Update: Cadillac provided official Escalade statistics for the month of January. The SUV’s segment share actually grew 1.4 percent, and U.S. sales increased 2 percent total. The brand reiterated that, according to its own data, most of Lincoln’s segment gains came from Mercedes-Benz, Lexus and Land Rover—not Cadillac. Escalade average transaction prices also grew by $2,300 year-over-year last month.
The Cadillac Escalade finally has a proper rival. The 2018 Lincoln Navigator debuted to much fanfare, and now, demand is following the debut hoopla.
Ford Authority reported last Friday that Navigator sales were up 97.5 percent in January year-over-year, while Lincoln’s entire portfolio dropped 20 percent. In comparison, sales of the Cadillac Escalade in regular-wheelbase form climbed 15 percent, but long-wheelbase ESV models shrunk 14 percent.
It’s unclear if the Navigator actually outsold the Escalade last month, but it seems unlikely, especially noting Ford Vice President of U.S. Marketing, Sales, and Service Mark LaNeve’s, comment: “We could have sold a lot more in January if we had had them.”
Meanwhile, we know there are no supply issues surrounding the Cadillac Escalade. The Arlington, Texas, plant continues to crank out truckloads of GM-branded SUVs daily.
Better news for Lincoln, however, is the 2018 Navigator’s average transaction price. 84 percent of retail buyers are opting for the expensive Reserve or Black Label trims, which start at $81,205 for the former and $93,705 for the latter.
Cadillac will reportedly overhaul the Escalade for the 2020 model year, and it will likely start to differentiate itself from its Chevrolet Tahoe and GMC Yukon siblings. We may even see an independent rear suspension.