GM Invests $81 Million to Hand-Build Cadillac Celestiq Luxury Electric Cars

GM Invests $81 Million to Hand-Build Cadillac Celestiq Luxury Electric Cars

Front view of the Celestiq show car, which GM is expected to unveil in late July.


DETROIT — General Motors said on Wednesday it is investing $81 million at its global design and technology campus in suburban Detroit to hand-build the upcoming Cadillac Celestiq — a new flagship electric car for the brand that will be produced in limited quantities.

The decision marks the first time GM will build a vehicle for commercial sale at its massive engineering campus in Warren, Michigan. It also marks a pivot for Cadillac to offer a hand-built car, typically reserved for high-end sports cars and ultra-luxury vehicles like Bentley’s exclusive models, as GM makes an effort to keep the quintessentially American brand reinvigorate a tech-savvy EV carmaker that can challenge Tesla.

“As Cadillac’s future flagship sedan, Celestiq marks a new, resurgent era for the brand,” GM president Mark Reuss said in a statement.

GM will officially unveil the car next month. Only hundreds are expected to be produced each year and cost $200,000 or more per car, Cadillac president Steve Carlisle told The Wall Street Journal in 2020.

The vehicle will be based on GM’s new Ultium electric vehicle platform, which was first used on the GMC Hummer EV. The platform is intended to be modular and support GM’s latest EVs, including 30 new models by 2025.

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In a release on Wednesday, GM said the investment will be used to purchase and install equipment to hand-build the Celestiq and for campus renovations already underway. The company reaffirmed that the Celestiq roof is expected to be one of the first to feature a four-quadrant particulate matter smart glass that allows each car occupant to determine their own level of roof transparency.

The automaker also said the vehicle will have a new interior screen that spans the width of the vehicle and includes more than 100 3D-printed parts.

Although machines are used in the making of hand-built vehicles, it is largely controlled by humans. This can be compared to a typical vehicle, which is largely produced on an assembly line with hundreds of robots in addition to assembly workers.