General Motors Company (NYSE:GM) started to sell the ELR in late December with a starting price of $75,995, including shipping. Now GM is offering Cadillac dealers a $5,000 incentive to offer test drives of its ELR plug-in hybrid, which has not been selling as well as expected.
GM is calling this offer the Demonstrator Allowance Program and it is considered a tactical move to get more people to test drive the vehicle, according to Cadillac spokesman David Caldwell.
?We want to do it because of the newness of the ELR,? said Caldwell. ?It?s a different brand.?
GM is offering up to $3,000 in customer discounts towards the lease or purchase of an ELR. As of the end of April, GM had 1,700 ELR coupe models in stock. GM?s Detroit-Hamtramck plant assembles the ELR and has had heavier production since the beginning of the year than it will in the summer or fall.
The ELR is the second vehicle to have GM’s Voltec technology, which uses a 435-pound battery pack and two electric motors for an electric range of around 35 miles. After the charge is depleted, a gas-powered 1.4-liter four-cylinder generator starts powering the drivetrain. The Demonstrator Allowance Program is part of a nationwide effort for GM to get more dealers to back and support test drives.
GM dealers will have until June 2nd to designate ELRs as test vehicles. Dealers that have less than 7 unused ELR models in stock may designate one for the demonstrator program. Dealers with more than 7 ELRs in their inventory can designate 2 as test vehicles to qualify for $10,000 in payouts.
Each vehicle must hit a minimum of 750 logged test drive miles. Dealers can also collect an additional $2,000 for every ELR sold in July and an extra $1,000 for every one sold in August.