now and would probably help quicken the widespread adoption of EVs.
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