SAIC, GM’s partner in China, said yesterday that the Lyriq, the first midsize luxury SUV on the Ultium electric vehicle platform, has received nearly 5,000 pre-orders after it opened for pre-sale on November 17.
SAIC revealed the figure when it released November sales data, without providing more information about the Lyriq.
The largest Chinese carmaker sold 601,360 vehicles in November, down 6.6 percent from 643,928 units a year earlier.
Customers, beginning Nov. 17, can initially place orders for the rear-wheel drive, long-range version of the Lyriq at a price of 439,700 yuan ($68,811), GM China’s unit said.
The vehicle is produced at SAIC-GM, GM’s passenger vehicle joint venture with SAIC Motor Corp.
The Lyriq can drive for more than 650 kilometers on a full charge or 96 km on a 10-minute charge.
China deliveries are slated to start in mid-2022.
GM’s $30 billion push into EVs means adding assembly jobs. The automaker will open its once-idle Detroit-Hamtramck plant next week to make the Hummer EV and Chevrolet Silverado electric pickups, plus the Cruise Origin autonomous shuttle. That plant had 1,200 workers when it was threatened with closure in 2019 — it will have double that in two years. The former Saturn plant in Spring Hill, Tenn., will be making the Cadillac Lyriq and other electric models, adding workers along the way.
All in, United Auto Workers Vice President Terry Dittes told me that the union is gaining assembly jobs as automakers prepare for a decade or more in which consumers will buy both internal combustion and electric vehicles.
At its investor presentation on Oct. 6, GM showed a graph with about 40 vehicles for sale by its four brands today, with just a couple being EVs. By 2030, the company will offer 50 models for sale and more than half will be battery-powered. GM will need workers building both of them.