General Motors on Monday started production of an electric Cadillac sport utility vehicle that could soon become the company’s top-selling E.V.
The model, the Lyriq, is being produced in Spring Hill, Tenn. It is the company’s third electric model, with a starting price of $59,000. G.M. will start taking firm orders for the vehicle on May 19 and says it has a waiting list of some 240,000 potential customers.
“We’ve seen incredible customer demand,” G.M.’s president, Mark Reuss, said on a conference call. “It’s an incredible day here in Spring Hill. We feel good about what’s going to happen here in the next few months.”
The Lyriq is one of more than 20 electric models that G.M. plans to introduce in the United States in the next three years. The company aims to offer only electric vehicles by 2035.
The new Cadillac arrives as several automakers are adding E.V.s to compete with Tesla. Ford Motor is scheduled to start making an electric version of its F-150 pickup truck next month. Rivian, a start-up, has started making an electric pickup and an electric S.U.V., although its production has been severely limited so far by shortages of computer chips.
The Lyriq joins the Chevrolet Bolt compact and the GMC Hummer in G.M.’s electric lineup. The Bolt has generated modest sales since its introduction with the 2017 model, and production has been halted while the automaker and its battery supplier, LG Electric, fix manufacturing glitches that prompted the recall of all 140,000 Bolts sold in the United States. Bolt production is scheduled to resume April 4.
The GMC Hummer is a luxury model with a starting price of $110,000 and limited sales potential.
The Spring Hill plant is making the Lyriq on an assembly line that also produces three gasoline-powered S.U.V.s — the Cadillac XT5 and XT6, and the GMC Acadia. Mr. Reuss said the plant could make just under 200,000 vehicles a year and skew production heavily toward the Lyriq if necessary.
G.M. spent $4.5 billion to retool the plant to make all four models and to build a battery plant at the site. The battery plant is not completed. Another G.M. battery plant, near Lordstown, Ohio, is expected to start production this summer.
The Spring Hill plant opened in 1990 and produced cars for G.M.’s Saturn brand, which was shut down in 2009.