The Escalade has become the biggest blessing Cadillac could ask for, but has also left the brand 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 the dilemma 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 big, 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 they’re taken to new homes as quickly as they arrive on dealer lots, 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-exclusive V-8 would be welcomed under the hood of the next Escalade, and may allow the model to sit as a unique halo vehicle for the brand, as much as management might not want that to be the case.
Ultimately — and it pains us to say this — the Escalade is the greatest GM badge-engineering job ever. If Cadillac can continue to differentiate the Escalade from its Chevrolet (Tahoe, Suburban) and GMC (Yukon, Yukon XL) cousins and hone it under the emerging brand values, the model’s success should remain.
More Information & Reporting
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