Cadillac dealers say customers’ reactions to the redesigned 2015 Escalade are very positive, with many immediately dropping down deposits on the new full-size SUV, but delays at General Motors’ plant in Arlington, Texas are forcing some customers to walk away from the sale, Automotive News reports.
Prolonged quality inspections and other procedural delays at the Arlington plant have led to Escalade delivery delays of up to a month or more from when the vehicle left the assembly line to when it arrives at the dealer, which AN says is triple the usual wait time. Cadillac dealer Bill Wallace said he has lost sales due to the delays.
“We can’t get firm delivery dates,” said Wallace, owner of Wallace Cadillac in Florida. “It’s hard to tell a guy who is waiting for a $75,000 car that I have no idea when he’ll get it.”
Cadillac dealers are missing out on important sales and possibly ruining their image with some of their most wealthy and influential clientele due to the prolonged deliveries. The customers who have so far walked into the Cadillac dealer and dropped a deposit on the new Escalade aren’t worrying about the $72,690 price tag, which is an $8,000 jump from the starting price of the outgoing model.
“These are some of my most loyal customers,” Todd Snell, owner of a Buick-GMC-Cadillac dealer in Minnesota, told AN.
Acting Cadillac sales chief and GM Vice President of U.S. Sales Operations Kurt McNeil said a lengthier quality assurance process on some of the new, more upscale interior parts have contributed to delays.
“We deployed more people to Arlington to speed up the analysis process,” McNeil said in a statement. GM has also “added many more trucks to the distribution system to increase shipping capacity,” he noted.
McNeil said the time between when Escalades leave the assembly line to when they arrive at dealers should shrink to 1 week by September 1.
The issue with the Escalade isn’t one of allocation, like what happened when the 2014 Corvette Stingray launched. Only dealers that sold a certain number of Corvettes the year prior were eligible to receive the new Stingray during its initial launch, but the issue with Escalades is the vehicles have already been sold, they just are taking too long to show up.
One Cadillac dealer said they have orders customers placed in February and March that still haven’t been filed and that if they had 20 Escalades show up at their store, they’d all be gone by the end of the day.
Wallace said GM “has taken care of the hard part,” in building a new Escalade which customers want and will like, they just need to sort their quality inspection and delivery processes out.
“The ball is at the goal line. They just need to get me the car,” he said.