To be the best, you’ve got to beat the best. General Motors plans to transition several iconic brands into the EV era as the automaker gears up for an all-electric future. The latest names under consideration for an EV spinoff are two timeless classics – the Chevrolet Camaro and the Cadillac Escalade.
Sources from within the GM Tech Center told Car and Driver last week that Corvette would receive its own EV brand, complete with an electric four-door coupe and SUV variants.
The Corvette is known as a performance car, but as other automakers like Porsche have proven with the Cayenne, extending a brand can be a profitable venture.
Although no plans for a sports car were included, the sources said the aim was not to “beat Taycan and Cayenne at their own game” but instead to make “the essence of Corvette scalable.” In other words, GM wants to create an electric Corvette brand from the ground up.
GM’s Ultium platform will be the key to this transition, with up to 800V battery packs and 350kw fast charging capabilities. The engineers behind the EV platform designed the platform with pouch-style cells that can be stacked vertically or horizontally for maximum flexibility and performance without sacrificing energy or space.
During the reveal of GM’s new batteries, CEO Mary Barra said:
What we have done is build a multi-brand, multi-segment EV strategy with economies of scale.
We are now learning the next two brands in contention for electric spinoffs, which include the Chevy Camaro and Cadillac Escalade.
GM plans for electric Chevy Camaro, Cadillac Escalade brands
According to Car and Driver’s sources inside GM, the next EV spinoffs are in the works. The post claims GM initially wanted to reinvent the Cadillac brand, but using the Escalade name made more sense.
An Escalade brand could include a three-row crossover (a smaller version) and a minivan. In addition, the automaker has tossed around the idea of a car-like, luxury, all-terrain Escalade and a premium MPV designed for the Chinese market.
Although the article doesn’t specify the Escalade brand to be electric, Cadillac said in 2021 it would only be bringing fully electric vehicles to market.
An electric Camaro brand is also under consideration, which could include a 2+2 coupe and convertible, two- and four-door SUVs, and a Corvette-like “mid-price” flagship sports car. Though the sports car will not resemble a Corvette in appearance, it will be “loosely linked to the C9 Corvette in content.”
Top comment by Haggy
If GM spins things off to a different brand, that might open things up since those brands were probably not promised to any dealer network, so they wouldn't be in violation of franchise agreements that don't yet exist. GM will almost definitely stick with the dealership model for service though.
Even though there will be the naysayers that criticize GM’s move to establish “EV spinoffs” with its iconic brands, they might be on to something.
Like those that criticize Ford’s decision to carry the Mustang brand to its Mach-e, an electric Corvette, Camaro, and Escalade will likely ruffle some feathers.
Meanwhile, Ford just celebrated producing its 150,000th Mustang Mach-e. GM is taking it a step further by building an entire brand with multiple EV models under one name. The automaker is going all in on electric vehicles, and creating a “multi-brand, multi-segment EV strategy” is one way of carrying the models people have grown to love into a new, electric era.
We will see if the strategy pays off in the next few years as GM’s EV strategy unfolds. What do you think? Do you like the idea of EV spinoffs? Or should GM scrap the idea? Let us know in the comments.
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