Driver’s side view of the Celestiq show car, which GM is expected to unveil at the end of July.
DETROIT — General Motors announced on Wednesday that it is investing $81 million at its global design and technology campus in suburban Detroit to hand-build the upcoming Cadillac Celestiq — a new electric flagship for the brand that will be launched in limited quantities are produced.
The decision marks the first time GM will build a vehicle for commercial sale at its massive tech campus in Warren, Michigan. It’s also a pivot for Cadillac to offer a handcrafted car normally reserved for high-end sports cars and luxury vehicles like Bentley’s exclusive models, as GM pushes to revitalize the quintessentially American brand into a tech-savvy company EV automaker that can challenge Tesla.
“As Cadillac’s future flagship sedan, Celestiq represents a new, resurgent era for the brand,” GM President Mark Reuss said in a statement.
GM is scheduled to 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, first used on the GMC Hummer EV. The platform will be modular and support GM’s latest electric vehicles, including 30 new models by 2025.
In a Wednesday press release, 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 reconfirmed that the Celestiq roof is expected to be one of the first to feature four-quadrant smart glass with suspended particles, allowing each occupant of the car to set their own level of roof transparency.
The automaker also said the vehicle will feature a new interior screen display that spans the width of the vehicle and features more than 100 3D-printed parts.
Although machines are used in the manufacture of handcrafted vehicles, they are largely controlled by humans. This is comparable to a typical vehicle, which is largely made on an assembly line with hundreds of robots alongside assembly workers.