The Cadillac Escalade has become the biggest blessing the brand could ask for, but has also left Cadillac with a major dilemma. What does the brand do with this nameplate that has more brand recognition than the CTS and ATS combined?
That’s currently where the next generation Escalade stands, according to a report from Automotive News. Cadillac President, Johan de Nysschen, was quite outspoken on this problem they have with the Escalade.
“Can you think of the interesting conversations that take place in our planning meetings?” de Nysschen said. “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?”
But what it is, is something Cadillac may be underestimating. de Nysschen is consistently ready to say Cadillac will not follow the German recipe, and will continue to have a distinct American edge. What’s more American than a luxurious SUV? For better, or worse, the Cadillac Escalade embodies something the Germans and Japanese have never perfected.
And buyers love it.
Cadillac Escalade sales are up over 100 percent year-over-year, and as quickly as they arrive on dealer lots, they’re taken to new homes with an average transaction price of $83,000.
We’re not saying what we proposed here is the best path, but the Escalade has consistently been an ace up Cadillac’s sleeve. We think an upcoming Cadillac V8 would fit nice and tidy under the hood of an Escalade, and may allow the Escalade to sit as a unique halo vehicle for the brand, as much as they don’t want it to be one.
As much as it pains us to say this, the Escalade is the greatest GM badge engineering job ever completed. If Cadillac can continue to differentiate the Escalade from its Chevrolet and GMC cousins and hone the vehicle under the emerging brand values, the success should stick around.