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Cadillac takes aim at Tesla with SUV priced below Model X

[SOUTHFIELD, Michigan] Cadillac has a goal to sell an electric SUV priced more affordably than Tesla Inc.'s Model X, which often retails for more than US$100,000.

The General Motors Co. luxury brand will start building the vehicle after its current parade of new models hits the market by 2021, Cadillac President Steve Carlisle said during a press event on the eve of the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. Carlisle said the mid-sized luxury sport utility vehicle will sell for prices on par with similar gasoline-powered models, which usually start around US$50,000 and get more pricey with add-ons.

Automakers have to sell electric vehicles at prices comparable to cars that run on gasoline or they wouldn't be able to achieve sales volume, Carlisle said. "The industry is going electric and we all expect the same amount of business," he said.

The Model X is more expensive now, but the Silicon Valley electric-car maker is working on the Model Y, a smaller SUV with a lower price tag. Carlisle said GM is using Tesla's vehicles as a benchmark while the Detroit-based automaker develops its own electric versions.

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"They have done a lot to popularize electric vehicles and get in the minds of consumers," he said.

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