The $5,500 rebate is also conditional on buyers signing an NDA about their experience with the new EV.
For a brand accused of being stodgy and old-fashioned, the Cadillac Lyriq is as a breath of fresh air. The tech-laden luxury SUV boasts sharp styling and impressive performance. But, with a starting price of $62,990, the electric SUV is a rather pricey piece of kit - even if you have the means to buy one.
Despite immense demand for the battery-powered vehicle, Cadillac is already offering hefty discounts to select buyers. A saving of $5,500 (excluding EV incentives) is a big chunk of change but, as Detroit Free Press reports, this appealing discount does come at a price to the buyer.
In exchange for the $5,500 incentive, prospective owners have to sign an NDA agreement that permits them from discussing the vehicle with any non-GM parties. Furthermore, they have to agree to let General Motors track how they use their newly-acquired Lyriqs. This may sound peculiar, but there's a reason for this cloak and dagger discount.
According to company spokesperson Michael Albano, this program will explore how owners use their brand-new electric Cadillacs. "We have engaged a small group of early customers who agree to share their vehicle information and customer behaviors. Cadillac will use these learnings to elevate the experience for all our customers," said Albano to the news outlet.
An unnamed Cadillac dealer shared that selected customers form part of an early adopters' study and, in return for the $5,500 discount, grant the automaker permission to track their respective driving patterns. Unlike past incentives offered by the company, this particular deal was purposefully kept quiet. Albano added that the number of customers involved is intentionally very small; just 20 customers have been chosen so far.
"We will use the program to learn more about customer behaviors and their vehicles. Beyond that, the details of the program are a private agreement between the customer and Cadillac." Most of the chosen customers reside within the Los Angeles, Detroit, and New York areas.
While this may come across as clandestine, the Lyriq is a very important car for Cadillac and the carmaker must get everything right. Instead of relying on jaded employees, customers will give honest feedback and provide useful data that can be used for future electric products, such as the decadent Celestiq luxury sedan.
"There's a lot we can learn from customers beyond the physical vehicle. We can see their charging behaviors, driving behaviors, and how they use the vehicle," said Albano. Interestingly, dealers are on board with the new experiment. Many have said it will allow Cadillac to fix issues early on - something that could prevent costly and embarrassing recalls.
For some, the idea of being tracked and not being able to speak about their brand-new car won't be worth the $5,500 discount. While for others, being part of an experiment for early adopters and getting money back is a win-win. Besides, if it helps GM improve customer service, it's a brilliant idea.