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    Rumorpile: The Three-Row Cadillac Crossover Has Been Shelved


    • The Three-Row Cadillac Crossover Has Reached An End

    The rumors of Cadillac working on a three-row crossover have been running around for the past couple of years, with the most recent coming from Global Cadillac President Robert Ferguson who said the crossover could wear the Escalade nameplate, but a decision hadn't been reached. Wards Auto reports that a decision has been reached; the three-row crossover has been shelved.

    Sources tell Wards that the proposed Cadillac crossover would compete too closely with the Buick Enclave and GMC Acadia. The decision comes late in the development of the next-generation large crossovers which are due out as early as 2016 and will utilize a new Theta/Lambda platform. Cadillac is likely going to get a crossover utilizing this new platform, but in a smaller size with only two rows of seats.

    Source: Wards Auto

    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.

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    Smart Move, Leave the 3 row cross over to the mid tear and focus on a truly luxury CUV with Escalade being their top of the line SUV.

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    Interesting.... I wonder if the SRX will go down in exterior size while staying the same in interior size. (It's X3 sized inside while almost X5 sized outside) Then this new crossover could be an X5/M-Class direct competitor.

    My concern would be about body-mass. Unless the new platform sheds a lot of mass, building a 2-row crossover on a 3-row platform could lead to an overly heavy SUV.

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    This is part of the same reason why Dodge is phasing out the minivan - the market for parents with a lot of kids is dwindling significantly.

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    This is part of the same reason why Dodge is phasing out the minivan - the market for parents with a lot of kids is dwindling significantly.

    Well... they're not. The Dodge brand is converting to a sporting brand. The T&C will carry on. One less badge engineered vehicle at the Chrysler company now.

    I think it has more to do with the fact that the direct competition in that price class is predominantly 2-row crossovers. Except for the stupid niche vehicles, Cadillac wants to have an option, model for model, for everything you might buy at the BMW dealership up the street.

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    The development of any Cadillac is now tied to any other GM platform development. If you can't make the business case for a 3-row luxury crossover for Cadillac as part of a long-term platform marketing strategy, then it will not be built.

    As the press release states, "the proposed Cadillac crossover would compete too closely with the Buick Enclave and GMC Acadia." Unless GM wants to re-badge the old Saturn Outlook as a Cadillac, but I doubt that will happen.

    Fiat-Chrysler is doing the same thing with integrating its platforms for cars to be sold on both sides of the Atlantic.

    The margins are too high to take the "Escalade" name off the current SUV platform. GM makes a lot of money from the Tahoe/Denali/Escalade sales and simply "transferring" the name to a different platform is too risky.

    That would also go against the current marketing campaign with David Bowie's "Fame" in the commercial showing that you are driving the ultimate symbol of luxury and not simply an up-level family hauler.

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    The ideal scenario for Cadillac is to create synergy within its own products while sharing remotely with other brands. Which means, diversifying the RWD platforms, if it is possible.

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    The only possibility of Cadillac being "exclusive" in its product offering that I can see now is if they put that 4.5L V8 into production in addition to the 3.6L V6 TT.

    Everything else is being shared by the other brands. The CTS-V will get the Z-O6 powertrain and all of the other engines can be found in other GM cars.

    I still miss the Northstar engine.

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    They don't need 4 Lambdas and Cadillac doesn't need more front wheel drive vehicles so this is a smart move. I also think that big families may be a bit on the decline, people wait longer and longer to have kids and they have less of them. And if gas keeps climbing, how much demand will there be for SUVs, when there are cars that might get 10 mpg better. Even in the luxury market, once the diesels catch on and people can take a 38 mpg sedan vs a 24 mpg SUV, that is a pretty dramatic difference. We have crumbling infrastructure also, gas taxes aren't going down, they will only go up. Maybe gas stays at $4 a gallon, but what if it is $6 per gallon in 2018, how will those big SUV sales look then?

    What Cadillac should do is make an SUV off the Alpha platform, and if they wanted to be economical they could make a short version and a long version like Hyundai does with the Santa Fe, then you can battle with X3 and X5 with one vehicle that has 2 versions. They won't do that though because the SRX sells. The other option is to make the SRX a bit smaller and keep the price in the $35-50k range and keep it front drive like the Lexus RX, and build an Alpha SUV the size of the CTS and not make it look like a station wagon on stilts like the last time around.

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    Even if gas prices go up, there will still be a market for the Body on Frame Full Size SUV's. From hauling trailers to Companies that have needs, there is a value market for the Full Size SUV and GM is the King right now and must keep them fresh to keep that title.

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    The Mercedes GL is unibody and outsold the Escalade the past couple years. I do agree that on some level there will always be a market for a big SUV like the Escalade, just like there will always be that select market for a Bentley or Ferrari regardless of how much gas costs. I think the market for mid size or slightly large SUVs could decline, that is why Cadillac is making the right move not throwing a 4th Lambda and another SUV into the mix. Look at sales of the Audi Q7, Lincoln MKT, Lexus GX, etc, they don't sell (although they are lousy vehicles too).

    Small crossovers are the hot thing now, that is the market to move into. Cadillac doesn't need a middle size, bigger and biggest SUV approach; they need to have small, medium and large. I wouldn't say Cadillac needs to go Encore small, but if they used Alpha they could make something ATS sized and keep the price based at $35k.

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    The previous Escalade was also $6k more than the GL in just base form. The 2015 model increases the price differential to $9k. Do try to compare apples to apples.

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    The Escalade's closest competitors as far as size and body on frame SUV go are the Navigator at $56,000 and the Infiniti QX80 at $63,000. The Escalade is now $71,000 and outsells the other two with ease. The GL is $63,000 base and unibody but it is as long as an Escalade and has 3 rows of seats, it really serves as the Escalade's greatest competitor since the Range Rover costs more and is a smaller 5 passenger, and the Lincoln is hopeless.

    The Escalade is a successful produce for Cadillac, but they don't need another 3 row SUV, they need a small SUV.

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    They have an SUV in the small class.... the SRX is the same size interior as the X3 and GLK. Sure it is larger on the outside, but that doesn't appear to be SRX hurting sales as it is still easily outselling its German rivals at that price point. Cadillac needs an X5 sized SUV (interior room) and that is what the new 2-row crossover in this article should accomplish.

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    Sales of the ATS and CTS are disappointing. How much longer will Cadillac invest billions trying to compete with Mercedes and BMW? I think Cadillac should consider having 3 crossovers (one smaller than the SRX plus a 3 row larger than the SRX) plus the Escalade because that's what luxury buyers (not me personally) appear to want.

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    The ATS looks a little bland I think, and it is a bit cramped inside. On the outside it may be the same size as the Germans, but on the inside I feel like there is a bit more room in a 3-series or C-class, although the C-class is sort of a narrow car too. The Lexus IS is way up, perhaps it is stealing off the ATS or perhaps people don't like CUE or all the glossy bling on Cadillac interiors.

    The SRX could almost get a little smaller to create more space between it and the Escalade for the new SUV to slot in the middle. I hope it is an Alpha SUV though and not just a stretched wheelbase SRX with a new name like SLX.

    To ehaase's point, I don't think Cadillac is spending billions, where is the money going? Yes they did the Alpha platform but that spawed 2 cars and the transmission was carry over, and the 2.0t and 3.6 V6 were already in house so no new engine to develop. The Escalade doesn't cost too much in engineering since most of the work is shared with other trucks.

    Mercedes passenger car division R&D budget is huge and Mercedes now has the 400 engineers that built their F1 car (that is undefeated) working on AMG road cars because they don't have anything else to do for the next few years. Cadillac doesn't spend what it takes to truly compete with BMW and Mercedes, GM doesn't have that kind of money to make that happen, but if they don't spend what they have, Cadillac will be Acura and end up a dead brand. Because if GM ever has to ax another brand it will be Cadillac since GMC is just a Chevy and Buick shares all its platforms and engines and some interior components with Chevy also. Honda doesn't kill Acura because they have no Buick or GMC, Acura serves that purpose of badge job vehicle.

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    The ATS looks a little bland I think, and it is a bit cramped inside. On the outside it may be the same size as the Germans, but on the inside I feel like there is a bit more room in a 3-series or C-class, although the C-class is sort of a narrow car too. The Lexus IS is way up, perhaps it is stealing off the ATS or perhaps people don't like CUE or all the glossy bling on Cadillac interiors.

    The SRX could almost get a little smaller to create more space between it and the Escalade for the new SUV to slot in the middle. I hope it is an Alpha SUV though and not just a stretched wheelbase SRX with a new name like SLX.

    To ehaase's point, I don't think Cadillac is spending billions, where is the money going? Yes they did the Alpha platform but that spawed 2 cars and the transmission was carry over, and the 2.0t and 3.6 V6 were already in house so no new engine to develop. The Escalade doesn't cost too much in engineering since most of the work is shared with other trucks.

    Mercedes passenger car division R&D budget is huge and Mercedes now has the 400 engineers that built their F1 car (that is undefeated) working on AMG road cars because they don't have anything else to do for the next few years. Cadillac doesn't spend what it takes to truly compete with BMW and Mercedes, GM doesn't have that kind of money to make that happen, but if they don't spend what they have, Cadillac will be Acura and end up a dead brand. Because if GM ever has to ax another brand it will be Cadillac since GMC is just a Chevy and Buick shares all its platforms and engines and some interior components with Chevy also. Honda doesn't kill Acura because they have no Buick or GMC, Acura serves that purpose of badge job vehicle.

    You want to talk about bland look at your beloved BMW and MB, other than their performance lines, those auto's are all bland and where I can at least sit in the ATS without my knees hitting the dash. The 3 series from BMW and MB C class I hit the dash. Yes at 6'6" tall I am cramped in all 3 versions but Cadillac has marketing issues more than being bland and cramped inside.

    Before you say GM will kill of Cadillac, you need to think about the stupid moves BMW and MB have made over the years and the diluted garbage they are selling around the world. Quality is some of the worst on both BMW and MB products. Mini's are a joke except to those that love the cuteness of the car as they do not fit most people, lousy product lines and based on their own numbers ship with 1 defect per car and in some cases 2. The Smart Car is another joke of an auto. Right now they might have the money in the bank, but the unions are starting to drag both companies down. They have over capacity, less than reliable products and there are far better choices out there if you are not a badge snob.

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    I don't like BMW or Audi, I like Jaguar and Mercedes. The German trio are seeing record sales over the past few years and record profit levels, I think I read Audi makes nearly $10,000 per car, and Porsche makes nearly $20,000 profit per car, people are obviously paying money for them even if some of them are dressed up VW's. Personally I'd never buy an Audi. Mercedes was #2 in quality according to JD power last year, only Lexus was better. Mercedes doesn't have over capacity either, the S-class is being built at 100% capacity, the C-class sold in the USA will be built in the USA because the German factory is maxed out and they are building a new factory in China. I would imagine with BMW sales climbing, they don't have all kinds of excess capacity either.

    Maybe the ATS's problem is marketing, but to ehaase's point, Cadillac has to spend to keep up with the Germans. BMW spent 4.8 billion Euro on R&D last year, Mercedes is usually around $5-6 billion, a couple years ago Mercedes spent more on R&D than any other car maker except Ford. Cadillac's problem is they don't have a $4 billion annual budget, but if they don't at least try to keep up then Cadillac will turn into what Acura and Lincoln have become. You either spend big or go home.

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    Cadillac also doesn't have to have the lineup that those manufacturers do. Cadillac is not producing taxi cabs and they will don't seem to be entering the knock-off luxury market (CLA, A3, 1-Series) any time soon. I'm glad that Cadillac isn't pursuing all the weird niche models that BMW and Benz are... do we really need a Cadillac competitor to the X4 and X6 just to move an additional 300 units a month? Imagine what BMW and Benz's profitability would be if they DIDN'T chase every niche.

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    Cadillac shouldn't be in every niche, BMW goes overboard trying to create body styles for the sake of creating body styles. I don't think the other auto makers do that so much. Cadillac does need 3 SUVs though, and they need a convertible and/or sports car. Can't survive just on sedans, especially when 2 of their 3 sedans have the same price.

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    SRX needs to become MKX sized and on a more sophisticated platform, and then add another smaller crossover. escalade is a premier product , it's what people aspire to, so no need for lambdas.

    ATS for all it's goodness does suffer from almost non existent back seat. I think that is what is killing it in our market. Also the interior already has a dated feel. Cadillac has not developed a lease strategy to in stealth fashion hook first timers into the fold with cheap leases. Plus they do not seem to be marketing the car. What they ought to do is concentrate less on fully loaded versions and just build the ATS to a not too steep price class and just try to get intros into to the brand. One item besides the v that caddy needs is a trim for all wheel drive turbo manual. Quattro is what sells Audi. I would also even say we need Cadillac diesels. An ATS. And maybe even a CTS. On the ATS too even though I think the 2.5 is ok for the starter trim really they should consider dropping it and maybe just putting a detuned 2.0 turbo in the base model..

    Not a lot of CTS or ATS around here of the new versions. Funny, the Buick regal seems to do quite well.....lots of XTS too....

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    I think the opposite. The SRX should stay the same size interior, but move to Alpha platform to improve packaging and lose weight. Then this new crossover can be the MKX-X5-Mclass contender.

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    I think the opposite. The SRX should stay the same size interior, but move to Alpha platform to improve packaging and lose weight. Then this new crossover can be the MKX-X5-Mclass contender.

    I would agree with that, except for who really cares about competing with anything Lincoln makes. They can make 2 crossovers off the Alpha platform, make the better packaged, smaller on the outside SRX (you could probably cut 4 inches in front bumper overhang), then make an M-class and X5 competitor. The CTS wheelbase has to be longer than an M-class or X5 so we know size wise it would work, and no one is driving any of the above mentioned vehicles off road.

    Plus you already have the CTS powertrains in place, the mid-size crossover can start with the V6 perhaps and offer the twin turbo V6 in a V-sport model. Jeep has the SRT Cherokee, the Germans have V8 and AMG/M models of their SUVs, even the Toureg has a 380 hp hybrid option. Cadillac needs some kind of high power SUV.

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    >>...except for who really cares about competing with anything Lincoln makes.<<

    Mercedes feels it's justifiable to build vehicles that sell only 2-300 units/mth (g-class SUV); that's less than HALF on any Lincoln SUV. NOT at all saying they're direct competitors but a lux SUV sales is a sale and some consumers don't bother to adhere to the tight segments we go by. Sometimes functionality trumps other criteria, and these pretty much all do the same thing- sit the occupants up higher than a sedan. Mercedes & BMW dismissed the CTS when it came out, and it's a major segment player now. There's not much expense in studying your opposition, even if enthusiasts believe it's well below your level.

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      Chevrolet had its best first quarter truck sales since 2008, up 6 percent. Key drivers were the Suburban, up 26 percent; the Tahoe, up 11 percent; and strong full-size van sales to small business customers and fleets. Silverado sales were essentially equal to a year ago. Chevrolet retail truck sales in the first quarter were up 2 percent, with the Tahoe up 9 percent, the Colorado up 7 percent and the Suburban up 5 percent. Silverado sales were essentially equal to a year ago. The Tahoe and Suburban had their best March total sales since 2008, and their best first quarter total and retail sales since 2008. The Colorado had its best first quarter retail sales since 2005.   Chevrolet Cars
      Retail deliveries were very strong in March, up 9 percent. The drivers were the Cruze, up 63 percent; the Sonic, up 14 percent; the Spark, up 50 percent; the Volt, up 15 percent; and the Camaro, up 2 percent.  During the quarter, retail car deliveries were down 11 percent, reflecting industry-wide changes in customer demand. However, Cruze retail sales were up 22 percent during the quarter; the Spark was up 37 percent; and the Volt was up 39 percent. The Volt had its best first quarter total and retail sales ever.  Buick Sales
      Buick had its best March retail sales since 2005, with sales up 22 percent. The LaCrosse was up 60 percent on a retail basis in March, the Encore was up 17 percent and Regal was up 7 percent. On a total sales basis, it was Buick’s best March since 2006, with deliveries up 15 percent. First quarter retail deliveries were the highest since 2004, driven by a 29 percent increase in crossover sales. The Encore has posted seven consecutive months of year-over-year sales gains, and it had its best-ever March and first quarter sales. The Envision had its best month since launch. GMC Sales
      Total GMC sales were up 12 percent in March, driven by a 47 percent increase in crossover deliveries. The Acadia, which was redesigned last year, was up 84 percent and the Terrain was up 14 percent. The Yukon XL was up 17 percent. March was the highest-ever month for Denali models, at 29 percent of GMC retail sales. Total GMC sales for the first quarter were the best since 2000, with deliveries up 10 percent. First quarter retail deliveries were up 4 percent, with the Acadia up 30 percent and Sierra HD models up 22 percent. Cadillac Sales
      Cadillac XT5 retail sales in March were 22 percent higher than the outgoing SRX, and ATPs were about 9 percent higher. Cadillac’s ATPs continue to be in the upper echelon of luxury brands at more than $54,000. Full-year Guidance
      We believe strong car-buying fundamentals are reflected in the retail component of the light vehicle SAAR (seasonally-adjusted annual rate), which was 14 million in March, up 0.3 million versus a year ago. The retail SAAR for the first quarter was 14.3 million, up 0.1 million. Ten all-new or recently redesigned crossovers are expected to drive GM’s sales and share higher in 2017. GM’s deliveries to daily rental companies are expected to decline for the third year in a row. The company expects inventory in the second quarter to be lower than the first quarter, in a range around 90 days’ supply. The decline reflects strong sales, lower car production and strategic, launch-related growth in truck and crossover stocks. The company expects to end 2017 at essentially the same inventory levels as 2016 on a days’ supply basis, but with fewer cars and more trucks and crossovers in stock. As expected, incentives were down sharply from February 2017, according to J.D Power PIN estimates. Spending as a percentage of average transaction price (ATP) declined from approximately 14.9 percent to about 13.5 percent. The launches of new crossovers and adjustments to passenger car inventories will help moderate incentive spending going forward.
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