Could Cadillac be returning to Australia?
General Motors has filed a trademark in Australia for the Cadillac Lyriq, its flagship brand’s first electric vehicle.
There are two separate filings for the nameplate, both with a filing date of November 14, 2022.
“The Cadillac Lyriq name and logo were recently trademarked, which has caused speculation,” said a spokesperson for GM Specialty Vehicles, which imports and distributes GM vehicles in Australia and New Zealand.
“It is common practice for GM to secure key trademarks globally. GM has several brands registered, to protect them from unapproved usage.
“Given the strong interest, it’s not unusual for some registrations to create excitement.
“But we aren’t making any announcements about Cadillac and our focus is on Chevrolet Silverado and Chevrolet Corvette.”
GM doesn’t currently have any other local trademark filings for Cadillac products. For example, a search on IP Australia doesn’t reveal any listings for, for example, the Escalade. Nor are there any listings for other GM vehicles using the automaker’s Ultium electric underpinnings.
Cadillac last officially sold vehicles in Australia in 1969, but 40 years later it came extremely close to returning to the local market with the second-generation CTS.
It officially announced the luxury sedan’s launch in 2007 and obtained local certification for its sale, with multiple dealers signing up to carry the brand which would have been sold alongside Hummer and Saab models.
GM even imported several dozen CTS sedans, only for them to be diverted as the company cancelled plans to sell the brand in January 2009 just weeks before they were due to go on sale.
Since then, Cadillac hasn’t produced any other right-hand drive vehicles and further reduced its presence outside of markets like North America, China and the Middle East. For example, it sells just one vehicle in Europe, the small XT4 crossover.
But GM has now confirmed it intends to become a “substantial player” in the European market once again, following its sale of the Opel and Vauxhall brands in 2017.
Former GM Europe boss Mahmoud Samara said in July “we feel very confident we will be a substantial player” albeit without quoting any proposed targets or models. He has subsequently been replaced by Jaclyn McQuaid.
The change at the top doesn’t appear to have altered GM’s plans for Europe, with the company noting at Ms McQuaid’s appointment GM Europe will become “a nimble, non-traditional mobility start up, with an all electric vehicle portfolio at its core”.
“Chevrolet is a global brand, Cadillac is a global brand, Hummer is a global brand, so we have global brands that are fit for purpose,” said Mr Samara in July.
“What’s so beautiful about transitioning to EVs is the flexibility that we can deliver with those platforms. It will be fit for purpose in Europe.”
That doesn’t necessarily confirm sales of right-hand drive GM vehicles will resume, as GM has sold left-hand drive American imports in the UK before.
Mr Samara notes GM Europe will act like a rapid start-up, now that there’s no Opel/Vauxhall operation to serve as an anchor.
That suggests it could operate a largely online retail model, as with Tesla, Polestar and Genesis.
The Lyriq is available with a choice of single-motor rear-wheel drive and dual-motor all-wheel drive powertrains, both mated with a 102kWh lithium-ion battery.
In North America, the US-built rear-wheel drive model produces 255kW of power and 440Nm of torque, and its all-wheel drive counterpart produces 373kW and 610Nm.
Specifications are slightly different in the Chinese market, where the Lyriq is also manufactured.
The rear-wheel drive model has 502km of range under the stricter US EPA test cycle.
The luxury SUV supports DC fast charging up to 190kW, which can add about 122km of range in just 10 minutes. Cadillac will also offer buyers a 19.2kW home charger that can add 84km of range per hour.
The Lyriq measures 4996mm long, 2207mm wide (including the mirrors) and 1623mm tall on a 3094mm wheelbase.
That makes it roughly the same size as an Audi e-tron or BMW iX. It starts at US$62,990 (A$92,891), undercutting those rivals by thousands of dollars, and aligning it with the Tesla Model Y Performance.
The Lyriq will be the first of numerous Cadillac EVs, with the company confirming three electric SUVs and revealing the ultra-luxury Celestiq flagship this year. A pair of more affordable electric sedans are also understood to be in the works.