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    Cadillac Faces A Conundrum With the Escalade


    • How Do You Take A Popular Model and Bring Into Line With A New Mindset? Cadillac Faces This Very Issue With the Escalade.

    The Cadillac Escalade is an anomaly for the brand. The model represents everything that Cadillac would like to leave behind,

    • Shares the platform that Chevrolet and GMC use for their full-size SUVs
    • Too Much Bling
    • Nimble Performance is non-existant
    • Hasn't sold in any real volume in other countries


    But the Escalade is the model that commands top dollar and brings in buyers who tend to go for German and Japanese luxury brands. According to Automotive News, buyers laid down an average of $85,000 for the long-wheelbase Escalade ESV.

     

    The Escalade "is the one car we have that import buyers won't even bat an eye to buy," said Keith Harvey, executive manager of Gold Coast Cadillac in Oakhurst, N.J. "They don't have to worry what people will think when they pull up to the country club. It's an Escalade."

     

    This leaves Cadillac in a precarious place. How do you bring one of your most popular models into the image you are trying to create for the brand?

     

    In the short-term, Cadillac president Johan de Nysschen has floated the idea of doing a VSport model to possibly expand the Escalade lineup. But long-term, de Nysschen admits there is some frustration on how to evolve the model.

     

    "How do you balance the desire to bring it into alignment with where we're taking the brand and the equally intense desire not to screw up a good thing?" he said last April.

     

    Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)

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    V sport and V edition of an Escalade would be awesome.  All I can say is that Johan better keep his paws off the Escalade. You DO NOT need to have everything fit neat and tidy into the caddy family. Look at how MB has kept the G SUV alive for so long. Caddy needs to keep this going.

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    You dont....you dont do ANYTHING to the Escalade to put it in alignement...there is no need to align the 'Slade anywhere...

     

    Actually...maybe Cadillac should try to align some of the other modles in the Escalade midset...

    Big...Brash...Arrogant are all Cadillac traits that the 'Slade carries excellently...maybe if the ATS carried some of that brashness and arrogance...the ATS-V aint enough...the regular ATS needs some Cadillac DNA in it...

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    I'm sorry, I don't understand why we can't just leave it be?  It is the only Cadillac to have a "name" still, it has very positive recognition, they're making money with it, it's not an eyesore (no one is ashamed it exists), so why just not leave it alone?  It's beautifully equipped, has a beautiful interior, shares brand styling cues, and people want it in the US... what's wrong?  Make the rest of the brand what you want and leave this for fun.  As long as it's not losing money, I don't see why it has to go.

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    Oh good, Johan is going to start tinkering with the Escalade formula.... no way ANYTHING could go wrong there.

     

    BTW, NONE of the competition is particularly nimble either in spite of being smaller.  I've always found the GM SUVs to drive smaller than they really are. 

     

     

    And really, they are selling every Escalade they can build for $20k more than they sold the last one.  That's what is called a success.

     

    If Johan wants to sell it in other markets, give it a decent diesel or a PHEV or both.

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    Escalade with a beefed up VOLT power train would sell very well. Use the BOLT 200 mile battery pack plus the generator to get another 200-400 miles and you have an awesome luxury SUV.

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    Escalade with a beefed up VOLT power train would sell very well. Use the BOLT 200 mile battery pack plus the generator to get another 200-400 miles and you have an awesome luxury SUV.

     

    Minus the Bolt battery pack, that's called the Cadillac PHEV system. Coming to a Cadillac CT6 near you. 

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    If other Cadillacs had word names and some bolder styling, then the Escalade wouldn't seem so much like the outsider of the brand.  And Johan can't be against using a Chevy chassis, because the XT5, XTS, ELR, and whatever they build XT3 or XT4 on are Chevy/Buick platforms.  There is platform share everywhere else, what is the difference if Escalade does it too.

     

    In regards to the dealer that said the import buyers aren't afraid to buy an Escalade, that is for 2 reasons.  One is does have name recognition, people know they are expensive and you must have some money if you drive one.  Secondly, there is only 1 other competitive full size SUV and that is the Mercedes GL.  The Infiniti QX and Lexus LX are extremely dated, and they were build off inferior Nissan and Toyota pick up truck chassis to begin with.  The Navigator is tired and dated now, they haven't kept it fresh in the past 5-10 years.  BMW, Audi, Acura don't make an SUV of that size, and the Range Rover is a mid-size.

     

    I think you leave the Escalade alone for now, should buyers demand better fuel economy from it, that is when you put a plug-in hybrid powertrain or something in there.  If CAFE and regulations become a concern, or buyers quit buying monster SUVs, then you move the Escalade to Omega as a last resort, and that might be beyond 2025 if things really change.

     

    Cadillac has a lot of other problems to worry about before worrying about the Escalade.

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    But there will be a Buick or Chevy or GMC version in a couple years.  Camaro is on alpha, there is a lot of Cadillac shared with the corporate parts bin, so the fact that the Escalade is a based on a Tahoe can't be too big a cause for concern.  The reason Escalade doesn't fit with the brand is they think for some stupid reason XT5 and CT3 are what the people want, when really they want Escalade, Fleetwood, Eldorado.

     

    Cadillac thinks people want light weight cars with a 2 liter turbo.  The Escalade is near 6,000 lbs and has a 6.2 liter V8 and outsells the CTS which costs half as much. Luxury buyers want luxury and a V8 and name recognition and status.

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    Oh you're moving the goal posts again?  :alcoholic:  :alcoholic:

     

    First your issue was that Cadillac was using a Chevy platform... now that Cadillac gets platforms first and then lets the other brands in a few years later, that's still a problem? 

     

    You love to cite the 3-series as the biggest seller in its class.... that's the reason Cadillac wants to build lightweight world class chassis with 4-cylinder turbos.   If you're referring to the CT6, there are no less than 4 other powertrains for the CT6 in production or on the way soon. 

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    If Cadillac does something sporty with the Escalade, then GMC and Chevy may squawk and want something similar with their models, too. If that happens, then how is the Escalade any different than the Tahoe/Yukon?

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    Chevy will most definitely squawk...the good thing is that Cadillac is based in NYC now and far away from Chevy to hinder Cadillac's uniqueness that should be in the GM umbrella.

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    If Cadillac does something sporty with the Escalade, then GMC and Chevy may squawk and want something similar with their models, too. If that happens, then how is the Escalade any different than the Tahoe/Yukon?

     

    I most likely see this as the preamble to moving the Escalade off a body-on-frame platform and not sharing it with the others. 

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    Oh you're moving the goal posts again?  :alcoholic:  :alcoholic:

     

    First your issue was that Cadillac was using a Chevy platform... now that Cadillac gets platforms first and then lets the other brands in a few years later, that's still a problem? 

     

    You love to cite the 3-series as the biggest seller in its class.... that's the reason Cadillac wants to build lightweight world class chassis with 4-cylinder turbos.   If you're referring to the CT6, there are no less than 4 other powertrains for the CT6 in production or on the way soon. 

    I am not trying to move a goal post.  I'd rather Cadillac use all rear drive platforms, if the Camaro is built on Alpha that is no big deal because it is a Cadillac chassis first and a Camaro is not competing with Cadillac.   And Camaro is a performance car.  

     

    For the sake of this argument, the first bullet point in the original post was that the Escalade shares a platform with Chevy/GMC and Cadillac would like to leave that behind.  But they share platforms all through the line up already so what is the difference if Escalade does too.   If the Escalade was the only product on a Chevy platform then that argument could hold up.

     

    I believe the ATS should have a turbo 4 standard, CTS and CT6 3.6 liter V6 standard.  More people want a V8 tank of an Escalade than they do a lightweight 4 cylinder turbo CTS and the Escalade is double the money.  Maybe the CTS needs more power and bling, that seems to be wha the Cadillac buyer wants.

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    If Cadillac does something sporty with the Escalade, then GMC and Chevy may squawk and want something similar with their models, too. If that happens, then how is the Escalade any different than the Tahoe/Yukon?

     

    I most likely see this as the preamble to moving the Escalade off a body-on-frame platform and not sharing it with the others. 

     

    I'd be all for a move to Omega for the Escalde to make it unibody and lighter.   The Mercedes GL is not that mass efficient, but it still about 300 lbs less than an Escalade V8 to V8.  The GLS should drop a couple hundred pounds on the next generation since all other Mercedes in the past few years have.  Escalade will need less weight and or more power to keep pace.  The rest of the segment is hopeless though, has Lexus put a new engine in the LX since like 06?  The Navigator's body panels look like they are from an 07 Expedition.  It is a 2 horse race at this point.

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    If Cadillac does something sporty with the Escalade, then GMC and Chevy may squawk and want something similar with their models, too. If that happens, then how is the Escalade any different than the Tahoe/Yukon?

     

    I most likely see this as the preamble to moving the Escalade off a body-on-frame platform and not sharing it with the others. 

     

    I'd be all for a move to Omega for the Escalde to make it unibody and lighter.   The Mercedes GL is not that mass efficient, but it still about 300 lbs less than an Escalade V8 to V8.  The GLS should drop a couple hundred pounds on the next generation since all other Mercedes in the past few years have.  Escalade will need less weight and or more power to keep pace.  The rest of the segment is hopeless though, has Lexus put a new engine in the LX since like 06?  The Navigator's body panels look like they are from an 07 Expedition.  It is a 2 horse race at this point.

     

    I also would want the Slade to to move to Omega...but not now...there is no reason for it now...

    Maybe ever.

     

    The Escalade was ALWAYS a badge engineered SUV from BOF brothers Chevy and GMC...

    The 1st generation was as blatant a badge job as GM has ever done, and that did not stop the Escalade in being a success...unlike a certain J-Body platformed car...and for one year, it created a frenzy about the brand Cadillac...'twas not the Caddy that Zigs nor the Arts and Science 1st gen CTS...;twas really the 1st gen 'Slade...a badge job...

    The 2nd generation was also a blatant badge job...albeit less apparent, but not by much...and that too, did not stop the success...at a time when BMW and Mercedes-Benz just put the bitch slap on American Luxury name plates...

    The 3rd generation was even less a badge job...but very BOF...as Cadillac and GM did not hide the fact that this Escalade IS a GMT 900 underneath...and at about this time, it was very apparent to GM, to M-B, to BMW, to Land Rover, to Porsche, to Rolls Royce, to Bentley and just about everybody else, that the Escalade is King in the SUV world, prompting Rolls Royce and Bentley to get jealous and wanting a piece of that Escalade pie...let us not forget that the Escalade remains BOF...

    The 4rth generation is when the Escalade FINALLY approached the REAL LUXURY claim its name plate stands for...and when the competition finally appears from Rolls and Bentley..let us not forget hpw heavy these beasts will be...as heavy or heavier than the Escalade....let us not forger that the 'Slade also comes in ESV trim...and what does all that mean?

    It means that weight might not be a real concern to the buyers of these beasts...

     

    And until weight becomes of concern with the customer base...then Cadillac should really not concern themselves with Omega based SUVs...

    Cadillac should continue to make the 'Slade a Chevy based SUV...because THAT is one of its selling points...as soon as THAT becomes a liability, only THEN should Cadillac change the 'Slade...

    The only thing Cadillac should concern themsleves with the 'Slade, is to continue to refine that interior, to make that interior truly top tier one luxury...

    Edited by oldshurst442
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    I'd guess that we're still 8 or 9 years out from an all-new Escalade.  The current one still has a few years to go and probably an MCE for another 4 or 5 years.

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    I'd guess that we're still 8 or 9 years out from an all-new Escalade.  The current one still has a few years to go and probably an MCE for another 4 or 5 years.

    Is that a good thing?

     

    8 or 9 years is a long time considering Rolls and Bentley will offer a real fullsize, (yeah I know...not in the same league price wise, but for now, the uber rich still buy 'Slades, Cadillac may not have to lose to Rolls or Bentley regardless if they have the cash to buy a Rolls or Bentley, retaining the cool factor by being seen in the 'Slade a should continue to be a priority for Cadillac) considering that Lexus might actually offer a brand new one, and Lincoln too, and Lincoln's 'Gator will have aluminum panels and there is still name recognition in the Navigator...8-9 years away for a new 'Slade seems to me like a Lincoln maneuver  that left the 'Gator rot on the vine...

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    I too would leave the Escalade on the Tahoe platform for now.  I think on Omega you could get better performance and fuel economy, and I think as the 2025 CAFE target nears that move may be necessary.    The Escalade is not competing with Bentley or Rolls Royce though.  The Bentley Bentayga does 0-60 in 4 seconds and does 190 mph, that is serious performance for a car, much less a full size SUV.  Secondly the Bentley has an optional clock that costs twice as much as an entire Escalade, waaaaaaay different strata of buyer.  

     

    As far as Rolls-Royce goes, the short wheel base Phantom is longer than an Escalade ESV.  I imagine their SUV will be massive and massively expensive.

     

    I do agree that Escalade buyers don't care about weight or fuel economy.  And Cadillac has virtually no threat from Lexus, Infiniti, or even Lincoln anymore in that segment.   I think Cadillac has other holes to worry about, they can probably keep the BOF until 2020 at least and see where the market is going.

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    I'd guess that we're still 8 or 9 years out from an all-new Escalade.  The current one still has a few years to go and probably an MCE for another 4 or 5 years.

    Is that a good thing?

     

    8 or 9 years is a long time considering Rolls and Bentley will offer a real fullsize, (yeah I know...not in the same league price wise, but for now, the uber rich still buy 'Slades, Cadillac may not have to lose to Rolls or Bentley regardless if they have the cash to buy a Rolls or Bentley, retaining the cool factor by being seen in the 'Slade a should continue to be a priority for Cadillac) considering that Lexus might actually offer a brand new one, and Lincoln too, and Lincoln's 'Gator will have aluminum panels and there is still name recognition in the Navigator...8-9 years away for a new 'Slade seems to me like a Lincoln maneuver  that left the 'Gator rot on the vine...

     

     

    I"m sure it will get upgrades and refreshes in the meantime.  I'm not sure many have noticed, but Cadillac is making rolling changes/upgrades to their cars every year for the past few years. They're not letting them sit around.  Escalade started with the 6-speed auto, then moved to the 8-speed auto, it's getting the CUE upgrades this year, it will probably get the V8TT when that comes out.  They're keeping their vehicles fresher.

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    The super rich will buy the Rolls and Bentley, even Mercedes GLS and Range Rover can only climb to $150,000 or so.  The Escalade may lose some of that celebrity/hip hop appeal, could lose a little bit of image when the 1% move elsewhere, but regular rich people still won't be able to afford a Bentley or Rolls, and then it comes down to Escalade or GLS, or maybe Navigator if they really improve it.  But Lincoln doesn't have much brand image left in it to justify $80-90k for a truck.

     

    This generation Escalade should be around until 2021 or so, going into that 2022 model year is when you really have to consider Omega because CAFE is going to change the way these companies build and power cars.

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    The super rich will buy the Rolls and Bentley, even Mercedes GLS and Range Rover can only climb to $150,000 or so.  The Escalade may lose some of that celebrity/hip hop appeal, could lose a little bit of image when the 1% move elsewhere, but regular rich people still won't be able to afford a Bentley or Rolls, and then it comes down to Escalade or GLS, or maybe Navigator if they really improve it.  But Lincoln doesn't have much brand image left in it to justify $80-90k for a truck.

     

    This generation Escalade should be around until 2021 or so, going into that 2022 model year is when you really have to consider Omega because CAFE is going to change the way these companies build and power cars.

    Yeah...I think that is more logical than want I said earlier. And you are definitely right about an Omega 'Slade in 2021/2022...CAFE.

    Although I dont agree with you with Lincoln. I believe the 'Gator still has mojo left in her, its up to FoMoCo and Lincoln to use their marketing genius to allow that mojo to come out when an all new 'Gator finally arrives.

     

     

    @ Drew

    Thanx for that insight as I too, forget  that GM actually refreshes their vehicles often enough...

    Edited by oldshurst442
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    The Mercedes GL is 5,300-5,600 lbs depending on V6 or V8 and equipment.   But ehe GLE/GLS chassis goes back to 2011 model year, and the recent Mercedes models have used more aluminum to shed weight.  If that keeps up and they cut 200-300 lbs off the GLS for the next generation, then they are more like 5,100-5,300 lbs, so they could get a bit more of a performance and fuel economy edge on the Escalade.  Buyers in this segment may not care at all, but there could be an argument made to move Escalade to Omega for the 5th generation in the early 2020s.

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    If Cadillac does something sporty with the Escalade, then GMC and Chevy may squawk and want something similar with their models, too. If that happens, then how is the Escalade any different than the Tahoe/Yukon?

    So what if they squawk, Chevy can make their own SS series and GMC already has their Denali, if they want performance then bring back in the Syclone and Typhoon and make from compact to full size limited performance versions.

     

    Escalade should have a V-Sport and V edition I think. Imagen a Supercharged Escalade ESV Platinum V edition. :D:metal:

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    The super rich will buy the Rolls and Bentley, even Mercedes GLS and Range Rover can only climb to $150,000 or so.  The Escalade may lose some of that celebrity/hip hop appeal, could lose a little bit of image when the 1% move elsewhere, but regular rich people still won't be able to afford a Bentley or Rolls, and then it comes down to Escalade or GLS, or maybe Navigator if they really improve it.  But Lincoln doesn't have much brand image left in it to justify $80-90k for a truck.

     

    This generation Escalade should be around until 2021 or so, going into that 2022 model year is when you really have to consider Omega because CAFE is going to change the way these companies build and power cars.

    Yeah...I think that is more logical than want I said earlier. And you are definitely right about an Omega 'Slade in 2021/2022...CAFE.

    Although I dont agree with you with Lincoln. I believe the 'Gator still has mojo left in her, its up to FoMoCo and Lincoln to use their marketing genius to allow that mojo to come out when an all new 'Gator finally arrives.

     

     

    @ Drew

    Thanx for that insight as I too, forget  that GM actually refreshes their vehicles often enough...

     

    Just imagen a Hybrid Escalade or pure electric. by the early 2020's we should have considerable battery packs that could pretty much eliminate petrol engines. Not totally out of reach. Just review the alternative forum on the various high powered electric motors you can get to put into your auto.

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