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Ominous Sign For 2014 Cadillac ELR: Half Of Dealers Turn It Down

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Sales of Cadillac's ELR range-extended luxury coupe are... well, they're not high right now.

But that's okay, since Cadillac hasn't set itself huge targets for the Volt-based coupe. It's a niche product, not a volume model.

Less okay is that nearly half of the brand's dealers have decided not to sell the ELR at all, expecting to sell so few that it isn't worth their while to offer the model.

As Edmunds reports (via Autoblog Green), 410 of the nation's 940 Cadillac dealers have turned down the opportunity to sell the ELR.

The dealers have made individual decisions that the number of ELRs they'd sell wouldn't justify the expense of selling them, and the tooling and training required to sell and service the specialist electrified model.

The latter cost can run as high as $15,000--quite a price to pay if a dealer is only likely to shift one or two units a year.

So far, Cadillac has sold 46 units in its first two months, the bulk of those in January. The Volt, by comparison, moved 918 units in January, despite it being a relatively slow month for Chevy's plug-in offering.

Much of that is likely to be down to the ELR's price next to the near-identically powered Volt. At $75,995 you could comfortably buy two Volts for the price of one ELR. Not that buyers are doing that instead, but it's illustrative of the gulf between the otherwise-similar models.

Tesla's Model S is the other elephant in the room, offering more performance and a greater electric range in a similar price bracket.

While Cadillac sees its ELR as a rival for BMWs and other Germanic coupes, it's hard not to see customers drawn to the ELR's electric element being tempted away by Tesla.

The good news for potential ELR buyers is that they're probably close to a dealer that is selling the car, despite the frequency of those that aren't.

If you live in California, or near cities like Dallas, Miami and New York, you're living where Cadillac expects to sell the most ELRs anyway--so local dealers should be able to help you if you're interested.

It's worth giving them a call beforehand to check though, just so you don't make a wasted trip...

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