• Jan 19th 2009 at 1:27PM
  • 36
Click image above for a gallery of Cadillac Converj live shots

General Motors' increasingly empty coffers could consign the Cadillac Converj show car to 'concept only' status. The Detroit Auto Show coupe has been the subject of production rumors since before it rolled onto the stage in Cobo earlier last week, but now Automotive News is reporting that GM may not have enough money to make Converj a reality.

AN quotes GM vice chairman Bob Lutz as saying that the Converj is far from a done deal:
"Ready to go? Well, first we have to prove to ourselves that we have the money... and then that it's a high enough priority to displace something else, and that we can actually make money on the vehicle, and that there is potential customer interest and so forth. We haven't done any of that work yet."
Our take? The angularly gorgeous Cadillac was designed around the same extended-range Voltec architecture as Chevrolet's forthcoming Volt, itself a spectacularly expensive research and development effort. GM is clearly committed to making the Volt a production reality, and if it ever has hopes of making money on its plug-in hybrid technology, a higher-priced, higher-margin product like from an upper-crust brand like Cadillac would seem like one of the best ways to defray R&D costs. In short, GM may still have to conduct due diligence on the Converj's business case, but if there's any money at all left in the company's bank accounts, we still think the future for the showstopper is a bright one. Given the 2011 date attached to the Volt, we would expect the Caddy to roll into showrooms for 2012.

Let's just hope it arrives in showrooms wearing a new name.

[Source: Automotive News: subs. req.]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 6 Years Ago
      I'm in the minority on this one, but that grille really ruins the front end for me. There's nothing wrong with it's design, but it's too large, even for a concept. I'm in love with everything else though. And I could care less what powertrain it has in it, but the Volt's works just fine.
      • 6 Years Ago
      This car MUST be built. The Volt won't be the PR win this car would be. Hollyweirdos would drive this over a volt. Buid it GM. BUILD IT!
      • 6 Years Ago
      Hmm, a showstopping vehicle that could not only help offset the costs of the Volt but actually make a profit and they are still debating whether or not to build it?
        • 6 Years Ago
        The bailout cash will give GM the ability to survive long enough to launch the Volt and more importantly the Cruze and other more profitable new vehilces while keeping their doors open until the economy rebounds. Even without new products once the economy turns around GM will sell more than enough Malibu's and pick ups to survive.

        The Converj was a nice design excercise and good PR nothing more. They knew showing the Volt again wasn't going to get them headlines so they needed something different. The reality is that GM needs to focus on getting the Volt out and showing it can do 40 miles on electricity and that this new technology is reliable and even if they do it is really just a publicity stunt that wont likely turn a profit for years. It is a bit far fetched to assume that they can at the same time manage to pull off the same thing with a Caddilac version that would weight a whole lot more and be full of way more electric gadgets. It is going to take more than a little solar panel on the top to pull that off. Probably more likely something you will see in the second generation of the Volt's platform.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Yes, Kimura, because they have NO MONEY, the bail outs were intent on keeping the company's doors open so they can avoid folding all together, not to provide massive amounts of capital to R&D multiple new lines. The strings attached to tax payer cash seem to focus on turning around a failed business model first, not investing in yet proven model lineups and technologies.
        • 6 Years Ago
        These ideas take a while to develop and then to actually become concept cars that we can drool over. The real problem is that the foresight in the industry is so short. A few months ago, many in the US were all up in arms over high gas prices. Every car company was touting whatever slim bit of fuel-efficient technology their marketing departments could utter with a clean conscience. In reality, these vehicles should have been on the market years ago. Now, cash-strapped, the very vehicles that could have helped them weather the crisis better are nothing more than eight-figure amounts in the R&D account.
        • 6 Years Ago
        WHOA!!!!! we've got a financial whiz kid on our hands!!!! how were you able to determine in a matter of minutes, without access to any financial data that GM can make money on this car, when GM themselves haven't been able to determine that!?!?! you just done out-smarted a whole company! amazing! you should work for lehman bros!
      • 6 Years Ago
      GM is crazy not to build this thing right NOW! Crazy.
      • 6 Years Ago
      "Jim Press said his former employer - Toyota - did not pay a cent for the development of the Prius" by Glenn
      When/Where did Jim Press say that?

      As I'm sure Toyota didn't pay for all the R&D themselves, I don't think the whole Hybrid Project was funded by the Japanese Government.

      GM is eligible for the Green Technology money the Government set a side for D3.
      I don't get it the Coverj would be built on the same platform as the Chevy Volt and the Chevy Cruze, both vehicles have different type engines. So why can't the
      Cadillac Convery be built with two different type engines?
      • 6 Years Ago
      Well considering the XLR was originally a 1999 concept called the Evoq, chances are this little piggy will be called the BLR XLS CTR GTS something
        • 6 Years Ago
        I'd go for CTE (Catera Touring Electric)
      • 6 Years Ago
      awwwwww! c'mon! this will be a total home run, gm! the volt is a car that would get green support but perhaps not be any particular buyer's cup of tea, but a sexy cadillac coupe with the same green cred? That has upper-crust new-money eco-righteous dream-machine written all over it! this is a car that could command a premium, it's in a dealership with vastly more expensive cars!
      The volt has to make sense to someone who hates buying gas but is standing in a dealership with a real intent to find a car they like, and therefore seriously considering buying a new GM car, but there's a hybrid malibu for a lot less (I'd bet almost $10k less) only 10 feet away!
        • 6 Years Ago
        Even worse, you just know that the msrp is going to be close to a corvette's, too! woe be the man who has to convince himself he's left the chevy dealership with the right car after seeing that!
      • 6 Years Ago
      I'm sure GM had no idea how well-received the Converj was going to be while they were developing the concept, so it would have been a waste of time and money to look into the feasibility of manufacturing the concept when it was uncertain if the public would even like it or not. Even if they had, can such a feasibility study be done in a week? That's about how long it's been since the concept was unveiled to the public, so what are you going to expect to hear from a GM executive other than:

      "We haven't done any of that work yet."

      However, I would like to see this car make it to production. As far as the name, I say call it the ETC. No, not 'Eldorado Touring Coupe', but 'Electric Touring Coupe'.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Nice bait and switch GM, but I am not falling for it.

      This from the company that thinks that Government should take partial ownership, and also help with financing, marketing, and everything else...

      "Oh... I see you like this concept... Well, we can't really do it unless we get some more cash... Poor us. You could call your congressman and tell them that they should give us some more federal dollars, and maybe we'll build this thing..."


      If they can't build good cars for lack of cash, maybe they should stop building some of the crap, so that they can focus on the good stuff, and do it on their own dime.

      Go GM, do your job. Like everyone else is expected to, BTW.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Really Boxterboy...Really??? I didn't interpret that quote to be a bait and switch at all. EVERY single manufacturer right now is in the same boat with future product development. Every decision they make right now has to be very calculated and an obscene amount of due diligence has to be completed in order to just "green light" a concept car. Come one man...
        • 6 Years Ago
        @ Les, GM can make the best cars in the world, but so what.

        Let's say GM builds an excellent car, a great car, if it costs GM 25K to build this car and consumer is willing to pay only 20K, who's fault is it? That is the problem, Porsche doesn't have that problem.
        • 6 Years Ago
        you guys do realize that boxer is not a car right? it's a type of engine...

        anyway, sea urchin why are you blabbering about how it's too expensive when there hasn't been a price or even production intent announced yet?
        • 6 Years Ago
        Boxer, you need to open the garage door and quit inhaling the fumes.
        On second thought, leave it closed.
        • 6 Years Ago
        I'm sure that you Boxer is not any better than any gm car out there. You get your head out of your behind and look at some of J. D. Powers ratings as of late. Your Boxer is not listed in or near the top of any ratings out there. So before you bash any American car go take a look of some of the top cars. Oh, by the way if you own a company out of the states, you leave your profit there, you donn't bring it home to better your life style. Let's bring back building our own cars here. If GM goes down you will not be driving a Boxer much longer, because you will not have a job.
        • 6 Years Ago

        My Subaru is paid off, and so is my wife's car. I haven't made a car payment in quite some time.

        And what does it matter if I lose my job, if the taxes keep going up from GM taking taxpayer money to do their business?

        Alpha-Beta Ogre: (B-I-N)
        First of all, Not every auto manufacturer is begging for my tax money via the federal government.

        Second of all, if they can't do business without tax dollars, then either this country has already failed, or GM has already failed, and we are just going through the inevitable ends of a socialist economy.

        Do you get another Caddy, for your tax dollars going in to GM? Or do you have to pay retail for the car AND taxes? Get a clue.

        To build on Sea Urchin's point:
        If GM can design the world's greatest car, but can't produce it, what good does it do?

        Should they really have access to the people's pocket books by law, rather than by the market? Should they have access to seizure of their own potential customer's income, by way of the IRS?

        I've got nothing against Caddy. I don't really want a pile of lithium batteries in my car, if I have an accident, so a regular fuel Caddy is fine, and the Converj's design is good. I wish design that good were more common.

        But GM as of late, has been advocating government involvement, been requesting and accepting federal dollars, and is continuing to ask some more. I cannot abide that, it is a very destructive move to the foundations of this country.

        Maybe GM should re-evaluate some of the crap that they purvey, like Aveo, G3, and other marginal products, and put their PRIVATE dollars to work, to DO THE JOB OF MAKING GOOD CARS.

        It isn't MY job to work for GM's budget.

      • 6 Years Ago

      GM needs to concentrate on its bread and butter cars. Perhaps later when or if they return to profitability they can start producing these niche cars.
      • 6 Years Ago
      This is what I don't get.

      Here with this concept, we have GM showing that, surprise surprise, it can actually design cars that actually look pretty damn good (ignoring the ZR-1, I'm talking about cars the average person could buy).

      But are the good designs doomed to be concept-only? (Memories of the Volt concept vs. actual).

      • 6 Years Ago
      Why not just call it the VTC and just go ahead and make the car already!
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