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Tuesday, November 10, 2009

GM to put Electric Converj into production

General Motors is moving forward with plans to produce an electrically driven Cadillac luxury car, according to a source familiar with the plan. GM showed off a concept vehicle called the Converj at the 2009 Detroit Auto Show. The Converj was, essentially, a Cadillac version of the Chevrolet Volt electric car.

At the auto show, Vice Chairman Bob Lutz said if the Converj was approved, the production model would resemble the concept, likening it to the Chevrolet Camaro's evolution from concept to production.

Lutz said it would have been easier financially to produce a Cadillac electric vehicle first because a premium brand would command a higher sticker price, which in turn would help defray the cost of lithium-ion batteries.

The Converj will expand the number of electric vehicles offered by GM and spread the technology's cost. GM is spending more than $1 billion on the Volt program alone and opening a battery pack assembly factory. GM's German carmaker Opel GmbH will produce an Ampera model in 2011 that uses the same underpinnings.

Cadillac sells a hybrid version of its Cadillac Escalade, but dealers say customers don't normally think of the large SUV as a traditional hybrid.

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